Author Topic: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...  (Read 10344 times)

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Mental Magpie

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #120 on: September 28, 2014, 12:15:00 AM »
Can you just not host this woman in your house again? Take her out for beer and pizza instead?
Or if you do, just have your DH cook himself or order carry out and let him handle the "hosting".

She sounds tiresome to me, not fun!

Haha, DH cannot cook unless it involved pressing one or two, no more, buttons on a microwave, and I love to cook.  I'd rather cook and handle her then not cook and just order out. 

Many times since this incident, we have socialized with her in a group setting and have not been the actual host in any way.  I really, really, really want to do this dinner party and I can find no gracious way to not invite her, so I will, but I will have a boundary setting idea in my head and at least an inclination of how to execute it. 

Hopefully, I will remember to update when this all actually takes place.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

gellchom

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #121 on: September 28, 2014, 12:40:52 AM »
I suggest just letting her bring something when it isn't a formal dinner party.  I mean, as hosts, we want to make our guests comfortable, right?  Well, this makes her comfortable.  I know it isn't what you prefer, but you know it's how she rolls, and if you arrange it in advance with her, it won't be such a big deal, just a small accommodation on your part.  Like if your specialty soup just isn't as good without chicken stock, but your guest is a vegetarian, so you use vegetable instead.

Then it is easier, when you do have a more formal dinner, to say, "Thanks, Joan, but not this time.  You make great salad, but this time I have a special menu planned out, so please don't bring anything this time, because we won't be able to serve it.'


Mental Magpie

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #122 on: September 28, 2014, 12:44:25 AM »
I suggest just letting her bring something when it isn't a formal dinner party.  I mean, as hosts, we want to make our guests comfortable, right?  Well, this makes her comfortable.  I know it isn't what you prefer, but you know it's how she rolls, and if you arrange it in advance with her, it won't be such a big deal, just a small accommodation on your part.  Like if your specialty soup just isn't as good without chicken stock, but your guest is a vegetarian, so you use vegetable instead.

Then it is easier, when you do have a more formal dinner, to say, "Thanks, Joan, but not this time.  You make great salad, but this time I have a special menu planned out, so please don't bring anything this time, because we won't be able to serve it.'

May I ask why you think that's a good idea rather than just setting my boundaries from the start?  I am serious.  I don't understand the reasoning behind that and would like to know why you think that's a good solution.
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MsMarjorie

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #123 on: September 28, 2014, 01:12:49 AM »
I suggest just letting her bring something when it isn't a formal dinner party.  I mean, as hosts, we want to make our guests comfortable, right?  Well, this makes her comfortable.  I know it isn't what you prefer, but you know it's how she rolls, and if you arrange it in advance with her, it won't be such a big deal, just a small accommodation on your part.  Like if your specialty soup just isn't as good without chicken stock, but your guest is a vegetarian, so you use vegetable instead.

Then it is easier, when you do have a more formal dinner, to say, "Thanks, Joan, but not this time.  You make great salad, but this time I have a special menu planned out, so please don't bring anything this time, because we won't be able to serve it.'

May I ask why you think that's a good idea rather than just setting my boundaries from the start?  I am serious.  I don't understand the reasoning behind that and would like to know why you think that's a good solution.

Obviously I'm not Gellchom, but I think her point was, that you can just "roll with it" and then when you ask her not to bring something to a formal dinner party - the annoying guest can accommodate you.  Whilst setting your boundaries from the start is a good idea, you kind of missed that boat because she blind-sided you.  Gellchoms idea is another sort of "gentle" way of dealing with this person.

Assuming that you haven't had the dinner party yet - I hope all goes well!

Zizi-K

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #124 on: September 28, 2014, 01:59:19 AM »
At least in the US, there are lots of regions in the country where people are taught that it is quite rude to show up to dinner parties empty-handed. I also have a Taiwanese friend who feels this way. She has the best expression for it - in Chinese, it translates to "they bring bananas," meaning their hands are empty with their fingers hanging limp like a bunch of bananas! Aside from this woman's control issues - I have no idea if her previous behavior had to do with overdoing a generous intention, if she really wanted to dominate your dinner party, if she just wanted to make sure there was something she could eat with her picky palate, or if (like me, in my post earlier), she did it out of naive enthusiasm. In any case, if I knew someone like that, I would definitely direct them to a specifi and contained thing that they could bring and feel good about. A bottle of wine, a small appetizer, a cheese for the cheese course, a salad, or a vegetable side-dish are all things that someone could be directed to bring without overrunning the meal.

You could also pleasantly insist that she bring nothing, but if you know it's against her training and would make her feel uncomfortabe, I think it is kind to "throw the dog a bone," so to speak.

TabathasGran

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #125 on: September 28, 2014, 01:02:18 PM »
Can you just not host this woman in your house again? Take her out for beer and pizza instead?
Or if you do, just have your DH cook himself or order carry out and let him handle the "hosting".

She sounds tiresome to me, not fun!

Haha, DH cannot cook unless it involved pressing one or two, no more, buttons on a microwave, and I love to cook.  I'd rather cook and handle her then not cook and just order out. 

Many times since this incident, we have socialized with her in a group setting and have not been the actual host in any way.  I really, really, really want to do this dinner party and I can find no gracious way to not invite her, so I will, but I will have a boundary setting idea in my head and at least an inclination of how to execute it. 

Hopefully, I will remember to update when this all actually takes place.

It sounds like you have it under control.
For a dinner party is should be easier to manage.

Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #126 on: September 28, 2014, 01:07:10 PM »
She has the best expression for it - in Chinese, it translates to "they bring bananas," meaning their hands are empty with their fingers hanging limp like a bunch of bananas!

And with immediate effect I am taking this phrase for general use. In exchange, please offer her the Irish phrase 'standing there with his two arms the one length' which conveys both the person who doesn't bring anything and the one who stands around while you're working and doesn't offer to help.

Reaver

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #127 on: September 28, 2014, 02:17:57 PM »
 I don't see why you simply can't tell her right upfront "I appreciate you bringing something, but it's unnecessary, I have it covered though! I just want you to come and relax and not fuss over a dish the time before you come  :D"

Also still reeling at "Classy Lady"

Your husband still thinks she's a classy lady after she said to his face he just married you cuz you were pregnate?  :o

Mental Magpie

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #128 on: September 28, 2014, 02:27:52 PM »
I don't see why you simply can't tell her right upfront "I appreciate you bringing something, but it's unnecessary, I have it covered though! I just want you to come and relax and not fuss over a dish the time before you come  :D"

Also still reeling at "Classy Lady"

Your husband still thinks she's a classy lady after she said to his face he just married you cuz you were pregnate?  :o

Two different people, and no, he doesn't think she's classy anymore. The exGF said he was only dating me after a month because he must have gotten me pregnant. ExGF and Classy Lady are friends

That is close to what I will probably say to Joan when I invite her, as I invite her.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Bashful

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #129 on: September 28, 2014, 04:38:36 PM »
At least in the US, there are lots of regions in the country where people are taught that it is quite rude to show up to dinner parties empty-handed.
I see many people saying this and therefore believing that Joanna brought food without malice. If she really thought it was her duty as a guest, she should have brought the food in the kitchen, leaving to MM to arrange it how she saw fit.

Slightly Off Topic: I've read many threads where Ehellions are obliged to attend holyday family meals where they can't eat anything (allergies, hygiene issues or just badly cooked food) and many times they are advised to bring some side dish or eat in advance. Wouldn't that be rude?

gellchom

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #130 on: September 28, 2014, 04:40:06 PM »
I suggest just letting her bring something when it isn't a formal dinner party.  I mean, as hosts, we want to make our guests comfortable, right?  Well, this makes her comfortable.  I know it isn't what you prefer, but you know it's how she rolls, and if you arrange it in advance with her, it won't be such a big deal, just a small accommodation on your part.  Like if your specialty soup just isn't as good without chicken stock, but your guest is a vegetarian, so you use vegetable instead.

Then it is easier, when you do have a more formal dinner, to say, "Thanks, Joan, but not this time.  You make great salad, but this time I have a special menu planned out, so please don't bring anything this time, because we won't be able to serve it.'

May I ask why you think that's a good idea rather than just setting my boundaries from the start?  I am serious.  I don't understand the reasoning behind that and would like to know why you think that's a good solution.

I guess it really depends upon what your goal is.  And there is more than one valid goal, by the way.

If your goal is to set boundaries with Joan in general, then never mind what I suggested.

But if it's only about hosting and what happens when she comes to dinner, especially because it is infrequent, then you might consider compromising a bit when it isn't an important dinner party.  I get it that you don't like to give up control over any part of the meal, I really do.  That's why I call it a compromise.  Because I know you also want to make your guests -- including Joan -- happy.  And that's what makes her happy.

So if you do choose to do that, my point was that it is ultimately easier to agree to her bringing something, when it's just a casual meal.  Then you have greater control over what she brings, and also it is easier for her to accept a "no" some other time.  "Not this time, please" is easier to hear.  Otherwise it can sound to her like "Your food is never welcome in my home; I must have total control over every meal."

I like the way Zizi-K put it:

Quote
You could also pleasantly insist that she bring nothing, but if you know it's against her training and would make her feel uncomfortable, I think it is kind to "throw the dog a bone," so to speak.

You certainly don't have to do that.  I think I would find it easier.  But if Joan is really irritating to you, and you feel it is important to maintain the power advantage, then you can do it differently, and you will not be rude at all.

Lynn2000

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #131 on: Yesterday at 05:46:47 PM »
At least in the US, there are lots of regions in the country where people are taught that it is quite rude to show up to dinner parties empty-handed.
I see many people saying this and therefore believing that Joanna brought food without malice. If she really thought it was her duty as a guest, she should have brought the food in the kitchen, leaving to MM to arrange it how she saw fit.

Slightly Off Topic: I've read many threads where Ehellions are obliged to attend holyday family meals where they can't eat anything (allergies, hygiene issues or just badly cooked food) and many times they are advised to bring some side dish or eat in advance. Wouldn't that be rude?

Re: the bolded. IIRC, the advice is not to just show up with food in hand, but to talk to the host in advance. "Hey, the menu sounds great! Unfortunately I've got some food issues and I don't want to put you out by making you do more work--could I bring something to share with everyone?" The "food issues" can be real if you have dietary restrictions, or imaginary and vague if it's something like hygiene/bad food. Then you work out with the host what kind of "something" you can bring that won't upset their meal plans. To me it's showing up with the food completely unannounced that's dodgy--it just sort of assumes you chose a contribution that will be welcome, which is two big assumptions.

I suppose when you ask, the host could say no, not allowed in my house, in which case I think the guest could politely decline to attend, or attend and eat what they could while having eaten beforehand. One could also eat beforehand if one didn't know the host well enough to speak to them about bringing a dish, or didn't want to bring a dish, or whatever. I don't think it's the eating beforehand that's problematic, it's letting your host know you ate beforehand--whether that's by stating it flat out or eating so conspicuously little without a good excuse that people guess the truth. Anticipating the upcoming holiday gatherings, I fully plan to eat my restricted food beforehand (and even during the meal if necessary--I always have something non-perishable in my purse I could sneak off to the bathroom and gobble) and then eat some bread, fruit, green salad, etc. during the meal. Of course part of my restriction is smaller portion sizes so if I only have a little food on my plate that's easily explained. I wouldn't ever tell someone, "Yeah, I had a meal bar in the car on the way down here," or, "Actually I ate lunch before I left."
~Lynn2000

QueenfaninCA

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #132 on: Yesterday at 06:31:42 PM »
At least in the US, there are lots of regions in the country where people are taught that it is quite rude to show up to dinner parties empty-handed.

I think it's rude in most cultures to show up empty-handed when invited for a meal. However that does not mean that you bring a part of the meal. Bring some flowers. Bring a bottle of wine (if the hosts drink wine) or a box of chocolates the hosts can enjoy at some other time. Or something else the hosts will enjoy.

Mental Magpie

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #133 on: Yesterday at 11:45:47 PM »
At least in the US, there are lots of regions in the country where people are taught that it is quite rude to show up to dinner parties empty-handed.

I think it's rude in most cultures to show up empty-handed when invited for a meal. However that does not mean that you bring a part of the meal. Bring some flowers. Bring a bottle of wine (if the hosts drink wine) or a box of chocolates the hosts can enjoy at some other time. Or something else the hosts will enjoy.

This is what it is.  Yes, you're usually supposed to show up with a host/ess gift, but that doesn't mean something to be consumed then and there (unless the host/ess requested, of course).  It could be any number of things other than food meant for immediate consumption.

Due to DH being gone for four months (we're almost half way through it!), I lack for adult interaction (I work from home).  I have a very dear friend (he performed our wedding ceremony) who also suddenly has an empty next and lacks for adult interaction outside of work.  I invite him over for dinner at least once a week.  Every single time he asks what he can bring and I say just himself.  I love this arrangement; he doesn't push, he always asks, and is always just as happy when I say no thank you. 
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.

Mental Magpie

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Re: A hostess gift that overshadows the hostess...
« Reply #134 on: Yesterday at 11:49:15 PM »
I suggest just letting her bring something when it isn't a formal dinner party.  I mean, as hosts, we want to make our guests comfortable, right?  Well, this makes her comfortable.  I know it isn't what you prefer, but you know it's how she rolls, and if you arrange it in advance with her, it won't be such a big deal, just a small accommodation on your part.  Like if your specialty soup just isn't as good without chicken stock, but your guest is a vegetarian, so you use vegetable instead.

Then it is easier, when you do have a more formal dinner, to say, "Thanks, Joan, but not this time.  You make great salad, but this time I have a special menu planned out, so please don't bring anything this time, because we won't be able to serve it.'

May I ask why you think that's a good idea rather than just setting my boundaries from the start?  I am serious.  I don't understand the reasoning behind that and would like to know why you think that's a good solution.

I guess it really depends upon what your goal is.  And there is more than one valid goal, by the way.

If your goal is to set boundaries with Joan in general, then never mind what I suggested.

But if it's only about hosting and what happens when she comes to dinner, especially because it is infrequent, then you might consider compromising a bit when it isn't an important dinner party.  I get it that you don't like to give up control over any part of the meal, I really do.  That's why I call it a compromise.  Because I know you also want to make your guests -- including Joan -- happy.  And that's what makes her happy.

So if you do choose to do that, my point was that it is ultimately easier to agree to her bringing something, when it's just a casual meal.  Then you have greater control over what she brings, and also it is easier for her to accept a "no" some other time.  "Not this time, please" is easier to hear.  Otherwise it can sound to her like "Your food is never welcome in my home; I must have total control over every meal."

I like the way Zizi-K put it:

Quote
You could also pleasantly insist that she bring nothing, but if you know it's against her training and would make her feel uncomfortable, I think it is kind to "throw the dog a bone," so to speak.

You certainly don't have to do that.  I think I would find it easier.  But if Joan is really irritating to you, and you feel it is important to maintain the power advantage, then you can do it differently, and you will not be rude at all.

After rereading this and consider what I do with my dear friend I mentioned in the post above this one...if it were him, I would do what you suggest.  My goal with Joan is to set clear boundaries, so I will just be straightforward and strict with her.  She needs to understand that this is my house and therefor my rules, in a sense.  I know that sounds a little overboard, but I didn't know how else to explain it.  I will have to tell more stories about Joan, methinks, for people to get an idea of how she wheedles people and situations to get her way and to have control over everything, to be on the top rung so to speak.
The problem with choosing the lesser of two evils is that you're still choosing evil.