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Nov 5, 2012 08:33 AM

Was I being offensive?

I was invited to a close friends house for dinner. I asked her if I can bring a side dish and dessert and she said yes. I asked her what she was preparing and she never ignored that text but replied to others. I made cake abn a salad. When I arrived she had prepared so much food, more than usual, and she had bought dessert. They didn't touch my salad and when dessert time came I told her save your cake for another time I will treat you guys today. She brought out her cake and ssaid " cake competition". I felt this was awkward and she had to run and asked me to serve the cake. I gave everyone a piece of each since she already cut her cake and I spent so long preparing this cake I wanted to serve it. I felt like she was trying to undermine me by serving her cake, not responsing and also not eating my salad. I feel hurt and I feel like since me and my boyfriemd have roomates we can't invite them for dinner so I try to help out and give my piece. When I offered to bring food it was for that reason, not to undermine her. She is afghani so maybe its a cultural difference? Help was I wrong?

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  1. Hey, why not talk to her and find out?

    1. Not every email that is sent gets received. I would put this down to either or both of you missing an email and not worry about it.

      1. Seeing as she is a close friend, i suspect this is more an issue of lack of communication than a cultural difference.

        That said, in many communities (and in this household), it is not expected that guests would bring food.They are guests, after all. In general, I might be a little upset if a guest phoned me and asked if they could bring food. Possibly, as a good friend, she didnt like to say don't bring anything.

        Perhaps the salad didnt suit their tastes and that's why they didnt eat it. Who knows.

        Linguafood suggests the best way forward - talk to your close friend. It'll be more productive than asking perfect strangers on the internet who know neither of you.

        1. Could you please expand on "she had to run"? :)

          4 Replies
          1. re: inaplasticcup

            Her husband asked her to help him fix the DVD player so she asked me to serve the cake. I personally find it rude to serve a store bought cake when your guest brought one. And the she did read my text because she mentioed when I got there that she forgot to reply. However the fact that she bought a cake when she normally doesn't means she knew . She knew I intended to bring something.

            1. re: cdes475

              Ok. So when you say she replied to other texts, does that mean other people also brought food? (Sorry so many questions. Trying to understand if this was a potluck type deal or if you're the only person who brought food to a dinner party she was hosting.)

              1. re: inaplasticcup

                I mean i sent her a text saying..."hey what are you making just to know what will accompany it" then 3 hours later i text and asked what time i should come. she replued...come between 6 and 7. Nobody else came just me and my boyfriend and her and her husband. it wasnt a formal dinner party plans were made that day.

                1. re: cdes475

                  Ahh. Ok. Well, given the fact set that's unfolded to this point, I think I might go with the people who think she had a hard time saying no to you (perhaps it's not in her culture to be so direct) when you asked if you can bring two things rather than asking if she'd like you to bring anything at all and possibly decided into the meal that she would like to assume more control over the evening. (Unless you guys always do it this way, then I'm with the people who think she was being *REALLY* passive aggressive.)

                  I don't think you were offensive, necessarily. Just might be an issue of differing culture and communication styles.

                  I can understand why you'd want to contribute given that you don't feel you're in a position to reciprocate at your place.

          2. I've got to say, I wouldn't appreciate a guest who offered to bring 2 complete dishes. I understand that you only intended to be generous but I would be annoyed and try politely to say no. As a guest, I wouldn't announce that my cake would be the dessert rather than the host's cake. Once you bring a gift of food, it's up to the host what to do with it.

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