DEAR MISS MANNERS: I enjoy hosting, and believe I do it well. I try to offer a variety of options, provide little comforts to make guests feel at home and let the wine flow.
However, I have a family member who always seems to want what is not offered. If I make a pot of coffee, they ask for an espresso; if I set out a diverse continental breakfast, they ask for eggs.
I am starting to feel insulted -- and frustrated, especially now that we have a little baby at home. I’m wondering how I can address this issue.
GENTLE READER: This relative (it’s not your spouse or child, is it?) is, Miss Manners gathers, in a category who cannot be told about nearby restaurants that accept special orders.
Well, no guest is. But with infrequent guests, you can merely say how sorry you are that you do not have what is requested, leaving silent the part about “... so take it or leave it.”
However, certain concessions should be made to frequent houseguests: asking what they generally have for breakfast, whether they have any food restrictions, and taking note, when possible, of foods they particularly enjoy. Respecting the restrictions is mandatory, and it is not necessary to fill other on-the-spot requests. But it is gracious to anticipate what would please your guests. Picky as they are, you seem to be stuck with them.