DEAR MISS MANNERS: I invited a new co-worker and his wife over for dinner and didn't ask them to bring anything.
I was a little surprised when they brought their own pre-dinner drinks -- two bottles of an imported craft beer for him, plus two cans of tonic and a water bottle containing 4 ounces of artisan gin for her.
She even brought her own tea bag for after dinner, and a small container of just enough organic whole milk to put in one cup. They said they're very specific and "a bit snobby" in what they drink -- only certain brands, etc. -- so they always bring their own.
I try to have a well-stocked bar for guests (and already had the gin they brought) and I was a little embarrassed. BYOB reminds me of college parties 25 years ago.
We didn't say anything to them about it, but my partner thought it was rude and way too fussy. Is it bad manners to bring your own drinks, and just enough for yourselves, if a host hasn't asked you to? And should we keep those brands on hand in case we ever invite them over again?
GENTLE READER: Of course this is rude. It would be entirely different if they had an allergy or severe restriction. But in this case, they have admitted that these are only preferences -- and they are not even willing to share.
Given that, Miss Manners would not necessarily waste time gathering their current selections. Anyone who admits to that level of specificity and snobbery may change tastes again quickly -- and will likely quibble with whatever you provide.