Cheaping Out

Weird things irritate me.

Tags on shirts and pants?  Are stupid in this day and age.  Get rid of them.

Asking me for a favor then bitching because I didn’t do it just right?  Get bent.  And the next time you ask for a favor?  I’m going to be busy.

Whinging about how you can hardly make your mortgage payment with an iced-quad-venti-no-whip-skinny Caramel Macchiato in one hand and smoke in the other while leaning on your new car? Forgive me if I roll my eyes and give you the finger while I suggest you sit and spin.

And the one I just encountered while on a call with my mother:  Inviting me over for dinner and then telling me what main course I can bring?  That not only irritates me, but falls into the realm of completely obtuse and extremely bad manners.

Apparently my sister-in-law has decided that she and my brother are hosting Easter dinner this year and called my mom to have her phone and ‘invite’ us (I put that in quotes, because it’s only an invitation if you can actually turn it down).

You’ll have to excuse me while I try to contain my annoyance excitement.

300px Silbertafel Reiss 3 rem Cheaping Out

Image via Wikipedia

And of course, this dinner will be, for the sole convenience, as always, of her family, on a Sunday.

Which will mean we have to cancel V’s respite for that day in order to drag her to a house she’s never been in,  full of people she doesn’t know.

Doesn’t that sound like FUN???  icon smile Cheaping Out  <insert fake enthusiasm and some rah-rah pom-pom cheers here>

And all of that?  I could deal with.

But the fact they have gleefully announced that they are providing turkey AND a ham (wow! <more eye rolling>) but are expecting the rest of their guests to provide the remainder of the meal, irritates me.

I’m sorry.  It does.  And I know it’s stupid to get irritated about something like that.

But I we (because Bil agrees with me on this one wholeheartedly) believe that if you are going to host a dinner that means more than just providing the location.

It means providing the appetizers, apéritifs, main courses, desserts, and a few good bottles of wine. If people *offer* to bring something? Well fine…especially if it’s their ‘signature dish’ or something. But I would NEVER be so bold as to expect my guests to provide their own meal.

Yes. Hosting a dinner can be expensive. That? Is not an excuse. If you can’t afford it? Don’t insist on offer to host the meal.

Have manners really degraded so much over the years that this is now an acceptable form of entertaining?

If so, take me back to the days of genteel society and finishing schools.

 Cheaping Out
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27 Responses to Cheaping Out

  • I have hosted pot lucks but when I invite people for a meal, I invite them for the whole thing. If I didn’t the southern women before me would rise from the grave and kick my ass all over the south.

    I have hosted Easter parties and if people offer (most do) I will accept and we have also done family get togethers where everyone brought something, no matter the location. Maybe this was their intention?

    If you don’t want to fix something. Don’t. Let SIL know you will be there with bells on but that you will not have time to prepare something because you have other obligations that day. (those obligations could be doing nothing)
    .-= Kim @ Beautiful Wreck´s last blog ..Not the Status Quo Christian =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Kim @ Beautiful Wreck,

    Oh, we’ll definitely bring something. We always do. It’s the being told I have to that gets under my skin.

    And, unfortunately, skipping it would just cause a whole other host of problems. So it’s easier to grit our teeth, go, and beg off (using V as an excuse) as soon as dinner is done.

    Heather Reply:

    @Kim @ Beautiful Wreck, I so hear you. The Southern Woman in me cringes at people who no longer remember a hostess gift either! ;)
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..The Truth Hurts =-.

    Jenn Reply:


    Here’s a question for you… what do you deem an acceptable hostess gift. Up here, it’s usually just a bottle of wine. Is it something more down there?

    Becky @TheRealBecks Reply:

    @Jenn, bottle of wine here too in texas :) if they don’t drink, maybe a nice dessert or something.
    .-= Becky @TheRealBecks´s last blog ..Photo bliss =-.

  • avasmommy says:

    Dude, I wouldn’t say I was bitching…whining maybe, but not bitching…. :)

    .-= avasmommy´s last blog ..Girl Talk Thursday – Punishment =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    BWAHAHAHA…dude, you were neither bitching nor whining.

  • Chibi Jeebs says:

    That is just rude. I agree 100% that if you can’t afford to put on the meal yourself, don’t throw the part – ’tis the reason we don’t entertain often (we’re not anti-social, I swear: we’re broke! hehe).
    .-= Chibi Jeebs´s last blog ..GTT: Punishment =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Chibi Jeebs,
    lol. We haven’t done as much entertaining lately, either, for that exact reason. Although, in are case, we are generally just anti-social as well.

  • Heather says:

    Yo. You so need to be like me. I divorced my MIL 4 years, and 6 days ago. Best thing I ever did.

    Being that you can’t divorce your mother, I suggest copious amounts of wine. And also, whatever it is you’re cooking, douse it in wine too. Then flambe it when you get there.

    They’ll never ask you to cook again.

    You’re welcome. ;)
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..The Truth Hurts =-.

    Jenn Reply:


    OMG… that was an awesome visual. And something I would probably too if I wasn’t afraid my nephew would set himself on fire. (he’s cuter than he is bright…which is saying a lot)

  • Lu says:

    That? Is definitely annoying. Just being TOLD. That part is annoying. Of course you would offer to bring something if they would have given you the opportunity to offer.
    P.S. I love you a whole whole lot, but there is no cup of coffee in this world that could save my mortgage. I so wish there was. We are working on it otherwise. But this makes me understand why you didn’t comment on that post I wrote. I can totally understand how some might have that gotten that picture from my post though, but it’s kind of judging without the whole story. And I know you are annoyed by that too.
    xoxo I do mean it. I love that we can be strong-headed women and agree to disagree. Or whatever. You are my home-girl, no matter what. REALLY.
    P.P.S. Maybe V just gets too tired from the early Easter Egg hunt to go anywhere after. Heh.
    .-= Lu´s last blog ..Today, right now, this very second… =-.

    Jenn Reply:


    I love you but you totally missed the point of that
    And I know you’re having a bad day so that’s why that probably touched a nerve.

    First off…I would have NEVER thought that about you.
    And I actually thought I had commented on that post.
    Because I do remember reading it and nodding my head (I’ll tell you more on why I totally got that post the next time we chat, since my comment about why obviously disappeared into the interwebs)

    That coffee comment was about people who spend and spend and spend on retarded stuff (you don’t) and then whine about not being able to pay their bills (you don’t). Like my brother who used to gamble and then wonder why he couldn’t make rent. Or people who go out and lease a brand new vehicle that’s WAY beyond their means and then wonder why their broke. And exactly like you said – you are working on it. These types of people are too busy whining about it to do anything.

    Loves you!

    Lu Reply:

    @Jenn, GOD YOU ARE SO RIGHT. I’m sorry. I was way off point here. I took something of yours and turned it into me. I feel like an ass now. It’s a good thing I already have you tricked that I really am awesome. You are right about today. You are right about “those” people. Like my friends who got into foreclosure and instead of saving for a new place bought motorcycles and Juicy Couture purses. *leaving the internets now* Sorry I pooped on your post.
    .-= Lu´s last blog ..Today, right now, this very second… =-.

    Jenn Reply:


    ROFL. Dude, it’s all good. Like I said – totally get why that touched a nerve.

    And motorcycles and JC purses? See, people like that ought to be slapped.

  • I’m torn. I guess it’s so normal in our family that the host for the holiday supplies the main fixings, and everyone brings a dish to pass, that I never thought twice.
    Now that I do think about it though, we wouldn’t ask a NON-family member to bring something. Hmm. I’m guessing its NOT the norm in your family though, so I’ll vote *rude*

    Jenn Reply:


    I think if it was appetizers or salads that they were asking for…fine…sure. But they’re expecting that all they have to provide is a turkey and the rest of the main dishes, wine, everything else will be brought by others.
    If it was discussed and said ‘maybe a potluck would be a good idea’ I would have been totally fine.
    But this ‘I am ‘hosting’ and you have to bring something’ attitude? Doesn’t fly with me.

  • As you know I have a sensory challenged kid too, my family took a little while to “get” it. They still wanted us to come to large events and just didn’t understand how stressful is can be. Sometimes you just have to piss people off for your own sanity. I know in this situation, you HAVE to go, but you don’t have to stay long. As for the meals, it is tacky to TELL someone they are coming and TELL them to bring food. I am the hostess of all family events (mostly because Noah does better on home turf)and I make it all. That said, IT SUCKS. lol
    I hope you find a happy medium. Keep repeating, “I don’t give a FUCK”
    .-= Jenni Williams´s last blog ..Lazy Parent=Good Parent? =-.

    Jenn Reply:

    @Jenni Williams,

    And this is why I totally love you. lol.
    Because you do get it on so many levels.

    I think we’ll go and then just duck out the second dinner can be considered over (or earlier if V loses it).

    Sounds like it’s going to be a full house, so I’m not sure how V will do with all those people there.

  • Laura says:

    I so totally agree with you. First off, if it wasn’t a “potluck” or invitation to bring your own dish, but a requirement, SO NOT COOL!!! We do potlucks in our family, but all the invitations include “please bring a small side dish” but even then, the person throwing the party normally makes the main dish, brings the drinks (you bring your own if you know you won’t like what’s there), one side dish and one desert dish. Then there are always more brought. But to be told, “hey, im hosting and you have to bring something” so very rude.
    As for the people who spend way out of their means, drives me frigging batty. I am so not “in” the money, and I splurge on a drink now and then, but my car is not paid for, I’m living with family (which is totally awesome right now-a whole level to ourselves) but people who have taken out three morgages on their home, a new car they can’t afford, a ton of credit cards, and then complain, I say “boo frigging whoo”. The rest of us live in the real world and have plenty of financial problems, but to make yourself look like you are in the money then complain it’s rediculous!
    Hugs to you, and hope V does good, at least until you are all ready to split out of the dinner. …. :)
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..The Garden of the Gods (last Sat) =-.

  • Oh man. That sucks. Especially if it’s family. Like you, I would always bring something or offer, but to ask is just bad manners. (sorry, I know they’re your family and all but still, lol). I am kind of old school like that too. I haven’t had people over in a long time now because of my situation with the house, etc but I love to entertain. I would never ask people to bring things – like you say, most offer and it’s always nice when they bring a bottle of wine or something like that. But, never expected. Families are so hard. I hope it doesn’t go to badly. The way your Mom called to ask on behalf of your sister-in-law is kind of strange too. Reminds me of my MIL calling my almost ex husband to tell him to have B to call HER so she could say Happy Birthday to him last month. WTH?

    Good luck with the Easter dinner. Hope it turns out OK. Have V not take a nap and she can be at her worst and then you can duck out of there? Just a thought.
    Hugs xx

  • Michelle P. says:

    In our family, the norm is to bring something. Normally the person hosting it take care of the main dish, dessert, and at least one side dish. Then they arrange and I guess “tell” everyone else what they’re bringing. We’d bring things anyway, but that way we know we’re not going to be stuck with 4 bean side dishes. It’s the norm in our family, so I don’t think much of it. We’ve done it for years, longer then I can remember. Of course, when it’s not family it’s different.

    Do you have to bring Vista? Would it been seen as a total slap in the face if you left her at respite? Even lie? “Hey, we were going to bring her, but the poor dear had such a bad day that we didn’t want to ruin the dinner.” Then duck out early to “check on her”.

  • Oh hey! Love the new look! I haven’t actually been ON your blog in a while… stupid busy life…

    Anyway, I’m chiming in with my agreement. Hostess shouldn’t ask unless it’s very clearly a potluck. HOWEVER, it IS polite to bring something for the party (a hostess gift!)

    But people don’t teach manners anymore. :(
    .-= MommyGeekology´s last blog ..My Girls =-.

  • i mostly agree with this. like if we’re going to a friend’s house, then yeah i’ll offer to bring something but i expect them to be like “oh no you don’t have to. i’ve got it covered” as i have things covered when i’m hosting a party. but with our family…since we’re all so close and do big dinners ALL the time… it’s just known that if dinner is at MILs then we (cousins/kids) call her and ask her what we should bring. she’ll make the main course and we’ll bring sides or dessert. in y’all’s situation…well i wouldn’t even go. HAH.
    .-= Becky @TheRealBecks´s last blog ..Photo bliss =-.

  • Amanda says:

    You are right – my family does this all the time – but you know what? I don’t cook. Deal with it – I’ll just bring diet coke because you know what? It’s what *I* like. Besides that – they apparently now think it’s totally okay to drink a few *bottles* of white wine while I am there. As in, they never did this before – it would have totally made these things more interesting in the past for me. (Note that I am not caring about the ‘bottles’ only commenting that there are multiples of them mocking me) Nevermind the fact that there are several of us who are in recovery.

    But, I digress.

    Here a host gift is the same as it is where you live. A bottle of wine, maybe something like a pretty wine stopper or the like.

    It’s wine.
    It’s always about the wine.
    They mock me.

    Just kidding!
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Tila Tequila Is A Mess – And Not A Hot One =-.

  • That is beyond rude. Having a potluck is one thing, inviting people to Easter Dinner and then telling them to bring something is just, ugh… ick.

    When I host a party or dinner or whatever, I supply EVERYthing, and always have. If friends/family volunteer to bring something, I tell them that extra drinks, appetizers and desserts are always welcome. I certainly don’t expect them to offer, though!

    We have a hard time going to family gatherings on my hubs’ side for the exact opposite reason – I *have* to bring food for Blythe, because it would be impossible to track all the ingredients the hostess used to make the meal. I’m not an asshole about it – but his family FLIPS OUT that I bring “special” food for her. DUDE. SHE IS ALLERGIC.

    Anyway. My suggestion? Bring something gross, like…. boiled brussels sprouts. Or chitterlings.
    .-= Andrea’s Sweet Life´s last blog ..Puppy Throwdown =-.

  • my sister did the same thing to me!!! she invited me to her son’s bday party and instructed me on what food to make!!! infuriating.

    btw? when you crossed out that “i” for a “we”, it totally looks like an upside down cross. so badass and perfect for you two lawless, godless, child services being called on you, parents!

    .-= Sara @TomTheGirl´s last blog ..The best sound in the world (6 mos) =-.

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