Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Asking for an item before it's served

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Paper Roses:
This happened a couple of months ago, and I wondered you all would think.

I was at a pretty large family holiday gathering, a few days before Christmas.  It was pretty casual, buffet-style.  There were appetizers out in several spots throughout the house, and drinks were readily available.

Among the guests were "Reba" and "Bill," an older couple (who my family and I have met before and always found absolutely adorable).  Bill is the widowed husband of the hostess' aunt, and Reba is his companion (they refer to themselves as "buddies," but they are definitely a couple and have been for several years.

After a while, the hostess announced that dinner was ready - so everyone started the meal.  Again, buffet-style - it had been set up in the dining room, and everyone filled their plates and gathered in different areas to eat, so it definitely wasn't a formal, sit-down dinner.

Shortly after dinner was announced, Reba approached the hostess and asked if Bill could have a piece of a certain dessert item.  The hostess was a bit put off by this, and said that she wasn't serving dessert yet.  Reba responded with, "Oh, well, I'm not feeling well so we're going to be leaving soon."  The hostess grudgingly complied, but was pretty bothered by it. 

Honestly, I don't really see it as a big deal, and if I were the hostess, I would have accommodated Bill without a second thought and most likely forgotten about it.

But I'm curious as to whether anyone else thinks that Reba (and Bill, possibly) were rude for asking for dessert before the hostess had planned to serve it.

TootsNYC:
yes, actually, I do.

I'm the hostess, not your waitress. This is my home and my meal, my gift to you and everyone else there, which I control as it is given, not a restaurant, and certainly not a restaurant at which you are the only customer.

I would have to interrupt my own enjoyment of the social event to go get food for you.

At a buffet, I may not have a place right now to set that dessert.

And you've suddenly changed the pace of the day--when the dessert comes out, the mood changes. Other people will see that dessert and may go along w/ that mood switch.

And anyway, if what you want is to ask a FAVOR of me, you should give me the reason you want the favor first.

I think I'd have been tempted to say, "Oh, well, if you're leaving, I'll put some in a container so you can take it with you. Do you need to leave now? I'm so sorry you're not feeling well."

I think it was rude of Reba.

Paper Roses:
Toots, just to clarify, it wasn't me.  I had no part of it, just heard about it after it happened.

Bob Ducca:
It wouldn't have fazed me at all. I don't find that request off putting or unusual.

audrey1962:
It wouldn't bother me either.

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