Do people reciprocate your dinner invitations?

Discussion in 'The Connoisseur' started by Angus Forbes, Sep 21, 2011.

  1. Angus Forbes

    Angus Forbes One of the Regulars

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Over the course of many years, my wife and I, who are pretty much a traditional couple, have given about 20 dinners a year for various friends and acquaintances. Good drinks, good food, good wine, and everybody seems to have a good time. Occasionally we receive "thank you" notes. However, many of our guests rarely or never reciprocate. If they don't reciprocate after accepting three or four of our invitations, they go "off the list." If they don't like us, I would much rather that they didn't accept the second or third invitation.

    We don't expect much in the way of a fancy dinner from them -- pizza, Chinese take out, anything would be fine ; it's the thought and the occasion that counts. Nor do we expect one-for-one invitations. But every once in a while would be nice.

    So, what's going on? Do others have the same experience?

    Thanks for any comments . . .
     
  2. dhermann1

    dhermann1 I'll Lock Up

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    Da Bronx, NY, USA
    Complicated question. I think the number of people who even cook for themselves at home has plummeted in the last generation. And the number of people who would even have a clue how to pull off a dinner party likewise.
    Some people are just natural hosts and some aren't. And finally many people just don't have the physical layout in their homes to make any kind of entertaining possible.
    I can understand you disappointment with people who don't reciprocate your hospitality, but I don't think I'd go so far as to drop people from my invite list. If you enjoy their company, and if they occasionally bring a bottle of wine or dessert, I think that should be enough.
     
  3. Rathdown

    Rathdown Practically Family

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    572
    Location:
    Virginia
    Open plan housing, which has resulted in the demise of the middle classes dining room, has pretty much put a stake through the heart of the proper dinner party. My experience, here in the South, is that we receive more invitations than we can accept, so perhaps the problem of not receiving reciprocal invitations is due to your geographic location.
     
  4. Angus Forbes

    Angus Forbes One of the Regulars

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, dhermann1 and Rathdown. I think that you are both right. Also, I'm guessing that many people are simply exhausted from work. Thanks again . . .
     
  5. I have always had a proper dining room, as I do now (or at least I will when my furniture gets here :rolleyes:) and I love cooking, so I used to throw cocktail and dinner parties all the time. I don't do it as much anymore, not only because of it not being reciprocated, but also because people are too busy these days to organize one.
     
  6. fortworthgal

    fortworthgal Call Me a Cab

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    We do have a proper dining room, but also a large open living area. We both love to cook and we live in a fairly central location for all of our friends, so we typically host a few parties a year. Most of our friends just plain aren't in situations open to hosting - they live in small apartments or rentals, everyone lives far apart, no cooking skills, work odd schedules, etc. Sometimes people don't feel like their home is good enough or clean enough to open it to guests.

    Some people are hosts and some people aren't.
     
  7. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    We plan our dinner parties with reciprocity in mind, as in: "Don't forget the Smythe's, we owe them a dinner." Actually, it extends beyond dinners to all sorts of engagements, like sporting events, concerts, sailing outings, etc...... That said, we've never blackballed anybody for lack of reciprocity.
     
  8. I can understand that and I wouldn't blame anyone for not having people over if it was because it wasn't something they liked doing or because they don't have the room.... etc.


    I would never blackball anyone specifically either, unless they were rude or their kids were destructive.
     
  9. Right now I'm in the process of getting my house fixed up. When it becomes more presentable I'll probably start entertaining more. Though one of my friends and my next door neighbor often come over for pizza and coffee.
     
  10. Tomasso

    Tomasso Incurably Addicted

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    Sounds almost as good as cake and beer.......
     
  11. Atticus Finch

    Atticus Finch Call Me a Cab

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    Location:
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    Jackie and I like to entertain. Depending on the season, we throw dinner parties, oyster roasts, football parties, fish fries, cookouts and almost anything else that involves cooking and eating. If it is organic and doesn't move quickly enough to evade us, we'll probably grill it.

    But Jackie and I have a nice double income and we don't have kids at home.

    Some of our best friends reciprocate, but most folks who come to our shindigs don't. It doesn't bother me in the least. Other people have kids and other obligations that we don't have. Many other people have to live closer to the bone than do Jackie and I. Many other people don't share our ability and desire to plan and execute food fests. It’s all good. I still like for ‘em to come when I invite ‘em....

    AF
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
  12. Connery

    Connery One Too Many

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    Location:
    Crab Key
    I entertain simply for the pleasure it brings. I do not care if my invitees reciprocate. I find that when I have social expectations I may be setting up myself for disappointment, so I enjoy my company and the dinner.
     
  13. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    Some really nice, measured and civilized answers given which has put me in the mood to have some folks round for Dinner :)
     
  14. Miss sofia

    Miss sofia One Too Many

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    Well said sir!:eusa_clap
     
  15. Mike in Seattle

    Mike in Seattle My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Location:
    Renton (Seattle), WA
    As Connery said, we have friends over for dinner because we enjoy it and we enjoy their being here. If they reciprocate, fine. If not, equally as fine, because I feel the fun we have here is equal or greater than the effort & funds expended on planning and executing the dinner party, brunch, cocktail party, whatever it may be. I don't want friends to feel obligated to reciprocate - I know some cannot for various and sundry reasons and I don't care. I'm not keeping a ledger of social debits and credits. We all do what we can and have many ways of sharing. One makes the world's greatest chocolate chip cookies in her tiny apartment, and that's more than enough recompense. Another gives a great deal of volunteer time to some worthy organizations I also support yet can't boil water to save his life, and is always ready to jump in and pitch in when someone's in need of help. In some way, it all evens out. I love to cook, and there are things I like to make or would like to try that fills several mouths, and I'm glad to have the test group to try them out on and share with.
     
  16. Marzena

    Marzena One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    Poland
    Me too! But I will make it simpler: to a tea party. Proper, civilised, scones, sandwiches and works. Not as much work with serving though as dinner party and therefore even less of a heartthrob should no one invite me back.
     
  17. Marzena

    Marzena One of the Regulars

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    BTW, what will you cook?
     
  18. Ethan Bentley

    Ethan Bentley One Too Many

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    The New Forest, Hampshire, UK
    "I entertain simply for the pleasure it brings. I do not care if my invitees reciprocate. I find that when I have social expectations I may be setting up
    myself for disappointment, so I enjoy my company and the dinner."

    Agreed.
     
  19. LoveMyHats2

    LoveMyHats2 I’ll Lock Up.

    Messages:
    5,196
    Location:
    Michigan
    Food, friends, conversation. It is always nice to share an evening or even a week having people as quests.

    I have never measured my own hospitality by means of tit for tat, on having people over!
     
  20. Mrs Chaddsley_Corbett

    Mrs Chaddsley_Corbett Suspended

    Messages:
    369
    Location:
    Potts Point, Australia
    I have finally resolved myself to the fact that some of my Fiends are incapable of entertaining, the last time someone asked me to Luncheon it turned out to be a bowl of Soup, really, I ask you?, soup is something you have at 3.00 am in winter when you come home from a Masquerade Ball!
     

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