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What should the host provide? What should I bring?

  • d

I've recently been invited to my good friend, Meg's, birthday celebration. Her boyfriend is planning it and sent the following request:

"Please bring veggie burgers, whiskey, veggie dogs, beer, veggie ribs, tequila, vegetables, ice, birthday presents/flowers. Not necessarily in that order. Oh, if you eat meat you can bring that too, no judgement! We will supply music, dancing, Meg, and guacamole."

Had Meg's other friends (who happily offered to throw her a party) planned this, this wouldn't have happened. The boyfriend swooped in and took over planning duties and then asked everyone to do the work for him once he secured the BBQ spot (his brother's house). The boyfriend is out of work and none of us are rolling in dough so a potluck BBQ was to be expected, but I believe the host should at least provide the basics (if you're throwing a party, you can buy ice for your guests).

I was planning on bringing flowers for Meg and a six-pack to share between me and whoever else. I will bow out of eating anything at the BBQ and dine out later. I am perturbed the boyfriend went about it in such a cheap and tactless way.

My question is: Do you think I should bring food and more alcohol and suck it up because Meg is a good friend? I feel as though I'm punishing Meg by not contributing to her night for her boyfriend's lack of etiquette.

A sub-question: After batting around party ideas between Meg and her friends and boyfriend, she decided she'd like to have a BBQ at the boyfriend's brother's. So, really, it was her idea. Is SHE at all responsible to bring any of the food/alcohol items requested?

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  1. I guess it depends on how good a friend Meg is. If she was a good friend, I would get together with her other friends, plan a menu, maybe concentrate on food and beer, inform the boyfriend what you are bringing. I would also consider my contribution as my gift to Meg or at least a good portion of it.

    If she is not that good a friend, I would bring a 6 pack, a pot luck dish to share and the flowers and that is it.

    1. what happens if everyone brings ice and flowers?

      I dislike this kind of open invitation with zero organization. I think the BF needs to plan this a little better and tell everyone exactly what to bring for the potluck and for sure provide something. I agree with NE Elaine, this needs discussion with the other friends and the BF.

      1. what the hell is a "veggie rib"?

        i know he can't be talking about celery ;-P

        1 Reply
        1. re: soupkitten

          "Artistry" with soy protein isolate, yeast extract and sodium. The celery sounds better.

        2. Meg and her boyfriend....Are they still in Jr. High or have they made it to High School???
          I would decline the invitation! Period!!
          Maybe put a bug in Meg's ear....She needs to find another boyfriend. ~~ Would also suggest that you explain to her that she is not the center of the Universe!!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Uncle Bob

            Rule #11, from Dave Barry's Rules of Life:

            "There comes a time when you should stop expecting other people to make a big deal about your birthday. That time is age eleven."

            1. re: Sherri

              Please keep that quote handy - it seems that there is a growing problem among young people who want their significant others to enjoy a lavish birthday fete on someone else's dime! Enough already.

              1. re: Kater

                Not limited to young people. The other day my MIL (age 65) asked if we could see her for her birthday celebration on June 13th because she will be traveling on her birthday (June 15th). Mind you, she (and FIL) will be traveling to Europe to take a cruise...it's not like they are traveling to the gulag. I felt like saying no, just because it's immature, but I didn't.

                This is also a woman who still sleeps with stuffed animals (and travels with them!).

            2. re: Uncle Bob

              ha ha, uncle bob! that's it precisely!

            3. Decline BF's invitation and ask Meg to lunch for her BD, just the two of you...girl time. Explain same to BF. Of course, lunch is your treat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Gail

                +1 with what Gail said...I think the BF should have left it in the hands of those who know how to throw a party. This is almost the same as someone who invites you to dinner and then asks you to bring it..tacky!