Guests bringing own food - AIBU

(105 Posts)
feelingreallyanxious Sun 24-Aug-14 14:43:36

My DH actually wants me to post this question!

We have invited his parents over for lunch. They told my DH that they would bring the meat and asked me to cook the vegetables. I think this is strange because we invited them and I have already planned what we are cooking. I think this is weird and he thinks it is polite of them to do this. I know that people bring food but I would usually bring a dessert or bottle of wine.

AIBU to think this is not usual?

MrsWinnibago Sun 24-Aug-14 14:44:26

Are they very working class? I don't mean to be rude. I am WC and I've seen this in Working Class families/friendships.

CatKisser Sun 24-Aug-14 14:45:06

I find that odd, not least because surely you'd want to have the meat already cooking when your guests arrived?

feelingreallyanxious Sun 24-Aug-14 14:45:40

MrsW that made me laugh. I am not sure what the boundaries are for working/ middle class anymore so I don't know.

ROARmeow Sun 24-Aug-14 14:46:23

I agree with previous poster's question. My in-laws sometimes bring their own milk for their cuppa. Same brand of milk as we already have in fridge hmm

Buttercup27 Sun 24-Aug-14 14:46:26

I think it's odd. I invited my parents for Sunday lunch today and will be supplying everything (they do the same for us when we eat at theirs). I would bring flowers or wine but definitely not meat. Surely it would need to be in the oven long before they arrive ?

HouseAtreides Sun 24-Aug-14 14:48:06

If I invite people for dinner and they offer to bring something, it's either booze or dessert. Never the main course! Weeeeird.

KoalaDownUnder Sun 24-Aug-14 14:48:22

I think it is both weird and kind/polite. grin

HTH

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Aug-14 14:48:27

Haha! That's the sort of thing my ex MIL used to do because she didn't like the thought of anyone spending money on her grin

PecanNut Sun 24-Aug-14 14:48:29

Sometimes my MIL offers to bring the meal, e.g. a lasagne or chicken pie to save me cooking, and I just do some veg to go with it.

It is quite handy as they won't eat many of our usual meals so this solves the problem. But they always ring in advance to check if we want to do it or if we have other food planned.

I would think it odd if someone outside the immediate family did it.

CumbrianExile Sun 24-Aug-14 14:49:07

I have only ever heard of this happening when catering for a large number of people. Christmas time etc. Its odd if there is only the 4 of you though!

Once we had a bbq, told people just to bring drinks, and someone turned up with sausages and bread rolls. We had loads of both of these things, and I thought it was odd. Actually, gave them back when they left!

WhoDaresWins Sun 24-Aug-14 14:52:32

Have they done this before? This is presumably not the first time you've hosted them.

Wondering if you've cooked them something in the past they didn't like?

PurpleWithRed Sun 24-Aug-14 14:53:05

Are you young and poor? It is a bit weird for guests to do this but it is the kind of thing my mil would have done when her ds was just starting out. Sometimes when my mum is staying she buys us a big lump of something quality to roast as a guest present.

Nomama Sun 24-Aug-14 14:55:48

Maybe they do a weekly raffle and won a joint of meat this week.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 24-Aug-14 14:57:23

As an outsider without any knowledge of any possible sub-text that may be going on, I'd say that they were being kind and generous. Some people may not have noticed but good quality meat is really bloody expensive now. They could have found a good deal and are deciding to share it with you.

Never look a gift-horse in the mouth.

feelingreallyanxious Sun 24-Aug-14 14:57:46

Not young and not poor.

Pastperfect Sun 24-Aug-14 14:59:05

Do they think that money is tight for you? Is so then it's kind, otherwise it is very very odd

Flossyfloof Sun 24-Aug-14 14:59:21

Have they been to you before? Were you a bit tight with the food that time? They might just be making sure they have enough to eat so that they don't have to get a McDonalds on the way home.

WorraLiberty Sun 24-Aug-14 15:01:36

Is this the first time they've done it?

If not, I agree with the PP who said perhaps they won it in a meat raffle. Or maybe they just happened to have a joint in the fridge/freezer.

I'd think it weird if a 'guest' did it, but then I don't see family as guests IYSWIM?

ElephantsNeverForgive Sun 24-Aug-14 15:01:52

My parents always bring the meat at Christmas, they have brilliant, cheap, rural Welsh butchers. We bave very good, but much pricier MC English rural butchers.

Otherwise, they just turn up as meals are reciprocated, Christmas isn't as they don't have room to stay and DH loves putting up lights everywhere.

capant Sun 24-Aug-14 15:04:54

I would assume they are working class. People brought up as poor have often learned that doing things like this are polite, as it reduces the financial burden of having someone round. So they are being kind.

Castlemilk Sun 24-Aug-14 15:07:29

Ha! Would have put money on it that this would be your PIL.

While for some people this would be a perfectly normal helpful thing to do, for most people it isn't, for reasons stated upthread. Bringing wine - yes. Bringing dessert - yes if arranged in advance. Stating you are going to be part of planning the meal and bringing the ingredient without which the cooking can't be started or organised - no, not really!

This is a common PIL/parents thing and my interpretation is this. A lot of parents and perhaps especially the man's parents I think find it quite hard to eat at their child's house and be in the role of complete 'guest' - especially for maybe MIL who would be used to being 'in charge' of hosting. It rubs it in that they aren't part of the nuclear family of their child, they don't live in their home, they are guests. Some don't like it and can't resist kicking against it a bit. And this is how they do it - 'It won't be your meal, it will be organised by US TOO and we will be part of it, we won't completely be 'your guests'.

I'd always say no to this, I don't think it's particularly healthy.

Nomama Sun 24-Aug-14 15:08:11

I feel so patronised now.... I is poor and need help to feed family, but at least I is kind shock

EBearhug Sun 24-Aug-14 15:08:45

Mostly not, with a few exceptions. A relation always used to bring her own gluten free stuff (especially in the days before gluten free stuff became more widely available in main-stream supermarkets.)

Also, I grew up in a farming community, and it wasn't unknown for people to offer to supply a joint of their own meat - but it was offered rather than announced, and it wouldn't be appropriate if you're just coming for lunch, because you need the time to cook it. Bit different if they're there for the weekend. It's also fairly usual to turn up with a bag of beans or apples, or whatever is currently in glut, but you don't necessarily expect it to be used then and there for that meal, as it's more about getting rid of useful produce that you're getting sick of yourself...

I would probably usually ask if I could bring anything (and I'd expect the answer to be either "no, just yourselves", or possibly, "can you do a dessert?" rather than the main meal.) It does depend a bit on who it is and how close you are.

But it is odd to tell you that they are bringing the meat, rather than merely offering.

Summerisle1 Sun 24-Aug-14 15:08:49

If I'm hosting then I expect to feed my guests. I'd find it a little odd to be told, without the opportunity of a discussion, that someone was bringing the meat. Apart from anything else, meals are reciprocated.

We have a huge family Christmas and all of us chip in an agreed contribution towards the meal - be it puddings, wine, cheese or whatever - but that's rather different since it is only fair to share the costs of feeding and watering so many people.

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