Do you do it….

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’

18 thoughts on “Do you do it….

    1. Oh the automatic stacking that the wait staff dislike. They have a special way of placing them along their arm and dealing with the cutlery at the same time.
      Most of us can’t help but try to help can we 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have a lot of “trouble” doing that kind of thing, because trying to pick up/bin or even help with washing up – causes people to rapidly take over because of my hands & balance issues…same with stacking plastic chairs or folding down tables…

    But there is always someone who wants to know why a well looking woman like me can’t assist, until I see someone else, taking said person aside to explain “don’t judge the book by the cover” scenario…

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    1. I’m sure you are able to help in other ways Cathy and as you mentioned there are many in your circle of friends who know of your ‘predicament’ and make allowances for it. And put others in their place as well.

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    1. That’s true EC but I do wonder sometimes if as people age they conveniently forget that early training. Many of those I mentioned were older in years and certainly not visibly handicapped in any way.

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  2. If it’s a gathering of the kind you describe here, I’d automatically dispose of my own rubbish, and possibly bring a couple of “forgotten” plates along. In a private home it’ s more difficult. Many are peculiar as to how and what is done at their house.

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    1. Charlotte I’d love to be a fly on the wall and see the look on people’s faces at a dinner party where the host said, could you all bring your plates out to the kitchen.

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    1. At least you offer Margaret. These were adults who certainly (in my view) should have known better or at least made a small effort. The comittee certainly would have appreciated it.

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  3. Interesting. I lunched at Pran Central today and on the table adjacent to me were plastic plates and drink containers that some people never thought to pu in the nearby bin. I don’t expect people to return china cups and mugs to where they bought their drink, but it is so easy to chuck disposables into a bin. But while I would instinctively clear up after myself, at times in the situation you describe, it could be difficult. Ok, I am making excuses.

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  4. It’s automatic to clear up at a function like that….if invited to soemone’s home then I’ll ask if they want a hand…I know that I prefer to sort it out myself when I have friends over as then I know where everything is!

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    1. What surprised me Helen was that most of the people involved were good at ‘telling others’ about their life and how they had served and life should be about giving and not taking. Maybe they had aged so much in the previous year they decided it was their turn to take and forget the giving

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  5. I always help, or in a private home, just pitch in. I was once at a Boy Scout gathering of about 60 people, who know the rules, everyone pitches in at normal mealtimes. For some reason, at this special event, they just started walking out the door, leaving the whole mess on the tables. I stood up, put on my best scout leader’s voice, called a halt to the whole exodus! They turned around as one body and every single person pitched in. They knew better, just needed to be reminded.

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