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Mar 27, 2008 04:41 PM

Do your friends invite you to dinner?

This has been bugging me for a while. I like to cook (obviously), and to talk (lol) and so we entertain quite a bit. I always make an effort when people come over - usually three courses, good wine, aperitifs etc and we always have a nice time.

But... a lot of the time, we don't get invited back. Mr GG says it's because people are intimidated because I'm a good cook, but to be honest I don't care if they serve me beans on toast! I'd just like to be a guest, every once in a while...

So, is he right, or are my friends trying to tell me something!

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  1. You think you have it bad -- I write a food column for the local paper, and we are NEVER invited anywhere. We host dinner parties, and no one reciprocates. Where I come from, this is extremely bad manners! My bottom line is: If someone cooks you a meal, you do the same. You don't have to get pricey or fancy, just expend some energy.

    5 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca

      Do they think they might become the subjects of your next column or something! Glad to hear I'm not alone...

      The funny thing is that when we do get invited somewhere, it's Mr GG who's the harshest critic (in private, obviously!). He says he's been spoilt by several years of good eating.

      1. re: greedygirl

        Not trying to be mean at all, but you said "Mr GG says it's because people are intimidated because I'm a good cook, but to be honest I don't care if they serve me beans on toast!" and then said "it's Mr GG who's the harshest critic (in private, obviously!)" I'm not an great cook and I don't think I would be comfortable inviting you over for dinner, if I thought you might criticize what I cooked. Even if it's not in front of me.

        1. re: Boychucker

          It's not me doing the criticising though! I'm just happy to be invited. Anyway, it's only natural to discuss a meal when you get home, no? (As well as the conversation and the great time you had).

          1. re: greedygirl

            I know. I think most people discuss the meal and party on their way home. I just think it's possible that some of your friends may be worried that they may not live up to certain standards. I guess I'm just trying to say they may be intimidated. :) I think that's one of the reasons I don't invite people over, but I guess I should get over that. :)

        2. re: greedygirl

          I agree with this.. You should do something in your column about that. Maybe a dinner party etiquette thing? Maybe you have already, but it's a great idea.

      2. I think your husband may be right, they may be intimidated by the idea of preparing the kind of meal you provide. They don't know that you'd be happy with beans on toast. And even if you are comfortable eating this kind of meal, they wouldn't necessarily be comfortable serving you a simple meal knowing that you always provide fancy fare. Also, some people just aren't into's just not their thing. Another possibility is that they don't feel that they have a good space for entertaining, if your home is larger or nicer. I wouldn't take it personally.

        1. Oh, I truly believe that while they are appreciative, they are intimidated. I have managed to do this in my own circle, and now seem only get invited to tailgate parties where the men do the cooking on a grill! Some of the women don't cook frequently, and have admitted that they are intimidated no matter how much I try to encourage them. I don't let it bother me because we get to eat out at restaurants with them instead. You need to realize that cooking is your special talent and that while you are choosing to share it, not everyone is going to be able to reciprocate in the same way. Just enjoy what you can with your friends -- that is the most important thing.

          1. When I was in law school I found out that I lived in the same city as a high school friend who had become an up-and-coming and renowned chef. She invited me to a dinner, which was simple but very fun and impressive. So naturally I reciprocated. When I called, she accepted and laughingly mentioned that I was the first person to invite her to dinner since a very famous goddess of food. Well, that was all I needed to start trying too hard -- for example, I bought more expensive steak for a marinated, grilled starter than the chuck I usually used, so it came out mushy. But most of the dishes were tasty, the wine was good, and she was a gracious and appreciative guest. Now, obviously I don't know what her comments were on the ride home with her boyfriend!

            1. Mr GG might be right but dont let that all bother you. Next time you have a dinner, have a cookout and then talk about maybe how you dropped something or burned something. They might be intimidated that you are a good cook and they have so many problems with just something easy. If they know that you have troubles cooking to then they may mellow out. They dont need to know that you dont have that many troubles. I just got invited to my son & daughter in laws house after a yr of marriage and she made something that is my sons fav and she called me on it to see how it was done and then had me come over. not bad. you might also want to have a cooking party sometime to and have the friends over and just make simple things that the other people might not have trouble making and then maybe that will inspire them to have you over and they may do the same thing.

              2 Replies
              1. re: thecountryrose

                Forgive my ignorance, but what's a cookout?

                1. re: greedygirl

                  At a cook out, you cook on a grill. At least the meat, and sometimes the veggies. It is casual, and wonderful food.