A friend of mine just got a (not so) passive-aggressive email from her harpy aunt (her words, not mine,) who happens to be hosting the family Christmas party this year. Amongst other ridiculous demands for my friend's side of the family (if you don't know how to roast a prime rib, you could practice one before the party*), it also included:
"Also, hosting any type of party, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas, is a thankless task so you should never have to be asked to help clean-up. So [[friend + her brother]], please be prepared to happily help do the dishes and clean-up cheerfully without being asked in all future events."
Condescending pissiness aside, it made me wonder about the default assumption in regards to whether a party host needs help or not (and whether he/she needs to ask.)
Personally I try to be a polite guest and if I arrive a few minutes early or linger a little later, I'll definitely offer to help set/clean up. But even so, my standard assumption is that the host got everything covered and if help is needed, it will be asked and definitely not demanded. And that's certainly how I operate on the gatherings I throw in my little apartment.
But that's my two cents; and hey, holidays sometimes bring out the worst in families. But curious too as to what you assume are host-guest "duties."
*I kind of laughed at this one; it's a prime rib (a.k.a. pretty expensive cut of meat) and I love how harpy aunt is suggesting my friend's fam to buy double and practice on one. Also, it's also a pretty easy to roast one, so more passive-aggressiveness there about the fam's cooking ability (and if you're that unconfident, why not assign that to another relative?) and doesn't the host usually provide the main course?!? Ok, end tangentrant.