I think the blurring of lines between social and business functions is involved here, too. We see posts on here all the time about hosts or HC's who expect wedding guests to "cover their plate", i.e. pay for their meal with an appropriately priced gift. And this extends to family charging for cooking a holiday meal, or party invitations that turn out to be MLM sales presentations, or fundraisers, or overgrown "birthday girls" or "birthday boys" who voluntell friends to pay for their dinner in a restaurant.
The restaurant and hotel business is now referred to as "the hospitality industry". Hospitality is not supposed to be an industry. The greeter in a restaurant is now called a "host" or "hostess," but they are not hosting anything - in fact, they are often the most junior member of staff. Customers at hotels and restaurants are called "guests", even though they are paying.
Society's expectations toward what it means to be a host or guest are a complete mess.
I think you're right, EllenS. (Someone here at EHell even used the word "catering" to describe entertaining guests in your own home. A slip, I'm sure, but sometimes semantics matter.)
I'll confess, I was often grateful that people come to my house (which is *totally* backward!!) because I'm in a outer borough.
And, we will often drive people from other boroughs home (whether we're getting together in our house or at a restaurant), because trying to get to our place from Brooklyn, is a 90-minute ordeal (it's 20 mins in the car, so even both ways, it's still markedly less time), and they'd probably turn down the socializing opportunity completely.
But if I felt taken advantage of, we'd stop!
I sort of see bah12's point--but only sort of.
I'd tweak is as indicated.
For picking people up for a party, I guess I don't see anything wrong with stating that a ride is needed for attendance. It really annoys me when people complain that they have limitations (car isn't working, no babysitter, etc), but don't really do anything to change it. So, if I invited someone to a party and they had transportation issues, I wouldn't be offended if they said "I'd love to come, but unfortunately my car is in the shop and I don't have a way to get there. Do you know of someone else that's coming that could possibly pick me up on the way
or would you be able to give me a ride if it doesn't interfere with your planning?" As long as they accept "no" as an answer, I don't see an issue with asking.
I think there is something wrong with asking the phrase I crossed out.
I think it's OK to alert your host to your travel difficulties, in case she has a suggestion for solving them. But to directly ask her to come pick you up, when she's already giving you another gift? Not cool--if she can pick you up, she'll offer. Don't directly ask her.
I think you misunderstand me:
I really think that when hosting gets to the point that it stresses you out and makes you resent your friends for not being appreciative enough is the time that you either need a new group of friends or you need to take a break from hosting. Just my opinion.
I'm not stressed or resentful. But I don't thank people for coming, not anymore. I'm not a merchant, I'm the one who did them the bigger favor--the only person who should be thanked is me. And I hadn't heard any of my own friends say it, but others have said, "She wouldn't invite me if she didn't want me there" (which is true, of course) as if somehow -they- were the ones doing the big favor by showing up.
So of course I express my enjoyment of their company, pretty effusively, but I don't say "thank you for coming." There's something about that literal phrase that sets my teeth on edge when it comes from the host's mouth.