Author Topic: No, please, don't bring anything  (Read 4983 times)

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twinkletoes

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No, please, don't bring anything
« on: February 13, 2007, 12:35:58 PM »
A coworker just told me this:

She had a dinner party over the weekend and invited her parents, her ILs, her and her DH's siblings, and a few close friends - I think it was maybe about 15 people, total.  She spent the weekend preparing an exquisite meal and planning everything so it was just right - the decorations, the food, the beverages, centerpiece, etc.  No detail was overlooked.

When she invited her guests via phone, a few of them asked "would you like us to bring anything?"  No, no, she responded - everything was covered, and she just wanted them to bring themselves and their appetites.  My coworker is also known for making her table 'groan' under the weight of so much food, and even the pickiest eater can find quite a few things to eat.

Her SIL showed up with a plate of Jell-O that she demanded to be placed on the table and served with the meal, even though it really didn't go with the meal that was served.  It wasn't a casual "hotdogs and hamburgers" sort of meal, for sure. 

My coworker tried to say "oh, thanks, we'll enjoy this tomorrow" and put it in the fridge.  SIL went to the kitchen and put it on the table, and yes, it looked out of place. I guess the atmosphere had gotten uncomfortable, so coworker decided to just let it go. 

I find the SiL's actions to be appalling.  FWIW, when my coworker goes to dinners that her husband's family serves, they usually have cook-outs and whatnot.  Nothing wrong with that, but my coworker wonders if her SIL is trying to 'say something' by showing up with food and demanding that it is served.  And even if my coworker was having a more laid-back sort of dinner, I still think it's rude to show up with a prepared dish and foist it on the host/ess.  Who knows, the host/ess might have planned a meal specifically around a guest's allergies?  It also comes across as "you don't have enough food/you can't host properly," but I thought I'd ask you all your take on it.  Have you ever been in a situation like this?  What did you do?  Do you think SIL was in the wrong?

Bob Ducca

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2007, 12:41:11 PM »
Yes, SIL was in the wrong.  One should never assume that a hosted dinner requires one's service.  A hostess gift is appropriate; a dish to be added to those prepared by the hosts is not (although I don't think there is anything wrong with calling and asking if something is needed).  She may have been from a different background- when I was growing up, there were no hosted dinners in our family or in my parents' social set- everyone got together and brought something.  SIL may have been offended at the thought that her offering wasn't welcome, assuming that other people were asked to bring things.  But, I don't understand her insistence that it be placed on the table.  Is it a control thing?  I don't know.  But inappropriate, nonetheless.

Lisbeth

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2007, 12:42:44 PM »
Your co-worker's SIL was rude.

It's up to the hosts to decide what gets served, and they don't have to serve their guests' offerings.  Once your co-worker took the plate of Jello off the table, that should have been the end of it.  But I think she handled it well after that.
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Oxymoroness

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2007, 12:44:25 PM »
Yup, the SIL was definitely in the wrong. Regardless of how she was brought up, the "no thanks" was spoken in clear and plain words in the native language.

aline

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2007, 12:45:00 PM »
SIL is in the wrong here. She obviously ignored your coworker's requests, and decided for herself what should be served. Classy.

kiero

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2007, 12:50:36 PM »
Evern in my family where people all brings things for even fancy meals this would be wrong. 

If the host says no.  Then that means no. 

april

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2007, 02:14:01 PM »
SO wrong.

It would be one thing if, as you said, there was a very specific dietary requirement (like kosher, vegan, gluten, etc.), but even then, you should both ask and clear it with the host.  I know that if I had a vegan guest, I would be quite comfortable preparing something for them, but if my guest were keeping kosher, I would rather the help....kwim?

I hate it when people do that.  They're usually people who consider all-you-can-eat to be a gourmet treat.  Yuck.

twinkletoes

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2007, 02:19:26 PM »
Thank you all for your responses!  My coworker told this story to me and another coworker, and the second coworker responded with "what's the big deal?"  It's not the be-all and end-all, but I don't blame my coworker for feeling frustrated and angered with her SiL. 

Sterling

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2007, 02:53:58 PM »
See if she does more formal gathering and her in-laws do casual I would feel like her that there was a message that my way was "wrong" in thier eyes.

I love to cook and tend to try new fancy meals, however I make sure nothing so strange other wouldn't want to eat it.  If I worked really hard on a feast and someone demanded jello I think I would be hurt.  My mother cooks huge meals for my grandparents (my fathers family) and my grandfather loves to ask her half way through for a peanut butter sandwich.  Its his way of making fun of her cooking since its not "country" enough for him.
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Olivia

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2007, 05:11:48 PM »
Jello?  Really?  That's just too funny. 

Yes, SIL was in the wrong, but at least your co-worker got a good story out of it. 

supernova

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2007, 05:00:34 PM »
Oh, this reminds me of the story from the Web site with the "cheese doodles."  (Was it a baby shower or something?)

I've had friends like that too.  No, please don't place your big bag of Doritos on the table between the floral centerpiece and the crystal platter with the handmade mini-quiches!   ::)

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2007, 03:59:46 AM »
Wait, she wanted Jello on the DINNER table? As in, next to all the savoury dishes? I can just imagine the sight of a plate of Jello sitting between a roast and the bread bowl.

Is she nuts? Jello is a dessert, not a main!

kiero

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2007, 11:13:18 AM »
Wait, she wanted Jello on the DINNER table? As in, next to all the savoury dishes? I can just imagine the sight of a plate of Jello sitting between a roast and the bread bowl.

Is she nuts? Jello is a dessert, not a main!

I grew up spening alot of time with my relatives in the country.  There jello was a perfectly acceptable 'salad' medium.  Orange jello full of grated carrot, colslaw with mashed up lime jello... 

sweedetobee

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2007, 02:28:17 PM »
Even if the host says "no" I will still bring something - but I'll make it flowers or wine. I would not bring a dish of food if asked not to.

Jello??????????????????

IndianInlaw

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Re: No, please, don't bring anything
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2007, 02:51:18 PM »
"Oh, this reminds me of the story from the Web site with the "cheese doodles."

I was just thinking of that one, cheese doodles in a big 'ol red plastic bowl.


I think it was some sort of tea party type affair.