The title isn't quite right, but I couldn't think of another way to ask it. I'll tell the story and then ask my question afterwards and you ladies can contribute as you see fit...
My almost-13yo was invited to a birthday sleepover by a classmate. They all attend a very charter school, which is great for learning about your kids' classmates and their families- there are faces for all the names, kwim? She hadn't been to this girl's home before, but I met the girl and her mom and they were very nice. I don't usually allow sleepovers at homes where we are not very familiar with the parents, but made an exception this time for a variety of reasons- another friend's mom whom I do trust with my kid is friends with the birthday girl's family and let her daughter go, etc.
Anyway. I dropped DD off and went inside- nice home, friendly parents, dogs, little sibs, etc. One thing was kinda strange- all the lights in the house were turned off (it was dusk) except for in the kitchen. I figured they were really mindful energy users, which was cool. Felt totally comfortable and so I left her there.
When I picked her up the next morning, she told me things that downright pissed me off. The parents got pizza from a popular restaurant, but told the girls that they could only have 1 slice per hour, so that they didn't eat it all. The dad immediately wrote his name on one of the pizza boxes and declared that "his" pizza and that nobody was to touch it. The girls were offered some fresh veggies and fruit, but there was a limited amount. When DD went to the fridge door dispenser to fill her water cup, the mom told her that they "save" the water dispensed from the fridge and they drink sink water so she needed to get her water from there. After dinner, the girls were told not to play outside, that they could not touch the ping pong table, and to keep the lights turned off so as not to waste electricity. They settled down to watch a movie a couple hours later and the host (birthday girl) asked her parents if the girls could make popcorn "since it was a special day". She was told no. That they didn't "need" anymore snacks. (They had been given an open bag of lowfat potato chips after dinner and told that that was their snack for the evening)
More weirdness ensued- the dad got angry at the girls for making noise at one point and lined them up in the kitchen to yell at them- and then for breakfast, they made pancakes. But he kept unplugging the electric griddle in between pancakes and it kept getting too cold to cook them. The girls got 2 pancakes apiece. DD saw milk in the fridge and asked politely if she could get a glass. The dad told her that milk was only for cereal and that she could get water from the sink.
Now, I think there was just some general quirkiness going on (who has a gaggle of 12-13yo girls over and expects them to be quiet all night, and to not want them to play ping pong? And I don't know ANYONE who would think it's appropriate for the dad to line them up and chew them out over laughing loudly, etc) but the food thing really made me angry. My child was hungry (and so were all the other kids- I was not the only mother who was VERY upset once I heard the goings on of the previous evening and morning). We all agreed that this family is probably super frugal, which is great. BUT, when you invite 6 pre-teens to your home, you have to know that they're gonna be hungry. And prepare accordingly. I've since learned that this family routinely restricts food as a means of saving money (from another friend who knows their family and did NOT allow her child to attend the party because of this exact reason. Wish I had talked with her earlier)
My question is this- when is it "okay" to let what you do/believe/choose spill onto others? These kids went to the sleepover expecting there to be enough food. It's what we all do- invite a group of kids and then hit the grocery store. Kids this age eat quite a bit (and my daughter is very very thin, as is our whole family, btw) and you have to plan accordingly, IMO. If you can't afford to feed a group like that, okay, but I don't feel that they should have been invited if the parents weren't planning on feeding them adequately. The other moms involved all felt the same way I did, but I wonder if it's because their own girls were involved. So I'm asking you all for your honest reactions. :)