Author Topic: Telling (crumby) guests what to do  (Read 3108 times)

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Elizabeth

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Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« on: December 10, 2012, 11:33:39 PM »
So recently DH and I had a few family members over for dinner. While it was finishing cooking, we put out some cheese, crackers, napkins, and plates in the living room. Our guests proceeded to eat the cheese and crackers while sitting on our couch... without using plates. I was sitting there watching crumbs fall on the floor, under the couch, in the cushions, and I didn't know what to say. It feels presumptuous to tell someone twice my age to use a plate to catch crumbs. At one point I said something along the lines of "don't worry about making more dishes or anything - that's what the dishwasher is for! Feel free to use a plate if you like." The response was something like, "Oh, I'm okay."

Is this expected behavior? Is it okay to get crumbs all over when you're at someone else's house? Or can I say something? And if so, what can I say that doesn't come across as condescending or rude, but makes it clear that I expect a plate to be used?

Hmmmmm

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2012, 11:45:30 PM »
 If serving crackers I'd assume some crumbs were going to need to be dealt with afterwards. Maybe next time serve them on a plate putting a few crackers and some cheese and hand them the plate.  Maybe the other guests would follow suit.

SoCalVal

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 12:04:24 AM »
These were family members so bring them plates and hold them under their food as a gesture to put the food on it (and you could say, as you hold it under the food, "Here for you food; it'll contain any crumbs that fall."  I could see someone handing me a plate like that, and I wouldn't think twice about it.  I don't always think to grab a plate.



Deetee

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 12:11:44 AM »
I would just hand out plates and napkins to people. It's not always obvious when you grab a cracker if it an explody kind or not.

CakeEater

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 02:13:37 AM »
Just take a plate over and hand t to them witha cheerful, "Here you are!' I'd be hoping they'd take the hint.

cicero

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 04:09:32 AM »
Just take a plate over and hand t to them witha cheerful, "Here you are!' I'd be hoping they'd take the hint.
or even "please use a plate".  don't pose it as a question, and don't find excuses for them as to why they might not want to use a plate (the whole dishwasher issue). that isn't the point - the point is that you want them to use a plate, period.

it's like asking someone to use a coaster so that you don't get water stains on a wood table.

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Dorrie78

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 09:44:53 AM »
It wouldn't occur to me to use a plate to eat a cracker with a slice of cheese. A napkin, yes, but not a plate. I would pick up the cracker, place the cheese on it and then eat it. I can understand why this guest didn't use a plate and didn't pick up your hint that he should. Either just ask him directly to use a plate, or - my preferred method - just get out the vacuum after he has left and clean up.

FoxPaws

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 10:07:45 AM »
I have noticed that the further away the food is from the seating, the more likely people are to use a plate and/or napkin. Maybe next time, put the cheese and crackers across the room from the couch or even in the dining room - you can leave off a couple of place settings until just before the meal and put it on one end of the table if you don't have a sideboard.

In all honesty though, I'd probably just let it go and vacuum after they left.
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JonGirl

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2012, 07:01:14 AM »


I just brought a new carpet sweeper. I'd just walk around with that!  >:D
Stewart/Colbert '16

artk2002

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2012, 06:59:01 PM »
So recently DH and I had a few family members over for dinner. While it was finishing cooking, we put out some cheese, crackers, napkins, and plates in the living room. Our guests proceeded to eat the cheese and crackers while sitting on our couch... without using plates. I was sitting there watching crumbs fall on the floor, under the couch, in the cushions, and I didn't know what to say. It feels presumptuous to tell someone twice my age to use a plate to catch crumbs. At one point I said something along the lines of "don't worry about making more dishes or anything - that's what the dishwasher is for! Feel free to use a plate if you like." The response was something like, "Oh, I'm okay."

Is this expected behavior? Is it okay to get crumbs all over when you're at someone else's house? Or can I say something? And if so, what can I say that doesn't come across as condescending or rude, but makes it clear that I expect a plate to be used?

The problem with what you said was that it can be interpreted as "If you're having trouble managing the food, I don't mind if you use a plate." In other words, that them using a plate wouldn't be a trouble to you.  What you wanted to say is "Please use a plate." It's not presumptuous to ask someone to not make a mess, whether they are twice your age or half your age. You're the host, it's your home, you make the rules.

Although not fully PA, you were very passive and got what you asked for. Next time, ask for what you want.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

rashea

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2012, 09:04:23 AM »

Although not fully PA, you were very passive and got what you asked for. Next time, ask for what you want.

This line really stood out to me. So often we try to ask something in a passive way and are upset when we don't get what we want. I needed this reminder today for other reasons, so I'm grateful for this.
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post

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Yvaine

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2012, 10:08:07 AM »

Although not fully PA, you were very passive and got what you asked for. Next time, ask for what you want.

This line really stood out to me. So often we try to ask something in a passive way and are upset when we don't get what we want. I needed this reminder today for other reasons, so I'm grateful for this.

Yeah, it's a really good point and applies to so many situations. Hinting doesn't always work--sometimes people just don't get the hint and take your words at face value!

Just Lori

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2012, 10:11:35 AM »
How about saying, "Oh dear, I didn't realize the crackers were so crumbly.  Here, let me get you a plate."  That way, you're accusing the darn crackers of being messy, not the guests.

Biker Granny

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #13 on: December 13, 2012, 03:42:07 PM »
I'm reminded of a time when a friend was over and set his drink on my nice clean coffee table....the coasters were less than a foot away.  I got up and gently put the coaster under his drink.

His response? (he's not a class act in any way) "Like I'm going to hurt that cheap thing."
I calmly went to my cleaning supplies and set the Pledge and rag right next to him.  My sweet reply?  "here ya go....for when you're done." >:D

I agree with the others...future reference put the snacks farther away from the seating.

CakeEater

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Re: Telling (crumby) guests what to do
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 06:37:47 PM »
How about saying, "Oh dear, I didn't realize the crackers were so crumbly.  Here, let me get you a plate."  That way, you're accusing the darn crackers of being messy, not the guests.

I love this one!