homepage
  roll on christmas  
click here to find out more about ship of fools click here to sign up for the ship of fools newsletter click here to support ship of fools
community the mystery worshipper gadgets for god caption competition foolishness features ship stuff
discussion boards live chat cafe avatars frequently-asked questions the ten commandments gallery private boards register for the boards
 
Ship of Fools


Post new thread  Post a reply
My profile login | | Directory | Search | FAQs | Board home
   - Printer-friendly view Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
» Ship of Fools   » Ship's Locker   » Limbo   » Heaven: Dear Sine... (Page 12)

 - Email this page to a friend or enemy.  
Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  ...  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  ...  25  26  27 
 
Source: (consider it) Thread: Heaven: Dear Sine...
Catrine
Shipmate
# 9811

 - Posted      Profile for Catrine     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
If I go to the bother of hosting a dinner party I do expect some kind of placatory gift of alcohol or other.

I make considerable effort and the drinks will flow freely despite my financial situation, so to come empty handed and contribute in drinking 9 bottles of my wine, I find infuriating.

Maybe that might seem selfish on my part, but I think that it is only good manners given that there were 4 of us eating and two of us live there.

I mean your company is marvellous, but it seems like you are freeloading otherwise.

Posts: 2614 | From: Midlands | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Sine Nomine*

Ship's backstabbing bastard
# 3631

 - Posted      Profile for Sine Nomine*   Email Sine Nomine*       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catrine:
I mean your company is marvellous, but it seems like you are freeloading otherwise.

Oh dear! I hardly know what to say. Gracious. Oh my. Uhm...

Well you see, theoretically you did invite them for their company. I'm thinking any host or hostess who feels like their invited guests are freeloading probably shouldn't be entertaining. The whole point (supposedly) is to give pleasure to one's friends.

There is, of course, the supposition that they will at some point in the future entertain you in return. That's why they don't need to bring anything to, uh, "pay" (oh dear) for their meal up front.

Although people do frequently bring wine to help replenish one's cellar. But I'd rather they invited me back for dinner.

(Now all of that said, in this day and age if I know I'm being invited to a very casual get-together, I'll ask if I can bring something. I don't actually expect to be taken up on the offer though. Not since student days.)

I'm sorry. I have to go lie down now.

Posts: 10696 | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Campbellite

Ut unum sint
# 1202

 - Posted      Profile for Campbellite   Email Campbellite   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Sine, would a cold compress on your fevered brow be any help?

--------------------
I upped mine. Up yours.
Suffering for Jesus since 1966.
WTFWED?

Posts: 12001 | From: between keyboard and chair | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alfred E. Neuman

What? Me worry?
# 6855

 - Posted      Profile for Alfred E. Neuman     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I'm guessing his brow is plenty cool. Maybe a fevered compress would help. Oh, nevermind. This is heaven.

--------------------
--Formerly: Gort--

Posts: 12954 | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Janine

The Endless Simmer
# 3337

 - Posted      Profile for Janine   Email Janine   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
are we sure it's his brow that needs compression?

--------------------
I'm a Fundagelical Evangimentalist. What are you?
Take Me Home * My Heart * An hour with Rich Mullins *

Posts: 13788 | From: Below the Bible Belt | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Alfred E. Neuman

What? Me worry?
# 6855

 - Posted      Profile for Alfred E. Neuman     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Yes, his discretion knows no bounds. [Overused]

--------------------
--Formerly: Gort--

Posts: 12954 | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
jlg

What is this place?
Why am I here?
# 98

 - Posted      Profile for jlg   Email jlg   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Dear Sine,

Since we are all recovering from the recent unpleasant situation, may I pose a more philosophical question.

Due to the combination of normal breakage and loss, combined with the particular eating habits in our household which favor particular dishes and utensils, our stock of everyday dishes and cutlery has become extremely lopsided -- the things we use the most are the ones we have the least number of.

I have been debating about breaking into the good china and the silverplate to make up the gaps, but hesitate to infect those sets with this same virus of loss.

On the other hand, I truly can't imagine either of my children giving a hoot about any of this stuff (they have refused to learn how to cook, much less entertain).

Would it be a sin to move some teaspoons from the Pacific Cloth drawer to the caddy on the kitchen countertop?

Abjectly,

Jennifer

Posts: 17391 | From: Just a Town, New Hampshire, USA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Catrine
Shipmate
# 9811

 - Posted      Profile for Catrine     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Apologies Sine, on a bit of a selfish wave there. Perhaps I should invite you round for a cup of tea ( and I won't expect you to bring any biscuits ).

The error of my ways are now apparent... [Hot and Hormonal]

Posts: 2614 | From: Midlands | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

 - Posted      Profile for Rat   Email Rat   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sine Nomine:
(Now all of that said, in this day and age if I know I'm being invited to a very casual get-together, I'll ask if I can bring something. I don't actually expect to be taken up on the offer though. Not since student days.)

I'm sorry. I have to go lie down now.

I hope you are feeling better now.

I definitely think we've hit one of those cultural things. I've never in my life hosted a party (dinner or casual) where I didn't end up with more alcohol and food left over than I started with. Nor, to my memory, did my parents.

This is even if you say, outright, don't bring a thing, it's all in hand - everybody does anyway. They just do, anything else would be unthinkable. Nibbles, desserts, pies, bottles of vodka, all sorts.

I'd no more think of turning up at someone's house without at least nibbles and wine than I'd fly in the air. (And possibly a gift for the hostess as well, depending on the occasion. I'd advise against flowers - there's nothing more annoying than having to find vases for flowers while simultaneously greeting new arrivals and finishing preparations).

I'll bear in mind that in other places (possibly even other bits of the UK?) this would be terribly de trop.

--------------------
It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

Posts: 5285 | From: A dour region for dour folk | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

 - Posted      Profile for Rat   Email Rat   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Sorry, just wanted to add that round here being explicitly 'taken up on the offer' would not be unacceptable either.

I know a lot of people who throw 'everybody bring a dish' type dinner parties and it is not considered bad form at all. The only reason I don't do it myself is that I enjoy cooking for company.

We're not students either [Biased]

--------------------
It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

Posts: 5285 | From: A dour region for dour folk | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sine Nomine*

Ship's backstabbing bastard
# 3631

 - Posted      Profile for Sine Nomine*   Email Sine Nomine*       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by jlg:
Due to the combination of normal breakage and loss, combined with the particular eating habits in our household which favor particular dishes and utensils, our stock of everyday dishes and cutlery has become extremely lopsided -- the things we use the most are the ones we have the least number of.

Would it be a sin to move some teaspoons from the Pacific Cloth drawer to the caddy on the kitchen countertop?

If it were sterling I'd say move away. Sterling is immortal. I'm working off a set from the 1890s that's in fine shape and I could use it every day if I wanted to. The only reason I don't is that it really should be hand-washed and I don't want to do that. The same is true of your plate, but more so. The dishwasher will remove the plating over time.

But you never know how people are going to grow and change. For years my sister sniffed at "nice things" but now really enjoys using them. My younger brother and sister-in-law think paper plates are just fine for Thanksgiving dinner, yet certainly grabbed their share of heirlooms when we broke up my mother's house. They wanted them for their daughters.

Your good china and silver may have sentimental value for your kids down the road, especially if you use for important family occasions and they associate with their childhood and happy family memories.

Or possibly just something to fight over when you're gone. Don't deprive them of that pleasure. That can be a family tradition of a sort too.

Posts: 10696 | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sine Nomine*

Ship's backstabbing bastard
# 3631

 - Posted      Profile for Sine Nomine*   Email Sine Nomine*       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rat:
I'd no more think of turning up at someone's house without at least nibbles and wine than I'd fly in the air...

...I know a lot of people who throw 'everybody bring a dish' type dinner parties and it is not considered bad form at all.

Giving a friend a gift is always nice. And it may indeed be cultural or depend on the locale. The law I was brought up with was that you invited your hosts back to dinner at your house within a month, as well as writing them a note the very next day saying how lovely their dinner was and how much you appreciated being invited. If every one fulfilled their social obligations what a lovely world it would be. One would hardly have to cook.

But in these fallen times, when good help is so hard to find and ladies seem to enjoy the hurley-burley of the workplace instead of planning lovely dinners and receptions with their staff for the entertainment of their friends, the covered-dish dinner is a fact of life. They can be quite enjoyable. Actually I like being able to concentrate on making just one really nice dish to take to a friend's house, or not having to worry about a first course or the dessert when I'm having people over.

I guess that will have to do until we all win the lottery and can stay home and enjoy a proper social life.

Posts: 10696 | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

 - Posted      Profile for Ariel   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rat:
I'd no more think of turning up at someone's house without at least nibbles and wine than I'd fly in the air. (And possibly a gift for the hostess as well, depending on the occasion.

Absolutely. I would never visit anyone empty-handed - friend or relative, meal or stay, even cup of tea, I will always bring something, either something that can be used/eaten/drunk then, or else as a gift for the host.

If I invite someone round I am acting as host so I expect to provide everything. If they bring something, that is a bonus but I will always supply anything that might be needed. Yes, you may end up with extras, but that is fine. The whole point of being a host is that you are hospitable. It is presumably a bit of an occasion so you make an effort.

If I invite someone to lunch in a restaurant I usually expect to pay for them, too, unless it's one of those "split the bill" lunches or a group of people going out by common consent. But if I were to invite people to come out for lunch for my birthday I would not expect them to pay for the meal, I would tell them so, and would come prepared accordingly - whatever the actual outcome.

quote:
I'll bear in mind that in other places (possibly even other bits of the UK?) this would be terribly de trop.
It may be a cultural clash but I don't care, I think it is rude to just turn up, stuff your face then clear off again having done nothing but contribute your presence. If ever I treated anyone like that, I would in effect be saying I had little time for them and had only come for the food. And I think it is particularly bad form to invite people to dinner or your party and charge them for it.
Posts: 25445 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Suze

Ship's Barmaid
# 5639

 - Posted      Profile for Suze   Email Suze   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I agree, I'd never turn up for dinner empty handed. Usually there's a bottle of wine and a gift for the lady of the house in recognition of the fact they are putting themselves out for you. I would also return the favour by asking them to dinner shortly thereafter.

--------------------
' You stay here and I'll go look for God, that won't be hard cos I know where he's not, and I will bring him back with me , then he'll listen , then he'll see' Richard Shindell

Posts: 2603 | From: where the angels sleep | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Ferijen
Shipmate
# 4719

 - Posted      Profile for Ferijen   Email Ferijen   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Sine, it looks as though when you do come and visit us folks this side of the pond (the QM2 is apparently the way to go if you don't do big metal birds in the sky, and gosh, you might even be met at the port by a local shipmate), you're going to have to bring a selection of gifts for all those dinners you'll be invited to for us to inspect your dinner table etiquette.

Can't you see it? Sine does a teach-manners-to-the-Brits tour of the UK, giving useful titbits about how to respond to Aunty Belle's simply hideous gift or how to use those particular forks which have been sitting in the dresser these past 50 years...

Posts: 3259 | From: UK | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

 - Posted      Profile for Ariel   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ferijen:
and gosh, you might even be met at the port by a local shipmate

"Might"?

Etiquette suggests that he would have to be met by a carefully chosen, perfectly dressed and extremely polite and knowledgeable shipmate who will then make sure he gets to wherever he is staying, if locally, probably by escorting him there in person. It goes without saying that said shipmate must offer to help with the luggage, while equally Sine must decline. A compromise should be reached without loss of temper or baggage on either side.

As a guest in said shipmate's country, said shipmate will naturally pay for the taxi or bus (if wanted) or else refuse in no uncertain terms any offer that Sine may make to contribute to the petrol of the car (if a longish journey by shipmate's car: for short journeys this is not required). Sine will naturally find something complimentary to say about the means of transport, while the shipmate will point out a few carefully chosen features of interest on the journey and will have planned the route very carefully so as while not to take too long, also not to take too dull a route so as to give the best impression of the area to someone who is visiting it for the first time.

As for the shipmate, it would not normally be considered proper for an unmarried female shipmate to meet him unaccompanied, however in this instance it might be permissible provided she is properly attired. In this case a warm handshake is all that is necessary by way of greeting. Gifts are not required on the first meeting, and hats may be removed in the car.

Said shipmate must then make inquiries about Sine's agenda, helping with arrangements where necessary, discreetly suggesting alternatives in the event of Sine having unwittingly made unwise choices about where to go and who to see, and leaving him at the door of wherever he is staying with full contact details so that in the event of an emergency or if he gets bored he can ring the shipmate up in the middle of the night about it.

That should cover the first 20 minutes of his arrival, I think.

Posts: 25445 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ferijen
Shipmate
# 4719

 - Posted      Profile for Ferijen   Email Ferijen   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Rules me out then. Never been discreet in my life and don't think I could possibly find appropriate clothing for the occasion.

Phew...

Posts: 3259 | From: UK | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged
Telepath
Ship's Steamer Trunk
# 3534

 - Posted      Profile for Telepath   Email Telepath   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It is extremely nice to bring your host/ess a gift, but you don't actually owe it to them, nor do you owe it to them to provide wine and snacks, even though everyone in the UK assumes that you do. Everyone in the UK also assumes that it's rude to say no to people, or to be direct in any situation whatsoever, but that doesn't mean it is. You're only required to stump up a gift if you're staying overnight. This is as true for UK etiquette as it is for US etiquette.

And I don't want anyone to think that I'm objecting to bring-a-dish suppers, either. Neither is Sine. These things are usually the result of a collective decision to engage in collective action.

What does bother me is being handed a printed 'invitation' to somebody's housewarming, or New Year's Eve party, with the terms and conditions written thereon: "Please bring something to eat or drink." Or "Amanita's birthday is on Thursday and she wants to invite you all to lunch at the Golden Wok. It costs about £SMALLINT per head for two courses and..."

In other words, "I want a party, please throw one for me." I wouldn't consider unilaterally deciding to throw a party and then issuing invitations that specified an entrance fee, because I can't imagine why anyone would turn up.

If the party I'm being asked to throw for someone else represents a special occasion, or I happen to be feeling affectionate towards them, then if I can possibly manage it, I will invite them over/out and entertain them at my own expense at a separate occasion a few days later.

There is, however, strictly no way that I'm going to spend an afternoon of my copious free time shopping and cooking, and an hour or more travelling with a covered dish, simply because somebody else has stipulated that that is the price of spending an evening with them.

I also kind of wish that people wouldn't be so reluctant to accept hospitality. I've told people, "no, honestly, that's very kind of you, but I've got everything covered. Just bring yourself," only to get the response, "Well, Murgatroyd and I are definitely bringing our own booze!" after I've just gone out and bought loads of wine, and made a Halloween rum punch with a frozen hand emerging from it. (I mean, it's not nearly as easy to get a frozen hand as they make it look on Buffy.)

I'm not complaining about the over-generosity of my guests, you understand - just nonplussed. I can't tell if they hate my choice of wine, or they simply can't stand the idea of turning up and providing nothing but their own company, as if they were not good enough in themselves. But I do wish they would just let me give to them, once in a while. I mean, I want to. They're my friends.

--------------------
Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

Posts: 3509 | From: East Anglia | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
BroJames
Shipmate
# 9636

 - Posted      Profile for BroJames   Email BroJames   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ariel:
quote:
Originally posted by ferijen:
and gosh, you might even be met at the port by a local shipmate

"Might"?

Etiquette suggests ... said shipmate must offer to help with the luggage, while equally...

No said shipmate will arrive accompanied by previously chartered porter, and will forestall Sine on the tip.

On invites to dinner, I think this is a local custom thing - but a gift only needs to be a token of appreciation - chocs, wine, flowers, home-made preserves etc.

Offers to supply a course are generally turned down, the only exception being where one couple are unable to accept a return invitation due to child care issues - in which case the offer to provide starter. sweet or (more rarely) main part of main course may be accepted as a gracious way of allowing the others to offer something by way of hospitality

Posts: 3374 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
John Donne

Renaissance Man
# 220

 - Posted      Profile for John Donne     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I think I need to lie down too.

I don't know about bringing food unbidden to the host - would you be indicating doubt as to their ability to feed you adequately?

Uncouple the gift giving from the invitation to eat - lest it look like you are trying to pay your way - which is an affront to your host's hospitality. Far better to drop in a few days later with some produce from your garden/fishing trip/preserving etc. (Shows that you think of your friend and want to share your good things with them).

Posts: 13667 | From: Perth, W.A. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alfred E. Neuman

What? Me worry?
# 6855

 - Posted      Profile for Alfred E. Neuman     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
How embarrassing. I shouldn't be allowed to mix with polite society. [Frown]

--------------------
--Formerly: Gort--

Posts: 12954 | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

 - Posted      Profile for Rat   Email Rat   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Nobody's going to shut the door in your face because you didn't bring enough Pringles, no. So in that sense it isn't owed. But it is a normal standard of behaviour round here.

So surely there is an issue here about who defines etiquette? If everybody in your peer group, and in your family's peer group, thinks it is de rigeur to bring whiskey and fruit cake when you visit, or if splitting the bill in the restaurant is normal practise, then how can some external authority tell you differently?

Surely at some point what the majority does becomes etiquette, and determinedly following some other standard, to the point of being considered rude, becomes bad manners?

--------------------
It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

Posts: 5285 | From: A dour region for dour folk | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
John Donne

Renaissance Man
# 220

 - Posted      Profile for John Donne     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Er, it could just be a British thing.

I don't think there is any risk of this 'majority' standard becoming prevalent in Mediterranean, Balkan, Middle Eastern or US Southern social groups.

Posts: 13667 | From: Perth, W.A. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Codepoet

Best Bear On Board
# 5964

 - Posted      Profile for Codepoet   Email Codepoet   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Sine Nomine:
...Although people do frequently bring wine to help replenish one's cellar...

This always poses something of a problem for me as I do not drink. So when I get invited out, I take wine (which I would not normally have around the house). Then I invite them back, meaning I need to fill the house with wine to keep my guests well oiled, and of course my guests will bring more wine as a gift, which I also can't drink. I am having 2 sets of folks over for supper next week. My house is going to feel like a wine exchange.

--------------------
It's more important to be kind than to be right.

Posts: 1156 | From: Southampton | Registered: May 2004  |  IP: Logged
Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

 - Posted      Profile for Rat   Email Rat   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Sorry, double posting again, when will I learn.

Just wanted to add - in my particular peer-group and in contrast to pretty much everybody else on the thread I think, inviting a bunch of people out to a restaurant then insisting on paying for them all would, I think, be seen as ostentatious and probably cause resentment. Unless the payer was your dad or something.

If you're all of about the same status, you'd expect to share the bill, I think, all other things being equal.

--------------------
It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

Posts: 5285 | From: A dour region for dour folk | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

 - Posted      Profile for Rat   Email Rat   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Coot:
Er, it could just be a British thing.

I don't think there is any risk of this 'majority' standard becoming prevalent in Mediterranean, Balkan, Middle Eastern or US Southern social groups.

I'm sure there isn't. I only meant a local majority! Other people can of course have different norms, that was kind of my point.

--------------------
It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

Posts: 5285 | From: A dour region for dour folk | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

 - Posted      Profile for Ariel   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Coot:
I don't know about bringing food unbidden to the host - would you be indicating doubt as to their ability to feed you adequately?

Uncouple the gift giving from the invitation to eat - lest it look like you are trying to pay your way - which is an affront to your host's hospitality. Far better to drop in a few days later with some produce from your garden/fishing trip/preserving etc.

I would say it's fine to bring a sort of accessory to the festivities like wine or biscuits or even cheese. It is not a good idea (at least IMO) to bring a main course or substantial contribution unless previously arranged, as it looks as if you have doubts about the host's ability to provide for you. Also, you don't want to be seen to be taking over, you're a guest not the host.

(What if they've gone to the trouble of cooking something reasonably impressive, worked out suitable veg and so on, and you turn up with a casserole, or something that you then discover some of the other guests can't eat for whatever reason?)

[ 25. August 2005, 15:13: Message edited by: Ariel ]

Posts: 25445 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Telepath
Ship's Steamer Trunk
# 3534

 - Posted      Profile for Telepath   Email Telepath   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
So if you bring brandy and angel cake instead of whisky and fruit cake, when "everyone" in your circle has decreed the latter to be correct, are you in the wrong? Will your friends excuse your faux pas? Or will they not and say they did?

People really overestimate the extent to which their personal assumptions and social habits are shared by "everyone". I think it is better to recognize personal standards and common practice as just what they are - personal standards and common practice - rather than trying to elevate them to principles of etiquette that should be obvious to anyone with a modicum of couth.

What I see happening in practice, because I have several non-overlapping circles of friends, is a bunch of little groups doing everything according to their various personal standards, for years and years. This is fine as long as you stay within those little groups, but I then observe members of those groups becoming confused and upset when they interact with some other group with some other slightly different set of standards.

Honest - I've seen people nearly in tears, either enraged because somebody else failed to divine their unwritten personal preferences, or embarrassed because they failed to divine the unwritten norms of some other group, which other group they then blame for having "wrong" ideas about how to do things. Or, most ironically, for being too "formal", even though in most cases nothing "formal" has taken place and even though "formal" standards are, at least, codified and easily discoverable in a way that personal standards are not, and would, at least, have saved them the trouble of causing (real or imagined) embarrassment unintentionally.

It's worse than ethnocentricity - it's idiocentricity. IMHO if many of the people I know were to overcome their snobbery long enough to take seriously the idea of at least reading an etiquette book, they might still want to interact according to their personal preferences, but there'd be a little less confusion and a lot more fun.

--------------------
Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

Posts: 3509 | From: East Anglia | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

 - Posted      Profile for RuthW     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I always thought the idea behind etiquette was to make social interaction easier. But honestly, all these ideas about what's required and expected, especially the unspoken things, make me want to stay home and eat dinner alone for the rest of my life.
Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Telepath
Ship's Steamer Trunk
# 3534

 - Posted      Profile for Telepath   Email Telepath   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
It would make social interaction easier, if people knew what it was and agreed to use it.

--------------------
Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

Posts: 3509 | From: East Anglia | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

 - Posted      Profile for Rat   Email Rat   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Telepath:
So if you bring brandy and angel cake instead of whisky and fruit cake, when "everyone" in your circle has decreed the latter to be correct, are you in the wrong? Will your friends excuse your faux pas? Or will they not and say they did?

Certainly not, why would you think that? But if you went to three gatherings in a row where everybody except you brought something, wouldn't you do the same?

I'm not pronouncing what's right or wrong. I'm quite sanguine about the idea that if I went to Tulsa or Provence or Ulan Bator I'd make all sorts of little social mistakes and have to adjust to some local mores. And I'm quite sure anybody worth knowing would be tolerant of my funny foreign habits until that adjustment happened.

It just seems silly to me to judge a dinner party in Thurso by standards prevalent in Runcorn, or vice versa. And it would seem a terrible shame to miss out on fun everyone else was having because the bar or catering or payment arrangements aren't to your taste.

Any road, this isn't what this thread is about and I apologise for helping to derail it.

--------------------
It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

Posts: 5285 | From: A dour region for dour folk | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Telepath
Ship's Steamer Trunk
# 3534

 - Posted      Profile for Telepath   Email Telepath   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Certainly not, why would you think that? But if you went to three gatherings in a row where everybody except you brought something, wouldn't you do the same?
Of course.

quote:
And it would seem a terrible shame to miss out on fun everyone else was having because the bar or catering or payment arrangements aren't to your taste.
When I miss out, it's usually because the bar or catering or payment arrangements are more than I can afford, in terms of money or time.

I just think it would be a terrible shame if hospitality died out completely, which does seem to be the way things are going nowadays.

--------------------
Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

Posts: 3509 | From: East Anglia | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Telepath
Ship's Steamer Trunk
# 3534

 - Posted      Profile for Telepath   Email Telepath   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
This always poses something of a problem for me as I do not drink. So when I get invited out, I take wine (which I would not normally have around the house).
If wine is problematic, why not take flowers or candy or suchlike?

--------------------
Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

Posts: 3509 | From: East Anglia | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ariel
Shipmate
# 58

 - Posted      Profile for Ariel   Author's homepage     Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rat:
Just wanted to add - in my particular peer-group and in contrast to pretty much everybody else on the thread I think, inviting a bunch of people out to a restaurant then insisting on paying for them all would, I think, be seen as ostentatious and probably cause resentment. Unless the payer was your dad or something.

If you're all of about the same status, you'd expect to share the bill, I think, all other things being equal.

It really depends. In some circles yes, in other circles it can be seen as mean and unfriendly to insist on going halves. I don't remember many occasions where people split the bill in the days where I was growing up - I do remember an awful lot of very amicable arguments about who was going to pay for everyone. And not so very long ago someone I know invited a group of friends to a restaurant to celebrate his 40th birthday, and paid for everyone.

Splitting the bill is fine if you all agree on it. It works well on the whole, but I can remember some office lunches where we all agreed to this except for one person who said we should all pay our exact share, and she wasn't going to pay for things she hadn't had. Which meant, "Now I had a glass and a half of mineral water from the bottle I shared with Jane and Kate, and there are six glasses to a bottle so my share would be..."

Not a lot you can do with people like that, really.

Posts: 25445 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Campbellite

Ut unum sint
# 1202

 - Posted      Profile for Campbellite   Email Campbellite   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I think we are confusing a couple of things here.

If Lovely Spouse™ and I invite friends to our home, I would not expect them to bring anything but their delightful company. If they wish to bring a token gift, that would be a pleasant surprise, but utterly unnecessary. If they are particularly good friends, we may accept an offer to bring a dessert, salad, etc., but would otherwise graciously say no. (If they are family, they would be insulted if we did not let them bring something, but that is a different matter.)

On the other hand, if we invite friends out to dinner at a restaurant, I would expect to pay for the meal. Asking them to pay their share would be tres gauche. (If they absolutely insist, I have been known to let them pay the tip, but that is making a major concession.)

--------------------
I upped mine. Up yours.
Suffering for Jesus since 1966.
WTFWED?

Posts: 12001 | From: between keyboard and chair | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mertseger

Faerie Bard
# 4534

 - Posted      Profile for Mertseger   Author's homepage   Email Mertseger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Oh, Goddess, be thankful you haven't had to face the Chinese check-wrestling challenge where everyone is expected to fight for the right to pick up the tab and bonus points are scored for preemptively sneaking your credit card to the maitre-d' during a fake bathroom break. I always have to discuss with my wife just how hard we're supposed to fight before each encounter. Of course, the ultimate counterstrike is to make the payment arrangements as you make the reservations, but, honestly, they seem to be disappointed if they don't get to fight for the check.

--------------------
Go and be who you are:
The Body of Christ,
The Goddess of Body,
The Manifest Song of Faerie.

Posts: 1765 | From: Oakland, CA, USA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Campbellite

Ut unum sint
# 1202

 - Posted      Profile for Campbellite   Email Campbellite   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
We have been known to have the ritual family check fight when eating out. (Only among family, never among friends). The only time I "won", (early in my married life) my father-in-law ended up insisting on paying the aforementioned tip, and stuck a couple of twenties in my shirt pocket before I could say no.

I have learned to make the ritual protests before "letting" him win. (If I make it too easy, he does not feel like he has succeeded.)

A few times we have been out to eat with extended family (my father-in-law's brothers and sisters). In that situation, it is best to just hold back and let them fight it out among themselves. I know when I am out of my weight class.

--------------------
I upped mine. Up yours.
Suffering for Jesus since 1966.
WTFWED?

Posts: 12001 | From: between keyboard and chair | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mertseger

Faerie Bard
# 4534

 - Posted      Profile for Mertseger   Author's homepage   Email Mertseger   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Yeah, Chinese culture is exactly like that, but the circle where you're expected to fight for the check is much broader to the point of including anyone you'd ever invite out.

--------------------
Go and be who you are:
The Body of Christ,
The Goddess of Body,
The Manifest Song of Faerie.

Posts: 1765 | From: Oakland, CA, USA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Suze

Ship's Barmaid
# 5639

 - Posted      Profile for Suze   Email Suze   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rat:
Just wanted to add - in my particular peer-group and in contrast to pretty much everybody else on the thread I think, inviting a bunch of people out to a restaurant then insisting on paying for them all would, I think, be seen as ostentatious and probably cause resentment. Unless the payer was your dad or something.

If you're all of about the same status, you'd expect to share the bill, I think, all other things being equal.

The only time I'd invite folks to a restaurant and expect to pay the whole bill is with people that I expect to dine out with again - then it tends to be a "my turn, your turn" kind of arrangement. Otherwise we'll generally split the bill equally regardless of who had what.

I'd never expect someone to pay to eat at my house and while most folk do bring a token pressie, I certainly wouldn't be offended if they didn't. I also wouldn't expect guests to contribute to the meal by bringing a dish unless it was an extended family thing where everyone tends to bring their "party piece".

Sounds like we move in similar circles Rat.... fancy coming for dinner? [Big Grin]

--------------------
' You stay here and I'll go look for God, that won't be hard cos I know where he's not, and I will bring him back with me , then he'll listen , then he'll see' Richard Shindell

Posts: 2603 | From: where the angels sleep | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged
Left at the Altar

Ship's Siren
# 5077

 - Posted      Profile for Left at the Altar         Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Dear Sine

I am heading to the coast for a beach holiday next week. I am awfully pale after winter, and am wondering whether I should invest in a fake tan.

At what age is a lady too old to do this sort of thing? Or are we never too old?

Also, do you think I should go a Brazilian?

Thanks

LATA

--------------------
Still pretty Amazing, but no longer Mavis.

Posts: 9111 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged
Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
# 3434

 - Posted      Profile for Arabella Purity Winterbottom   Email Arabella Purity Winterbottom   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Dear Sine,

I am about to become civil unioned. We are having a short ceremony followed by afternoon tea, since having a grand wedding-type celebration seems a little much for a couple who has been together 13 years. It will be a low key event and we only expect people to be there for about 90 minutes all up.

We have invited individuals rather than couples where we only know one of a pair. There should be no one there who doesn't know at least three or four other people. My beloved has been having qualms over this, and is thinking of inviting people's partners. I am not so keen - I'd rather have only the people we know.

What do you think?

--------------------
Hell is full of the talented and Heaven is full of the energetic. St Jane Frances de Chantal

Posts: 3702 | From: Aotearoa, New Zealand | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Lyda*Rose

Ship's broken porthole
# 4544

 - Posted      Profile for Lyda*Rose   Email Lyda*Rose   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
Arabella, if you think of your civil union as your wedding, in traditional wedding etiquette you'd invite all partners who are married or formally engaged. I'd think in your case it would include your friends' partners in civil unions, too, and you could decide if you'd invite people who have been living together in a settled relationship for a while.

Yeah, I know that means more food and drink. [Frown] [Biased]

--------------------
"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

Posts: 21377 | From: CA | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Sine Nomine*

Ship's backstabbing bastard
# 3631

 - Posted      Profile for Sine Nomine*   Email Sine Nomine*       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Left at the Altar:
I am heading to the coast for a beach holiday next week. I am awfully pale after winter, and am wondering whether I should invest in a fake tan.

If you mean at a tanning bed, sounds like it's too late. If you mean self-tanning lotion, sure. At least you can cut the blinding glare of your lily-white flesh a bit. Although in my experience people who live on the beach rarely go to the beach. I noticed some of the palest people in Florida were the year-round residents, so being pale won't necessarily mark you out as a tourist.

quote:
At what age is a lady too old to do this sort of thing? Or are we never too old?
Wrinkled, sagging old brown flesh is not as unattrative as wrinkled, sagging old pale white flesh - marginally.

quote:
Also, do you think I should go a Brazilian?
I really can't answer that without knowing what your swim suit looks like or what turns your husband (I assume) on. Neither piece of information am I in possession of.
Posts: 10696 | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Sine Nomine*

Ship's backstabbing bastard
# 3631

 - Posted      Profile for Sine Nomine*   Email Sine Nomine*       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
We have invited individuals rather than couples where we only know one of a pair.

What do you think?

Hmm...interesting. When is a wedding not a wedding? When it's a civil union.

Well, I guess the best you can do is imagine your feelings if your partner was being invited to someone else's wedding/civil union and you were not. How would you feel? How would she feel?

It does seem a bit ironic that you're having a celebration of your own couple-hood, but not necessarily recognizing other people's.

Yet I understand your hesitation. My gut reaction though is to invite your friends' recognized partners even if you don't know them. Don't invite any tricks de jour.

Posts: 10696 | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Grits
Compassionate fundamentalist
# 4169

 - Posted      Profile for Grits   Author's homepage   Email Grits   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
My son's invitations always read "Mr. Firstname Middlename Lastname and Guest". That way, they don't have to know who he's currently seeing, or he could even take me!

--------------------
Lord, fill my mouth with worthwhile stuff, and shut it when I've said enough. Amen.

Posts: 8419 | From: Nashville, TN | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Sine Nomine*

Ship's backstabbing bastard
# 3631

 - Posted      Profile for Sine Nomine*   Email Sine Nomine*       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
In my day you didn't receive invitations allowing you to bring an unknown date to a wedding. If you weren't married you were invited alone. I went to lots of weddings alone. But of course you knew bunches of people there anyway.
Posts: 10696 | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
Shipmate
# 9881

 - Posted      Profile for Soror Magna   Email Soror Magna   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
We have invited individuals rather than couples where we only know one of a pair. There should be no one there who doesn't know at least three or four other people. My beloved has been having qualms over this, and is thinking of inviting people's partners. I am not so keen - I'd rather have only the people we know.

First of all, Arabella, congratulations!

When I used to perform at weddings at a United church, there was a moment in the ceremony where the guests present were asked to stand to indicate their willingness to support the couple. Since then, I have felt very strongly that wedding guests should be people that truly matter to the couple. They should be the people you could go to in need.

What bothers me personally about the "and Guest" formula is that it implies that the couple doesn't know me well enough to know if I have a significant-enough-other that I would bring to a wedding. Could they tell if I brought my trick du jour? And if they don't know me that well, what the heck am I doing at their wedding?

However, I can also see the concern with the comfort of your guests. If you know that one of your guests would be utterly miserable at a wedding without their SO or t-d-j, then as a kind friend it is nice to give them the option of bringing someone.

Again, best wishes, Olivia G

--------------------
"You come with me to room 1013 over at the hospital, I'll show you America. Terminal, crazy and mean." -- Tony Kushner, "Angels in America"

Posts: 5430 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Rat
Ship's Rat
# 3373

 - Posted      Profile for Rat   Email Rat   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I always feel mildly miffed at being included as '& guest'. I kind of think if somebody knows Mr Rat well enough to invite him to their wedding, they ought to know the name of the person he's been in a relationship with for 8 years, married or not. And if they don't, surely it wouldn't kill them to find out?

--------------------
It's a matter of food and available blood. If motherhood is sacred, put your money where your mouth is. Only then can you expect the coming down to the wrecked & shimmering earth of that miracle you sing about. [Margaret Atwood]

Posts: 5285 | From: A dour region for dour folk | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Telepath
Ship's Steamer Trunk
# 3534

 - Posted      Profile for Telepath   Email Telepath   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
I understand it's okay as long as your name is Guest. Perhaps your putative hosts are just confused about your SO's name, Rat?

--------------------
Take emptiness and lying speech far from me, and do not give me poverty or wealth. Give me a living sufficient for me.

Posts: 3509 | From: East Anglia | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
jlg

What is this place?
Why am I here?
# 98

 - Posted      Profile for jlg   Email jlg   Send new private message       Edit/delete post   Reply with quote 
The "and Guest" formula strikes me as acceptable when used by very young couples having big formal weddings. Having to send out the invitations and get all the replies enough months in advance to deal with the caterers et.al. creates a definite problem when it's a pretty sure bet that the identity of "and Guest" will change during the time between issuing the invitation and the actual event. And at that age and level of social skill, kids don't want to show up alone at this sort of event.

(Yeah, yeah, they should have the social skills at that age, but some of us weren't lucky enough to be raised Southern. And I suspect there's an interesting Purg thread in there if you're getting married so young that your friends can't handle a wedding as a solo guest...)

But there should quickly come a time when anyone planning a formal social occasion should have a pretty good idea (or be willing to find out) who are couples (legal or otherwise) and who are singles. If the singles don't like not having a blank check included with their invitation, they have three choices: become part of an established couple; deal with it; or make sure their friends get to know lots of interesting singles who will also get invited to these things, thus providing a pleasantly mixed crowd with which to mingle.

Posts: 17391 | From: Just a Town, New Hampshire, USA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged



Pages in this thread: 1  2  3  ...  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  ...  25  26  27 
 
Post new thread  Post a reply Close thread   Feature thread   Move thread   Delete thread Next oldest thread   Next newest thread
 - Printer-friendly view
Go to:

Contact us | Ship of Fools | Privacy statement

© Ship of Fools 2016

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classicTM 6.5.0

 
follow ship of fools on twitter
buy your ship of fools postcards
sip of fools mugs from your favourite nautical website
 
 
  ship of fools