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Old 09-06-2006, 07:14 PM   #1
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Unhappy Being a houseguest

I'm a child of the 60's. I was taught that if you borrowed something from a neighbour, you returned it. If you borrowed an ingredient, you gave them some of what you made, plus returned the ingredient. If you went visiting, you never ever went empty handed.

Oddly enough, I don't know many people who were taught this. Or the attitudes have changed along with the inability to pen a coherent thought complete with appropriate grammar.

My boyfriend and I (he's the same way I am...never go empty handed) were recently invited to a birthday/bbq. The invite clearly stated no gifts. Great. It also said plenty of food and beverages. Fine. Naturally, we stopped at a local bakery first. Closed for the holiday weekend. Same thing with the second bakery. We ended up at a diner, buying a $32 strawberry shortcake. I was happy to do it because it felt right. The hostess received it graciously. It was displayed with the other desserts. It made me happy to bring it, it made others happy to eat it.

But no one else did it. I've had parties and parties and parties here at home. If I invite 50 people, 5 will bring something. 5. What happened? Did I miss some social revolution where even the smallest gesture of a rose from one's own garden is considered too much effort?

I most surely am not trying to guilt anyone into a confession, but I do wonder... do people not consider it necessary to present a small gift when visiting? (I don't necessarily mean visiting family....)

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Old 09-06-2006, 07:18 PM   #2
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Hmmm I have not noticed this trend. Every party/bbq/event I have been to everyone has brought something to the host/hostess. Some bring beer or wine, some bring desserts, some bring flowers, but I can't think of a single person I know of who has ever showed up empty handed.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:28 PM   #3
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Verablue, the epidemic is way out west too. I like to bring gifties when visiting, usually fruit or flowers from my garden, or perhaps some cookies I've just baked. I have a couple of friends who are the same way, but many are not.
Kind of sad, I think. However, I'm going to keep my gifties coming, and maybe they'll catch on again
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:33 PM   #4
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I always bring something... I have to or I feel guilty the whole time I'm there. I also instist on helping with clean up. Even if it's just moving the dishes from the table to the kitchen.

Most of my friends are pretty helpful and bring things also.. but there are a few who don't bring anything and never offer to help. It bugs me.. but what can ya do?
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:41 PM   #5
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Vera, I agree. There seems to be a trend of "not so polite" or not as thoughtful. Like you and the others, I try and continue traditional gratitute. Some of our friends do, most don't. Sad but true.
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Old 09-06-2006, 07:48 PM   #6
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Vera Blue

Everyone I know brings something to a house party. To me it is in very poor taste not to bring something.

I am 64 year old and as long as I can remember my parents always brought something to a party, house warming or whatever.

I don't think the adults of today think - and I hate to say this but maybe they are cheap.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:03 PM   #7
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We never go empty-handed either. SO bakes or I bring a bottle of wine. Depends on where we're going.

I think it's a custom that started dieing out in the last quarter century and, besides, we're old fuddy duddys. Heck, we don't even wear white after Labor Day.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:06 PM   #8
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I bring things also, unless it's like Pampered Chef, which, the food is cooked by the rep by their recipe.
I know what you mean though, I've seen lots of people that don't bring stuff.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:09 PM   #9
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something is considered the norm...wine, flowers, a suggested item from the host or hostess, a hostess gift (cocktail napkins etc) ... yeh, it' s the norm.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.
We never go empty-handed either. SO bakes or I bring a bottle of wine. Depends on where we're going.

I think it's a custom that started dieing out in the last quarter century and, besides, we're old fuddy duddys. Heck, we don't even wear white after Labor Day.
I can top that, Andy...I never drink scotch before Thanksgiving or after Easter!
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:19 PM   #11
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Okay, then, I have another question then...

My father is first generation in America Italian. My mom is second generation. I always believed it was a european thing. In other words, people with an 'old world' nature seemed more apt to instruct their families on such pleasantries.

Or...is it something of a geographical thing? Done more in the suburbs?

Could it be financial? I've often seen the lower the income, the more generous...?

I do appreciate the conversation.

By the way...I often bring cookies to the nail salon...
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:22 PM   #12
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Oh Vera, please.....

...don't regulate us on the seasonal partaking of beverages, please...
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:28 PM   #13
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I concur, the Euro's are more traditional. But, sorry to say, this is changing. Not so quickly in the quaint villages, but more so in the more populace areas.

And yes, in America, I think the rural and suburb folk tend to hang on to values longer. But, the rural/suburbs/metro/whatever tend to mingle faster, due largely to fast transportation and communication (computers)

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Old 09-06-2006, 08:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeraBlue
Okay, then, I have another question then...

My father is first generation in America Italian. My mom is second generation. I always believed it was a european thing. In other words, people with an 'old world' nature seemed more apt to instruct their families on such pleasantries.

Or...is it something of a geographical thing? Done more in the suburbs?

Could it be financial? I've often seen the lower the income, the more generous...?

I do appreciate the conversation.

By the way...I often bring cookies to the nail salon...
Myself and my friends all pretyt much are 4th or 5th generation Americans or so. No one I know is first or second generation. For the most part we are middle class to upper middle class from the suburbs. Everyone brings something always.
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarionW
...don't regulate us on the seasonal partaking of beverages, please...
Permit me to explain......
My father would always drink a Manhattan on Thanksgiving. When I was young, he'd let me have the booze soaked cherry. As I grew, and grew to like the drink, it became a holiday special. Eventually, I switched to a rob roy because I like Johnny Walker better than whatever he was using..(I digress) but, it was still a winter treat.

To this day, I don't drink JW before Thanksgiving, and never after Easter...unless it get's real cold again after easter...or unless the bar we are at doesn't have the rum I'm in the mood for...or unless I get a serious craving. I never admit to cheating on this however. I'll have to kill you now
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VeraBlue
Permit me to explain......
My father would always drink a Manhattan on Thanksgiving. When I was young, he'd let me have the booze soaked cherry. As I grew, and grew to like the drink, it became a holiday special. Eventually, I switched to a rob roy because I like Johnny Walker better than whatever he was using..(I digress) but, it was still a winter treat.

To this day, I don't drink JW before Thanksgiving, and never after Easter...unless it get's real cold again after easter...or unless the bar we are at doesn't have the rum I'm in the mood for...or unless I get a serious craving. I never admit to cheating on this however. I'll have to kill you now
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
Myself and my friends all pretyt much are 4th or 5th generation Americans or so. No one I know is first or second generation. For the most part we are middle class to upper middle class from the suburbs. Everyone brings something always.
OK GB. I'm actually relieved to know it's not gender, race, ethnicity, etc. specific.

By the way, I'm still waiting for my Regina pizza
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:42 PM   #18
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Well, I'm no spring chicken, but I don't think I qualify as the proclaimed "fuddy duddy" (not my words!), but whenever we entertain or are invited to another's home, the travelling (sp? 1 "L" or 2? ) guest always brings something. Usually there is discussion before hand and what is brought is mutually decided (though on occassion it is left general, i.e. dessert, but no suggestions, etc.).

Sometimes we do pre-arranged pot luck with (DW's) family, but outside of that, nothing is brought unless its something someone is trying to get rid of (like the zucchini brownies one of my sister in law's made). Holidays celebrated with DW's fam have everyone bringing something as well, and the host prepares the bird and whatever else is not brought (again, all pre-arranged). With my folks, living 1500 miles away, we bring nothing but our suitcases and appetites. Regardless, I still wind up doing some of the cooking!
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:43 PM   #19
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OK, I was raised the same way and feel very odd when I don't bring something with me. HOWEVER...there have been times when I would bring flowers or some baking and have other guests make me feel like I'd committed a sin. I'm not sure if that was because they felt I'd upstaged them or what, but it is not just once this has happened.

I was always taught too that at a housewarming you brought traditional gifts like a plant or some salt.

It seems to me that we have certain friends that we KNOW aren't going to bring anything and don't WANT us to bring stuff over there. While there are others who are more traditional and like that exchange.

I once hosted a summer party and one guest arrived with a bouquet of flowers. Being the hostess I assumed they were for me and thanked the guest and put them in water. She looked so odd and I couldn't figure out why. I later realized that one of our guests was celebrating a birthday the next week and the flowers had been intended for her...not me. Oops. How embarrassing! On so many levels!
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Old 09-06-2006, 08:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by VeraBlue

By the way, I'm still waiting for my Regina pizza
Better check your mailmans chin to see if the sauce is still there
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