DEAR MISS MANNERS: I have been to occasions that do not have my favorite nonalcoholic drink .................. DIET DECAF COLA ..................!!!!!!
I suggest you tell the host to let everyone know with/in the invitations what nonalcoholic drinks will be available. The host should suggest if anyone has a particular type nonalcoholic beverage not offered to please feel free to bring their own!!!!!!!!!!!! After finding out the HARD WAY, I started taking my own nonalcoholic drinks years ago ......... !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GENTLE READER: How did you get so hepped up without alcohol or caffeine?
Miss Manners is worried about you. Please take a deep breath and sit down while she explains the concept of hospitality.
There is a difference between a restaurant, which sells you food that you specifically order, and a private party, where the host offers you refreshments that he provides.
The restaurant knows exactly what you want because you do the ordering. Hosts, in contrast, are friends who wish to see you for the sake of your company. They should also want to please you by offering refreshment but must guess what would be pleasing to various guests.
Providing nonalcoholic drinks is thus standard. Providing each guest with the exact brand and mixture he or she prefers is difficult and burdensome, part of the finicky-guest syndrome that has discouraged reasonable people from entertaining.
Neither restaurants nor people's homes should be treated like picnic grounds where you bring your own goodies. If you don't like what is available at a restaurant, you need not do business there. If you are not willing, for the sake of politeness and sociability, to content yourself with water but must always have your favorite drink, you need not attend parties where it is not served.
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am the youngest of two children in my family, and I always get the short end of the stick. Whenever our family has an overnight gathering, I am the one who has to sleep on the blowup mattress while everyone else gets a bed.
I have invited my family to celebrate my sister's 30th birthday at a beach house owned by my boyfriend's family. At this event will be my sister, her husband and her son, my parents, my grandparents and my aunt and uncle.
Is it inconsiderate of me to want one of the best rooms in the house, or should I get the shaft again and sleep in the "kid's room"? I feel like it's my turn to have the good room, but I would like your advice.
GENTLE READER: Whom did you have in mind for the kid's room? Your grandparents? The guest of honor?
Although Miss Manners is not lacking in pity for your plight, she is afraid that it is another trip back to the blowup mattress. If it is any comfort, this time it is not because you are younger than your sister, but because you are in some sense the hostess, having done the inviting.