My SO and I like to cook and we really look forward to having friends over for an informal dinner on Fridays. We make a pasta dish, or roast a chicken, or grill steak. Our friends would show up with a bottle to share or tasty hunk of cheese to start. It was about enjoying the start of the weekend with friends.
Since moving to a new city a few years ago, we have made new friends and tried to carry on this tradition (every two or three weeks). But this group of friends show up empty handed and do not contribute to the gathering at all. Mind you, they will go through bottles of wine, beer, or cocktails. Finish their plates. We open our house to them and we enjoy their company, but we are beginning to feel taken for granted.
I have been open about it being an informal opportunity for us all to get together, contribute to the evening, and relax. They thought it would be fun. For a more formal gathering, I do not expect a thing. But for Friday dinner, we gather regularly. They participate in all the fun but do not even bring a six pack of beer. Do not clear their plate. They rarely reciprocate the offer to meet at their house. I'm OK if they do not like hosting or don't feel like they have the experience, but if that's the case, couldn't they make more of an effort when they are at our house?
What are your thoughts? Is it OK to always show up empty handed to our informal dinner gathering? Would you be OK with drinking your friends' liquor and eating dinner at their house for months and not contribute or reciprocate at your house? Am I old fashioned? Stingy? Or are they pretending to not know any better? It's hard to believe they're in the dark about this.
Thanks for your input and perspective.