I plan on having several friends and their families up to my cottage later this summer, however I’m not sure if it is OK to ask them to bring things, and if so, how do I ask? I specifically want to ask my friends to help with the food and gas expenses for the boat when they are water-skiing.
Dear Cottage girl,
Every year this is a common problem amongst cottage-goers and their guests.
Firstly, may I say, if you are lucky enough to be an invited guest, don’t wait to be asked, but take the initiative yourself to ask your hostess what you can bring. Have ideas ready for the kind of foods you would like to prepare that would travel easily and cook or re-heat easily at the cottage.
Now, as the hostess, have your game plan from the beginning.
When you invite your guests don’t be afraid to say, “So Jane I’m really glad you are able to join us, now may I ask if you could please bring one of your world famous lasagnas and caesar salads to the cottage? I would love to serve that for lunch on Saturday. Just so you know, the head count will be four adults and six children.”
And finally, the boat gas is the tough question, as you are asking for money.
What about saying something like, “Jane, I hope you understand but with the cost of gas these days, perhaps we can share some of the gas expense for the boat when the kids go water-skiing, as it’s really expensive. We have calculated that a tank of gas costs $300 and lasts about four hours.”
What’s important is being straightforward and honest, but there is no shame in discussing what you need in terms of help to ensure the success of the weekend. Enjoy!