DEAR MISS MANNERS? A group of our churchwomen meets in our homes, and wine is usually served. I offered to host a meeting. I served non-alcoholic punch and coffee because I do not drink.
Suddenly a wine bottle appeared when I was not looking, and everyone except me imbibed. I did not ask who brought it and nobody spoke up to claim ownership. There was not even a polite show of the bottle's being intended as a hostess gift.
I would like to host the group again, but how can I let them know I will not be serving alcohol and do not want it in my house?
My first thought is to put a sign outside my front door, "No alcohol allowed." Is that too brazen?
GENTLE READER: You needn't worry about your guests finding out that you don't serve alcohol -- they already know. Your problem is that they find thwarting your intentions amusing.
Miss Manners is not amused at deliberate rudeness. Before you issue your next invitation, she recommends taking some members of the group aside individually and asking if serving alcohol is required. If they say yes, you may say, with wide-eyed innocence, how disappointed you are as you will then not be able to host. No matter what the answer, you will have made your point.