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Unsure of self with guest situation - help please
Old 04-25-2009, 05:15 PM   #1
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Unsure of self with guest situation - help please

We will be having a couple as guests for dinner Monday evening. I have never met these folks, who are older than I. The man was a very close friend of my husband’s in their youth, but it seems they lost touch with each other about 25 years ago. No quarrel occurred, but there was obviously some misunderstanding.
He called my husband out of the blue a few weeks ago to say they’d be passing through our area and would love to see us. They declined my offer to stay overnight, and my husband does not want to go to a local restaurant (noisy, no ambiance) so I will be cooking dinner for 4.
I would like suggestions of how to make the guests comfortable between their arrival (expected at 4 p.m.) and dinner at 6 p.m. I am a little unsure of myself because of the background which I just told you about. Maybe I shouldn't be, but that's how I am sometimes.
I do have a familiar repertoire of baked salmon, oven-roasted potatoes, and asparagus, and will make a cheesecake tomorrow and chill it overnight. My husband says his friend used to be very straight-laced and did not drink coffee or hard liquor, although he did drink beer.
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Old 04-25-2009, 05:21 PM   #2
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Maybe you could assemble some photos or other memorabilia that would help fill him in on what your husband has been doing for the past 25 years, and what he is doing and interested in right now.

That's a lot of time to cover in two hours. The photos or whatever might help spark some conversation if it is awkward at first.

I don't drink or smoke either, but I always appreciate a diet 7-up or other diet soda with no caffeine. Or maybe he still drinks beer.
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Old 04-25-2009, 05:24 PM   #3
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Just go with the flow. If there was a misunderstanding, the guy has either forgotten about it or somehow wants to apologize. I would bet though that its just a case of letting by-gones be by-gones. Good luck, and enjoy the evening. The more you fret, the less you will enjoy, so just chill and be happy!

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Old 04-25-2009, 05:27 PM   #4
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Any ideas what I should offer them (food or snack wise) before dinner? They will have been driving for several hours, and 4 is a long time since lunch.
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Old 04-25-2009, 05:36 PM   #5
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Any ideas what I should offer them (food or snack wise) before dinner? They will have been driving for several hours, and 4 is a long time since lunch.
Crackers and cheeses, chips and dip, carrots and celery, and/or other hors d'oeuvres like bacon wrapped shrimp or nachos or whatever. Whatever is easy and sounds good.
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Old 04-25-2009, 05:38 PM   #6
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Deviled eggs are my favorite when I am hungry and it will be a while until dinner. Added to the things mentioned by Want-2. And of course beer, wine or booze.

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Old 04-25-2009, 05:43 PM   #7
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I am assuming the guy does not have any religious dietary restrictions, by the way. Might be worth asking your husband about that if you are thinking of anything with bacon, for example.

Deviled eggs are a great idea, Ha. Also, I forgot to mention a little bowl of olives with pretty toothpicks to eat them with. But I think the crackers and cheeses are a must - - like the deviled eggs, they are really filling.
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Old 04-25-2009, 05:51 PM   #8
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Thanks. I'll pick up some nice cheese and fancy crackers when I buy the asparagus on my way home from work. They are Catholic, so no religious restrictions on food. I am looking forward to meeting them.
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:00 PM   #9
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Any ideas what I should offer them ... before dinner? They will have been driving for several hours, and 4 is a long time since lunch.
A bathroom.
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:22 PM   #10
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Soft background music, choice of hot or cold beverage, simple snacks and the gift of time to converse and listen. Be prepared to take the wife for a walk or suggest the guys go if they might need some private time to heal a rift. May not have a rift to heal and it could be a great time to rekindle an old friendship. Or, just a pleasant evening with new friends.
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:34 PM   #11
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As camloki said - a bathroom will be high on their list!

Also, if the weather is nice and you have a walkable neighborhood - a stroll around before dinner and after munching would be a nice way to get the driving kinks out.

ta,
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:38 PM   #12
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I usually have beer & wine and a platter of cheeses ,some fruit , some shrimp and deli swirls that you buy at Sam's club and just defrost .
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Old 04-25-2009, 06:48 PM   #13
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Bacon.
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Old 04-25-2009, 07:37 PM   #14
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Out of touch for 25 years, no letters or e-mails, no discussion about what led to the separation and how to reconcile? The motivation for reconnecting is because they have a reason to drive nearby enroute elsewhere? Hmph. Sounds like you're already doing more than enough for them. But that's probably my hermit tendencies talking.

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I would like suggestions of how to make the guests comfortable between their arrival (expected at 4 p.m.) and dinner at 6 p.m. I am a little unsure of myself because of the background which I just told you about. Maybe I shouldn't be, but that's how I am sometimes.
Serve dinner at 5 PM?

I don't know what the weather's like, but what about a tour of the house/property?
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:15 PM   #15
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I would see that the two guys have some alone time together. Dad always brought the guy to the basement to show him his current projects and hobbies. You might be busy cooking anyway. Then the problem becomes what to do with his wife. Enjoy.
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Old 04-25-2009, 08:47 PM   #16
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Out of touch for 25 years, no letters or e-mails, no discussion about what led to the separation and how to reconcile? The motivation for reconnecting is because they have a reason to drive nearby enroute elsewhere? Hmph. Sounds like you're already doing more than enough for them. But that's probably my hermit tendencies talking.

Nords,

You have a point Stubbornness on both sides; now a different light on things, because both parties are getting older. And I want to present us in the best possible light even though I don't know these folks and probably won't see them again.

I don't know what the weather's like, but what about a tour of the house/property?
That's a good idea.
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Old 04-25-2009, 09:05 PM   #17
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We find ourselves in similar situations more and more these days--I believe it is part of the aging process.
The one thing I have noticed, almost as a rule, is that almost everyone has some quirky food restriction. As a result, we now do a trial balloon on the main menu before they arrive...like, hey Ted, how are you and the little lady with deep fried raccoon these days? (an Ozarks specialty.) This procedure has saved us at least a couple of times. Regarding the pupus, we try to have a couple of offerings on each side of the food chain so at least one will work.
If they bring a wine, I generally tell them what I had planned, but offer to chill the free offering if the guest is so inclined. Of course, I'm always ready with the Welchs bubbly as a second choice.
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Old 04-26-2009, 04:53 AM   #18
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...pour 'em full of booze and then press for details.

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Old 04-26-2009, 06:43 AM   #19
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Old 04-26-2009, 08:31 AM   #20
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...pour 'em full of booze and then press for details.

A deliciously devious plan...
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