Author Topic: Questions about reciprocity  (Read 2796 times)

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artk2002

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Re: Questions about reciprocity
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2013, 03:55:59 PM »
In fact, throwing a party is one way to discharge multiple reciprocal obligations all at once.

The think you are reciprocating is "an event on your social calendar." Not food, not even necessarily your company.

Really?! Wow, that changes everything!

Yes. Really. I agree with Toots.


Reciprocity in the humble home (like mine) doesn't mean that you need to try to mimic or exceed the return the favor of a full-out 7-course meal dressed in table cloths with fine china and all that  (exaggeration) . . . it's the down-home friendship that is offered in return is what is important.

I agree as well. Reciprocity is about doing something in return. There's no obligation for it be financially or socially equal to the original event.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

artk2002

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Re: Questions about reciprocity
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2013, 03:58:25 PM »
Oh I'm not referring to monetary value at all, I guess I'm thinking more about care and effort. Like, if someone invited me over for a meal that they cooked from scratch, would it be rude to reciprocate with microwavable mac and cheese? I realise that there's a lot of variables - money, skills, the size of your house or yard - but I guess I have this idea in my head that if someone makes an effort for you, you have to make an effort back. So you might not be able to afford the lobster your friend served, but they really love your spaghetti sauce so you make that. Or something.

Hope that makes sense.

You're right, it's about the effort. I would hope that the mac n'cheese would be accompanied by some fun activity or something else taking effort.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

Lynn2000

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Re: Questions about reciprocity
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2013, 04:44:21 PM »
Oh I'm not referring to monetary value at all, I guess I'm thinking more about care and effort. Like, if someone invited me over for a meal that they cooked from scratch, would it be rude to reciprocate with microwavable mac and cheese? I realise that there's a lot of variables - money, skills, the size of your house or yard - but I guess I have this idea in my head that if someone makes an effort for you, you have to make an effort back. So you might not be able to afford the lobster your friend served, but they really love your spaghetti sauce so you make that. Or something.

Hope that makes sense.

Interesting question! I can see how there might be disparity on the extreme ends, but I don't think you're anywhere close to that. I think if your microwavable mac and cheese is presented in good faith--like, you genuinely love it--and you provide pleasant companionship throughout the meal, you're good to go.

Now, if I made a homemade meal and provided pleasant companionship to my guest, and they reciprocated with low-effort food they clearly didn't like much themselves and barely spoke to me, the whole thing would have an air of "just checking off the box" and I wouldn't find it enjoyable or conducive to socializing with them again. I'd rather someone socialized with me because they wanted to, in a way that was enjoyable and didn't stress them out overly, than only because they felt like they had to "pay me back" so they put the minimum amount of effort in, or conversely, got stressed out doing something they didn't like/couldn't afford.
~Lynn2000

camlan

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Re: Questions about reciprocity
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2013, 05:27:34 PM »
The key thing is to reciprocate hospitality.

You don't have to match the type of event, or the level of formality or the cost.

You can reciprocate a formal dinner with 12 guests with an invitation to tea for one person. Or the movies. Or to visit a local museum, your treat. Or an afternoon of binge-watching Netflix with chips and dip.

The key thing is that you offer hospitality in return for the hospitality that has been offered to you.
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, “I’m possible!” –Audrey Hepburn


Winterlight

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Re: Questions about reciprocity
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2013, 05:38:59 PM »
Oh I'm not referring to monetary value at all, I guess I'm thinking more about care and effort. Like, if someone invited me over for a meal that they cooked from scratch, would it be rude to reciprocate with microwavable mac and cheese? I realise that there's a lot of variables - money, skills, the size of your house or yard - but I guess I have this idea in my head that if someone makes an effort for you, you have to make an effort back. So you might not be able to afford the lobster your friend served, but they really love your spaghetti sauce so you make that. Or something.

Hope that makes sense.

I think it depends on the event. If the mac and cheese was a spontaneous, casual event, served with good bread and salad, I'd be ok with that. Not for a dinner party, though. That suggests a level of formality beyond frozen dinners.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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lollylegs

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Re: Questions about reciprocity
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2013, 08:49:13 PM »
Yikes.  Your friends keep score??

No, not at all. It's more like I'm keeping score regarding my own hospitality. The thing about my group is that after years of living at home or in starter houses, and getting together at restaurants and pubs, we're only just now starting to host in our own homes and the whole hosting thing is very new to me.

The key thing is to reciprocate hospitality.

You don't have to match the type of event, or the level of formality or the cost.

You can reciprocate a formal dinner with 12 guests with an invitation to tea for one person. Or the movies. Or to visit a local museum, your treat. Or an afternoon of binge-watching Netflix with chips and dip.

The key thing is that you offer hospitality in return for the hospitality that has been offered to you.

I like this.

Allyson

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Re: Questions about reciprocity
« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2013, 12:09:42 AM »
I think the concept of reciprocity is mainly there so it doesn't feel like the friendship is one-sided. Different people have different skills/talents. I don't cook, but my best friend does--so she might host me at her place, but I'll take her out for a nice meal. And, maybe I spend a couple hours helping a friend out with a project or issue one weekend, but she gives me rides on a regular basis because we live close and she has a car...

Also, some people *love* hosting, can afford it, and have a better space. I think there are other ways for friends who are uncomfortable hosting, can't afford it and have no space to make it clear they aren't just mooching, but it doesn't really make sense for both friends to host equally often, in the situation where one is genuinely much better suited for it.

MurPl1

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Re: Questions about reciprocity
« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2013, 01:19:14 PM »
DH and I were just discussing this last night. 

The last two Fridays we were invited to friends houses for group get-togethers.  (two different couples).

I said I'd been feeling like it was our turn to have people over.  Until I realized "hey, we're throwing our big Halloween party in a few weeks - we are reciprocating."

And to turn it around, we do have this Halloween party each year.  Big deal, lots of deco, theme, construction (and yes I'm freaking out that I'm getting staple holes in my newly painted walls).  I certainly don't expect our guests to have to reciprocate with a similar type party.  That's just crazy to expect.  :)

Winterlight

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Re: Questions about reciprocity
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2013, 11:01:15 AM »
Back when I lived in a boarding house, I had no way to entertain there. So I'd take people to dinner, coffee, museums- whatever. For potlucks, I'd pick up something nice at the grocery store. There are all sorts of ways to reciprocate, even if you don't have space.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls