General Etiquette > general

Rude to take over hosting duties when you're meant to be a guest? u/d p12

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I was going to say it seems like a nice gesture and wouldn't bother me, but practically speaking, she would have to know your specific plans for the brunch, what you wanted to serve for drinks, whether you intended to serve other than coffee, or whatever.  So, there is an element of risk in what she did.  She should have asked.
I still would thank her and wouldn't mention the possible problem unless you intend to do this fairly often and it could come up again.

It sounds like to me that you needed help and someone helped you.  This kind of thing wouldn't bother me one bit.  I would much rather have my guests have something to eat and a snack than fuss because someone stepped up and helped me out.

I understand that a guest might not have known if you had special plans for the food or drinks and I think that's a reasonable concern, especially if the food or drinks were not already set out.

I do think the OP had a few options.  She could have asked someone to help her serve food and drinks in the way she wanted (since she should have quickly recognized she was tied up and couldn't do it), or stopped Helper when she started grabbing trays of food.

In the end, however, unless serving the food and drinks completely messed up your day, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. 

There are a few people that I would expect to step up and help like that. So I don't see it as overstepping in all cases.

I know my feelings on this are bit slanted because if there were appetisers available, I feel that your priorities should be to greet the guests and offer them drinks and then go back to the sandwiches. Working on the meal while the guest are there is fine, BUT only after the guest have been greeted and offered refreshments.

If I didn't want someone to take over the offering of drinks, I would ask them to work on the sandwiches while I did drinks.

Overall, I think the comfort of the guests trumps the "who should officially host" .

(All this is retracted if the person is a boundary tromping showboat as opposed to a close and helpful family member. Basically, were they helping you or claiming credit?)

I do think it was rude. I think TakeoverGuest should have asked "LifeOnPluto, would you like me to offer the others some drinks, or help with sandwiches?" or better yet "LifeOnPluto, can I help?" first before making any command decisions. I feel like TakeoverGuest was acting a little too much like a martyr, trying to show how helpful they are while giving you a backhanded insult and saying "You aren't on top of it all. You are not the perfect hostess. I can one up you." JMHO.

I still laugh at this one. At my parents' house, my father doesn't help much, it's usually my mother who is offering guests food and drink. But we were at my house and before I could offer any drinks (which is usually something I do very quickly), my father asked my grandmother what she would like to drink. He had absolutely no clue what we had in our kitchen before he started rattling off options. My grandmother chose coffee. And then I had to say that we didn't have any coffee in our house (we didn't, at the time. Plenty of tea, though). I don't think my father made that mistake again.

I think Takeover Guest should have *asked*, "Pluto, can I help/should I take this out?"

However, and i say this gently, unless TG has a tendency to be overbearing and tacky, is it possible that you *didn't* really have things under control? is it possible that guests saw the hosts as being *not there* (you were in the kitchen and DF in the garden), scrambling around trying to get things ready while your guests were already there, and maybe people were getting hungry? you say yourself that you were *rushing around*... It sounds like TG was doing a good thing, and it sounds like you were overwhelmed.

And yes, you should have said thank you. for the *next* gathering, you might want to have things more under control, but for *this* gathering it sounds like you did need help.


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