They say (although I'm not sure who "they" are---probably the etiquette people---of whom I know none)---they say it's rude to "eat and run." Personally, I LOVE it when people eat and run. I tell people to eat and run because:
1. You've already socialized before dinner.
2. You've socialized during dinner. Pretty much everything new has been shared.
3. I don't want help with the clean-up---Butch helps me.
4. We enjoy re-hashing the evening after everyone leaves: "did you think the food was good, what did you think about..." etc.
5. After getting ready for such event, I'm ready to change in to my jammies and relax.
Now I realize exactly why I like people to "eat and run." I can't relax until the clean-up is done. I have never been able to leave it until the next day---no matter how late it is. Years ago, I was even known to vacuum at 1 or 2 a.m. I wouldn't do that anymore. Besides, I don't have the big parties that I used to.
And here's why I think eating and running is a good thing. The guests like it too. Including our family. Everyone has things to do. Sure, they like a dinner invitation, but with us, it's really nice to know that it doesn't have to be a late night affair--especially on a work night.
With my friends---of course they really know me by now and are okay with it---I just say, "okay, the party's over. Everybody go home!" Really, I do this. They laugh, get up and leave---after offering a million times to help clean up. No, I don't want help. It's actually more work when everyone grabs stuff and puts it anywhere. The kitchen counters are all full then with little room for me to actually work. I just prefer to do it myself. Besides, who doesn't want to have a free pass when it comes to clean up?
Be honest, wouldn't you accept more invitations if you knew you could eat and run? I know I would!