Life Advice



Ask Amy: A guest waffles on potlucks and raffles

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My girlfriend hosts birthday parties for her grandchildren every year, and on the invitation she asks that we bring a dish in exchange for a raffle ticket.

She has a raffle at the end of the party for something that is not of great value.

So, along with bringing a birthday present for her grandchild, I also bring a dish.

One time I did not bring food. She asked me where it was, and I said that I didn't have time to prepare something. She told me I wouldn’t get a raffle ticket.

When she was pulling the raffle ticket for the winner of her door prize ... she looked at me and said in front of everyone that I was not to be included in the raffle because I did not bring food.

I feel that if you are having a party, the guest should not have to bring a dish. She is now having a graduation party for her oldest grandchild and once again on the invitation she is telling guests to "bring a dish.”


Am I wrong to assume that when you host a party you should also provide the food?

– Annoyed with Parties

Dear Annoyed: Your friend hosts “potlucks” to celebrate these grandchild milestones and – from your account – she is completely transparent about the transactional nature of the events.

The fact that she has added a raffle component to these celebrations makes them seem less like personal parties and more like tournaments, but I must admit that I think it’s a cool idea – especially since she is obviously expecting her guests to feed one another.


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