Author Topic: "Let me know what I can bring!"  (Read 9818 times)

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lkl492

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"Let me know what I can bring!"
« on: June 14, 2007, 07:28:33 PM »
I am having a surprise BBQ for my husband's 40th b-day and sent out e-vites.

I have gotten several email responses saying, "Let me know what I can bring."

Now I would never attend a party without bringing something.  And I'm sure these people feel the same way, but what is a polite response to this?  I don't want to feel like they MUST bring something, like I'm charging admission. 

My auto-response is to say, "Just bring yourselves!"  But by saying that am I setting them up for possible embarrassment when other people show up with a side dish or a bottle of wine?


Lisbeth

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2007, 07:42:49 PM »
Well, if you insist on bringing something to other people's parties, it's only fair to expect that they will do the same for you.

If you really want to be off the hook on this, then you need to do one of the following:

1) Not invite people
2) Stop expecting to bring things yourself to parties you attend
3) Be ready with suggestions of what people can bring to your parties
4) Just say, "I've got everything covered; just bring yourself and good spirits."

If you choose option 4, be ready to honor similar requests from the hosts of parties you attend.
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lkl492

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2007, 07:47:37 PM »
Ohhh kayyy...

1) It's a party... so I invite people.
2) I could do that, but probably wouldn't.
3) My question is whether that is a rude thing to do... to tell people what they should bring.
4) That's what I said in the OP was my auto-response.

Perhaps I'm confused, because the post I'm responding to sounds very sarcastic.  Maybe I should have worded the OP differently.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2007, 07:51:18 PM by lkl492 »

Lisbeth

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2007, 07:50:13 PM »
I'd go with number 3 then.  If everyone you socialize with thinks it's polite to bring things and not polite not to, telling them not to is not going to accomplish anything positive.
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sparksals

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2007, 09:00:59 PM »
I am having a surprise BBQ for my husband's 40th b-day and sent out e-vites.

I have gotten several email responses saying, "Let me know what I can bring."

Now I would never attend a party without bringing something.  And I'm sure these people feel the same way, but what is a polite response to this?  I don't want to feel like they MUST bring something, like I'm charging admission. 

My auto-response is to say, "Just bring yourselves!"  But by saying that am I setting them up for possible embarrassment when other people show up with a side dish or a bottle of wine?



What strikes me about your post is that when you attend a party, you always bring something.  Could it be that because you insist on bringing something to their parties, that your friends feel they have to reciprocate?

Then, you say that you may be setting themselves up for possible embarrassment when some people show up with something and not others.  Why is this situation different for you?  You take things when, I presume, you're told not to and now you're worried that people will feel uncomfortable at your party because some will bring something and others won't? 

I'm a bit confused.  Am I missing something here?

As it stands, I always ask if I can bring something.  When told no, I don't bring any dishes at all, but I will bring a bottle of wine as a hostess gift.  Is this what you're talking about or a dish to contribute to the meal that is being prepared?  This is where my confusion lies.

LissaR1

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2007, 09:01:26 PM »
Our circle is very similar.  If it's a party, my conversations generally go like this:

Me: "Oh, you don't have to bring anything!  We're just looking forward to seeing you!"
Guest: "Really, it's no trouble, and I'd love to help out." 

Frequently, Guest will suggest something here.  "I could bring a cheesecake/salad/bottle of wine."  If they say that, I say, "That sounds great!"  If guest doesn't actually suggest something:

Me: "It really isn't necessary, but I'm serving X.  Maybe an appetizer/side/dessert/booze?"

If you're having a lot of people, be careful not to tell everyone the same thing :)

If it's a smaller dinner, with just us and another couple, I'll usually give them the menu.  That generally works.  But if they're very insistant, then I'll suggest they bring something to drink.

If people are asking you what they can bring, they won't (well, shouldn't!) feel like you're insisting on something when you take them up on it! :)

kckgirl

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #6 on: June 14, 2007, 09:08:57 PM »
Perhaps I'm confused, because the post I'm responding to sounds very sarcastic.  Maybe I should have worded the OP differently.

I didn't think it sounded sarcastic at all. KeenReader offered options. It's most definitely not rude to answer a question, so if your friends ask what they can bring, just answer the question. The point was that if you always show up with something, your friends are going to expect to do the same.
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sparksals

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2007, 11:29:19 PM »
Perhaps I'm confused, because the post I'm responding to sounds very sarcastic.  Maybe I should have worded the OP differently.

I didn't think it sounded sarcastic at all. KeenReader offered options. It's most definitely not rude to answer a question, so if your friends ask what they can bring, just answer the question. The point was that if you always show up with something, your friends are going to expect to do the same.

Me neither.  I think it's a bit contradictory because she always takes something when invited and is now worried about embarrassing other guests who didn't bring something to her party.  What about the guest's embarrassment at the party to which she brought something?

That's why I always follow the lead of the hostess.  If she says don't bring anything, I don't - except for a bottle of wine for her and dh to enjoy at another time.

cicero

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2007, 04:29:02 AM »
It's normal in most circles to offer.

if you DON'T want people to bring anything (for whatever reason), then just be gracious and say no.

Friend: oh thank you for the invite. what can i bring?
lkl: that's sweet of you to offer but I have everything under control/prepared/bought already. Thanks!

or

Friend: thank you for the invite. I'll bring my brownies - everyone loves them!
lkl: that's so sweet of you but there is no need - I have everything under control etc...

if you ARE ok with people bringing something, then say - thanks, if it's not too much trouble you could bring your signature brownies/lettuce salad/whatever.

if people do show up with something even after you told them not to: be gracious, say thank you, and then you can decide to either serve it or enjoy it later on your own.
"oh look at this amazing merlot! Hubby and I will really enjoy this Friday night at dinner! thanks"
or
"what a great merlot! I'm going to open it right now and let it breathe so that we can all enjoy it at dinner! thanks!"
or
"cheesecake! perfect for our brunch tomorrow morning! thanks!"
etc


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sweedetobee

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2007, 12:22:49 PM »
lkl492 -
I think that most people offer to bring something, and like you said, I would never show up somewhere without bringing something.

So you just need to decide if you really would like some things brought or if you'd like to take care of the whole BBQ (some people don't like when others bring things).

My standard response for something casual like a BBQ is - that's so nice but I think we have it covered. We're having A and B to eat and X and Y to drink, but if there is anythign special that you would like to have feel free to bring it.
For a more formal event that i was hosting (and I try never to host those - haha) I probably wouldn't want them to bring anythign so I would have gone with your standard answer of - just bring yourselves. I would hope they would bring a bottle of wine though ;)

DottyG

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2007, 05:45:50 PM »
I really hate the fact that the "potluck mentality" has taken over to the point that people really cannot have a party - or attend a party - without making it into a potluck activity.

Hosts should be able to have a party and provide for their guests without help if they'd like to.  That meaning that guests HONOR that desire and DON'T bring something.  I don't care if they have to tie their hands to their sides until they arrive at the venue.  A host should be allowed to host a party by themselves.

If it is a potluck, fine.  Those have their places.  But, not everything should automatically be one.

And, especially if a host says, "Please don't bring anything.  I have it all covered," a guest who brings something anyway (hostess gift notwithstanding) is rude.


twinkletoes

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2007, 06:54:26 PM »
I agree, the OP is in a pickle. 

It sounds like she brings unsolicited items to "round out" the party, which isn't cool.  I've read too many stories of people feeling they just HAD to bring their seven-layer salad to, say, a "Thai Food Dinner" party or "Super Elegant Dinner Party."  It's weird and awkward, and it puts the host/ess in an unpleasant situation (which I find grossly unfair - they've already gone to all of that trouble to get a meal together, and now they've got some unrequested food foisted on them).

So, now the guests feel the same way - either that's how they all roll, or they've picked up on her cues of "always bring something, even if it's unasked.

I guess the only thing you can do is just bring a small host/ess gift in the future - a nice bottle of wine, for instance - and make it clear it's to be opened "after everyone leaves."

crafty_rach

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2007, 12:34:10 PM »
I had a friend that would always bring a dish even when I'd told her she didn't need to.

I always read it as her way of saying 'Anything you will serve is not good enough for me'  :-[ Which is probably not what you intended ... but be warned that over-senesitive, neurotic people like myself may see it differently  ;)

audrey1962

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2007, 12:58:13 PM »
My auto-response is to say, "Just bring yourselves!"  But by saying that am I setting them up for possible embarrassment when other people show up with a side dish or a bottle of wine?

I'm a bit confused by this statement. If you are telling people to just bring themselves, why would some still show up with side dishes? (Wine I can understand as that is a typical hostess gift)

loopey2u

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Re: "Let me know what I can bring!"
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2007, 12:48:19 AM »
Some of us still feel that showing up to a dinner/party with nothing in hand is rude or inconsidreate, if it's not a gift giving occasion.

Please excuse us, we don't mean anything by it, like your food is bad, etc., we just feel like we should contribute something, and are really honored that you chose to invite us.

Dang, sometimes trying to be considerate and polite really bites you in the bottom....lol