Author Topic: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?  (Read 17733 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

DottyG

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 18204
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2013, 07:50:59 PM »
Quote
Her description of her custom hostess gifts and "handmade offerings" make me think that she's waiting to be waited upon, or at least waiting to be fussed over and encouraged to get food and "oh, why don't you have your plate yet? Come, everyone, stand aside to make way for the Special One please!" It sounds a bit like she doesn't approve of informal potluck setups, or is trying to "lead by silent example" in reformatting someone else's gathering to a different type of meal, where people line up in an orderly fashion to take perfectly equal portions of carefully  handmade dishes.

I agree.


snowdragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2200
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2013, 08:17:35 PM »
It's hard to believe this happened once, let alone twice.  Something is wrong with these letter writers.  Either they're deliberately sitting back and waiting until everything is gone, or ....  well, I can't imagine what else they might be doing.  I don't believe this letter, frankly.


Yeah, this rings oddly to me, too.  Unless some folks are not bringing enough, others none at all and the people going first are seriously over eating ( or wasting) I can't see this happening -ever, let alone twice.   Something's wrong here.


And this, I agree, makes her sound like a snob:

Her description of her custom hostess gifts and "handmade offerings" make me think that she's waiting to be waited upon, or at least waiting to be fussed over and encouraged to get food and "oh, why don't you have your plate yet? Come, everyone, stand aside to make way for the Special One please!" It sounds a bit like she doesn't approve of informal potluck setups, or is trying to "lead by silent example" in reformatting someone else's gathering to a different type of meal, where people line up in an orderly fashion to take perfectly equal portions of carefully  handmade dishes.

gellchom

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2371
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #32 on: April 09, 2013, 09:12:08 PM »
Quote
Her description of her custom hostess gifts and "handmade offerings" make me think that she's waiting to be waited upon, or at least waiting to be fussed over and encouraged to get food and "oh, why don't you have your plate yet? Come, everyone, stand aside to make way for the Special One please!" It sounds a bit like she doesn't approve of informal potluck setups, or is trying to "lead by silent example" in reformatting someone else's gathering to a different type of meal, where people line up in an orderly fashion to take perfectly equal portions of carefully  handmade dishes.

I agree.

Me, too.  Spot on.

JenJay

  • I'm a nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standards of nonconformity.
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6549
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #33 on: April 09, 2013, 09:21:46 PM »
To answer the original question, if I was at a potluck and the food ran out before I had a chance to eat, I'd probably stick around for a bit longer and socialize and then excuse myself early. I get nasty headaches if I get too hungry so I honestly couldn't enjoy the rest of the party while acting like nothing was wrong. If the host asked while I was leaving early I'd either be honest or blame the headache, it would depend on the situation, how good a friend I was to the hosts, whether or not there was already tension about the food situation, etc.

If it happened again with the same host(s) I'd speak to them quietly and say "I'm afraid I need to leave. Unfortunately all of the food ran out before I had a chance to eat and If I don't eat soon I'll get a nasty headache." They could either make more food next time or take offense and not invite me again, either would be fine by me.  ;)

Venus193

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 16124
  • Backstage passes are wonderful things!
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #34 on: April 09, 2013, 09:29:16 PM »
My knee-jerk reaction to this is that at every potluck there's always somebody who doesn't contribute.  Said person also usually vacuums up what others bring.

If there actually are no plates someone needs to speak up to the hosts.  If the others are crowding around the table, blocking their path, they need to speak up to the other guests.

*inviteseller

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1821
  • I am Queen Mommy
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #35 on: April 09, 2013, 10:09:34 PM »
The problem probably is, as we have seen on this board before, not everyone brings food but everyone helps themselves which leads to the food running out before the polite couple gets to eat (can the hostess not see the feeding frenzy???).  I would politely say to the hostess that when it came to the couples turn to get a plate, the food was gone so they were going to get something to eat.  I would also decline any more invites from someone who can;t ensure that guests invited for a meal don't get one.  I don't know what it is that brings out the absolute worst in people when it comes to potlucks!  Between the "hey, I brought a 2 liter of generic pop, so I will make plates for my extended family!" to the who ever is organizing it not making sure of variety/ample amount of food/the piranhas who bring nothing but help themselves I have learned to hate hearing from some people they are having a potluck party!

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31774
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #36 on: April 09, 2013, 10:11:41 PM »
Sometimes people do stand around the food table instead of going AWAY and making room.

So someone who was really wimpy might hang back and wait--but I keep thinking, "come on! Stick up for yourself. Open up your mouth and use your words."

Why make yourself suffer just to prove exactly how rude all those people are who didn't drift away from the food and leave room for other people to get to the table?

Twik

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 28769
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #37 on: April 10, 2013, 12:31:16 AM »
No matter how shy the writer was, if the food runs out before they eat, there's not enough food. A good potluck (or any meal, really) should allow people to eat as much as they want, and still have at least a few mouthfuls left.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

sparksals

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 17395
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #38 on: April 10, 2013, 02:11:57 AM »
It sounds to me like they were sitting back waiting to be allowed to eat.  The other guests were standing eating and probably didn't notice them sitting waiting their "turn".  I wonder how long they sat there before trying to get food, possibly by the sound of it long enough for everyone else to finish eating (and possibly have seconds).

I think they needed to be more assertive and go and get themselves some food. Although Some fault lies with the host/ess of the event for not making sure everyone was served.

I dont think they were sitting back.  It seems that people crowded the table while eating and didn't think to make room for those who haven't eaten yet. 

I have seen this happen at parties a lot....people get a plate and then just stand and talk blocking the table.  I find it extremely rude! 

I think the LW's mistake is they didn't speak up. They didn't want to appear to barge in to the table when the people rudely crowded it.   They should have.spoken up.   Although they als said by the time they got to the table there were no plates either.  Hostess fail. 
 

sunnygirl

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 262
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #39 on: April 10, 2013, 06:40:38 AM »
Undecided about the LW, but I once attended a work potluck where this happened - the food was set out on a small table, and all the guests formed one long line to serve themselves (everyone sat down after they'd fixed their plate). I was very near the back and by the time I got to the front, only a few bits of bread and some salad (by which I mean undressed lettuce leaves) was left, no main dishes at all. There would have been no way to get to the food sooner other than by directly queue-jumping. In that case it was just that there really wasn't enough food - enough to feed everyone only if everyone took one medium sized portion, and plenty of people took huge portions. So it can happen.

LifeOnPluto

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6779
    • Blog
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #40 on: April 10, 2013, 07:31:36 AM »
I'm surprised that people are being so cynical here. I can easily picture all the food running out. All it takes is several hungry teenagers or people in their 20s to serve themselves first, and there is very little left for everyone else!

Or, as others have suggested, people were taking their food and not moving back from the table. In which case, this couple is darned if they do, darned if they don't. If they hang back, they're shy and passive-aggressive. If they try to push through the crowd, they'd probably be deemed "rude" (I can actually picture etiquette advice saying 'If no one is letting you through to the food, the polite thing to do is leave early and eat elsewhere, rather than physically jostle people out of the way').

At any rate, I believe this couple should tell the hostess the truth, rather than make up some excuse.

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21685
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #41 on: April 10, 2013, 07:40:25 AM »
I don't think anybody has ever said it is rude to say "Pardon me" so people will move.  Not here, anyway. I certainly can't imagine the suggestion that they leave unfed instead.  And in general potlucks seem to have enough food that at least some dishes allow for people to get seconds. For there to be not enough for firsts, and not have anybody else notice and comment? Sorry, that seems really unlikely. 

And if they actually ran out of dishes to put the food on then not simply asking seems incredibly wimpy.

Now as far as advice - no matter what is actually happening, they do not seem strong enough to say anything to the host so if there is a problem, she is unaware.  I guess I might tell them to bring a second smaller container of whatever dish they brought so they could pull it out and eat that if everythign else ran out? 

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31774
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #42 on: April 10, 2013, 08:03:01 AM »
(I can actually picture etiquette advice saying 'If no one is letting you through to the food, the polite thing to do is leave early and eat elsewhere, rather than physically jostle people out of the way').


Surely you can't be serious.

Etiquette would ALWAYS say, "open up your little mouth and say, "Excuse me, I'd like to get through."

TurtleDove

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6284
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #43 on: April 10, 2013, 08:15:53 AM »
I also assume the LWs are not at a potluck with strangers. It makes no sense to me why they wouldn't ask people to move if they were truly blocked from the food (I find this really unlikely), and it makes no sense to me why everyone else got food just fine but they got nothing. No matter what, this could have been prevented if they had acted how I think most people would - since everyone else was able to handle the situation, I think the fault is with the LWs.

perpetua

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2212
Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #44 on: April 10, 2013, 08:17:02 AM »
If they hang back, they're shy and passive-aggressive. If they try to push through the crowd, they'd probably be deemed "rude" (I can actually picture etiquette advice saying 'If no one is letting you through to the food, the polite thing to do is leave early and eat elsewhere, rather than physically jostle people out of the way').

That's not polite; that's being a doormat.

I have no sympathy for these people. Either they were sitting back waiting for someone to announce it was time for them to eat a-la a proper dinner party, which wasn't the nature of the event, or they were too meek and timid to feed themselves, both of which strike me as faintly ridiculous.