Late last week I was at a function with The Golfer – the end of year breakup meeting of a ‘mixed’ airforce group he belongs to. Mixed meaning both men and women who had served. Partners (if they are interested) are welcome at the monthly meeting/get togethers – which clash with my monthly book club….and as I was born into the life (yes I was an airforce brat……Born Raised and Travelled ) then married a serving airman, I’ve seen and heard it all before and don’t need to relive it month after month😝
Being the end of year/Christmas breakup some of the men had brought their wives along so there was a lot of kissy kissy, my goodness how long is it since we’ve seen each other, that long, we should get together more often, and so on.
A ‘very casual’ do….in a small hall……catered for out of funds available… not bring a plate……(sandwiches, some hot finger foods plus some seasonal nibbles) …..not overly posh. Hot drinks available at a do it yourself machine , drinks if you wanted them at the small bar on the premises. The caterers would call in later to pick up the ‘plastic’ serving platters.
As I said it’s not sit down but move along the spread that’s been laid out on four tables in a square, covered with Christmas clothes, paper plates, napkins and disposable cutlery in hand. Then stand around talking or sit down on the chairs arranged meeting style with a few small tables to one side.
So things are drawing to a close, people are getting up and making a move to the door when I noticed ‘stuff’ just left on chairs as well as the big table. They were saying their goodbyes and leaving without clearing up after themselves.
Having a chat with a long time friend who is now the secretary I mentioned how this was a change from years past…..even as recent as this time last year…… when everyone (that would be most of the people in the room) chipped in, putting their rubbish in the bin and generally helping return the room to the way it was.
“Oh the committee decided that as they are our guests we aren’t expecting that of them anymore. We wouldn’t expect guests in our home to clear the table after a meal”
As I (also a guest) wandered about the room with a black bin bag in my hand I wondered what had brought about this change in attitude. How did something that people did automatically…..pitch in and help at ‘gatherings’ like this….. suddenly turn into a ‘I’ll just sit here and let others do that’ situation.
Do you automatically offer to help or do you feel it’s not ‘your job’….you’re a visitor not part of the group.
If you’re invited to a meal in someone else’s home do you offer any help at all or just leave it all to the ‘host’