Thursday, September 14, 2006

Is Potluck the New Etiquette?

If someone invites me over to dinner, am I being more or less polite if I offer to bring something? Does that change as I become more insistent?

And if I link to Meg Logan's Blog, where this question originated, will she invite me to dinner? Of course, I have absolutely no idea where she lives ...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi... I'm Italian, so I'm not sure if I understood everything... but I guess is nice leave a message for from Italy :-)

11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi... I'm Italian, so I'm not sure if I understood everything... but I guess is nice leave a message for from Italy :-)

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Mary said...

I always offer, and usually they take me up on it...
If they assured me they didn't need anything but the wonderful presence :O) of my wonderful family, then I wouldn't insist on bringing anything.
I appreciate it when people offer to bring something along, but then most of my get-togethers are impromptu with other homeschool mommies! Or with family...

6:31 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

It is always polite to ask, "What can I bring?" when invited to dinner. Usually you will get one of two answers (from a gracious hostess): 1. "That is sweet of you to offer! I'm still finalizing the menu. Is there something in particular you would like to bring?, or 2. "Oh nothing, thank you. I have it all covered!" If the hostess says the latter, PLEASE PLEASE leave it at that. There is nothing worse than having a lovely menu all planned out and one of your guests insists, "Oh I make great _______, let me bring it" or some such.

As someone who loves to cook and entertain, I am usually prepared to let someone bring something. Especially if I am stumped as to dessert, or don't feel like making a salad. Sometimes I will ask them to bring a bottle of wine, (I will always have one on standby, but we'll drink theirs first. With just four adults one bottle is usually plenty).

If your offer to bring something is declined, it is always gracious to bring flowers or a bottle of wine, or both.

Of course, if you come to my house, all you need to bring is your smile and your fashion advice!


8:49 PM  
Blogger MegLogan said...

Mrs Meg Logan here, and I think it is rude to insist on bringing something. I am a fabulous cook and I really enjoy doing the whole meal! I really really do. It doesn't upset me if you ask to brign something, and I suppose I ought to be ready with something someone can bring. But when I invite, I plan on doing it all, and blessing those whom I have invited. Seems like around the South (where I live) people want to have BBQ's with "bring your own meat" or some such. I find this rude, if you want to invite me, but can't afford to feed me then let me ask to bring something, and please don't tell me to bring the main course! I was raised to cover all things when throwing a party. THe guests merely bring wine or flowers or occassionally a dessert tidbit, and I don't mean the whole desert.
When I was asked by the woman I invited if she could bring anything, I said "oh no thanks, really, I have it all covered" but she insisted saying "oh are you sure, really I would love to bring something
" so I conceded to bringing drinks, (i dont think they really drink wine, so i didn mention that) BUt still she was not satisfied, and really insisted that there must be "Something" else she could bring, and I told her a salad would be fine. But later I told her what kind to bring and i think she thought that was rude. But I was tryign to coordinate the whole affair! LOL... well I hope we have great dinner anyway.

And you are always welcome to dinner at my place, Ill even feed you without notice. But you live half a country away it would seem.

MRs Meg Logan

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If someone's having a potluck, they should make that clear from the get-go. So, if they just give you a straight-up invitation to come over, it shouldn't be necessary to offer to bring something.

There sure is nothing wrong with offering to bring something! But one word of warning - when you offer, do be ready to take no for an answer!

When I invite my friends over and I'm NOT having a potluck, it's because I want to give to them, in a spirit of hospitality. When people have a problem accepting that, they don't realize how rejecting it can be. Sure they're trying to be nice, but their anxious reluctance to be in my debt tends to shine through :-(

I've had people say flat-out: "Well, X and I are definitely bringing our own booze!" (when I'd gone to a lot of trouble to pick out a wine I thought they would like), and I've even had people insist on bringing over decorations and plates!

So, potlucks are great, but not every dinner has to be a potluck. Hospitality may be out of fashion, but it's a virtue with an ancient tradition, which would be a shame to lose.

4:03 PM  
Blogger MegLogan said...

I like anonymous' answer about having a pot luck is cool if that is what it is. but trying to make an hospitable affair into a potluck for your own comfort is rude.

9:18 AM  

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