Author Topic: Asking for an item before it's served  (Read 12597 times)

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Paper Roses

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #75 on: March 28, 2013, 08:46:00 PM »
I notice in the OP that Reba approached the hostess "Shortly after dinner had been announced" which makes the timing unclear. Was dinner finished? If Reba was asking before the hostess had eaten her own dinner then I think it woud definitely be rude. I think the timing is very important.

I think by saying "Dinner was announced" I made it seem more formal than it actually was.  People had gathered in groups in different areas of the house - the dining room, kitchen, and a couple spots in the finished basement.  The host and hostess, once dinner was ready and put out, went around to each group and said that dinner was ready, at which point everyone began to move toward the dining room.  However, it wasn't a mad rush - the group I was in, for instance, saw the other group close to us all get up and go upstairs (we were in the basement), and so we waited a bit to give everyone else time to go through and not all crowd into the dining room and make the people ahead of us feel rushed. 

I believe Reba and Bill were already upstairs, so were among the first to have dinner, and were finished with it even though some others were still making up plates.  If I remember correctly, the desserts and various sweet snacks were sitting on the kitchen table.  I'm not sure if the particular dessert Bill wanted was sitting out with them or not; I know it had been brought to the house in a closed container (it was a pie, and it was in one of those plastic rubbermaid/tupperware pie containers, which wasn't transparent.  So if it was still in the container and not on the table, I don't know how Bill knew it was even there; but then again, if it was sitting out on the table, would that have been reason enough to think it was ok to ask for it?  In other words, would it be ok to assume it was there and being offered?)
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NyaChan

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #76 on: March 28, 2013, 09:22:48 PM »
Under those circumstances, I'd have put some dessert on a paper plate and not thought another thing about it.

I had one girlfriend on the Carbohydrate Addict's diet and she had to eat her one meal with carbs in an hour's period of time. So at first she'd ask if she could go ahead and partake of dessert right after the meal, which bothered me not one whit since my DH likes to eat dessert right after the meal (too soon for me).

After a couple of times, it was just expected (we traded hospitality a lot).

But if this was typical behavior, this 'eat-n-run', I'd be put out.

Back when we lived in NC, we were good friends with two couples that each had a 16-year-old boy that were best friends with each other. I started to notice whenever we'd get together that the two besties would show up late, shovel down their food and take off. The first time I really noticed it was when we entertained at my house but they did it at everyone's.

So the second time we had them over, when they started putting on their jackets to leave (they did, at least, take their plates to the sink) I pointedly asked, "Where are you going? We invited you to spend the evening with us. You are just going to eat-n-run?"

Cue stammering by them and their parents, but at get-togethers beyond that, the boys made more of an effort to hang out before taking off.

It made me feel like a short-order cook.

As far as the OP, I usually go ahead and have the desserts out at a buffet for those that like to satisfy their sweet tooth immediately after eating - so this wouldn't have been an issue anyway.

I do think that it would've been better for Bill & Reba to make their apologies at having to leave early and, likely, the host would've offered to send them home with some dessert (at least, I would have and so would all of my friends).

 :-[ My parents actually encourage me to do this when I don't want to attend parties with them.  They see it as me politely showing my face and insist that I should at least come and stay until dinner, then leave.  They don't get my explanation that I think it is rude to show up, eat and leave at all - I suspect they think I am just trying to get out of going altogether (which is true, but also because I think it is rude) which colors their judgment - but strangely enough, my mom insists that she would not mind at all if other kids did that to her, that in fact she'd be happy that they showed up at all.  Not me, I'd be mad!

Iris

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #77 on: March 28, 2013, 09:39:33 PM »
I notice in the OP that Reba approached the hostess "Shortly after dinner had been announced" which makes the timing unclear. Was dinner finished? If Reba was asking before the hostess had eaten her own dinner then I think it woud definitely be rude. I think the timing is very important.

I think by saying "Dinner was announced" I made it seem more formal than it actually was.  People had gathered in groups in different areas of the house - the dining room, kitchen, and a couple spots in the finished basement.  The host and hostess, once dinner was ready and put out, went around to each group and said that dinner was ready, at which point everyone began to move toward the dining room.  However, it wasn't a mad rush - the group I was in, for instance, saw the other group close to us all get up and go upstairs (we were in the basement), and so we waited a bit to give everyone else time to go through and not all crowd into the dining room and make the people ahead of us feel rushed. 

I believe Reba and Bill were already upstairs, so were among the first to have dinner, and were finished with it even though some others were still making up plates.  If I remember correctly, the desserts and various sweet snacks were sitting on the kitchen table.  I'm not sure if the particular dessert Bill wanted was sitting out with them or not; I know it had been brought to the house in a closed container (it was a pie, and it was in one of those plastic rubbermaid/tupperware pie containers, which wasn't transparent.  So if it was still in the container and not on the table, I don't know how Bill knew it was even there; but then again, if it was sitting out on the table, would that have been reason enough to think it was ok to ask for it?  In other words, would it be ok to assume it was there and being offered?)

If people were still making up plates for the main course then yes, I do think it's rude to ask for dessert. I'm betting that the host and hostess hadn't even made up their plates for the course *before* dessert yet, and before they even get a chance to eat they have to interrupt themselves to fix dessert for someone else? No matter how informal I think it is impossible to escape the feeling of "I don't care if you haven't eaten dinner! I want my dessert! Now, I say!"

Bill should have just done without dessert.
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bloo

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #78 on: March 28, 2013, 10:08:59 PM »
:-[ My parents actually encourage me to do this when I don't want to attend parties with them.  They see it as me politely showing my face and insist that I should at least come and stay until dinner, then leave.  They don't get my explanation that I think it is rude to show up, eat and leave at all - I suspect they think I am just trying to get out of going altogether (which is true, but also because I think it is rude) which colors their judgment - but strangely enough, my mom insists that she would not mind at all if other kids did that to her, that in fact she'd be happy that they showed up at all.  Not me, I'd be mad!

 :)Maybe your parents friends really don't mind? Yeah I was /would be peeved.

Sharnita

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #79 on: March 29, 2013, 08:03:36 AM »
POD to Lynn2000 and WillyNilly. 

Honestly, this story makes no sense to me unless Reba was fibbing about or exaggerating her illness.  If Reba was so ill that she had to leave, why was she the one who asked the Hostess for dessert for Bill?  Either Reba was ill enough to leave immediately (within 5 mins) or she was well enough to stay for dessert.  I could see if Bill asked for dessert and the Hostess boxed it up while Bill was escorting Reba to their car, but why would Reba want to hang around waiting on Bill's dessert if she was ill?

I do think that Reba was rude to ask.  If you leave events early, you will miss out on some things-that's life.  The hostess should not be perterbed but should just let it go.  She will be prepared if this happens again-she can just say no.

Well, I don't really agree.  I don't think it has to be an either/or situation, and I don't think it was.  I'm sorry you don't think the story makes sense, but it's what happened as I understood it.

Yeah, it makes sense to me. I would guess that Reba asked becasue she felt bad he had to leave early at all.  And waiting around for him to eat dessert might have been a matter of 10 extra minutes or so where waiting for the host to serve dessert on her schedule might have meant another 11/2 hours.

sparksals

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #80 on: March 29, 2013, 12:53:54 PM »
To me rude would be a sit down dinner with courses being served.  While people are all sitting formally at the table one gets up and asks for dessert.  That I could see as that would disrupt the flow.  But in the scenario the OP portrays?  Nope.

If the dessert wasn't already set out, ready to be served, I see no difference between a sit down dinner and buffet really.
(And if the dessert was already set out and ready there would no reason to ask, as it was there ready for those who'd finished their dinner.)

For me I think it was weird to not have it all set out.




There are lots of reasons for everything not to be set out.   It could be because of limited space, food that can easily spoil, timing of cooking or heating appetizers.  I only have one oven, which means things have to be heated in shifts.  I don't want my hot appetizers to be served cold.

sparksals

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #81 on: March 29, 2013, 12:59:15 PM »
Honestly, if the "flow" of a casual buffet is so rigid that my hostess is unwilling to take a moment to get dessert for the guy who is leaving early because he is taking home somebody ill/fatigued then it sounds more like an ordeal than an enjoyable chance tp socialize. It has a "forced march" feel.

Yeah, this is what I've been trying to think of how to express since this thread started and couldn't. It's like the 'Ta-daaaa, look at my wonderful hosting!' aspect of the gathering is more important than people, and - it just *isn't* to me. I would find that rather shallow.


The problem is by asking, you (general) are putting the hostess on the spot.  She could have just sat down to eat her own plate.  I don't think it is fair to call a hostess shallow for wanting to also sit down and enjoy the fruits of her labour.   There is nothing wrong with a hostess wanting to have a certain 'flow' to her meal.  If it is anything like me, she put a great deal of time, effort and expense to provide the buffet and a great time for everyone.   I think it is rude to judge her as shallow when she has invited you (general) into her home and feels internally miffed by the request. It puts her on the spot.   If she says no, then she is the bad person. 

TurtleDove

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #82 on: March 29, 2013, 01:02:19 PM »
If I remember correctly, the desserts and various sweet snacks were sitting on the kitchen table.  I'm not sure if the particular dessert Bill wanted was sitting out with them or not; I know it had been brought to the house in a closed container (it was a pie, and it was in one of those plastic rubbermaid/tupperware pie containers, which wasn't transparent.  So if it was still in the container and not on the table, I don't know how Bill knew it was even there; but then again, if it was sitting out on the table, would that have been reason enough to think it was ok to ask for it?  In other words, would it be ok to assume it was there and being offered?)

Especially knowing this, it seems ever stranger to me that the hostess was so offended. I would have assumed the desserts were being offered.

sparksals

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #83 on: March 29, 2013, 01:06:54 PM »
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.
...

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.


From the OP.  I am not understanding the posters who say this is a space issue. This isn't a situation of people sitting around a table with food on it.  This is a buffet, and there was food in various places.  At a formal dinner, I can see the hostess being upset.  At this type of gathering?  Nope.


The space issue for me is not enough space on the actual buffet table to put everything out at once.  I have two leaves to put in my table, but that makes it pretty tight for people to walk around it.   


I don't put food in various places in the house, only the dining table for two reasons.  We have two dogs and they can and will easily access food on the downstairs coffee table.   The 2nd reason is I prefer to have one area for food, another where the wine, liquor and glasses are, a bin with ice, water, beer, pop etc.   The only 'food' I will put out around the house are bowls of little snacks like nuts, pretzels, chips, caramel cinnamon popcorn. 




sparksals

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #84 on: March 29, 2013, 01:09:23 PM »
Honestly, if the "flow" of a casual buffet is so rigid that my hostess is unwilling to take a moment to get dessert for the guy who is leaving early because he is taking home somebody ill/fatigued then it sounds more like an ordeal than an enjoyable chance tp socialize. It has a "forced march" feel.

Yeah, this is what I've been trying to think of how to express since this thread started and couldn't. It's like the 'Ta-daaaa, look at my wonderful hosting!' aspect of the gathering is more important than people, and - it just *isn't* to me. I would find that rather shallow.

Maybe we are just used to different types of parties.
For me its not a "ta-daaaa" issue. Its:
1. Host has to find a place to put her plate, because often at buffet type parties its a "hold your plate" or "plate on lap" situation
2. Host has to clear a flat space on the counter that is piled with still boxed desserts
3. Host has to dig out dessert plates that are probably behind the pile of desserts because they were taken out the night before so they were the first thing on the counter and now are in back
4. Host has to find the appropriate serving/cutting utensil for the dessert (the one originally planned for the dessert might be currently stuck in a casserole)
5. Cut and plate dessert
6. Appropriately re-wrap dessert
7. Return to finish now cold meal to a room full of people who have all finished eating and a conversation that has taken several turns in the host's absence.
8. Deal with at least one if not several "oh is it dessert time?" remarks from people who see the one person enjoying dessert.

To me that is making dessert way more important then the people - its asking the host to effectively say through actions "oh room full of a dozen of my guests I have no interest in sitting a moment and breaking bread with you. I'm off to disappear into the kitchen for 15 minutes or so to totally ignore you in favor of a dessert that wouldn't normally be served for another hour or two."


You hit the nail on the head!

sparksals

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #85 on: March 29, 2013, 01:21:37 PM »
I guess the reason I asked this question here is I was wondering if what Reba did was really all that bad (I don't think it was), or if the hostess' feelings about her colored her opinion.  She clearly doesn't think much of Reba, and I wondered whether, if someone else had asked the same thing, the hostess would have thought it was that much of an outrageous request.

Honestly, if I were the hostess, as I said before I wouldn't have given it a second thought.  If I were Reba?  It would depend on who the hostess was.  I probably wouldn't ask, but if it was someone I was very close to (certain close friends, or family members) I might ask but offer to cut and serve the dessert for my SO or whoever wanted it myself, so as not to cause the hostess any trouble.  If she then offered to do it, great, of not, so be it. 

It wasn't anything that required any special preparation or presentation.  And the hostess was not "just sitting down for the first time in several days" after preparing for the party - she had been sitting and socializing for quite a while before dinner was served, and dinner had not been homemade - it was a few things that had been heated in the oven, and a couple of deli platters, all of which had been ordered from outside.  Of course, there was still preparation necessary, but she didn't spend days beforehand cooking, nor did she spend the whole pre-dinner time at the party cooking.  Not that it matters, really, I just wanted to clarify that.


Per the last paragraph, I think it boils down to different entertaining styles. When I entertain, I make almost everything home made. I prepare for days ahead of the party.    People enjoy my cooking and always look forward to what I'm going to serve this time.

sparksals

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #86 on: March 29, 2013, 01:25:42 PM »
I have not read the entire thread thoroughly, read some posts and skimmed others. Please forgive me if this was brought up.

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.

I think that Reba was rude in asking for dessert prior to the hostess' scheduled plan.

If I were the hostess, I would also be put-off. I wouldn't want my other guests seeing someone eating dessert before dessert was served. I think that's a bit awkward.

Hostess' response should/could have been "I'm sorry you have to leave early! Please, let me fix you a to-go plate of dessert."


Reading the scenario again, Reba sort of gave the hostess a guilt trip.  The hostess said she wasn't serving dessert yet and Reba didn't take no for an answer by adding in they were leaving.   By saying no, the hostess was made the  bad buy for feeling miffed.   Reba should have accepted the no.

sparksals

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #87 on: March 29, 2013, 01:42:34 PM »
If I remember correctly, the desserts and various sweet snacks were sitting on the kitchen table.  I'm not sure if the particular dessert Bill wanted was sitting out with them or not; I know it had been brought to the house in a closed container (it was a pie, and it was in one of those plastic rubbermaid/tupperware pie containers, which wasn't transparent.  So if it was still in the container and not on the table, I don't know how Bill knew it was even there; but then again, if it was sitting out on the table, would that have been reason enough to think it was ok to ask for it?  In other words, would it be ok to assume it was there and being offered?)

Especially knowing this, it seems ever stranger to me that the hostess was so offended. I would have assumed the desserts were being offered.


Doesn't that fall into interesting assumption category?  Assuming it is ready to serve?  If the food is being served on the dining room table, I wouldn't think it was ready to serve if the dessert is on the kitchen table.   My variety of desserts are either in the fridge or on the counter.  That doesn't mean they are ready to serve.  They will be offered when I feel it is time for dessert.


Besides, many people like to wait awhile after dinner to serve dessert.  I typically let everyone's meal digest for about an hour prior to serving dessert.  That allows me to eat, socialize more, pick up dirty dishes, time for people to have 2nds or 3rds, replenish ice, beverages, open another bottle of wine or coke  for mixed drinks. 




TurtleDove

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #88 on: March 29, 2013, 01:45:15 PM »
sparksals, I am speaking only to the specific situation the OP described. Given the casual nature of the event, I would have assumed it was casual and that having a dessert was no big deal.  In other contexts, my thoughts would be different.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Asking for an item before it's served
« Reply #89 on: March 29, 2013, 03:34:44 PM »
I believe Reba and Bill were already upstairs, so were among the first to have dinner, and were finished with it even though some others were still making up plates.  If I remember correctly, the desserts and various sweet snacks were sitting on the kitchen table.  I'm not sure if the particular dessert Bill wanted was sitting out with them or not; I know it had been brought to the house in a closed container (it was a pie, and it was in one of those plastic rubbermaid/tupperware pie containers, which wasn't transparent.  So if it was still in the container and not on the table, I don't know how Bill knew it was even there; but then again, if it was sitting out on the table, would that have been reason enough to think it was ok to ask for it?  In other words, would it be ok to assume it was there and being offered?)

Based on this, I think it was Reba who made and brought the particular dessert Bill requested and she wanted to make sure Bill got a piece before they left.

Even if the case, Reba still should have asked
"Will you be serving desserts soon. I'm not feeling well and we'll be leaving early but I know Bill would really like a slice of pie before we leave."