Author Topic: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?  (Read 8326 times)

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Black Delphinium

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2013, 10:22:38 AM »
I can think of only two reasons for restricting food or beverages at a party.  The obvious one is age.  The other is allergies.  If a dish contains gluten, it's only fair to alert someone who has an intolerance for that ingredient. 
See, I'd be okay with the host restricting things for the flip-side of allergies as well-"I made X for Johnny because it is gluten-free/vegan/whatever, please don't take any(until Johnny has had his fill)".
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Eden

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2013, 10:25:28 AM »
I think great aunt was being a busy body and if it had been her house she still would have been. In either case I would have ignored her and gone about my business.

It reminds me of a little family dust up when I was a kid. My aunt chastised my younger sister (who was probably 7 or 8 at the time) for playing by a little creek near the house in which we were gathering because, "I told Younger Cousin she couldn't play there so it's not fair for you to do so." My mother told Aunt she could set whatever rules she liked for her own child but those do not extend to anyone else's children. If Younger Cousin was upset or jealous, that was for Aunt to deal with, not my mother and certainly not my younger sister. Sometimes my mom is awesome.

Winterlight

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2013, 10:35:39 AM »
Great-aunt can set the rules for her grandchildren, but she does not have any authority over you.

When I was a child there were several neighbors who would have back-yard cookouts.  During the course of the evening, certain people were invited into the house.  These 'chosen few' would be served liquor while the rest of us drank beer outside.  My father discovered this when he went inside to use the bathroom. 

Apparently, this was a common practice at the time but my family thought it was awful. 

I consider that really poor hosting, and pretty darn rude as well.
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AllTheThings

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2013, 10:36:58 AM »
According to her, our second cousins in their early teens would see some of "the kids" drinking, and decide that they were entitled to have some too.

I assume these young teens were being supervised by their parents. It's the parents call what they want their kids exposed to unless the aunt is their caretaker in this situation. If they are ok with them being around (relatively) young people drinking it's not up to the aunt to supersede that judgement.

They had been staying with my great aunt while their parents were away, so she was responsible for them. I assumed that since she is their grandmother, she didn't think she could say no to them, so decided to take the lazy way out.

AllTheThings

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2013, 10:38:35 AM »
I can think of only two reasons for restricting food or beverages at a party.  The obvious one is age.  The other is allergies.  If a dish contains gluten, it's only fair to alert someone who has an intolerance for that ingredient. 
See, I'd be okay with the host restricting things for the flip-side of allergies as well-"I made X for Johnny because it is gluten-free/vegan/whatever, please don't take any(until Johnny has had his fill)".

I'd be okay with this too, since the point is to ensure that all the guests can access the food.

AllTheThings

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2013, 10:42:39 AM »
Yes, it would be rude for a host to deny certain guests food and drink that the rest of the guests are receiving. (Assuming that there are no issues with being underage, or addiction, etc).

I get the notion of "my house, my rules". And if a host ever told me I couldn't drink/eat something (because I was a young adult, or a female, or a left-hander, or whatever) while other guests were, I might comply to avoid making a fuss. But I would never, ever, accept another invitation from them again.

I feel like the title of this post doesn't quite capture what went on or what would go on if the aunt were the host.  I feel like she asked you for a kind of family favor instead of saying "don't do that! my hospitality doesn't extend to you!"  Maybe it was a weird favor.  But it's still a favor that you have the option of complying with as you chose.

The reason why I thought there might have been a problem if my aunt were the host is because her tone, word choice, and body language said to me that she had expected us to go along with it and wanted to argue about it. Had she acknowledged that it was a weird request and an imposition, but explained that there was a real problem and could I please help her out, I probably would have felt differently about the whole thing. She couldn't do anything in this case, but had she been the host, I feel like she would have pressed the issue, putting us in an awkward situation. This particular situation wasn't that bad since she backed off, but I wanted to know what all of you thought in case I'm in a situation like that in the future.

Since she backed off, I wasn't that offended, but I did think it was pretty sad that she apparently thought herself incapable of looking after her own grandchildren.

It sounds to me like your great-aunt thinks that young people need to "obey" their elders? Sadly, it sounds like she doesn't respect the fact that you are now a legal adult, with a mind of your own. She was wrong, and rude, to act all annoyed that you decided not to comply with her request.

That is pretty much the case. What made it even worse is that I haven't seen her very much throughout my life, so in addition to making her request/demand in general, it was even weirder because it was coming from someone who is basically a casual acquaintance.

kherbert05

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2013, 10:59:03 AM »
I think great aunt was being a busy body and if it had been her house she still would have been. In either case I would have ignored her and gone about my business.

It reminds me of a little family dust up when I was a kid. My aunt chastised my younger sister (who was probably 7 or 8 at the time) for playing by a little creek near the house in which we were gathering because, "I told Younger Cousin she couldn't play there so it's not fair for you to do so." My mother told Aunt she could set whatever rules she liked for her own child but those do not extend to anyone else's children. If Younger Cousin was upset or jealous, that was for Aunt to deal with, not my mother and certainly not my younger sister. Sometimes my mom is awesome.
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OP your Great Aunt sounds like our crazy neighbor growing up. According to her Mom and Dad were raging drunks, and Sis and I were doomed - because we had stuff with the Pearl and later Miller logo in and around our house. Mostly T-Shirts from events adult sized we wore to  do messy jobs. We also had large, lightweight, plastic coolers before they were common (I remember people asking Dad where they could get them). Occasionally Dad would be using a panel truck (delivering paper to the school during the great paper shortage), or the 6 pack sound truck (shaped like a 6-pack had a generator we used it after Alicia to run our refrigerator and freezer ). For the record - I never saw or heard stories of either of my parents being drunk. Sis is fine. I don't drink at all.


I'm wondering if in Great Aunt's mind anyone under 30 drinking = to drunk to walk. Also if she can't say no to kids she has no business being responsible for them. If they are over 18 - they should be responsible for themselves.


I agree with everyone else you serve alcohol - you serve it to all legal adults but I would add who are drinking responsibly. The host has the right to cut people off if they are drunk.


One of my Uncles, a recovering alcoholic, has a rule -  You can drink at his home - you can't get drunk at his home. Everyone respects that except 1 couple and they are not welcome. They aren't welcome a lot of places.
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bah12

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2013, 11:13:44 AM »
Assuming that you are all adults, then I don't think it's up to the host to deny certain food and beverages to some guests and not others, at least not without being incredibly rude.  Allergies aside, adults need to be responsible for themselves.  If Johnny needs to watch his sugar intake and is tempted by the chocolate cake, it's his responsibility to not eat it.  The host should not take it upon himself to be sure the Johnny sticks to his diet.

The acception that I have for alcohol is if a guest needs to be cut-off for their own safety and/or the safety of others.  In cases like that, I think the host is absolutely responsible to deny them anything more to drink.   

AllTheThings

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2013, 11:16:54 AM »
Kherbert, your neighbor reminds me of a roommate I had. She didn't want to drink alcohol or be involved in any way. I thought this was completely reasonable, so I always drank at someone else's place and didn't come back to the room until I had sobered up. I would always enter the dorm quietly without turning the lights on so that it wouldn't be a problem for her. She never woke up once.

Despite this, she still had a problem with me drinking, and seemed to think that I was an alcoholic. This made no sense, as I really didn't drink all that much. Most of the time, I would hang out with my friends, have a couple of drinks, and not be drunk at all. She had a very black and white view of the whole thing, and her in mind, anyone who drank even once a week was an alcoholic.

She was also pretty sheltered about alcohol and clearly uneducated about how it worked. She did not understand that there were levels of intoxication, and that you could be a bit tipsy and giggling without being completely smashed and passing out. One night, I crept back into our room after a party. As usual, she didn't wake up. The next morning, she tried to trick me into thinking that I had a problem, saying that I had busted into the room yelling at the top of my lungs, waking her up. Obviously, this didn't happen. She kept insisting that it did happen, saying that since I had been drinking the night before, there was no way I could have remembered what had really happened. Since I knew that I hadn't done anything wrong, I continued to ignore her objections. We didn't last much longer as roommates.

Some people have very strange ideas about alcohol!

NyaChan

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2013, 11:36:33 AM »
Kherbert, your neighbor reminds me of a roommate I had. She didn't want to drink alcohol or be involved in any way. I thought this was completely reasonable, so I always drank at someone else's place and didn't come back to the room until I had sobered up. I would always enter the dorm quietly without turning the lights on so that it wouldn't be a problem for her. She never woke up once.

Despite this, she still had a problem with me drinking, and seemed to think that I was an alcoholic. This made no sense, as I really didn't drink all that much. Most of the time, I would hang out with my friends, have a couple of drinks, and not be drunk at all. She had a very black and white view of the whole thing, and her in mind, anyone who drank even once a week was an alcoholic.

She was also pretty sheltered about alcohol and clearly uneducated about how it worked. She did not understand that there were levels of intoxication, and that you could be a bit tipsy and giggling without being completely smashed and passing out. One night, I crept back into our room after a party. As usual, she didn't wake up. The next morning, she tried to trick me into thinking that I had a problem, saying that I had busted into the room yelling at the top of my lungs, waking her up. Obviously, this didn't happen. She kept insisting that it did happen, saying that since I had been drinking the night before, there was no way I could have remembered what had really happened. Since I knew that I hadn't done anything wrong, I continued to ignore her objections. We didn't last much longer as roommates.

Some people have very strange ideas about alcohol!

I have a friend who can't drink very much at all - as in one drink makes her tipsy - but she can't wrap her head around the idea that others can drink more than her and not have the same results.  So if anyone has more than one drink she'll start making comments about how they are really going all out or partying a lot, for example to another friend who had a glass of wine at dinner and then ordered a beer later on in the evening.  There was no convincing her that they weren't drunk.

TootsNYC

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2013, 11:44:43 AM »
According to her, our second cousins in their early teens would see some of "the kids" drinking, and decide that they were entitled to have some too.

I assume these young teens were being supervised by their parents. It's the parents call what they want their kids exposed to unless the aunt is their caretaker in this situation. If they are ok with them being around (relatively) young people drinking it's not up to the aunt to supersede that judgement.

I think that even if OP's great aunt was the caretaker for the minors, she was out of line to expect that the OP modify her own otherwise perfectly acceptable behavior.


Plus how stupid does she think those kids are? They know all about "drinking age"! They know why they're not allowed to have a beer, even if their older cousins are.

My DD is now 18. Soon to be 19. She has started drinking wine or wine drinks at family gatherings. Her brother is 15. He doesn't get to have those drinks. He knows why.

As to the original question, yes, I think it would be rude for a host to refuse alcohol to just a few of their drinking-age guests.

(kherbert is right though--the host has a responsibility, not just a right, to cut off drinks to people who are drunk)

crella

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #26 on: July 19, 2013, 11:45:55 AM »
My mother told Aunt she could set whatever rules she liked for her own child but those do not extend to anyone else's children. If Younger Cousin was upset or jealous, that was for Aunt to deal with, not my mother and certainly not my younger sister. Sometimes my mom is awesome.

That reminded me of a trip I took with my son, my parents, my brother, my sister and her child. We went to a national park rather far from my parents' home.  My son was 12, and it was going to be, I thought, his last trip to the US for about 6 years. Once kids get into junior high here, they start sports activities and taking 2-3 weeks off gets you booted off the team. It turned out that he didn't get back for 16 years, but I digress.

At that time my sister's child had just turned two. Sis and I, and our kids were sharing one large room. As I knew my son wasn't going to get back to the US for a while, and would probably never go to that park again (my family went annually)  I relaxed his bedtime, let him have some fun. My brother picked him up one night at 7, to watch the sun set and see the stars from the top of a mountain. I told him he could go, and they asked me to go too. I thought it would be a good chance for my sister to bathe her little one, and get her settled as it was her bedtime.

Oh no. Not at all. When we got back to my parents' house I was read the riot act for not having my son go to bed at 7 with her child, because it was so cruel for us to go out and 'leave us all alone', 'Little one wanted to go so bad, she cried the whole time you were gone, how could you do that to me?' Excuse me? Make a 12 year old go to bed at the same time as a two-year-old, and make me stay in for the evening? I thought she should have stepped up as the parent and said something like 'You're too little to go out at night, T is a big boy so he can'. Or something.  There should be different rules for a 2 year old and a 12 year old, but her viewpoint was that is just wasn't fair that we did something her child couldn't do.

Edited to fix some garble.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 11:48:15 AM by crella »

cwm

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #27 on: July 19, 2013, 11:48:17 AM »
Wow, OP, your great aunt wouldn't last long in my family. My sister and I are the oldest of our generation, and the youngest of mom's generation is only about six months older than me. Sproglet is 18 months, and the first of her generation, but there's still kids being born in my generation. Yeah, it's a weird dynamic, but it works for us.

I was at a recent family gathering. There were kids there in my generation from the age of 5 all the way up through me. If someone had tried to tell me that I couldn't drink because the kids would get the wrong impression, even if they only meant the teenagers, I'd probably laugh at them. If a teenager can't understand how generations work and how the drinking laws work and that just because one group of people (legal age) can drink doesn't mean that they can just because they're in the same generation, there are more issues in that group of people than children drinking an occasional beer.

Now to be fair, if I was getting ridiculously drunk and acting stupid in front of those kids and teenagers, I expect to be called out on my behavior. But just enjoying a beer or two? Sorry, it's legal for me to do so, I will enjoy it just as much as anyone else of legal age, thanks.

AllTheThings

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #28 on: July 19, 2013, 11:52:09 AM »
My mother told Aunt she could set whatever rules she liked for her own child but those do not extend to anyone else's children. If Younger Cousin was upset or jealous, that was for Aunt to deal with, not my mother and certainly not my younger sister. Sometimes my mom is awesome.

That reminded me of a trip I took with my son, my parents, my brother, my sister and her child. We went to a national park rather far from my parents' home.  My son was 12, and it was going to be, I thought, his last trip to the US for about 6 years. Once kids get into junior high here, they start sports activities and taking 2-3 weeks off gets you booted off the team. It turned out that he didn't get back for 16 years, but I digress.

At that time my sister's child had just turned two. Sis and I, and our kids were sharing one large room. As I knew my son wasn't going to get back to the US for a while, and would probably never go to that park again (my family went annually)  I relaxed his bedtime, let him have some fun. My brother picked him up one night at 7, to watch the sun set and see the stars from the top of a mountain. I told him he could go, and they asked me to go too. I thought it would be a good chance for my sister to bathe her little one, and get her settled as it was her bedtime.

Oh no. Not at all. When we got back to my parents' house I was read the riot act for not having my son go to bed at 7 with her child, because it was so cruel for us to go out and 'leave us all alone', 'Little one wanted to go so bad, she cried the whole time you were gone, how could you do that to me?' Excuse me? Make a 12 year old go to bed at the same time as a two-year-old, and make me stay in for the evening? I thought she should have stepped up as the parent and said something like 'You're too little to go out at night, T is a big boy so he can'. Or something.  There should be different rules for a 2 year old and a 12 year old, but her viewpoint was that is just wasn't fair that we did something her child couldn't do.

Edited to fix some garble.

That must have been very annoying to deal with! I can't imagine how she figured that would be okay. Even minus all the special circumstances, why would anyone ever think it is okay to send a twelve year old to bed at 7?

crella

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #29 on: July 19, 2013, 11:54:40 AM »
We have a bit of a Center of the Universe problem with Sis and her child. It really hasn't gotten better over the years. It's unfortunate.