Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

Borrow dishes from guests? Update reply 29

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Hi all,
I am very excited about hosting Thanksgiving this year!  We are inviting all my family,  plus some friends who don't have family close by.  We have done up paper invitations, but invited more people than we have plates for.  Now, I had planned on using this as an excuse to buy more, but then I realized one couple on our list has the exact same plates!

Is it rude to even ask if we can borrow them?  Do I have to wait for them to rsvp  affirmative? What if they aren't coming?

Well if they are close enough friends to invite over for Thanksgiving, they might be close enough to ask to borrow plates However, I'd be a bit careful about borrowing plates from the people who have your same pattern - how will you tell whose plates are whose at the end of the night?  I know it sounds silly, but I would want at least slightly different ones if only to prevent that day after "Hmm was this chip always there…or did mine get switched?" wondering. 

You don't borrow plates from your guests, of course not.

You borrow plates from your good friend.
And then you serve food to your guest on those plates.

It just *happens* to be that this is the same person.
But she has multiple roles in your life.

Of course, it would be hurtful to ask a good friend if you could borrow something for a dinner party that she's being excluded from if she would have a reason to think she -should- be there (OK to borrow for a family dinner, or for dinner for the boss; not OK to ask if you're having a bunch of friend--but not her?--over). But in your case, she isn't being excluded, so you don't have to worry about hurting her feelings.

Yes, ask her--pick them up ahead of time, and put a stick on the underside, or use a china marker (hey, it's a CHINA marker!!!) to mark them on the underside.
   A china marker will stay put even through the dishwasher, mostly. And it will rub off.

(for those who might not recognize the term, a china marker is a wax pencil, the kind w/ the peel-off paper coating.)

I wouldn't, and I won't loan mine out. I am very particular about how mine are treated, particularly washing. (Even Corelle gets old looking if granular dishwashing detergent is used in the dishwasher. There was a vast difference between the Correlle I gave my daughter when we closed out the summer place and her dishes.)  Also, I would worry endlessly about my ruining someone else's dishes. If you do it, however, I love the marking ideas given above!

When we host 35 people, I only make sure that each table has matching dishware, flatware, and water glasses. Guests choose their seats, take that plate, go through the buffet, and return to that seat. Rolls, butter, salt, pepper and cranberry sauce are already on each table. If all are sitting at the same table, you might as well go ahead and expand your own set if it isn't a burden right now. As excited as you sound, you'll probably need them many times in the future.

Enjoy, whatever you do.

My mom and her friends each bought a set of 10 or 20 (cheap but decent looking) plates, salad plates and bowls for just this reason. Everyone had their own dishes for smaller gatherings, and could borrow the others' as long as everyone went home with the same number at the end of the day.

I say go for it, and do consider marking them if either of you is worried about getting your own plates back in the end (or just don't worry if she's not bothered).

Slightly O/T: One member of the original group has taken to collecting single place settings of cute/elegant/unusual Christmas dishes that she uses for an annual party -- getting around the idea of having to have a full matching set by having dinnerware so interesting people make a point look for their favorites each year. It's taken her years, but she has something like 35 unique sets now! (Just an idea for a long-range plan.)


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