Author Topic: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?  (Read 8017 times)

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Pen^2

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #30 on: November 29, 2013, 07:31:44 AM »
I think it's worth pointing out that although it's certainly nice to offer someone a doggy bag, and it would be a nice gesture, even a person who attends is not owed anything of the sort. If the host wants to give them some delicious leftovers, that's lovely. But the host has no obligation to do so, and invited people are not owed anything beyond the meal itself and whatever else is put on the invitation. It's a nice thing to do, sure, but it's an additional extra kind thing the host can choose to do rather than something they ought to do. For example, the host ought to speak cordially to their guests. They do not have to offer to pay off their guests' mortgages, though. It'd be amazingly nice if the host did, of course, but the host has no obligation to do so. It's the host's choice. Silly example, I know, but I'm sure you get the point.

So yes, it might be nice to send him some leftovers. But he is not owed them at all. Nor are the guests, in fact.

RubyCat

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #31 on: November 29, 2013, 08:14:56 AM »
First off, I think Bob was rude to expect a plate.  I think Sister is right, though I probably would have caved in and then resented it later.

In my family, it is not uncommon to plate up a whole meal to send to someone who could not come because of illness or work. It is also not uncommon to make up plates out of leftovers, which may or may not make up whole meals for the older relatives who live alone because cooking for one can be difficult.  Even if we cook a large dinner for just the 2 of us, we'll sometimes make up an extra plate or 2 for them. That's just one way we take care of each other.

Other times, if we have extras of somebody's favorite, we'll pack that up and send it with them because it makes them happy and makes us feel good to be able to do it.

The one thing that is never done, is to come right out and ask for the leftovers because they are not yours and you do not know what the host plans to do with them. At our clambake last summer, we also put a few really good steaks on the grill. One of the relatives asked what I was going to do with the leftovers and I told her I was going to eat them (which I was). I guess I could've sent her home with one and had fewer leftovers for dh and I to eat but I was a bit put off by it, to be honest.

lady_disdain

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #32 on: November 29, 2013, 08:18:59 AM »
I'm coming to the conclusion that doggie bags are some ingrained part of American culture that people from the UK don't 'get'. Never in a million billion years would I expect anybody to be sent a plate/container of food from a party. I'd never expect to take leftovers home if I did attend.

I've never seen anybody take home leftovers, unless it's kids taking home slices of birthday cake, or sometimes my Grandma will give people cake to take home because she won't eat it before it goes stale.

But anything except cake? I've literally never ever seen that. Maybe it's because people don't tend to over-cook as much? I mean, there'll be plenty, and probably some leftovers, but not so much that the householders couldn't finish them before they went bad.

TL;DR: Bob shouldn't expect a doggie bag, because nobody should.

Yup! I am always interested in how cultural differences pop up in food related topicc.

Twik

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #33 on: November 29, 2013, 08:20:47 AM »
I would hope Bob's issue with not receiving food doesn't make it back to Sister because I'm thinking then, next year, Bob won't be invited at all.

Actually, I'd suspect Bob has sent a message "I'm not interested in socializing with you," so he may not be invited in any case.

Bob has to learn that establishing a social circle involves making an effort.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #34 on: November 29, 2013, 08:44:56 AM »
I don't think Bob is required to receive one. But I find the rule odd for a Thanksgiving meal. It isn't a normal meal. It's specific food most eat once a year. So if I have the opportunity to share that with someone who doesn't have the ability to attend then I will. Even if it's because they weren't comfortable "crashing" my family event.

And I wouldn't have felt comfortable bringing home a plate for one roommate but not the other if neither attended a Thanksgiving celebration.

Winterlight

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #35 on: November 29, 2013, 09:03:34 AM »
I feel like Sis' leftover policy is a manifestation of the invitee's intentions. If you can't be there physically, but you're there in spirit, she recognizes that wish with a plate of food, almost like saying 'we celebrated with you.' If you decline, you weren't, so she doesn't.

I think this is tricky, because it's unclear (and not something you can just ask) is if him not liking a crowd is the main reason or a convenient excuse. He turned down the invitation, however, and from the OP I got more "can't be bothered" than  "I wish I could, but social phobia."

Maybe it's just my own personal hang-ups, but  if someone declined a thanksgiving invitation, I'd assume they made other plans (Even if those plans are a marathon of Breaking Bad and takeaway). No hard feelings, but I'd personally feel like a line cook and taken for granted if I were expected to give them a plate of food I labored over while they couldn't be bothered to even tolerate my presence for a few hours.

This is how it comes across to me, too.
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Kari

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #36 on: November 29, 2013, 09:20:37 AM »
It's the host's perogative to send doggy bags home with guests. Bob is certainly acting entitled to something he chose to blow off.

Bottlecaps

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #37 on: November 29, 2013, 09:28:57 AM »
I realize that in my effort to quickly type up this post, I left out a few things that may bring a little more light into the situation. :)

1) Uncle Chatterbox had to work, and therefore couldn't attend even though he wanted to do so. Knowing this, he still bought the ingredients for the broccoli-cheese casserole that our part of the family takes to the gathering every year and helped me make it. He knew he didn't have to do this, as I would have been more than happy to have bought the stuff, but still did it. He contributed the money for the casserole, I contributed (most of) the time. Basically, he still contributed to the meal even though he wasn't going to be able to be present. I have a feeling that this was also a big reason Sis sent food home for him.

2) Bob is a class-A, absolutely shameless moocher. He will ask anyone for anything if he thinks he can get it or thinks he's entitled to it. He wastes his money then bums our cigarettes, or outright steals them. He contributes the least toward the bills (due to the fact that he makes the least money in the household), but complains that we don't have a bigger place, better things, etc. He'll make a mess, eat off the dishes, leave his trash on the end table next to the couch, but hell will freeze over before Bob will do a dish or help pick up the house. He's constantly bumming money from people, even my uncle, who doesn't make much more than he does! In fact, when we informed him that Sis and BIL had invited him and that he was more than welcome to come with us, the first words out of his mouth were - get ready for it - "Hell yeah, free food!" And I don't think he was saying it in a joking way, knowing his ways of being a moocher. The only reason we haven't kicked him out yet is that he has no family up here and not many friends, and I couldn't just kick someone out on the street like that. Sis knows how he tends to take advantage of Mr. Bottlecaps and myself, and she still invited him to our family gathering. As PPs have said, I think it was a hurtful message to Sis and BIL, basically saying, "I don't want to spend time with you guys." Sis and BIL know that Bob has no family up here, as he's originally from Alabama (he is Mr. Bottlecaps' brother's girlfriend's brother - confusing much? LOL), so they were trying to be nice and include him, and I know it hurt their feelings, even if they didn't say, that he didn't come just because he didn't want to.

3) Bob claims to have severe social anxiety/agoraphobia. I say "claims" because, while I'm not a doctor, he only seems to point it out when it's convenient for him. He has no problems going to the bar on our dime (we actually had to put a rather abrupt stop to that - he was doubling our bar tab every weekend and very rarely contributed toward it, so eventually we had to tell him that if he didn't have the money to pay his own way, then he couldn't go with us). He has no problems going to parties where there will be free beer and food. But at work, he says he can't go to the dining room and help bus tables when it's super busy, because of his anxiety, but still expects us waitresses to tip him out. He couldn't go to our family dinner because he didn't want to be around people he didn't know, but expected food to be brought home to him.

Overall, Bob is a horrible roommate and Sis knows this, as she's listened to me talk about it before because it does cause a great deal of stress for Mr. Bottlecaps and I. We let him come up here with Mr. Bottlecaps (with me paying for his bus ticket) because we wanted to give him a second chance, as most people deserve one, and now it's all worn out. He's made up excuses not to do everything he said he was going to do up here (get his GED, get a decent job, help us out around the house). Sis knows I'm just counting the days till he leaves to go back to Alabama, and despite all that, she still invited him to join us. Although I felt kind of bad telling him (when I saw him trying to dig into Uncle's plates, as Uncle wasn't home from work yet), "Sis sent that food home for Uncle since he wanted to be there but couldn't and still helped me with the casserole," I didn't disagree with her decision in the slightest. If it had been left up to me, I would have brought him home food but resented it later as a PP had said, but it was my sister's house, mostly my sister's food and it was her decision based on past experiences of people not wanting to be there but still expecting food.
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Daydream

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #38 on: November 29, 2013, 09:35:15 AM »
*The OP posted again just as I was about to.  I see now that there is a lot more to consider when it comes to Bob.  I'll go ahead and leave my post though, just as some thoughts for people who find doggy bags strange in general.  :)*

I don't think Bob is required to receive one. But I find the rule odd for a Thanksgiving meal. It isn't a normal meal. It's specific food most eat once a year. So if I have the opportunity to share that with someone who doesn't have the ability to attend then I will. Even if it's because they weren't comfortable "crashing" my family event.

And I wouldn't have felt comfortable bringing home a plate for one roommate but not the other if neither attended a Thanksgiving celebration.


I like your wording here because it's possible Bob did feel that he would have been "crashing" a family event.  Dining with a crowd of people you know and love (who know and love you) versus attending someone else's family event as a "stray" (as another poster put it and I think it's a perfect word because an "outsider" might feel like that) is a big difference for some people. 

I don't interpret "I'm afraid Bob is kind of upset that no food was brought home for him" as him being rude or entitled.  (I went back and read the entire post again after seeing those words used, but still don't think so).

I think that would apply if he was sitting at home the whole time the OP was out thinking, "OP better bring some food home for me!"

But, based only on what the OP has written, it seems what might have happened is that Bob saw that the OP bought food home for Uncle, who also did not attend the dinner, but not for him.  Granted, the difference between the two is the sister's policy of only allowing guests to leave with food for housemates who couldn't attend because of work.  But while *we* know about that distinction, Bob probably did not until it was explained to him (if it was).

What I find most interesting about this situation is any distinction being made as to who can eat the leftovers once they leave one's house, or that they would just be limited to one plate of food prepared by the host that is only enough for one person. 

In my family, most adults contribute at least one dish to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.  There is a lot of food leftover.  If you take some home, you dish them up yourself and take what you want.  Once they are in your possession, it's up to you who eats them. 

Even for a family birthday party I threw where I supplied all the food myself, since I made sure to provide more than enough, some of the guests took food home.

I'm not aware of any of my relatives having a roommate, but if they did and that's who shared in the food, so be it.  As the host, I would never know who ate what.

« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 09:37:23 AM by Daydream »

TootsNYC

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #39 on: November 29, 2013, 09:44:33 AM »
I must say that I'm rather amazed that your sister has had this kind of request so many times that she's had to enact a policy.

Yeah, I had that same thought.

I don't see the plate of food as a doggy bag. I see it as a gift to her own relative. "Dude, she didn't send you a gift because you're not her family. She invited you to dinner and you didn't go--that was your chance at the free food."

But I also think it's really awkward to bring home food for one person and not the other when you all live in the same household.

However, given Bob, I'd have no qualms about letting him feel the sting of not being included in the aftermath food. And I'd be casting it very much as "your chance at the free food." And I wouldn't worry in the tiniest little bit about his feelings.
    Because I'd want to create as much motivation as possible for him to leave.

And I'd be buying him a dingdangity bus ticket back to Alabama!




Bottlecaps

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #40 on: November 29, 2013, 10:01:07 AM »

However, given Bob, I'd have no qualms about letting him feel the sting of not being included in the aftermath food. And I'd be casting it very much as "your chance at the free food." And I wouldn't worry in the tiniest little bit about his feelings.
    Because I'd want to create as much motivation as possible for him to leave.

And I'd be buying him a dingdangity bus ticket back to Alabama!

He leaves on the 16th!  :D Mr. Bottlecaps and I were thisclose to just buying his ticket to get him out of here when Bob got his brother to buy one for him. Only seventeen more days! *Happy Dance* LOL.
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shhh its me

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #41 on: November 29, 2013, 10:06:13 AM »
I'm coming to the conclusion that doggie bags are some ingrained part of American culture that people from the UK don't 'get'. Never in a million billion years would I expect anybody to be sent a plate/container of food from a party. I'd never expect to take leftovers home if I did attend.

I've never seen anybody take home leftovers, unless it's kids taking home slices of birthday cake, or sometimes my Grandma will give people cake to take home because she won't eat it before it goes stale.

But anything except cake? I've literally never ever seen that. Maybe it's because people don't tend to over-cook as much? I mean, there'll be plenty, and probably some leftovers, but not so much that the householders couldn't finish them before they went bad.

TL;DR: Bob shouldn't expect a doggie bag, because nobody should.

Yup! I am always interested in how cultural differences pop up in food related topicc.

One of the funniest conversations I've had was trying to explain the concept of left over chilli to someone in the UK.  We both got very confused when rice was mentioned. 

No one is owed a doggie bag.  Your sister's rule is fair but I can see how it would be awkward to explain to Bob.

Since you seem to be in a mentoring position with Bob I think you can tell him exactly why " You turned down the invitation.  IF you don't want to socialize with people its moochy to expect them to feed you."

TootsNYC

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #42 on: November 29, 2013, 10:21:13 AM »
Teenyweeny--in my U.S. experience, normally when people come for a dinner party, or to a big fancy social event, they don't take home a doggy bag.

Thanksgiving is different, because the gathering involves many more people, usually. And I can tell you, from yesterday's experience, it can be hard to tell how much food you need for 14 people. And often there are more dishes on the table, and therefore you end up with quite a bit more food than everyone can eat. Plus, turkeys tend to be big with lots of leftovers. So, lots more leftovers than normal.

I think for a great many people, there is an expectation of taking home leftovers from Thanksgiving especially. And to a slightly lesser degree from any big family gathering.

The expectation of leftovers rises a lot when "guests" (they're not always guests at Thanksgiving--they're family members attending a family event) contribute parts of the meal.

I personally never use the word "doggy bag" for anything but the contents of my own plate at a restaurant. Otherwise, we say, "would you like to take some food home?"

Teenyweeny

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #43 on: November 29, 2013, 10:30:56 AM »
Teenyweeny--in my U.S. experience, normally when people come for a dinner party, or to a big fancy social event, they don't take home a doggy bag.

Thanksgiving is different, because the gathering involves many more people, usually. And I can tell you, from yesterday's experience, it can be hard to tell how much food you need for 14 people. And often there are more dishes on the table, and therefore you end up with quite a bit more food than everyone can eat. Plus, turkeys tend to be big with lots of leftovers. So, lots more leftovers than normal.

I think for a great many people, there is an expectation of taking home leftovers from Thanksgiving especially. And to a slightly lesser degree from any big family gathering.

The expectation of leftovers rises a lot when "guests" (they're not always guests at Thanksgiving--they're family members attending a family event) contribute parts of the meal.

I personally never use the word "doggy bag" for anything but the contents of my own plate at a restaurant. Otherwise, we say, "would you like to take some food home?"

Well, I guessed it would happen less at fancy parties, becauae there's a certain level of formality there. I come from a large family, where it's not unusual to have 15-20 people at a regular family gathering. Still, nobody takes home leftovers (except sometime cake). This appears to be true for every family that I know.

Like I say, I think (and I think this is borne out by other food/hosting threads), in the US, the cardinal sin of hosting seems to be not providing enough food for everybody to have as much as they could possibly want. I should imagine that this inevitably lead to large amounts of leftovers, especially for larger groups.

In most families I know, there will be enough for everybody to get a good meal (i.e. nobody leaves hungry), but it's a rare host that provides enough food for everybody to (potentially) be fit to burst. This means that there may be enough leftovers for the hosts to eat for a day or two, but certainly not so much that it would spoil if it wasn't given away.

In addition, it's rare for UK dinners to be potluck-style. I've never heard of (or attended) one in real life, so all of the food is provided by the hosts, and it's theirs to keep (guests typically, but not always, bring wine). I'd imagine that this affects the dynamic as well.




camlan

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #44 on: November 29, 2013, 11:47:49 AM »

Well, I guessed it would happen less at fancy parties, becauae there's a certain level of formality there. I come from a large family, where it's not unusual to have 15-20 people at a regular family gathering. Still, nobody takes home leftovers (except sometime cake). This appears to be true for every family that I know.

Like I say, I think (and I think this is borne out by other food/hosting threads), in the US, the cardinal sin of hosting seems to be not providing enough food for everybody to have as much as they could possibly want. I should imagine that this inevitably lead to large amounts of leftovers, especially for larger groups.

In most families I know, there will be enough for everybody to get a good meal (i.e. nobody leaves hungry), but it's a rare host that provides enough food for everybody to (potentially) be fit to burst. This means that there may be enough leftovers for the hosts to eat for a day or two, but certainly not so much that it would spoil if it wasn't given away.

In addition, it's rare for UK dinners to be potluck-style. I've never heard of (or attended) one in real life, so all of the food is provided by the hosts, and it's theirs to keep (guests typically, but not always, bring wine). I'd imagine that this affects the dynamic as well.

In many families, this is a key component of Thanksgiving. There's food, and there's a lot of it. Basically, the holiday revolves around the meal. It started as a celebration of a good harvest after a dreadful winter and their first summer farming in the New World. So having an abundance of food is crucial.

Another key component of Thanksgiving is the leftovers. The turkey sandwiches. Slices of turkey warmed up in the gravy, served with the leftover stuffing and mashed potatoes. Many families eat the turkey leftovers for the next three or four days. It's part of the tradition.

So if family members don't live in the house where the turkey was cooked, giving them some of the leftovers as they leave is a way of keeping the whole "turkey sandwiches for the next five days" tradition going. It's not really Thanksgiving if you just have the one turkey dinner. You need leftover turkey for the rest of the long weekend, and mashed potatoes and stuffing.

I wouldn't expect to take home leftovers at any other meal served to me at someone's house (except Christmas, where my family has pretty much the same menu as for Thanksgiving).

I can see how this would seem odd to someone not used to US Thanksgiving. But "making a plate" to take home is pretty traditional for a lot of people.
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