This past Sunday, I went to a lovely light dinner party with family and a few close friends on the guest list. This was a casual event, catered sandwiches, salads, chips and fresh fruit. We received an email invite and when I responded, I replied all (so my cousins could see my response) and I said, I will be there with significant other and will bring a few bottles of wine and dessert, probably brownies and a tart if that sounds okay. My aunt wrote back that it would be lovely.
I responded this way, because my aunt wanted a head count for sandwiches and because I wanted everyone to know that I would bring brownies and a tart (and of course a few bottles of wine).
Fast forward to Sunday and the 97 degree weather and to be honest – I really couldn’t bake. It was so freaking hot, I just could not muster up the strength. So I bought dessert. I have mentioned this before: superior people know when to bake and when to buy. Any weather above 90 degree heat means purchasing baked goods. So I got a fresh, delicious strawberry rhubarb pie, a tray of small dessert treats (mini-cakes, cookies and tarts in assorted flavors), and a Viennese lemon tart. I was thinking light, fruity, and delicate considering the weather and the menu of sandwiches and salads. Made sense to me…
So what did my cousins do? They brought dessert. Including three trays of brownies from three different people. Seriously?
Okay, yes, in all fairness I didn’t bring the brownies I said I was going to (thanks goodness!) so it all worked out. Brownies seemed too heavy once I got to the bakery, so I changed my mind. Although, when has chocolate ever been to heavy for moi? But um? Dear cousins? They KNEW I planned on bringing brownies for dessert so what on earth possessed them to bring the same thing? Just so you know, I have never seen so many desserts for thirty people. Good think I ate 7 of the brownies or there would have totally been an issue.
I love being a guest at someone’s home, especially family, and especially my family because they make a mean margarita! But then sometimes I want to strangle my family because they apparently read my email and said, “Cousin Superiority is bringing brownies. Let’s ALL bring brownies!” Note to everyone: ask what you can bring and if someone says we really need veggies and dip do not brink cake. Bring the veggies and dip, please. And note to family: you bitches are lucky I didn’t bake my homemade brownies because you would have been seriously embarrassed by that Dunkin Hines mess you brought. Not that I don’t love you all.
Also, as a hostess and a guest, I have a superior suggestion when you bring wine. Sometimes, when you enter a busy household in the throes of a swinging party, the hostess can’t see that you generously brought 3 or 4 bottles. I hate it when my generous friends (you know who you are) bring three bottles of wine and I don’t get to thank them ESPECIALLY when we don’t drink it (okay, well this is rare) and it sits on my counter and I don’t know who it’s from.
When I bring wine, sometimes I like to write on the label: “To Aunt Sue from your favorite niece – thanks for having us!” or just “Thanks for having us! Love, Superiority!” Does this seem weird? I love seeing a bottle that says, “Happy Birthday! Love, Jen and Mike” on it. Because then I can call them or send a quick note when I drink the wine to say I was thinking of them and thanks.
Also, and this will sound so selfish, so don’t tell anyone, but I really worry sometimes that the hostess will think I didn’t bother to bring her anything. So yes, in the thank you note I can say: “We had such a fabulous time (as usual) at your summer soiree. You throw the best parties; I really don’t know how you do it! The Pinot Noir on the counter is from me – Jesse mentioned she had never had tried it and this one is my favorite! Enjoy!” But sometimes…I don’t know…sometimes it doesn’t feel right. Anyone have any great suggestions for this awkwardness? Is it weird to send a thank you note like this? It definitely makes me more aware as a hostess greeting my company. I don’t want anyone else to suffer (haha) like this…