Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

When did guests = money

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Evil Duckie:
I have see more and more that people are thrilled to invite people over as guests for dinner or a party, but then as long as the "guests" pays $$ for the honor of showing up. I have seen this more and more since last autumn.

I have seen this from children's parties to 50th anniversary parties to being asked over for dinner.

When did this become acceptable to even consider asking guests to pay for your hospitality?

I turn these "invitations" down, but I am wondering when did the mind set of people change?

Merriam-Webster online defines a guest as:
1 a : a person entertained in one's house b : a person to whom hospitality is extended  c : a person who pays for the services of an establishment (as a hotel or restaurant)

Nowhere does it say "a person who pays for hospitality in one's house."

It's not acceptable.  It never will be, no matter what the wedding industry (and it IS an industry) says.  It's rude. 

Some people just can't handle the concept of what they feel is something for nothing. They get no joy what so ever out of simple hospitality and must be re-imbursed back for everything, I guess. In the past few weeks I have gone to several dinners at someone's house and have always asked first whether they wanted me to bring something for dinner. These are casual, weekly get-togethers where my friends gather to eat dinner and then watch Sci-Fi shows. I've always been turned down on bringing something, and we've always had more than enough food left over, so I am glad that I didn't bring an extra something 'just because'. Another friend of mine once in a while will invite us over to her place for lunch after church. She cooks scores of food for us and her two rules are, you are not allowed to bring anything (don't even ask!), and don't RSVP, just show up, the more, the merrier. She gets such joy out of serving us, that if someone were to bring something, it would put a damper on her joy. This is what hospitality truly is, and unfortunately I think it's becoming a lost art in today's society.

I think part of it is that a lot of people don't learn about entertaining from their parents, they learn about it now while having their own parties school/university.

A bunch of "starving undergrads" may well have difficulty throwing a full party (particularly with alcohol) for all their friends. So, the tradition arose of the "X will have the room, everyone else chips in with the food/booze/etc., so that no one suffers a real financial drain". That works, because there's no other choice.

Then, when they graduate, and get paying jobs, they don't realize that things have changed; since they can afford to host their friends, they should no longer expect their friends to bear the financial burden of the event. Of course, some people, with reasonable senses of generosity, will skip this stage, or at least flit through it quickly. The more entitled folks will be stuck there indefinitely.

Unfortunately, I am afraid that this is not a new true trend.  When I was growing up during the 1980s, my parents were part of an organization that held an annual meeting at one person's house.  The woman who agreed on holding it insisted that it would not only be a potluck dinner  where everyone brought a dish but she also charged everyone $5.00.  What was the $5.00 for?  She decided to make chili and because meat was so "expensive," she wanted her guests to fork over $5.00.


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