Post by mcv Post by Arthur Hagen
If you really want more, a fairly common polite way of /not asking/
is to take the empty cup or plate and hold it in your hands. Sooner
or later a forgetful host will then wonder why they keep on holding
an empty vessel in their hands, and the light will click on.
How is that not making demonds on the host? It's just a more subtle
and meaner way to do it. I prefer openness and honesty over suffering
in silence and making the host feel guilty about it.
It allows the host to save face in several ways:
- By letting the host ask the guests whether they want more, the host's
apparent manners are preserved.
- Other guests might want more too; it's not all about you. A subtle
reminder to the host allows that to happen with (statistically) half the
guests not noticing before the host does.
- It saves the host from having to admit it if he's run out of tea (or
other consumables), which would be a major faux pas. (If you don't have
more than enough, don't even start serving.)
Post by mcv
It depends a lot on the situation. Where I live, it's common for young
people (in their 20s and 30s) to politely point out the location of
the fridge and let everybody help themselves.
Pointing guests to your fridge is an unreasonable demand on them, and
you can't expect them to know what's fridge etiquette in your house.
How long can the fridge door stay open? How many of something can you
take? Is everything in the fridge fair game? Do you put leftovers back
in the fridge? What if the guest doesn't feel clean enough to handle
food that eventually will be eaten by others?
What if the guest's manners won't allow him to help himself from your
fridge? Should he starve for sticking to etiquette? Would you even
notice, or would you erroneously believe him when he told you he wasn't
As for people helping themselves, which some young people seem to do
even when not being being asked to, it's just plain rude. Help yourself
to anything in my house, and you'll never see the inside of it again.
Even if it's out in the open, you don't help yourself unless you've been
asked to. Don't touch those pretzels in the bowl on the table -- they
may be decoration, they may be poisoned, and, most importantly, they may
be meant for others.
Good intentions don't absolve bad manners.
Post by mcv
People my parents' age tend to get seriously stressed when they have
a lot of guests, because they feel they need to take care of
absolutely everything, which just isn't very reasonable when there
are lots of guests.
If there's more people than you can handle, and you don't have dedicated
serving personnel, you appoint people to help you. If there's none
suitable among the guests, you shouldn't have invited them all in the
Post by mcv
Everybody doing their bit just works out much better, and people will
get the chance to actually talk to the host, which is good.
With people running in and out of the kitchen all the time, I doubt it's
any more efficient. It sure will leave the guests less time to speak to
*each other*, which is why you invited all of them anyhow, isn't it?
Yes, I know the etiquette rules change over time. No, I don't have to
like it, nor abide by it in my house.