Author Topic: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese  (Read 18147 times)

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Yvaine

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #75 on: December 18, 2012, 01:08:01 PM »
So if you're the hostess, and you ask someone to bring xyz food, and they give you the impression they're going to bring it--mind you, she probably should have just said no and offered to bring something else, but assuming she says yes--you'd be OK with her showing up right at mealtime with the raw ingredients and asking you to cook it? You wouldn't feel put-upon?
I would never do any of the things mentioned in the OP, but again, this would not even register to me.  I truly do not care about food, especially at the expense of a human relationship.  If this is about something deeper, I would address the something deeper. Otherwise I would laugh it off (but again, I have never asked someone to bring something specific to anything I have hosted and I really would not care about this kind of thing).

OK, then let's make it about something that's not food. Your relative offers to help you decorate for a party. She shows up right at party time, drops a pile of still-packaged streamers and such into your arms, and sits back and watches you decorate the place with them.

It's not about food. It's about promising to help relieve a workload and instead adding to it.

TurtleDove

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #76 on: December 18, 2012, 01:09:54 PM »
OK, then let's make it about something that's not food. Your relative offers to help you decorate for a party. She shows up right at party time, drops a pile of still-packaged streamers and such into your arms, and sits back and watches you decorate the place with them.

It's not about food. It's about promising to help relieve a workload and instead adding to it.

Again, I would address the actual issue of why the relative did this.  It still wouldn't be about decorating for the party.  But again, I would never ask someone else to help decorate for my party!

Yvaine

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #77 on: December 18, 2012, 01:13:04 PM »
OK, then let's make it about something that's not food. Your relative offers to help you decorate for a party. She shows up right at party time, drops a pile of still-packaged streamers and such into your arms, and sits back and watches you decorate the place with them.

It's not about food. It's about promising to help relieve a workload and instead adding to it.

Again, I would address the actual issue of why the relative did this.  It still wouldn't be about decorating for the party.  But again, I would never ask someone else to help decorate for my party!

Well, if that's not the way your family works, then so be it. But if you postulate a family where people do help with these things, it's obnoxious to offer to help and then make more work instead.

No, it's not "about" the decorating itself. Nor was the mac and cheese "about" the food! Nobody is prioritizing food over human relationships. The sister said she'd help and she piled more work on the hostess instead. Rude. No matter what type of work it is, or whether anyone would do that in your particular own family.

WillyNilly

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #78 on: December 18, 2012, 01:27:58 PM »
OK, then let's make it about something that's not food. Your relative offers to help you decorate for a party. She shows up right at party time, drops a pile of still-packaged streamers and such into your arms, and sits back and watches you decorate the place with them.

It's not about food. It's about promising to help relieve a workload and instead adding to it.

Again, I would address the actual issue of why the relative did this.  It still wouldn't be about decorating for the party.  But again, I would never ask someone else to help decorate for my party!

Well, if that's not the way your family works, then so be it. But if you postulate a family where people do help with these things, it's obnoxious to offer to help and then make more work instead.

No, it's not "about" the decorating itself. Nor was the mac and cheese "about" the food! Nobody is prioritizing food over human relationships. The sister said she'd help and she piled more work on the hostess instead. Rude. No matter what type of work it is, or whether anyone would do that in your particular own family.

But we don't know that.  We know the SIL was asked to help, and was expected to help, but we don't know exactly what she was asked for or what - if anything - she agreed to.

Its just as likely that the mother refused to hear the "no" as it is likely the SIL didn't say it.

Sharnita

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #79 on: December 18, 2012, 01:31:42 PM »
OK, then let's make it about something that's not food. Your relative offers to help you decorate for a party. She shows up right at party time, drops a pile of still-packaged streamers and such into your arms, and sits back and watches you decorate the place with them.

It's not about food. It's about promising to help relieve a workload and instead adding to it.

Again, I would address the actual issue of why the relative did this.  It still wouldn't be about decorating for the party.  But again, I would never ask someone else to help decorate for my party!

Well, if that's not the way your family works, then so be it. But if you postulate a family where people do help with these things, it's obnoxious to offer to help and then make more work instead.

No, it's not "about" the decorating itself. Nor was the mac and cheese "about" the food! Nobody is prioritizing food over human relationships. The sister said she'd help and she piled more work on the hostess instead. Rude. No matter what type of work it is, or whether anyone would do that in your particular own family.

OK, let's look at your example but make it closer to the actual situation.  The host tells sonebody to bring a onata for the kids because they might not be happy with the other stuff.  (That is a bit closer to the real situation than the guest offering.) YOu might think it is self-evident that the person needs to show up before hand with the pinata ready to go and with enough time for it to be in place before any guests arrive.  I would not be at all surprised if a guest came with it and expect the host to dump the candy in and tie up the pinata later on. I don't think the guest  would be stupid, rude, PA or anything else.

Yvaine

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #80 on: December 18, 2012, 01:33:16 PM »
OK, then let's make it about something that's not food. Your relative offers to help you decorate for a party. She shows up right at party time, drops a pile of still-packaged streamers and such into your arms, and sits back and watches you decorate the place with them.

It's not about food. It's about promising to help relieve a workload and instead adding to it.

Again, I would address the actual issue of why the relative did this.  It still wouldn't be about decorating for the party.  But again, I would never ask someone else to help decorate for my party!

Well, if that's not the way your family works, then so be it. But if you postulate a family where people do help with these things, it's obnoxious to offer to help and then make more work instead.

No, it's not "about" the decorating itself. Nor was the mac and cheese "about" the food! Nobody is prioritizing food over human relationships. The sister said she'd help and she piled more work on the hostess instead. Rude. No matter what type of work it is, or whether anyone would do that in your particular own family.

OK, let's look at your example but make it closer to the actual situation.  The host tells sonebody to bring a onata for the kids because they might not be happy with the other stuff.  (That is a bit closer to the real situation than the guest offering.) YOu might think it is self-evident that the person needs to show up before hand with the pinata ready to go and with enough time for it to be in place before any guests arrive.  I would not be at all surprised if a guest came with it and expect the host to dump the candy in and tie up the pinata later on. I don't think the guest  would be stupid, rude, PA or anything else.

This seems closer to bringing a package of crepe paper and some glue, rather than bringing an empty pinata and a bag of candy!  ;D

Sharnita

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #81 on: December 18, 2012, 01:35:16 PM »
To you, yes, to several others, no.

Moray

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #82 on: December 18, 2012, 01:37:03 PM »
Right. So, if the SIL agreed to bring the mac'n'cheese, she was rude to just shove it at the hostess at dinner time instead of prepping it beforehand or making arrangements to prep it there.

In the alternate scenario, if the SIL didn't agree to bring it and the hostess just wasn't taking no for an answer so she decided to bring salad and the boxed mac'n'cheese, she was still rude for giving it, unprepped, to the hostess at dinner time instead of declining to bring it entirely, prepping it beforehand, or making arrangements to prep it there.

It's possible that the hostess was rude, depending on how she conveyed her requirement for mac'n'cheese to SIL, but SIL was definitely rude for failing to prep the dish or make arrangements to prep it there.

It was not rude, in and of itself, to bring boxed, just as it would not have been rude to bring frozen, deli, or home-made.



Utah

mj

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #83 on: December 18, 2012, 01:45:02 PM »
The thing is, Mom is not actually "the host" once she directs someone to bring something.  She is co-hosting at that point, so SIL does actually have some determination over the meal prep. 

We are hearing this second hand, so we also don't know much about how this was all determined.  But we do know that SIL was told to bring something, while others got to choose. 

CakeBeret

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #84 on: December 18, 2012, 02:48:06 PM »
The thing is, even though boxed mac n cheese is easy to make, it's still an imposition on the hostess.

The hostess now has to provide milk and butter for making the mac n cheese. (And what if the hostess is out?)

The hostess has to either cook it herself, or crowd the kitchen with another person. Many people have small kitchens that don't comfortably accommodate two adults, so the hostess would have it make it herself. More work for the hostess. If the bringer can cook it herself, the hostess still has to direct her to the pots and pans, utensils, and measuring cups.

Cooking the mac n cheese will dirty more dishes, which the hostess has to clean at the end of the night.

So I really do think it's rude, regardless of the motivations.
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mj

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #85 on: December 18, 2012, 02:56:20 PM »
If a host wants something specific, they should make it.  A lot of posters forsee issues with asking a guest to bring mac n cheese and keeping it warm.  If a host has that much of an issue with clean up or space, how do they expect the guest to keep it warm in time to serve?  This was something the host was better off handling herself.  Instead of looking for someone to blame or call p/a, rude or whatever -- I think the better route is to look for the solution.  By etiquette, a specific dish requires the host to make it, not ask a guest to bring it.  Potluck is just that, luck and people are to bring what they want.  So the solution?  Host makes all specific dishes.

doodlemor

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #86 on: December 18, 2012, 03:27:04 PM »
Would you please update us, Gumbysqueak?  Did mom hold dinner while she mixed the stuff, or did she just go ahead without it?


Aeris

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #87 on: December 18, 2012, 08:45:38 PM »
If a host wants something specific, they should make it.  A lot of posters forsee issues with asking a guest to bring mac n cheese and keeping it warm.  If a host has that much of an issue with clean up or space, how do they expect the guest to keep it warm in time to serve?  This was something the host was better off handling herself.  Instead of looking for someone to blame or call p/a, rude or whatever -- I think the better route is to look for the solution.  By etiquette, a specific dish requires the host to make it, not ask a guest to bring it.  Potluck is just that, luck and people are to bring what they want.  So the solution?  Host makes all specific dishes.

Most family holiday dinners that I've seen are neither fully hosted nor are they true potlucks. Instead they are exactly what they sound like: family dinners. At family dinners in many families, it's the norm for everyone to participate in the meal, but the nominal host to do the bulk of the work and provide the space, as well as organize the participation.

I can't imagine a family holiday dinner where my parents or grandparents or aunt made every single thing, and "hosted" in the true and proper fashion for dinner parties. It's not a dinner party, it's family. My mother is going to ask my brother to bring the green bean casserole since he didn't leap to volunteer something, and that's not rude.  He can say he'd rather bring something else, or he can bring the horrid casserole, but he can't bring a bag of frozen green beans and whatever else goes in that horrific concoction and hand it to my mother right before meal time.

It's family. Help or get out of the way, but don't agree to bring something and fall down on the job.


TurtleDove

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #88 on: December 18, 2012, 08:56:43 PM »
It's family. Help or get out of the way, but don't agree to bring something and fall down on the job.

We don't know all the facts, and I do not disagree with you in general.  But I also think, "it's family...why is this box of mac'n'cheese such a big deal?" I still think this is about something other than the mac'n'cheese.

KenveeB

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Re: Family Party. Please bring mac and cheese
« Reply #89 on: December 18, 2012, 09:23:15 PM »
All I'm sayin is, with ingredients and material, just about everyone CAN in fact make it. Whether they WANT to is, of course, a different animal.

Mac and cheese is not crown rack of lamb.

Don't say "I can't" when you mean "I don't want to." If you don't want to, own it and say you don't want to. It's even cool to say, "My kitchen isn't fitted for that." But that's not the same as "I can't."

Words mean things.

And when some people say "I can't cook," they actually mean it. There are some people who honestly can't cook. I've known people who can't manage to boil water without messing it up. Just because something is easy for you doesn't mean it's easy for everyone. And some people might find crown rack of lamb incredibly easy and think you're just being obstructionist if you insist you can't do it.

There are several possible scenarios here. In some of them, SIL was rude. In others, MIL was rude. In others, neither one was rude and it was just a miscommunication. Jumping all over SIL for being rude is a little precipitous. I think the best advice for the OP would be to let it go, since she doesn't know what was actually said between the two parties and it's possible that SIL wasn't rude at all. If, of course, SIL later brags that she really taught MIL a lesson with the mac & cheese or something like that, then she's free to revise her opinion. :)