DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I enjoy entertaining. During the year, we host several large gatherings at our home. As we have two small children, we have tailored many of our parties -- including our Super Bowl party -- to families.
For the past couple of years, we have noticed that, in response to our invitations, we sometimes get the response, "We'll try to make it" or "Maybe."
Our Super Bowl party is certainly not elaborate, but we do offer food for the adults and the children. When several entire families give a "maybe" response, I have no way of knowing how much food to prepare.
For this year's Super Bowl party, three families responded with "We'll try to make it" (each a family of four). None of them came. And now we have mountains of leftovers. What is the best way of handling such a situation?
GENTLE READER: First, eat the leftovers. Then chop up your guest list. Miss Manners does not advise having anything spoiled at a party.
People who say "I'll try to make it" should be told, "Oh, don't worry about it, we'll try you again next year." Those who simply don't show have been tried and found wanting.