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Mama Deb
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Mama Deb [userpic]

Twice this yomtov season, I've been offered guests and turned them down (once we didn't want guests and once I simply didn't have the food.) Today, a third person called, sent by our rabbi. I can't turn down a third - it's in the house and I haven't shopped yet at all. She wanted either Tuesday or Wednesday lunch. I'm doing eggs/dairy for Tuesday lunch, but she didn't want that. And a good thing, because she's bringing two others. Although, asking for a meal and then turning up one's nose at what's offered...*shakes head*.

So. She's coming on Simchat Torah. Which means a complete change in plans for me. I am *still* making chicken paprikash because now that I'm feeding five people, not two, a big one pot course is best,but now I need a dinner for Tuesday night. Ah, maybe I'll just make chicken breast fillet - fast, easy and not too heavy for 10PM.

And she won't meet us at synagogue, so I had to give her an approximate time to show up at the house, too. Which I didn't know and couldn't guess as her phone call woke me up and my head was spinning and...wow.

I'm going to have to be a gracious hostess to three strangers who probably won't expect my somewhat messy house and idiosyncratic meals. Or, given the conversation, some of my vocabulary. On the most stressy holiday of they ear for me.

I'm guessing there's a reason for this.


Wow, you're way more patient than I am, and I'm a rebbetzin. In my mind, there is no excuse for (a) forcing yourself on someone or (b) turning up your nose at what's being served.

I get really irate when guests are forced on me for no good reason. Guests who get stranded last minute are welcome with open arms. Picky guests who complain and demand will be turned away.

Why is this your most stressy holiday? I would have guessed pesach.

Simchat Torah is my father's yahrzeit.

Once I say "yes", it's yes. That she sprung two other guests and wouldn't eat what I was serving doesn't change that.

And I'd said "no" twice already and I feel bad about that. So, see? I was supposed to get three guests, and now I have them.

As well as guests for lunch *and* dinner today.

Edited at 2008-10-19 02:18 pm (UTC)

Oh, I see. I hope you have a meaningful aliya for his neshama. And a happy and good chag, despite your guest issues.

Maybe you are getting them to take your mind off the yartzeit? Yeah, me trying a new optimistic self, maybe not working yet?

May everything be ok and the reason for it be apparent to you.

People didn't usually even tell me what they were eating. I just got there and dealt with it.

I don't eat things I don't like, but I would just leave them on the serving plate or give them to someone else.

Yeah--when we invite guests, we always ask about food allergies and any other dietary restrictions. But food dislikes are not an option. There are plenty of things I don't like to eat, but when you're a guest, you just don't take it on your plate (or if you're me, you slip it surreptitiously to your husband.)

You don't get to dictate meal policy.

Yeah. Allergies are one thing (and I asked and have been asked about that); preferences are another thing entirely and should not be the host's problem.

My goodness. Where I come from, guests are barely permitted to say, "I'm allergic to X" -- outside of medical issues, you eat (or fake eating) what's put in front of you.

I hope you have a meaningful, low-stress holiday nonetheless.

We may rearrange things.

Jonathan doesn't think I should entertain that day, and he's probably right.

Unfortunately, I didn't get her number because, well. See, re - just woke up.

I really hope they redeem themselves by being charming and fun and peaceable, after all this.

What do you mean WON'T??

She IS aware of the fact that she could very well end up waiting on your stoop for an hour or you guys could be waiting for her for an hour if she doesn't daven at your shul?

Good heaven's talk about high maintenance...

Re: What do you mean WON'T??

We are not waiting for her, I'll tell you that.

And they're eating salad, chicken paprikash and honey cake.

Re: What do you mean WON'T??


Re: What do you mean WON'T??

Oh, yes.

But it's not a traditional yom tov meal. It's not soup and fish and three choices of entree plus kugels.

Because I'm spending the morning and early afternoon in shul.

Re: What do you mean WON'T??

Sounds like a plan.

I don't do guests for simchat torah unless theye are willing to prepare and eat their own meals. So this year its omlets, I've made sure there are ingredients my husband and the guest like and the rest is up to them. My cabinets are labled, everything is color coded (even the cabinet knobs), and the guest this year regularly helps cook in my kitchen so she'll hopefully be ok. I doubt any of the 3 of us will be going to the same place so our meals will be all off-sycn from each other as I refuse to have people leave shul if they are having a good time.

asking for a meal and then turning up one's nose at what's offered

No. Just no.

If you're a guest you take what's offered with a smile and a 'thank you'.

I was being nice, you know. I was telling her what I'd make.

I'm with everyone else and I'm a picky eater myself. If I don't like what's served, I pick politely and then go home and eat some cereal.

And springing two extra people and refusing to go to your shul...I have a bad feeling she'll be a miserable guest. And combined with the yertzait, this could lead to bad bad times.

Don't feel bad about saying no. No is good. No is empowering!

I didn't get her phone number!

jonbaker is predicting direness, too. I told him he needs to talk to our rabbi, then. Because, yeah.

Call up the Rabbi. If need be, I'll invite you and you can say you're thinking of our invitation. (House is glatt kosher)

Wait. Where do you live?

I live in Manhattan Beach and don't worry, I wasn't inviting you spur of the moment, I was just saying tell the rabbi you're considering my offer. You're alwats welcome, of course, but as I live at home till law school, parents may need to be asked before I invite people.

That's so sweet. Thank you!

Bit far to walk from Midwood, though, and I really don't want to do to your mom what was done to me.

I'm also a picky eater & I tell people just make sure there is challah & wine & I'm happy.

I've got something like 9 or 10 coming in oh, about five hours now, and the Food is the ONLY thing that's under something like control for now. The house looks ransacked, the Sukkah has to have its seating rearranged, and I have to hope the 20% chance of rain doesn't turn in to 100 over my Sukkah during dinner.

So yes "Bleah! Bleah! Bleah!"

As for your guests, heavens, you go to someone's home for dinner, the extent of your right to control what they serve is limited to disclosure of your food allergies and (in my community) level of Kashrut. You're offering hospitality, not catering their kid's Bar-Mitzvah!

Wow. It sounds like Abraham had it easy inviting over three angels -- at least they didn't complain about the food. :)

I am officially Guested Out for Tishri as of yesterday (and speaking of dubiously tasteful behavior, we got ditched by our lunch guests in favor of an Obama rally - I sort of sympathize, but c'mon!). At this point, anyone who wants to show up at my house is welcome to the leftover bagels, lox, and spinach kugel we have floating around here someplace. But your menus sound wonderful. Anyway, chag sameach in advance, and I hope you somehow find ST easy this year.

Look at it this way, having unexpected guests during Succot/Yomim Tovim is a segulah for parnossah! The more you put yourself out for strangers right now, the more Hashem will bless you this year.

Be happy that you've been given the opportunity to have this mitzvah, it's an important one. :-)

(This year, my daughter and I walked around the neighborhood inviting ourselves to people's succot meals, just so that they could get the mitzvah and the segulah. It was fun.)