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S/O social and cultural differences re family meals


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DH told me this story:

 

Names are all made up. :D

 

Bill told to his co-workers (my DH and others) that he was invited to his GF's for Thanksgiving dinner. He told her he'd be late bc he had to work and didn't get off until an hour after dinner was scheduled.

 

By the time he got there, all the food was gone. She had tried to make him a plate but it was one of those mini-plates ((for desserts) and it only had a small piece of turkey and a couple tablespoons of some side dishes.

 

He was upset and thought she should have handled it differently, ie set aside a normal sized plate of food for him or not invited him bc she knew he'd be late and there'd be no food. The GF thought the food should have first went to the people at dinner who were there, and it was just how things worked that were barely any leftovers.

 

Teddy (another co-worker) agreed with Bill that the GF not only should have made Bill a full-sized plate but that in HIS circle it was common/expected that at big meals/parties people first made a plate, then put it in the car to take home BEFORE they even made a plate or ate anything at the party. According to Teddy, this was so you had food for AFTER the party for yourself. IOW, not to set aside for someone who would be late (although Teddy said his circle did that too).

 

I told DH I'd have a heart attack the first time I fed Teddy's circle bc I'd be so worried I didn't have enough food. :lol: I guess everyone knows to make double to account for guaranteed take-home plates.

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Well, I think he should have just declined the invitation since he was going to be so late.  He should have said "I'd like to come, but I have to work, and wouldn't be able to get there till x time."   If he said that, and she said "oh, come anyway" then she should have made sure there would be food for him.  He was her guest, and as such she was responsible for feeding him dinner.  However he should not have been upset because, after all, he was an hour late to dinner.  In other words, they are both kinda wrong. 

 

Teddy's thinking is unlike anything I've ever encountered.  

 

Are these people teenagers/very young adults?

 

 Did Bill and his girlfriend break up over it?

 

 

Edited by marbel
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If he was arriving an hour late, he should have expected dessert only; anything else was gravy (no pun intended).  That said, girlfriend should have been clear about it.  If girlfriend led him to believe he would get a full meal when he arrived, she should have set it aside before the meal was over.

 

Normally our family would have enough for plenty of leftovers, but if something was running out, it would not have been refused to the people at the table.

 

Our family bakes enough turkey so there will be turkey sandwiches on the following days.  If we ever ran out of turkey, it would be because the hosts weren't informed of how many guests to expect.  Sides, though - some will last through the meal and some won't.  There would always be enough of something to make another plate, but not necessarily all the sides.

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I'm still trying to process the part where there isn't enough for leftovers for everyone after the meal. I host for 20-30 people and have never not had enough leftovers for all who want to take home the extra.  Who's planning that get together? They need to recalibrate their per person serving estimates. We routinely have people who come late or leave early because they have other gatherings to attend locally, (divorced parents, joint custody, in-laws, friends hosting a Friendsgiving meal-that's life in the 21st century, folks) so it's fully expected that some will be late (they always let the host know) and that they'll eat a full meal when they can get there.  No one has to grab the food for them to protect it, it's just there as part of the leftovers ready to be eaten or taken home after the main meal.

Yes, it is bizarre to invite someone to an event that might run out of food and not keep some food for them, but it's even more bizarre to not plan for enough that if someone came late they'd be SOL. 
 

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I'm still trying to process the part where there isn't enough for leftovers for everyone after the meal. I host for 20-30 people and have never not had enough leftovers for all who want to take home the extra.  Who's planning that get together? They need to recalibrate their per person serving estimates. We routinely have people who come late or leave early because they have other gatherings to attend locally, (divorced parents, joint custody, in-laws, friends hosting a Friendsgiving meal-that's life in the 21st century, folks) so it's fully expected that some will be late (they always let the host know) and that they'll eat a full meal when they can get there.  No one has to grab the food for them to protect it, it's just there as part of the leftovers ready to be eaten or taken home after the main meal.

 

Yes, it is bizarre to invite someone to an event that might run out of food and not keep some food for them, but it's even more bizarre to not plan for enough that if someone came late they'd be SOL. 

 

 

Sometimes people don't let the host/menu planner know they are coming.  Or an invited guest may decide at the last minute to bring someone without letting the host/menu planner know. Or a guest may say "I'll stop in before I go to [next place] so won't eat dinner" but then they decide to eat dinner anyway.  Sometimes people just eat an enormous amount of food. There are lots of reasons people might run out and not have enough for someone coming late.  Guests don't always behave as they say they will, and it has nothing to do with "friendsgiving" or custody arrangements or it being the 21st century.  

 

(I have lunch for a group once a month.  I have a lot of food, but I sometimes ran out until I realized I needed to multiply the recipe by 2x the number of people invited in order not to run out.  (If 10 people were expected, I had to make enough for 20 based on the recipe.)  Some of them just ate a lot.)

 

ETA: Actually what you are describing - people coming and going at various times - sounds more like an open-house sort of setup, where there is food available for a long period of time. The dinner described in the OP had a set time.  They are very different in terms of planning/hosting.

Edited by marbel
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I can’t imagine not having a boat load of leftovers either! That’s the best part of a big holiday meal.

 

That said, if you are late for a group meal, assume nothing. I wouldn’t think someone would babysit a meal for me while stuff was being passed around. If they are new to cooking for a big group it may have just been a calculation error. He was ridiculous for being upset. Mistakes happen. Chill. I wouldn’t expect the bfs to be the top thought when trying to get a large coordinated mea on the table.

 

They both could have been more clear up front.

“I’m going to be late for meal time. Do you think I should bother or maybe come for dessert?â€

“If you can’t make it for the meal why don’t you just plan on joining us for dessert at 6:30â€

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I agree with the plate saved folks. If you invite someone to dinner, you should feed them. It sounds as though the girlfriend knew he'd be late. If she knew she wouldn't save a plate, she should have said so. Everyone invited ( except the late folks who don't let you know) should get food before others gorge.

 

The save a plate in the car guy is just rude. Who cooks double?

 

It is interesting how different folks see this.

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I think that it would have been kind for the GF to save him a plate, but that ultimately the host is in charge of the food.

 

I Imagine a situation where (accidentally) a host made just barely enough food and the GF felt too shy to set aside much, since there wasn't much to share.

 

There definitely was a problem with the quantity of food, since it was all eaten, even with one guest missing -- so I can see this as an awkward outcome of an awkward situation. For all we know, they were *all* eating small portions that meal, and trying to tell the host that there really wasn't a problem.

 

On a regular casual day, if, say, my DH says he can't come for dinner time to my parents house, but the rest of us are going for dinner -- that might be interpreted as him not coming for dinner (and not expecting dinner when he arrives) unless I specified that he would like some leftovers 'if it's not too much trouble'. On thanksgiving, it seems like a bigger deal, but maybe thanksgiving is less serious in some homes?

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Bill's polite reply should have been gracious thanks for the invitation, apologies that his work schedule wouldn't permit him to join at dinner, but that he'd love to see everyone a bit later at dessert.

 

He then should have grabbed a turkey sandwich from the deli to eat at his desk, and a pie to contribute to the dessert offerings when he arrived.

 

Teddy should be pleasantly astonished when anyone actually invites him to dinner anywhere.

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I'm still trying to process the part where there isn't enough for leftovers for everyone after the meal. I host for 20-30 people and have never not had enough leftovers for all who want to take home the extra. Who's planning that get together? They need to recalibrate their per person serving estimates. We routinely have people who come late or leave early because they have other gatherings to attend locally, (divorced parents, joint custody, in-laws, friends hosting a Friendsgiving meal-that's life in the 21st century, folks) so it's fully expected that some will be late (they always let the host know) and that they'll eat a full meal when they can get there. No one has to grab the food for them to protect it, it's just there as part of the leftovers ready to be eaten or taken home after the main meal.

 

Yes, it is bizarre to invite someone to an event that might run out of food and not keep some food for them, but it's even more bizarre to not plan for enough that if someone came late they'd be SOL.

 

This is how I feel from the perspective of a hostess - I was raised by a bunch of southern aunts who would have all been mortified to run out of anything. Didn't matter if the hostess (and immediate family!) had to eat leftovers for a week.

 

As far as the girlfriend fixing a plate, I believe it would have been rude of her to fix a plate for someone not there which meant a guest actually in attendance went without a portion. When she realized there wouldn't be enough food, she probably should have called or texted him with that news so he could pick grab a bite en route.

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Sometimes people don't let the host/menu planner know they are coming. Or an invited guest may decide at the last minute to bring someone without letting the host/menu planner know. Or a guest may say "I'll stop in for dinner before I go to [next place] so won't eat dinner" but then they decide to eat dinner anyway. 

 

All of that is within the range of normal and the host should plan extra for all those situations.  We do.  Every year.

 

 

Sometimes people just eat an enormous amount of food. There are lots of reasons people might run out and not have enough for someone coming late.  Guests don't always behave as they say they will, and it has nothing to do with "friendsgiving" or custody arrangements or it being the 21st century.  

 

I have a huge family of big eaters who all bring people with them and we've never had a problem.  Not even close.

 

The 21st century comments were about expecting there to be people who have to arrive late.  Perfectly normal and nothing to be the slightest bit upset about. Certainly no reason to turn down an invitation to a family get together. No one should be sent the message, "Well if you're unable to get off work you're out of luck because we don't tolerate latecomers and they shouldn't expect food if they do show up late." Who does that? Seriously, people, a little planning can solve all of this rather easily.

 

 

(I have lunch for a group once a month.  I have a lot of food, but I sometimes ran out until I realized I needed to multiply the recipe by 2x the number of people invited in order not to run out.  (If 10 people were expected, I had to make enough for 20 based on the recipe.)  Some of them just ate a lot.)

 

Yep, that's normal around here.  That why I said the host in question needs to recalibrate.  I plan at least 3/4 of a pound of turkey per person to account for: bones, surprise guests, left overs, big eaters, etc. I've never purchased a turkey less than 18lbs. for 25 people.  Sometimes I do two smaller turkeys for 30 people. Everyone who asks to bring something is given a head count, warned that a few extras could show, and that some people will want to take home leftovers, so they should plan accordingly. We haven't had a problem yet and we've been doing it this way for generations now.

 

I'm wondering if part of this problem is people not adjusting their planning to growing families or if they're being rigid about a certain formula for planning rather than asking themselves how it went last time and adjusting accordingly.  When I was a kid it was 10 people maximum for quite a while.  Now it's 20-30.  Times change.

 

 

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Count me as somewhat gobsmacked that there wasn't any food.  When he said he would be late due to work, she should have made arrangements with the host to have a plate saved for him.  It's bad enough that he had to work on Thanksgiving, but then to arrive and there is no food?  It's not like the guy was coming after going to another feast and they were just the "stop by" house.   I just can't imagine not having enough for an invited guest (not someone who tagged along at the last minute.)   And where was this guy supposed to pick up food after work?  7-11?  

 

And I think Teddy is just nuts and, although I am generous with my leftovers, expecting a plate to bring home is over the top.  

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I seriously doubt people didn't go back for seconds. She should have made him a plate when she made hers, before everyone else went back for second and/or made take home plates.  Because here's the thing- if he had shown up on time, would there have been food for him? Sure. 

 

I would not punish someone for work making them late, and that's kind of what happened. 

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A few thoughts...

 

These are not teens or young adults.

 

Teddy made it clear it was common/expected to first make a take home plate. So much so that he thought the girlfriend should have had given Bill HER take home plate that should have been in the car.

 

Re: the take home plate thing...I've been mulling it over and if it is expected, then it wouldn't really be a problem. Almost like a pre-meal divvying up of leftovers, like pre-leftovers. It's hard to find the words bc it is new to me. It's like talking about time travel. They can't be leftovers bc the meal hasn't happened yet. :lol:

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It sounds like for some reason not enough food was there.

 

Assuming people ate a normal amount, there should have been enough for the planned latecomer.

 

I think what should have happened is the GF should have said she needed to make up a plate, and other guests took a bit less, just as if the individual was actually there.

 

It is possible though people didn't really realize the problem until it was too late and most of the food was gone.

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DH told me this story:

 

Names are all made up. :D

 

Bill told to his co-workers (my DH and others) that he was invited to his GF's for Thanksgiving dinner. He told her he'd be late bc he had to work and didn't get off until an hour after dinner was scheduled.

 

By the time he got there, all the food was gone. She had tried to make him a plate but it was one of those mini-plates ((for desserts) and it only had a small piece of turkey and a couple tablespoons of some side dishes.

 

He was upset and thought she should have handled it differently, ie set aside a normal sized plate of food for him or not invited him bc she knew he'd be late and there'd be no food. The GF thought the food should have first went to the people at dinner who were there, and it was just how things worked that were barely any leftovers.

 

 

 

Dh wants to know if this is the first major dinner party that GF has hosted?  Because it sounds like insufficient food could be due to GF's inexperience.

 

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We have a very large extended family, so holidays are what marbel described as "open house" come-and-go events. The core families stay all day, but those with other family (or work!) obligations are free to drop in whenever they can. Lunch has a designated start time, and food is kept out for a while. It's eventually packed up and put up, but everyone knows to help themselves to whatever they want long into the night. 

 

We'd have fixed him a (heaping) plate after everyone present had a first run, but before anyone went back for seconds. It's all very relaxed and casual.

 

This is 2017. She should have called, texted, Face Timed, Face Booked, sent a 'gram, or something ... to let him know that all she was able to scrounge up for him was a puppy's serving of food. I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, like maybe she didn't realize that the meal was going to be more formal ... or maybe the hostess was new to big holidays and underestimated food amounts ... things happen ... but I feel like he was blindsided. I would have hated to be put in his position, and in HER's I'd have felt that I owed my boyfriend a head's up. The man had to be hungry, coming home from work!

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Yes, I want more detail on Bill's girlfriend. Was she the host or was the dinner at the home of a family member? Is Bill a casual boyfriend or is he considered family?

 

I'm picturing the dinner at girlfriend's mom's house so girlfriend was not in control of the food. And mom dislikes Bill so she arranged it so he got no dinner.

 

I love speculating. :-)

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We've had a situation where one person's family originally said they were just coming for pie after having their own meal.  But when they arrived, the meal was still on the table so they ALL sat down and ate.  Mind you this family has 15 members, making them the majority of eaters.  That threw things out of whack for the hosts, even though the hosts normally cook plenty of extra.

 

So maybe there was a reason why they unexpectedly ran out of food.  Maybe something got burned or one of the people who was expected to bring some dishes had a problem.  Maybe some folks showed up at dinner time and it would have been impolite to not feed them.

 

I would rather everyone had food to eat, but I don't like that the boyfriend decided to hold a grudge and whine to work friends because the amount saved for him wasn't what he expected.  Sometimes shit happens.  If this is going to make him that mad, maybe he should just call it off.  I feel sorry for the girlfriend.  What a baby.

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Going off my family and most every "other people's" family type functions I've been to: Teddy's nuts, divy up leftovers not grab what you can before anyone gets seconds.  Also GF should have made him a plate, in my family I'd have been reminded to about 10 times before I got to the end of the line.  If GF didn't feel comfortable or there was a perceived shortage Bill needs to suck it up and get McD's on the way home.

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We've had a situation where one person's family originally said they were just coming for pie after having their own meal.  But when they arrived, the meal was still on the table so they ALL sat down and ate.  Mind you this family has 15 members, making them the majority of eaters.  That threw things out of whack for the hosts, even though the hosts normally cook plenty of extra.

 

So maybe there was a reason why they unexpectedly ran out of food.  Maybe something got burned or one of the people who was expected to bring some dishes had a problem.  Maybe some folks showed up at dinner time and it would have been impolite to not feed them.

 

I would rather everyone had food to eat, but I don't like that the boyfriend decided to hold a grudge and whine to work friends because the amount saved for him wasn't what he expected.  Sometimes shit happens.  If this is going to make him that mad, maybe he should just call it off.  I feel sorry for the girlfriend.  What a baby.

 

15 family members showing up unexpectedly is not within the normal range, even on a family scale I'm used to. That's nuts. Why didn't they decline and say, "No thanks, we already ate."It's possible one person was bringing lots of food and they didn't show because of an emergency, but that's unusual too.  You would think if that was the case it probably would've been mentioned.  Why wouldn't the GF have sent him a message explaining the weird situation before he got there so he could get something else to eat? Did she really expect him to come from work, eat nothing, and visit with the family for the whole event and then eat at home later without at least having been warned about it?  I feel sorry for him.  She seems kinda clueless.

 

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The more I think about it, it sounds like a miscommunication.  "Can you come for dinner?"  "No, I have to work, but I can come after dinner."  Girlfriend either misunderstood that he expected a full meal long after everyone else finished, or failed to inform her folks to make enough for an extra man.

 

Whoever wasn't clear, I still think boyfriend is being a baby.  I've had a whiney, victim-mentality boyfriend, and it was way too much emotional investment for me.

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Once I was invited for dinner with another family.  I have no idea what went wrong, or if they actually think people eat this way, but I received something like one dinner roll, a few 3/4-inch cubes of meat, and 4 green beans.  Seriously, 4 green beans.  I was confused, but I never would have said anything.  My guess is the host ruined something she was intending to serve and couldn't do anything about it at the last minute.

 

To me it seems like extreme bad manners to ever let a host know you left their house hungry.

Edited by SKL
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The more I think about it, it sounds like a miscommunication.  "Can you come for dinner?"  "No, I have to work, but I can come after dinner."  Girlfriend either misunderstood that he expected a full meal long after everyone else finished, or failed to inform her folks to make enough for an extra man.

 

Whoever wasn't clear, I still think boyfriend is being a baby.  I've had a whiney, victim-mentality boyfriend, and it was way too much emotional investment for me.

 

I think an equally likely scenario is that the girlfriend forgot about saving him a plate and by the time she thought about it, people had seconds and maybe fixed plates to go. 

 

I can't imagine a holiday dinner that has so little food that one more serving can't be found. 

 

If the girlfriend didn't think he was planning to eat she wouldn't have made that tiny plate of food. He was coming from work, why wouldn't the other guests not expect him to want a meal? 

 

Nope, my money is on the girlfriend being inconsiderate. 

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Ultimately, what it boils down to for me is...

 

If a person is INVITED to DINNER.....they are expecting dinner.  It is not right to not then serve DINNER to the person who is rightly expecting dinner, since, you know, they were invited to dinner. 

 

Yeah, but I think there might have been confusion over whether the invitation to DINNER was actually accepted.

 

Or not.  I wasn't there.  :)

 

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He showed up late AND empty-handed and complained that the plate she saved for him wasn’t big enough? Sounds like a rude, inflexible guest to me. Eat what you’re served, don’t complain, then feed yourself when you leave. Fragile men annoy me. Sometimes you don’t know what will go down until it does and then you just roll with it. Nobody woke up plotting against the guy. He needs to suck it up and quit whining.

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I think an equally likely scenario is that the girlfriend forgot about saving him a plate and by the time she thought about it, people had seconds and maybe fixed plates to go. 

 

I can't imagine a holiday dinner that has so little food that one more serving can't be found. 

 

If the girlfriend didn't think he was planning to eat she wouldn't have made that tiny plate of food. He was coming from work, why wouldn't the other guests not expect him to want a meal? 

 

Nope, my money is on the girlfriend being inconsiderate. 

 

They may not have known.  And why would they? It's not up to the guests to be concerned about a late-arriving guest's food.  

 

I'm not meaning to be argumentative.  I'm just confused why the other guests would have anything to do with it.  I'm way too fascinated with this topic.

Edited by marbel
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I think an equally likely scenario is that the girlfriend forgot about saving him a plate and by the time she thought about it, people had seconds and maybe fixed plates to go. 

 

I can't imagine a holiday dinner that has so little food that one more serving can't be found. 

 

If the girlfriend didn't think he was planning to eat she wouldn't have made that tiny plate of food. He was coming from work, why wouldn't the other guests not expect him to want a meal? 

 

Nope, my money is on the girlfriend being inconsiderate. 

 

It could be she didn't realize that all the food was gone, until it was.

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They may not have known.  And why would they? It's not up to the guests to be concerned about a late guest's food.  

 

I'm not meaning to be argumentative.  I'm just confused why the other guests would have anything to do with it.  I'm way too fascinated with this topic.

 

You're probably right. I assumed other people knew the girl's boyfriend was coming. If it's a family meal, it seems like 

'where's your boyfriend' would have come up. Or she could have mentioned it.  

 

In any case, it was the girlfriend's responsibility to save him a plate.  

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You're probably right. I assumed other people knew the girl's boyfriend was coming. If it's a family meal, it seems like 

'where's your boyfriend' would have come up. Or she could have mentioned it.  

 

In any case, it was the girlfriend's responsibility to save him a plate.  

 

I think when I hear "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" I assume a more casual relationship, not that the person is considered part of the family.  But I have been proven wrong on that.  

 

It could go either way, I guess.  Or any number of ways.   

 

And yes, you are right, she should have saved him some food.

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I can imagine this happening at my MIL's house. I don't think I have ever been to a holiday meal that she hosted that there was enough food. Once she invited everyone (about 25 people) over for a holiday dinner. I asked what I could bring and she said she had it all covered, so I just brought a dessert.  We arrive for dinner and she informed us that she didn't feel like cooking after all.  And she didn't.  There was no supper, only desserts. My DH and his siblings went through the fridge to pull out lunchmeat and leftovers from earlier that week. I think we ended up leaving and going to get fast food.  After a decade of that, we now eat before we go or bring lots of sides, no matter what she says she has covered.

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Oh yeah, my SIL always used to get mad that the dinner was late.  It should have been on my brother to tell her to eat before going because Thanksgivnig dinner at Mom's is ALWAYS late.  But, my brother is a bit dense in the social department.  And after a couple years, it should have been on both of them, because hello ....

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Except, from how I read the OP....he wasn't late. He was there at exactly the time he SAID he would be. If it was not going to be possible for him to have the meal he was invited to at the time he was able to arrive, he should have been TOLD that. To me, it's not "wahhh wahhh, I am hungry" Its "I thought you wanted me to come for dinner.....but there wasn't dinner?"

The time he said he’d be there was a full hour after dinner was served. Who has full-service expectations when they’re that late. You might catch dessert. Gf wasn’t the hostess. If she’s young, she likely had no clue how much food was typically prepared or how many people would be sharing it. She might not have even told the hostess she was bringing a guest. I’m guessing she’s not a middle-aged mother with loads of experience feeding people. She did nothing wrong. A dessert plate full of food is still food. She tried. Faulting her after the fact is petty.

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Let's face it, family meals with guests is a minefield of possible problems.  I was helping my MIL shop and prepare a meal just this weekend and talked to everyone about preferences, etc.  One man said that he would not be eating.  So. . .I didn't take him into account when buying pork chops.  Once the meal was prepared, I asked him again if he wanted to eat, offering to split my pork chop with him.  He said, "no, go ahead."  Well, I did.  Once everyone was almost done eating, he strolled into the kitchen looking for what was left.  It turns out that FIL, knowing that there weren't enough pork chops if this person decided to eat after all, had not taken one.  That was FIL's choice, true enough, but I was annoyed at both of them.

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As someone who cooked 2 turkeys for a family of 5, I'm also confused by the lack of leftovers. I assume a dish got ruined and/or the host didn't have basic party quantity planning skills. When I host others, I always have back-up plans. Pizza, pasta, rice, scrambled eggs, popovers...anything is better than guests leaving hungry because something went wrong on my part.

 

If this had happened when DH and I were dating (not likely...my family's holiday meals involved a dozen families each bringing a dish or two), my mom and all my aunts and probably a concerned uncle or two would be constantly harping on me to get a plate together for him. So I guess my family meal culture would be more on the plate of leftovers side of things. I can see how a different group might decide to feed the people actually present first, especially with the limited amount of food, BUT, dude was an invited guest.

 

I think this was more about a lack of communication. Maybe the GF wasn't clear with the host about BF's timing; probably he should have said he couldn't make it to dinner but he'd do dessert; and it sounds like everyone was unclear on whether a plate should be assembled in the event of the food going too quickly.

 

That's okay(ish), it happens - I've been in situations where it wasn't clear until after the fact that there were factors both parties hadn't taken time to make clear, or even realized that there might be an issue. But that's when you need to think about the others, and be flexible. She should have texted him that she couldn't get much food together, so he could scrounge up something on the way rather than be hungry at someone else's house, since you're kind of stuck there for a little while once you arrive. He should have laughed it off as something hilarious to tell the grandkids someday, before helping himself to dessert. The host should have dug through the pantry. The girlfriend, barring all else, could have even announced, "Guys, I messed up. I need to feed my man! See you in an hour." There were many opportunities to turn it into a cheerful, lighthearted misunderstanding and move on with life. And maybe they did! From the posts I've seen I can't tell how it ultimately went down.

 

And the flexibility what it's all about. Sounds like both people will have a few things to ponder in the marriage department.

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In our family culture this is a huge hosting failure. Invited guests get fed plenty no matter who in the extended family invited them. And there is plenty of food. Someone being late due to work is not late because they came when they said they would. I feel sorry for Bill. He was invited to a meal, not for dessert or appetizers.

 

 

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It could be she didn't realize that all the food was gone, until it was.

This is what I was thinking as well. I'm a talker and slow eater. Usually I eat one plate in the time it takes other people to eat 3. It wouldn't have occurred to me to make a plate for someone at the same time I was making my own because leftovers are usually abundant. 

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If he is still hungry he can go over to my SIL where we had Thanksgiving. They got tons left over.  :lol:

I would have made a normal size plate if I thought food would be scarce but honestly, I don't think I have ever experienced this on Thanksgiving or Christmas.

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It's not clear from the OP how Bill reacted in person to his GF.

 

He worked all day, looking forward to a Thanksgiving dinner, which is a pretty big deal in the US. When he arrived, he knew he'd be getting a cold plate, but still...it's Thanksgiving and is *the* day of the year to have a yummy, satisfying meal, and to even overindulge and be stuffed afterwards.

 

He got there and was given a few pieces of turkey and a few bites of each side.

 

Now, honestly, that's enough food for a person to live off of, but it *is* a disappointment. It just is. It's a crummy ending to a Thanksgiving--which is all about the big meal. The first Thanksgiving was a feast, after all, and along with being thankful, we are re-creating a feast each year.

 

So, I can clearly see why he'd be disappointed and talk about it at work. But what did he do when he was with the GF? Did he say, "Oh, it's ok. It's fine," and then eat his food and say how good it was? Did the girlfriend offer the information, "Sweetie, I wish there was more, but everyone who was here had to eat and this is all that was left."

 

Or did he show his disappointment and dismay and be demanding, "What?! Where's all the food? Why didn't you save me any food?" And did she bristle (or not) and tell him about feeding everyone else first?

 

I had a boyfriend who never had my back. He was a sweet person, but I knew that I would always have to fight my own battles without support from him. I was on my own. I broke up with him because of it.

 

This story is fascinating and could have played out in a number of ways. I understand Bill's disappointment, but we don't know whether he showed it, whether the girlfriend was apologetic or dismissive, whether the food was in her control, whether there had been a mishap in the kitchen, whether the GF's family purposely didn't leave food for him...there are no answers.

 

Telling the story at work isn't necessarily being a baby. It's just chit-chat among co-workers. "How was your Thanksgiving?" "Well,....you know how I had to work? Yeah, well I told my GF I'd be late and she said it was ok, but when I got there, there was only a bite of turkey and a few teaspoons of leftovers left, so yeah...it was kinda disappointing." Bill might be wondering if his girlfriend has his back or not...or he might be understanding that she was in a tough spot and couldn't help. Either way, he was just telling the story of an unusual ending to a Thanskgiving day.

 

I agree that she should have sent him a text and warned him. A lot of places are closed on Thanksgiving, but he could have at least gotten a sandwich at a Royal Farms or somewhere so he wasn't hungry all night.

Edited by Garga
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