Countdown to T-Day: Gracious Guesting

Nov 20


Hosting is my thing. Having friends over is my way of sharing love and affection. Not only do I pour my heart and soul into my cooking, but I get to choose the menu, the guestlist and get to stay home! It’s perfection.

Though, GOING to dinner parties is just as fun: Simply show up and enjoy yourself. Sometimes, however, being a dinner guest can be somewhat awkward, especially if you’re allergic or intolerant to certain foods, on a special diet, a picky eater or the host is Paula Deen (a butter hound).

What if the host divvys up each guest’s portion? Should you shove the food around on the plate, pretending to eat?  Ask for something else? Eat it and pay the consequences later? After all, do you really want to look ungrateful or worse?

Over the years, I’ve learned a few things. Instead of stressing myself out, I live by a few simple rules:

  • Never show up empty handed: bring a host gift as a token of your appreciation. If it’s a Paula Deen-type (the fattening host, not the racist), bring a vegetable side-dish. This way, you’ll at least have SOMETHING to eat!
  • If you can’t bring a dish you like to eat, simply have a small snack beforehand. That way you’re not ravenous halfway through dinner.
  • Bring sparkling water (with limes) in lieu of wine to cut down on calories.
  • Notify your host a week before the party if you have any dietary restrictions and ask if you can bring things that will compensate for this.
  • Be a gracious guest: don’t complain and certainly don’t apologize for not eating. You’re there to visit friends and family. Make socializing the main event.
  • In fact, wait until dessert to tell a fantastic story or exciting news. This way, when everyone is stuffing their faces, your treat is sugar-free, undivided attention.

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