An acquaintance of DH's passed away a couple of weeks ago and we just got the announcement about her memorial service. Along with the details about when & where, was this: "The celebration of [her] life will be followed by a potluck of finger foods. Please bring something to share."
DH is really squeamish about potlucks. I don't think I've ever seen him eat anything at one, even whatever I've brought if someone else got to it first. I know he probably won't eat anything at this one because he's also squeamish about finger foods. And we're vegetarian which always limits our options at potlucks, sometimes to only the food we bring.
I won't be going to the memorial due to prior plans with the kids. Would it be poor etiquette for him to hang out after the service to chat with others he hasn't seen in a long while, but not bring something to share since he won't eat anyway? What about bringing something to share but make sure he can serve himself first, like leave it in the car in a cooler until after the service?
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Every potluck I have ever been to there is always more than enough food and a few people invited at the last minute who haven't brought anything. I really don't think it would be a problem especially since he is going by himself, and to be honest I doubt anyone would even notice whether he brought something or not. I don't think it would be a problem if he didn't bring it in until after the service either if he does want to bring something.
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I do not think there would be a problem with showing up, not eating and not bringing something. Or just bringing a bought package of cookies or something small. To be honest at most potlucks I have been to, only the woman have brought something. Or if a man is going to bring something it was small and store bought.
Yes there is usually more than enough food at these events but i do think its poor etiquette to not bring something if it was requested. While he obviously shouldn't be forced to eat there, i think it would be a right to still bring something. Doesn't need to be anything fancy. And I think if he isn't going to want to eat with everyone else, it would be better to just fill up ahead of time then it would be to bring something and try to take your serving before everyone else does.
There are pretty easy ways to deal with making sure you don't starve before going to an event where you plan on not eating, but i still think you should 'play by the event rules' as choosing not to eat is a personal decision. If you go the car route, and he plans on eating something quick before entering the house...pack it separately so that its not obvious that he has taken a serving from the dish before presenting it
ETA: and i don't think gender should play into the decision making process at all.
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