Monday, May 18, 2009

"Dinner" Etiquette


While I do love having guests of all stripes at our dinner table, I have one (minor) pet peeve - - - guests who cancel on short notice. (That, and guests who "stack"- but that's a whole other post... our regulars just love to catch our newbies doing it and read them the riot act....)

I recently saw a quote attributed to Ward McAllister, the self-appointed arbiter of New York society from the 1860's to the early 1890's.

"A dinner invitation, once accepted, is a sacred obligation. If you die before the dinner takes place, your executor must attend. "

I couldn't agree more. Did I ever tell you about Lester and how Erica & Moshe's shidduch almost never came to pass? Lester is the one who first brought Moshe to our table, who then met Erica (and the rest is history). Lester almost never got the opportunity to do that because after accepting his very first invitation to casa G6, he chose to cancel less than 24 hours before. Suffice it to say, it took 8 months and some not so subtle prodding by Avram, to garner him a second offer... (which subsequently led to a very special friendship). I shudder to think what would have happened if I had not succumbed.... yet I still stand stubbornly by the quote.

8 comments:

Ezzie said...

We've *rarely* had cancellations, and usually they come either a) with a great reason or b) with plenty of time in advance. They are among the most annoying things, though... on the flip side, I just use it as an opportunity to invite others instead. :)

What's wrong with stacking!?

G6 said...

Ezzie -

We rarely have cancellations either. But I know people who suffer with this all the time.

Regarding stacking... it's an illness, I suppose. I wish I knew what bothered me. Interesting to note: my father once told me that my grandmother whose name I bear, had the same issue.... must be in the genes ;)

Baked Lecho Dodi said...

Do you leave the place card up in case of no show, as like a protest?
Bchlal, with the ploace cards - do use new ones for each meal ?
Is it only for Shabbos - what about for Purim or Halloween ? :)
What age person gets one ? Can they take it home on YomTov?

G6 said...

We only use place cards for meals of ten or more - Purim most definitely qualifies! Everybody gets one (see my related post on the dreaded "kiddie table").

I could care less what happens to them after the guests sit down. Make paper airlplanes if you like... ummm, then again, maybe not...

Brunhilda said...

Short notice cancellations still beat altogether no-shows...

harry-er than them all said...

i noticed the lack of stacking...

me said...

my grandmother didn't stack because
1- it looks tacky
2- the bottoms of the plates get greasy.

I have personal issue with the hostess standing next to my seat and consolidating all the gnawed chicken bones. all I need is one in my lap...

Nomi said...

And people give me grief for not stacking...I would rather that people didn't help bring plates in than have them scraped and stacked at the table. It's the scraping that is particularly unappealing.
But, while Ms. Manners would agree with us, I sometimes think that today it is a yekke thing. My Omas would certainly have objected.