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Dinner guest peeve

I hosted Easter yesterday for about 15. A few days ago, an invited guest asked if she could bring her grown daughter with her (as well as her two young sons who were already coming). I agreed with no problem.

Yesterday, one of my first guests arrived to tell me that she had spoken to my friend (who was on her way) and that the friend asked her to tell me that her daughter was under the weather and so wouldn't be coming after all. This first guest then went on to tell me that they would, of course, expect to have the absent guest's dinner packed up and sent home with her mother. I told this first guest that I thought that was a rude request. I was told that I was being ridiculous.

I dropped it for the sake of a pleasant day (which is was) and braced myself for the follow-up request that I pack up a dinner. The request never came and I continued as if the request (from this first guest) had never been made.

Question: was I being ridiculous to think that this was a rude request? At the time, I had been up since 4am cooking and cleaning for everyone and I suppose I let my irritation show.

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  1. Ridiculously rude of it meant that you or your guests would have to monitor intake to allow for the takeout or if it would leave you with an unsatisfactory amount of left overs.

    A welcomed request if you, like my pseudo SIL, way over cooked and didn't know what to do with all the left overs. I helped her our by taking slices of cake and 1/2 doz mini cupcakes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: viperlush

      As it was, I have just enough left-overs to feed my family tonight. I'm looking forward to enjoying the meal without the work involved in serving, and I'm happy not to have to cook again.

      There is no way that I would have restricted anyone's helpings at the dinner to allow for the take-out order. I told everyone to eat up. And they did.

      1. re: lafarrell

        Glad you have enough for another meal. Bonus!
        I adore leftovers.

    2. No, you're not mistaken in that it was a completely rude request. Glad it worked out that the "to go" package for someone who was a last minute invite ended up being a not-to-go package.

      I would suspect that the first guest told the the other guest that the expected to-go package was not well received.

      1. Very rude. If the daughter was so sick then she didn't need food anyway.

        1 Reply
        1. re: kpaxonite

          That's my thought, too. Most people don't like the visual of food, let alone have an appetite.

          I'd feel like a crappy mom if I expected someone else to care for my sick child.
          Actually, I'd feel like a did a crappy job as a mom if my grown daughter couldn't feed herself when sick.
          It's not hard- open a can if you have to!

        2. I would never ask that dinner be packed up for a member of my family who was home sick and unable to attend.
          As a host, I would offer, however. If I had enough for leftovers, that is.

          The thing is, this daughter is a grown ass woman and should never expect you to feed her.

          Do you have any idea who this was coming from? The mom or the daughter?

          1 Reply
          1. re: monavano

            I have no idea who the request came from originally, since I didn't follow up on it. It's strange too since they didn't even know what I was serving. It may not have been her cup of tea anyway and the whole thing could have landed in the trash after all.

            This is a grown women who was home with her teenaged brother. They live down the street from a deli, so starvation was not a concern. What's more, the food would have been nearly two hours in the car and would not have arrived until nearly 8pm. I thought it was ridiculous, as well as rude.

          2. strange request - if phrased as "absent guest X LOVES your cooking and is sooo disappointed not to make it and would it be possible to..." that would seem ok to me but as an entitlement it's odd and rude. The request should have been made at the end of the meal in any case.

            1 Reply
            1. I think that the request was bizarre and presumptuous. As though the food was her due.

              It could have been asked-for much better..."Oh could I have some of that lovely roast beast to take home to Muffy?" You'd have taken no offense at that and given her the succotash as well.

              But in the spectrum of odd guest behavior it isn't so bad.

              1. You: right
                Them: wrong

                The severity of their wrongness depends on how everything was worded and how entitled they were acting.

                1. not a direct answer to your question, but

                  i never like games of "telephone."

                  you really don't even know the source of the request.

                  since the request was NEVER actually made to you by the purported source, the invitee with the daughter, i would shine it on/ forget about it.
                  i would go on the assumption that the request had never been made and would avoid finding ways to dwell on this issue (which clearly does nothing other than irritate you.)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: westsidegal

                    In fact, I don't blame the mother or the daughter, but the guest who arrived first who repeated the supposed request, and told me I was being ridiculous for my lack of compliance. I would not have passed on such a request (I would have told the originator that they can make their own request).

                    I have no idea how the original request was phrased. I only know that my first guest showed up to tell me that an absent guest expected to have a dinner packed, as if talking to a caterer. So, I can't and don't blame the mother or the daughter. They may very well have said something such as, "if there is enough left, and it's not too much trouble we'd love some," which is fine. You are absolutely correct: telephone, especially when passing on odd-ball requests, isn't a good idea.

                    1. re: lafarrell

                      the first guest, imho, lacks standing in the matter.

                    2. re: westsidegal

                      Telephone came mind immediately for me, too. Who knows what the mother (guest) actually said to the first guest. If it really was as blatant as stated, first guest should have declined to carry the message and kept mouth shut.

                      1. re: tcamp

                        I'm thinking that guest #1 was out of line for speaking on behalf of sick adult child's mother. Guest #1 then questioned and challenged the host's response, also bad form.
                        Why ADULT child couldn't pick up the phone is beyond me.
                        She pawned it off on Mommy, then Mommy pawned it off onto guest #1, with the message to tell the host she'd be expecting a "to go" dinner packed up.
                        They all sound like they need a talking to from Miss Manners.

                    3. Yes you were being ridiculous. (moderators, they asked) and on what is considered one of the most holy days of the year, if not the most holy day for Christians around the world.

                      Think about it. What would Jesus do?

                      I don't think I've ever hosted a holiday meal and not offered to fix up a care package for a shut in, a sick guest who couldn't attend, or someone who was on call and called to work. That's how we host.

                      10 Replies
                      1. re: Bellachefa

                        The difference is - YOU offered.

                        In this instance, it was the request/demand that was made by a third party (not the sick daughter, nor her mother).

                        1. re: LindaWhit

                          No, those are just details. I have often had guests ask to take something with them before I had gotten around to offer, "oh my mother in law loves lamb. would it be too much trouble to bring her a slice? oh my shut in neighbor adores lemon merengue pie..."

                          Here the OP was blinded by the messenger third party, so annoyed that she actually put effort into avoiding the subject. I stand by what would Jesus do - and I am agnostic. Jesus would have forgiven the third party messenger and would have offered to make a plate during post dinner cleanup.

                          1. re: Bellachefa

                            I respectfully disagree and believe the crux of the matter is to be told to pack dinner vs. offering.

                            1. re: Bellachefa

                              Since jesus healed the sick wouldnt he just make sure the daughter was feeling well enough to join? I dont think jesus would have sent leftovers. Further he might have called out the mother on being greedy and ungrateful.

                              1. re: kpaxonite

                                Jesus would have told guest #1 to stop being a buttinski.

                                1. re: monavano

                                  No he wouldn't have. Heck it was a buttinski (his mother) that talked him into turning water into wine for the bridal party. The bride didn't tell him to.

                                  1. re: Bellachefa

                                    Such a fun game!! Let's see what other Bible stories we can reference to support our "WWJD suppositions." I know -- the whole thing is moot because if Jesus had been there he would have multiplied the Easter dinner so that everyone had no choice but to take a to go plate, otherwise lefarrell would have been left with 12 baskets of bread crusts!

                                    1. re: charmedgirl

                                      Jesus wouldn't use plastic containers..to pack up leftovers. They are not environmentally friendly..... :/

                                      1. re: charmedgirl

                                        Plus, he would've turned water into wine and no one would be sober enough to complain :) Thank goodness His suppers seems to cap the guest list at 12. More than 12 is just too many multiplying miracles. Nobody likes a show off...

                                2. re: Bellachefa

                                  If Jesus had been there, you wouldn't have been celebrating Easter, since he wouldn't have been dead and gone back to heaven.

                            2. I show a TB show last night. He was in Vegas. He spoke with a woman who was a third generation barmaid with twenty something years experience. He asked "IYO how many people are crazy who come to your bar?". Her reply was: "Fifty/fifty".
                              When the word "ridiculous" exited the guests' mouth I would have told this guest get out of my house and my life. Seriously.
                              Time for you to jettison some of these losers. Don't waste another second on them.
                              Life is very short. If some one could sum up the number a minutes we have wasted attempting to deal with idiots 'for the sake of harmony' at the end of our lives. "Let's see. You wasted about three tears of your life trying to 'make nice' all in vain. What would you give to have those three years back pal?".
                              Just saying.
                              In my world. In my house people behave themselves and guess what? We all have a great time. Go figure.
                              I promise you on the last day of your life lying on your death bed some one will expect you to make them an omelette. " Make sure you make enough so I can take some to my sick brother. Not too runny though".

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Puffin3

                                TLDR: "Time for you to jettison some of these losers."

                                This is really the best advice anyone can ever offer somebody. Basically, quality > quantity. Don't hesitate to write somebody off quickly and never give them another thought or second of your time.

                                Also, it would really limit all these threads about people complaining about other people doing things that are incredibly gauche.

                                1. re: EatFoodGetMoney

                                  As I get older, I get wiser. Life is too short to put up with something like this.

                              2. Rude Request...............
                                You didn't invite the no show, why would you have any obligation to send a meal?
                                Even if a guest you invited was ill, you have no obligation to send home a meal for the no show.

                                People still don't get it, being invited to a private home for a meal is not the same as prepaying for a meal at a restaurant and asking that it be packed instead of consuming it on the premises.

                                21 Replies
                                1. re: bagelman01

                                  Yes! There are 2 parts to this.

                                  1) uninvited guest, that you graciously made room for when requested.

                                  2) 3rd party request (demand!) for this non-invitee's meal to-go.

                                  It seems that you planned a lovely meal to enjoy with company. You were mistaken, because clearly you were simply a caterer to them. (Yes, that was sarcasm...)

                                  1. re: cheesemonger

                                    I'd add the third party's rebuke to the very host in her own home!

                                    1. re: cheesemonger

                                      "It seems that you planned a lovely meal to enjoy with company. You were mistaken, because clearly you were simply a caterer to them. (Yes, that was sarcasm...)"

                                      I think this might have been better addressed to the OP. You can be sure that Bagelman wasn't hosting an Easter dinner....yes, that's also sarcasm

                                        1. re: Bellachefa

                                          Hosts get first dibs as far as I'm concerned. They deserve it! If they want to share, they will let you know. To demand is rude, and even somewhat strange to me.

                                          1. re: Bellachefa

                                            Moses didn't have to worry. He spent 40 years wandering in the desert and G-d sent down manna for everyone every day. No hosting, no cooking, no shopping. The no show would have rec'd her meal doirectly from above

                                          2. re: bagelman01

                                            This entire thread is so foreign to me.

                                            I can't think of one person (who's the same culture with traditions as I) who's not hopping at the chance to send home food for someone who's not feeling well or who doesn't come for one reason or another. If someone asked to do what's been described here I really can't imagine being upset about it.
                                            Lots of food is made at my home for events like this (although not Easter). Way more than is necessary.
                                            People ask/take and I love it.

                                            1. re: latindancer

                                              latindancer, while none of the other responses are wrong, I completely agree with you. I always make more than enough for everyone and even if a total stranger came to my door and asked for leftovers I would give it to them.

                                              Granted, I grew up in a culture where food was about sharing and sharing with anyone but I can understand if the OP does not have that philosophy or perhaps even financially cannot afford to share.

                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                So glad someone else stated this.
                                                I'm getting jumped in another thread for suggesting that I genuinely care about people's food choices, so I wasn't going to wade in here as the first "my [refrigerator] door is always open."
                                                Even if my cabinets most often resemble Hubbard's : )

                                                1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                  Your post reminds me of my 91 year old mother's mantra:

                                                  The key to being a good mother in law>>>>>>
                                                  Keep your mouth shut and your refrigerator open.

                                                  All her childrens' spouses love her

                                                  1. re: Kris in Beijing

                                                    I'm with you on this.

                                                    Everyone knows I love to cook and entertain in my family.
                                                    My refrigerator and pantry are always stocked with items I know everyone likes. It's my pleasure to cook favorites and make sure people are happy.
                                                    This is why this is so hard to digest.
                                                    While I understand the possible financial end of it I don't understand the spirit of it.
                                                    I always look back to my grandmother who lived during the Depression and was lucky enough to have food in the house (my grandfather had a job) but she someone fed anyone who came to the door looking for help without any judgment. It's the way I do it too.

                                                    1. re: latindancer

                                                      I love to "feed the world" but an oversized sense of entitlement will tick me off, every time.

                                                      1. re: coll

                                                        Yes, there is a difference between the generosity of spirit of giving food to an indigent stranger or welcoming a self-invited family member with nowhere else to spend a holiday meal with the situation described by the OP here. There is no reason to believe that the no-show daughter lacked the financial means to feed herself, and she did not even personally call to apologize for not being able to attend. If the OP had on her own offered to send a care package, bless her. But the friend of the mother had no business instructing the OP that she needed to do this.

                                                        1. re: masha

                                                          Exactly. As I noted above, offering is one thing. Being demanded of by a third party is quite another.

                                                          1. re: masha

                                                            You are confusing *manners* versus sharing food with someone on one of the holiest of Christian holidays that espouses the sharing of food.

                                                            1. re: masha

                                                              <But the friend of the mother had no business instructing the OP that she needed to do this>

                                                              But, doesn't the non cooperation of the OP further complicate the matter?
                                                              So what if the person interfered? How about just giving the food away and let it be on the person who asked?
                                                              This just seems petty to me. It's Easter…a holiday. A day of giving with no judgement.
                                                              The fact that it was stated 'I'd been up cooking and cleaning for everyone' seemed like there just wasn't any more room for generosity.

                                                              1. re: latindancer

                                                                "This just seems petty to me. It's Easter…a holiday. A day of giving with no judgement."

                                                                Excellent point. Why even celebrate the holiday if one is then going to get so worked up about sharing and placing judgement upon others. That is definitely not the spirit of the particular holiday.

                                                            2. re: coll

                                                              Things are much different today versus The Great Depression.
                                                              Nobody came knocking at my grandparents' door asking for food….they came asking for work and would work for food.
                                                              I don't 'feed the world'. I'm generous to a degree and once I feel the person's attempting to use me or take advantage of my generosity I stop. They actually never get far enough to test it.
                                                              I still don't get the OP's dilemma though. It's just not a big deal…it happened once so let it go.

                                                        2. re: latindancer

                                                          as I stated earlier, the B family doesn't do Easter, In fact at sundown we just concluded the Passover holiday. It was not a huge crowd this year, we only served 288 extra meals...12 house guests for 8 days x 3 meals per day.

                                                          The Passover seder begins with the telling of the exodus from Egypt: The leader lifts the Matzo and proclaims:

                                                          "This is the bread of affliction that our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat"

                                                          It's about welcoming in guests known or unknown to share in the holiday meal and telling of the story of the Exodus from Slavery in Egypt. It's NOT> for those who find it inconvenient, let them request and I'll send home a meal. That defeats the purpose of the holiday and the ritual.

                                                          This is different than the rest of the year where we routinely cook and send meals to elderly and sick relatives, neighbors and coworkers. In fact we have one small freezer that is always stocked with 1lb cooked meals and both pints and quarts of soup. Mrs. B has her own 'meals on wheels' program without government funding or support.

                                                          1. re: bagelman01


                                                            Yes, thank you. I've been celebrating Passover (Pesach) all my life and am very educated in the reason(s) for doing so.
                                                            The purpose of my post was to respond to a meal that, not only was requested, but was questioned as to whether or not it was inappropriate to not fill the request.
                                                            That part of it was foreign to me…

                                                        3. re: bagelman01

                                                          Sorry 'bout that bagelman! It started as a reply/thumbs up to your post and kind of morphed.

                                                    2. Since your friend never asked for leftovers for her daughter, I question whether or not she asked in the first place. It's quite possible the first guest editorialized your friend's comments; either that or that first guest lacks a filter. Either way--first guest was ridiculous and not you.

                                                        1. Thanks to all who replied. This was, hopefully, just one of those oddball situations, but you all helped to clarify for me that I wasn't wrong to be annoyed.

                                                          If you are invited to someone's home (or in this case, invited yourself), you come and enjoy the hospitality that is offered. You don't arrive with your hand out for more, and if you don't show up, you don't show up. Being invited to someone's house for dinner is nice thing. Accept it graciously without insinuating that the host could in fact being doing more for you.

                                                          It is up to the host to make any offers -- whether for leftover food, bottles of wine, artwork, or whatever else she is willing to provide to her guests as a take-away. If the hosts want to wrap up the leftovers for the next day's dinner, provide care packages to shut-in neighbors, or whatever, that is up to them. They don't need to ask what Jesus would do and they should not be expected to provide meals for her guests' at-home children, neighbors, or whatever.

                                                          In this case, a grown woman secured an invitation for herself through her mother. She never even bothered to call to express thanks for being included or to ask if there was anything she could bring. On the day of the event, she backed out, again without calling, and saying through a third party that she wasn't up to it. No worries, but expecting a packed meal in this case is a bit much. I don't cook enough food that I am desperate to give it away. I cook enough to feed my guests generously and for a small amount of leftovers, and that's it.

                                                          Again, it's the fault of the guest who seemed anxious to pass on this ridiculous request. Many thanks again to all of you. It's appreciated.

                                                          17 Replies
                                                          1. re: lafarrell

                                                            Thanks for posting your follow up thoughts.
                                                            It was an interesting situation.

                                                            1. re: lafarrell

                                                              If you're giving away artwork, I'm definitely inviting myself ;)

                                                              1. re: Hobbert

                                                                I would have offered to pre-chew it for her and spit it into a Zip lock. But I am old. And people seem to expect things like this from an old fart.

                                                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                  I can't wait to be old just so I can be ridiculous and people will chalk it up to cute, elderly lady shenanigans.

                                                                  1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                    Ya. Put everything in a food blender and turn it into soup.
                                                                    You know. For some one too ill to take in solid food. LOL

                                                                    1. re: Puffin3

                                                                      LOL, Puffin3. I can just see the look of disappointment on the face of the recipient when they open the tupperware expecting to see separate courses of an Easter dinner but instead see a weird looking soup made of everything from salad to ham to chocolate cake. :-)

                                                                      1. re: Fowler

                                                                        I really think this is the best solution, if you could keep it together long enough to carry it out. Get well soon!

                                                                2. re: lafarrell

                                                                  Agree wholeheartedly. It is not even clear to me that the uninvited plus-one was truly ill. She was described as "under the weather." My reaction was that she might just have received a better invitation (or invited herself elsewhere) and decided not to accept the invitation to your place that her mother had solicited. But even if you had directly invited her in the first place, it would be nervy to request that you provide a to-go meal if she could not attend.

                                                                  1. re: masha

                                                                    Or maybe she didn't know that she was expected at the OP's for dinner. Her mom asked for the invite and a different friend of the OP passed on the mothers message that the daughter wasn't attending.

                                                                  2. re: lafarrell

                                                                    I just read your thread. What confuses me, without know the relationship of the first guest to the mother and daughter, is why the first guest made a request for food on behalf of someone else in the first place?

                                                                    We hosted an all family gathering for 14 on Easter. Since I was singing in the church choir (with my father, brother and SIL) I decided to make things easier by serving Sunday Italian Dinner and just reheating and boiling pasta. Other family members brought salad and antipasti. It was a stress free meal. Especially when another SIL decided to wash much of the cookware. (She and my brother's family were also house guests.)

                                                                    I also made it kind of fun by handing out door prizes.

                                                                    1. re: John E.

                                                                      Door prizes? Sign me up!

                                                                      We know that guest #1 was asked by adult child's mother to relay the message that adult daughter was "under the weather' and expecting dinner to go.

                                                                      Why on earth an adult can't call the OP, who is the host, who graciously offered to host her, and who apparently was ill, couldn't call herself, is truly unknown.

                                                                      1. re: John E.

                                                                        For every NAF post about rude guests, etc involving holiday meals, I assume that there are 100s of CH who had a wonderfully festive holiday meal with their friends and family - the "silent majority" if you will. We did not do anything as creative as door prizes and I shoo everyone out of my kitchen who wants to help with clean up, but we hosted a lovely family dinner on Sunday, in which my SIL brought various cheeses and assorted apps, and her (adult) daughter -- my niece -- helped with preparation of main courses that were still in progress when they arrived. We spent more than an hour sitting at the table, catching up, laughing, and doing what happy families do -- enjoying each other's company.

                                                                        1. re: masha

                                                                          My father really enjoyed the day because he got to spend it with his children and grandchildren (except for two, one in Philadelphia and one in Portland, Oregon.)

                                                                      2. re: lafarrell

                                                                        Well, it appears your thoughts and actions are validated from the looks of this thread.
                                                                        So good for you!

                                                                        1. re: latindancer

                                                                          I know I should not speak for the OP, but if I was in the same situation I would be a little annoyed because it seems that the plate of food for the daughter was put as a demand and by someone who should not be making such a demand. If the mother berself had made a simple request for the food and thanked the host for extending an invitatation to the daughter I think the reaction (mine) would have been different.

                                                                          1. re: John E.

                                                                            <I would have been a little annoyed>

                                                                            The OP just ignored the request and then was angry enough to start a thread to, presumably, get some backing and validate their own behavior.
                                                                            I'm much more inclined (always actually) to have confronted and calmly talked it out rather than be passive-aggressive and walk away irritated.

                                                                        2. re: lafarrell

                                                                          >>>you all helped to clarify for me that I wasn't wrong to be annoyed<<<

                                                                          Apparently you did not read many of the replies, lafarrell.

                                                                        3. Completely rude. I might feel differently if it was a close family member, and I might have offered in that case

                                                                          1. Assuming you don't know the daughter or her mom that well, meaning as well as family or other friend who could say something like that half-seriously and get away with it .... then I think you had the right attitude about it. You might have said, "sure, if there are leftovers I'll be happy to send them home" -- and that way, no one would know how rude the request was except you, and in the scheme of things such a trivial infraction that you could hopefully just forgive and forget, or chalk it up to their bad manners or your own great cooking!!

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: nisseifoodie

                                                                              Yes, how about letting the host get through the meal before placing dibs on leftovers.
                                                                              This isn't as bad as another thread about someone bellying up to the table and immediately squirreling leftovers away!

                                                                            2. At least they were family. I had a family member ask to take leftovers to her co-workers!! She was going on shift and would scarf up food that would have been a couple dinners for my parents (on limited income.) We stopped that by hitting the leftovers before she got to them because my mother never would have refused her.

                                                                              It really was over the top.

                                                                              1. I'm irritated for you. dumb request and more b@ll$y than I'd even be........
                                                                                it was none of the buttinski's business in the first place to bring the subject up. if it's a true request, the person with the idiotic request makes it in person to you at which point I would have said, "uh............"

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: iL Divo

                                                                                  It would have been genuine if the guest called, apologized for not being able to make it and asked for a handout herself because she's not up to making decent food herself.
                                                                                  'I'm really going to miss your wonderful meal. Would you mind packing a plate for me if you have leftovers?"

                                                                                2. Yes rude... if there were enough leftovers, pack them up a doggy bag to take to the invalid, but it's rude to demand it.

                                                                                  1. Actually this reminds me of our last trip down to FL to visit my BF's parents. Due to a cancelled flight we ended up spending two extra nights with them. The first night we were able to join them and their friends for dinner at a restaurant the second night an old family friend was having a dinner party. Not wanting to leave us out, and without asking us, BF's mom called the host to see if we could join them for just pre dinner cocktails and snacks, not dinner. When she told us we said no thank you, tired of hanging out with the old people and would rather stay home with the dog and relax.

                                                                                    Maybe the friend's daughter didn't know that she was expected to attend. Maybe the friend used " she's sick" as an excuse instead of explaining that. And maybe friend two misunderstood or decided to push the OP's buttons by saying take out was requested.

                                                                                    I still think the OP handled it well.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: viperlush

                                                                                      viper - that theory fills in a few gaps: interloper friend believes the white lie of being 'sick' and thinks "oh too bad as she won't get to have any of the OP's food" and inserts those 2 cents into the (by now messed up) lines of communication, posing the misplaced concern of absent inclusion as a necessity on someone else's shoulders.