Hey Everyone! Thank you for participating in my little poll regarding who gets ‘served’ first. I deeply appreciate the responses and read every single one of them. Some, several times.
I want to clarify a few things. When I say ‘serve’, I mean anything from being offered a beer off the platter to handing over a cup of gelato. When I asked ethnicity, I was asking about your race and ethnicity. I asked this because among my friends the answers seemed to vary slightly based on race / ethnicity / immigrant status etc. I asked age, because I wanted to see if the answers might skew generationally. When I said my SO and ‘his boys’, I meant his friends 😉
Now, here’s why I asked. I know I say that I hate talking about my dating life, but that’s not quite true. I just kind of hate being asked how it’s going. Especially because I rarely have something to report! And I hate it being followed up with statements like needing to ‘put myself out there’ or being told how great it is to not have to date anymore because they’ve found someone. But, when I do have something to talk about, I can barely keep my mouth shut!
(disclaimer: Now, I do have a problem. I have a thing for alpha males. I know I can take care of myself. I run a department with staff and a budget. I problem solve all day. I like to come home and someone else is able and willing to make some decisions. I like men who watch / play football, fix cars, hang shelves, shoot guns and be a ‘man’. I also like them to be well read, go to theater shows with me and watch my foreign films without moaning that if they wanted to read they wouldn’t have come to the movies. I don’t like sexist, bullheaded, insensitive men. But, again, I like men’s men / alpha-male types.)
So, I’ve been quasi friends with someone for the last couple of years. We had like 2.5 dates two years ago. In the last year we socialize, talk, email regularly. Essentially, he’s dating me without dating me. But, that is an entirely different topic.
Over dinner, he asked me what I would do in this situation — relating it to a former partner. I said what I thought was the obvious choice: company first.
He did not go ballistic. He did not tell me it was my place to serve the men. He did not insult me. But, he made it clear that in his home or with his partner, he felt it an outward show of respect to place your SO (male or female) first in an informal setting. We both agreed that a formal setting called for oldest first, then the women, the men, then the kids.
I was originally totally surprised that any man would care in this situation. So, I asked two girlfriends of mine who are also of West Indian descent. Both said serve your SO first. They felt that it was the respectful thing to do, that it it showed you put him first. They felt this was the same as him making a fuss / paying special attention to you when you go out.
I asked several white females I work with. They said company.
I asked my parents. They both said company first.
I asked several men I know (three black, one white — all blue collar yet middle class) and they wouldn’t even let me get the question out my mouth before they said ‘ME’.
So, I posed it to you. I wanted to have proof positive that I wasn’t out of line in my thinking. 92% of you say company first. 7.9% say your SO first.
I will in the future likely go with what the Selfish Seamstress was kind enough to research:
Cocktails being served by a bartender or by a member of the family are never served first to the host and hostess, and neither the host nor the hostess… Hors d’oeuvres equally are passed first to guest, next of last to the hostess and finally to the host.
When guests are seated around the room, they come forward to take the teacups from the hostess – she does not rise to serve the guests. Gentlemen present take tea to women guests, of course.
But, I’m going to be honest with you. Knowing that this person cares, I would hand him his drink first. If he didn’t care, I would serve company or whoever is closest to me first.
I’ve spent the last two years working with people with an international or immigrant background. I don’t presume to know how people were raised in their homes or expect to be treated. But, if I can accommodate them without going against my morals I will.
My friend Kristy says that’s not acquiescing. That’s just picking my battles.