Author Topic: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?  (Read 15514 times)

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lowspark

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #75 on: April 11, 2013, 03:48:51 PM »
I forgot about there being several hours before the food was served. That really strikes me as odd. When you go to a potluck, there's a very good chance that what you are bringing is hot and should be served right away. Alternatively, if it is not to be served right away, there's a very good chance it needs to go in the fridge, which would then necessitate being reheated before eating.

Several hours? What, like more than four? So the hosts had enough room in their fridge for all the dishes people brought, and then either heated them up or had people heat up their individual dishes in the oven or MW before serving, hours after having arrived, with no food being served in the interim.

Really?

Twik

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #76 on: April 11, 2013, 03:55:13 PM »
Well, if there's not enough to go around, they probably had room in their fridge to spare.  ;)
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TootsNYC

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #77 on: April 11, 2013, 04:03:01 PM »
Our Agricultural Society has a potluck in October to hand out prizes and prize money.  Anyone who is a member is welcome to come, as long as they bring a dish, whether they won anything or not.  The family of the kid(s) who won the Junior Fair stuff are also invited.  A couple of years ago, one of the Junior Fair families arrived but hadn't realized it was a potluck.  They were going to run out to McDonald's for dinner and come back in time for the awards ceremony but fortunately, the organizers talked them into staying because there was plenty of food.  They were back the next year, complete with a large dish.

They'd actually be *guests* and so not obligated to bring a dish.

Ida

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #78 on: April 11, 2013, 10:26:56 PM »
I guess I'm spoiled. Most of the potlucks I've been to over the last couple of decades have involved folks DH and I met through a foodie usenet group, and rather early on, we had to make a rule that anyone who brought more than two dishes also had to bring along a Designated Eater, who didn't bring anything but an appetite. 

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Sharnita

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #79 on: April 11, 2013, 10:38:44 PM »
I guess I'm spoiled. Most of the potlucks I've been to over the last couple of decades have involved folks DH and I met through a foodie usenet group, and rather early on, we had to make a rule that anyone who brought more than two dishes also had to bring along a Designated Eater, who didn't bring anything but an appetite.

Do you live in Michigan by any chance, because I could be a designated eater.  It might even be my calling.

Ida

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #80 on: April 11, 2013, 10:47:28 PM »
I guess I'm spoiled. Most of the potlucks I've been to over the last couple of decades have involved folks DH and I met through a foodie usenet group, and rather early on, we had to make a rule that anyone who brought more than two dishes also had to bring along a Designated Eater, who didn't bring anything but an appetite.

Do you live in Michigan by any chance, because I could be a designated eater.  It might even be my calling.
;D Alas, no, or I'd draft you in a New York minute. 

Not in New York, either, though. San Francisco Bay Area.
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Lynnv

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #81 on: April 11, 2013, 10:50:31 PM »
I guess I'm spoiled. Most of the potlucks I've been to over the last couple of decades have involved folks DH and I met through a foodie usenet group, and rather early on, we had to make a rule that anyone who brought more than two dishes also had to bring along a Designated Eater, who didn't bring anything but an appetite.

Our motorcycle club needs to institute that rule.  We have potlucks at our November and our December meeting.  And we end up with people  standing around begging folks to take food home.  We often have visitors at the meetings who feel bad for not bringing food.  I am going to nominate them to be designated eaters next time around.  To save the rest of us from the piles and piles of leftovers we otherwise end up with.   ;D
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Kariachi

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #82 on: April 12, 2013, 11:23:18 AM »
I guess I'm spoiled. Most of the potlucks I've been to over the last couple of decades have involved folks DH and I met through a foodie usenet group, and rather early on, we had to make a rule that anyone who brought more than two dishes also had to bring along a Designated Eater, who didn't bring anything but an appetite.

Our motorcycle club needs to institute that rule.  We have potlucks at our November and our December meeting.  And we end up with people  standing around begging folks to take food home.  We often have visitors at the meetings who feel bad for not bringing food.  I am going to nominate them to be designated eaters next time around.  To save the rest of us from the piles and piles of leftovers we otherwise end up with.   ;D

See, I never understood the idea of having to beg. Unless it just just the crap items that were left, in my family if someone says 'who wants to take X' three people stand up.
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Lynnv

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #83 on: April 12, 2013, 11:28:58 AM »
I guess I'm spoiled. Most of the potlucks I've been to over the last couple of decades have involved folks DH and I met through a foodie usenet group, and rather early on, we had to make a rule that anyone who brought more than two dishes also had to bring along a Designated Eater, who didn't bring anything but an appetite.

Our motorcycle club needs to institute that rule.  We have potlucks at our November and our December meeting.  And we end up with people  standing around begging folks to take food home.  We often have visitors at the meetings who feel bad for not bringing food.  I am going to nominate them to be designated eaters next time around.  To save the rest of us from the piles and piles of leftovers we otherwise end up with.   ;D

See, I never understood the idea of having to beg. Unless it just just the crap items that were left, in my family if someone says 'who wants to take X' three people stand up.

Well-we get the three people who stand up too.  But the leftovers are enough for six people.  Or more.  I am an over-cooker of longstanding, but there are people in my club who make me look like a rank amateur. 
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baglady

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #84 on: April 13, 2013, 02:55:00 PM »
Quote
These people showing up with inadequate food, are they coming to a private party at your home or is this some kind of group event like a church dinner? If someone did that at a private party at my home which I was hosting, you can pretty well bet they'd never be invited back. If it were someone I was related to (like sister you mentioned) I'd take them aside and just let them know that what they brought was not enough and to either send hubby out to pick up some additional food or to make sure to bring enough next time. I don't think it's impolite to let people know what is required.

Really? Potluck is the default setting in my circle, and if someone can't contribute for whatever reason, it's not a big deal. There's always more than enough food. And there always *is* a good reason why someone can't bring something -- they were working late, they're broke that week, the dish they were making got ruined. They're almost always good for next time. I wouldn't dream of telling them they couldn't come back.

I've been that person and on a couple of occasions tried to hang back from eating because I didn't bring something, and was told, "Don't be silly! Eat!"

Now if it were a cooperative-type meal where everyone had specific instructions to bring X dish for, say 10 people, and they only brought enough for four, that would be different, but I'd like to think I would keep my mouth shut. Some people, especially if they are single and/or childless, may not grasp the concept of what amount of X dish is going to be sufficient for 10 people -- especially if that number includes a hollow-legged teenage boy or two. But the sort of cooperative meal I'm describing is *not* potluck.
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TeamBhakta

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #85 on: April 13, 2013, 04:02:46 PM »
Quote
These people showing up with inadequate food, are they coming to a private party at your home or is this some kind of group event like a church dinner? If someone did that at a private party at my home which I was hosting, you can pretty well bet they'd never be invited back. If it were someone I was related to (like sister you mentioned) I'd take them aside and just let them know that what they brought was not enough and to either send hubby out to pick up some additional food or to make sure to bring enough next time. I don't think it's impolite to let people know what is required.

Really? Potluck is the default setting in my circle, and if someone can't contribute for whatever reason, it's not a big deal. There's always more than enough food. And there always *is* a good reason why someone can't bring something -- they were working late, they're broke that week, the dish they were making got ruined. They're almost always good for next time. I wouldn't dream of telling them they couldn't come back.

I've been that person and on a couple of occasions tried to hang back from eating because I didn't bring something, and was told, "Don't be silly! Eat!"

Now if it were a cooperative-type meal where everyone had specific instructions to bring X dish for, say 10 people, and they only brought enough for four, that would be different, but I'd like to think I would keep my mouth shut. Some people, especially if they are single and/or childless, may not grasp the concept of what amount of X dish is going to be sufficient for 10 people -- especially if that number includes a hollow-legged teenage boy or two. But the sort of cooperative meal I'm describing is *not* potluck.

1. If someone told me that, I would wonder why they didn't just cook their dish the night before.
2. I'm single and childless. I don't find it difficult to figure out how much food feeds 10 people  ???

Allyson

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #86 on: April 13, 2013, 04:49:03 PM »

1. If someone told me that, I would wonder why they didn't just cook their dish the night before.
2. I'm single and childless. I don't find it difficult to figure out how much food feeds 10 people  ???

As to number 2, it's come up on this board before that just because one person finds something 'not difficult' doesn't mean that's universal. Cooking and food isn't intuitive to everybody. Not that I think it's OK to show up with nothing, or deliberately not enough. But it being easy for you to figure out doesn't mean if someone else can't, they are doing it on purpose.

*inviteseller

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #87 on: April 13, 2013, 07:09:14 PM »

1. If someone told me that, I would wonder why they didn't just cook their dish the night before.
2. I'm single and childless. I don't find it difficult to figure out how much food feeds 10 people  ???

As to number 2, it's come up on this board before that just because one person finds something 'not difficult' doesn't mean that's universal. Cooking and food isn't intuitive to everybody. Not that I think it's OK to show up with nothing, or deliberately not enough. But it being easy for you to figure out doesn't mean if someone else can't, they are doing it on purpose.

I agree...some people, single, married, childless, parents, just don't know servings.  I cook like the infantry is coming, my former MIL made enough for you to get a bit of everything and no seconds.  As far as exemptions, that can be problematic too because if enough people get an exemption due to work, or singlehood, or anything else but are still eating, there will not be enough food.

snowdragon

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #88 on: April 13, 2013, 07:42:13 PM »


Our church bulletin always says "please bring enough of your dish to feed your family plus one"  and sometimes we still don't have leftovers.  I would not want anyone to miss the the fellowship at church because they could not afford to bring a dish, but Geez EVERYBLOOMINGTIME gets a bit old.

As for leaving early I would make it kindly, yet clear why.


   That could be why you don't have leftovers/or not enough food. If you have a high percentage of singles /couples bringing smaller dishes, then there could only be enough of everything to serve 2-3 people.
    There's no really "fair" way to deal with people without kids in a situation like this. Telling everyone to bring enough for a family of 5 or 6 could lead to resentment from those who neither have that many in their part nor can eat that much - or they bring dishes that are small and that leads to less food for everyone.
    Someone mentioned having the elders, then people with small kids going first and then anyone else - well that could lead to some folks feeling like they don't want to participate either. "I'm good enough to bring stuff for all these folks to eat, but not good enough to even have an equal chance at the premium dishes. " vibe would have many I know running for the hills- heck my niece and nephew would have taken issue with this at 4 or 5 ( niece was in pre-k when she explained to the teacher why museums need singles to join, she gets cost per person vs what they"take" from a situation)
   

blarg314

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Re: Miss Manners & the unfed guests: To fib or tell the truth?
« Reply #89 on: April 13, 2013, 10:41:22 PM »

    Someone mentioned having the elders, then people with small kids going first and then anyone else - well that could lead to some folks feeling like they don't want to participate either. "I'm good enough to bring stuff for all these folks to eat, but not good enough to even have an equal chance at the premium dishes. " vibe would have many I know running for the hills

The combination would be particularly bad for young, single people - bring enough to feed 5 or 6 people, and wait until the end before you get to eat. By that point, you're paying more for your meal and getting a worse meal than the rest of the people.

Another subtlety - "enough to feed one person" varies widely by person. So someone with a light appetite can bring enough to feed themselves 5 times over, which may not be enough for two young men with voracious appetites.

For singles, there are several ways you can approach it. Bring smaller amounts, and don't worry that everyone in the whole room doesn't get to try it. Bring larger amounts of cheap food - you bring 7 day coleslaw rather than a meat dish.  Bring a substantial dish, but not every time, so it averages out.

I figure that if you're holding potlucks and lack of food is a problem, whatever the venue, then the easiest and simplest thing to do is to find something else to do, rather than trying to force reluctant people to bring more or better food.

If you're using potlucks as a form of personal hosting, then take indifferent participation as a sign that maybe your friends and family don't want to be catering your hosting. At a workplace, recognize that maybe your employees/coworkers don't want to be staying up late to cook and lugging food into work on the bus. In a church/organization setting, accept that potlucks don't work with this group, and try some non-food focussed socializing.

For some groups it works fine - like others, I'm used to potlucks with extra food, not running out. But when it doesn't work, it's often a sign that potlucks aren't a good fit with that particular group. Maybe people can't afford it, maybe they're too busy to make an extra meal as admission to a social event, maybe they don't cook, or are terrible at it, maybe they're simply tired after too many years of potlucks, or maybe they like to eat and don't get that they should contribute.  In any potluck group there will be people who have trouble contributing - due either to living arrangement (living in a dorm room, say), or finances (unemployed, for example). A healthy potluck absorbs these people, who later contribute when their circumstances change, but if you have too many people like this, or an indifferent potluck in the first place, it can push it over the edge into not working.