DEAR MISS MANNERS: During the pandemic, with restaurants limiting the number of patrons at one table, my friend would often send dinner invites to eight friends, stating that only six could be seated, so the first five people to answer "yes" could go.
I always declined, as my going would have left someone else out. Is it acceptable behavior to have this lottery system for dinner?
GENTLE READER: No, not for a dinner gathering. But it might be overlooked in the case of the most casual get-togethers among intimates -- a classification that includes, "Who wants to go out for ice cream?" and "This day is never going to end. Time for a coffee?"