Dear Miss Etiquette: We have been invited to a small dinner party. Responding to the invitation, we volunteered to bring dessert. Our host then asked us to bring wine in addition to dessert.

My husband can’t drink alcohol, and since I’m driving, I won’t drink either. Is it immoral to bring non-alcoholic drinks?

Sharif Qari: When you volunteered to bring dessert, you were probably trying to help your hosts. And now you want to sabotage them, knowing full well what they mean by “wine”.

Maybe you didn’t really want to help, but you’re one of those people who mistakenly believes that etiquette requires guests to contribute to any meal they’re invited to. (This doesn’t happen, and many hosts, who have carefully planned their meals, resent guests who insist on eating them.)

But neither do guests have to dictate what to bring. You should have said, “Sorry, but we’ll just bring dessert.” Miss Etiquette only requires that you have a good reason for not wanting to bring alcohol, such as a moral objection. The fact that you do not drink it, and therefore are willing to deprive others, is not enough.

#accept #hosts #wine #compliments

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