Food Circle via Facebook: Etiquette
August 1, 2014 7:50 AM Subscribe
Some wonderful friends are putting together a food circle for us as we are expecting our first baby in August. I have a plate full of etiquette beans in front of me, so please follow me inside where we can share them together!
posted by aabbbiee to Society & Culture (22 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
My husband & I are in our mid-30s and this is our first child. We are on the periphery of a lovely community of parents with young children in our town, though most of our closest friends are childfree. We also live in a town where several of my immediate & extended family members live nearby. (This is in a progressive college town in the Midwestern USA.)
Sweet parent friends have put together a food circle* for us on Facebook, inviting mostly the young parents that they know. However, we don't know many of these people well (we've met at parties, that kind of thing). We've been invited to the event page and made "hosts" of it, so we could potentially invite our own friends & family to participate.
I am conflicted and don't know how to proceed from an etiquette point of view.
Inviting people to give me meals seems as gauche as it gets, but this was put together on Facebook and Facebook makes this awkward by requiring me to do the inviting of my own friends even if the event is properly hosted/organized by other people. I feel stuck in a position where either I appear slightly ungrateful by not inviting anyone to round out this circle (which puts the onus of cooking meals on people I don't know well yet) or where I appear to be lacking in basic manners by asking people to give me things.
Obviously I'm not going to invite every friend of mine on Facebook. I have close friends and family who would not be too put off by this awkwardly rude invitation, might be very happy that someone is organizing this, and would love to participate. BUT some of these same people have already been so generous to us already (gifts at showers, cards, valuable hand-me-downs, etc.) Inviting them to send me meals feels kind of greedy/grabby.
Further, my sister "helped" me make several meals to freeze for postpartum (read: she did all the cooking and I barely did more than plan & buy ingredients). I put pictures of this on Facebook (as a way of thanking her for her effort by calling attention to it), so many people know that we already have meals ready to go. (These meals won't take us much further than a couple weeks into new parenthood, but that doesn't make someone else responsible for feeding us.)
*Food circle (also called Meal Train): A process where a group of people sign up for selected dates to bring meals to new parents (or to those recovering from illness or surgery, etc.)
- I hate cooking, never more so than since I've been pregnant (when a box of macaroni and cheese seems like way too much effort). I think cooking a meal is a big deal.
- I also grok that we will be new parents, and there may be plenty of opportunity to pay this back (or pay it forward) in the next few years as we become more involved in the parent community of our town. I'm definitely up for that, especially once I've been on that side of it.
- Also, people love babies and may well consider the chance to hold a new baby well worth the entry price of a casserole. (Not that we are setting entry prices or rules, of course.)
Should I invite my friends & family to this food circle? Would you consider it rude if I did that, even knowing that FB makes me do this (rather than the hosts)?
If I invite friends & family who are close enough to not be put off by the rudeness, should I
-- send them the FB event invite (which they may not see, given how FB algorithms work)
-- send them a direct message or email that says "Oh, lovely friends are doing this lovely thing, and if you want to participate (no pressure!), let me know and I'll add you to the FB invite"
with the assumption on my end that they are free to ignore all of it, of course!