Author Topic: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?  (Read 9729 times)

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Betelnut

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #45 on: July 19, 2013, 10:38:58 PM »
Actually, in many US states, it is legal for under 21 year old people to drink alcohol with their parent's permission (in a private residence).  So those "illegal" kids might actually legally be able to drink anyway.

http://drinkingage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=002591
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 10:43:16 PM by Betelnut »
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cicero

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #46 on: July 20, 2013, 12:57:31 AM »
Your great aunt is being very weird, frankly. There are age ( or other) limitations on a variety if activities - it's ludicrous to try to make *everyone * have the same rules. Are all the grownups supposed to not druvem vote, or sign contracts, just because the young 'uns can't?

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LifeOnPluto

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #47 on: July 20, 2013, 01:25:19 AM »
It seems to me that if the aunt wants to set a good example for your cousins, she's the one who should abstain from drinking. If their parents want to set a good example, they can abstain.

Even if the rule they want to have is "don't drink around people who are over twelve but below legal age, because it might tempt them," that only has a chance of working if everyone obeys it. Someone who wants that as policy needs to keep their children from situations where they might be tempted; in this case, that would have meant the busybody aunt finding those cousins' parents, and letting them know "there's beer here, you folks might want to take the kids home." Such parents could, of course, host a party and put the word out that they don't want alcoholic drinks in the house.

The rule the aunt seems to want is "we get to have fun around our/those kids, but you don't."

I'm sure the great-aunt would have had some ready excuse, such as telling the OP that she and her sister are the closest in age to the underage kids, and therefore are the "biggest influence" on them, or something.  ::)

I have two stories that are kind of like this.

Last night, I had some friends over, and I offered liquor/alcohol as well as non-alcoholic drinks. One of my friends is pregnant. I don't know her or her doctor's stance on drinking while pregnant. When I offered the others some beer or schnapps, I wasn't sure what to do about her. I offered them to her too. I probably should have stopped there, but I didn't want her to think that I'd forgotten that she was pregnant, so I added "if you want a sip, that's fine by me" but then I wasn't sure if that was coming across as judgmental or whatnot. She declined.

I think it would be the most polite thing to offer all the beverage options at the same time, no matter how likely you thought it was that some options would not be of interest to some guests (unless the guest has made an announcement that he or she will never drink X because of health or religious reasons). A general 'Beer? Schnapps? Soft drinks- we have Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite, plus sweet tea and lemonade' should work.

I hosted an afternoon tea the other week. One of my friends was pregnant. I offered her the choice of an alcoholic beverage, same as everyone else. I figured it was her decision, and not my place to "police" her alcohol consumption (as it turned out, she declined).

Lynn2000

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #48 on: July 20, 2013, 01:26:55 AM »
I think of it more like, "Uncle Bob is on a low-sugar diet now, you know. It really bothers him to not have those treats anymore, but it's better for his health. Since you're sitting by him, I don't want you to eat dessert, because I don't want him to feel bad that he can't have it."

It's just that nexus of "concerned and considerate" meets "what the--NO!" In that situation, I would want to plop down next to Uncle Bob with a giant piece of pie, but I don't think I actually would, because that would be punishing Uncle Bob for his wife being a busybody. Instead I think I would take my giant piece of pie and sit somewhere else, as that would accomplish her goal without compromising mine. No way would I actually go without, though. If Aunt Busybody is the hostess, she could have just not served any dessert at all. And if she's not the hostess, well, I guess she and Uncle Bob could have stayed home.

Generally, if it's the host who's trying to restrict something like that, I think it would depend on how confrontational it would be to defy them. I think they would be rude for making most restrictions; but in some cases I might also be rude for defying that and leading to a scene--discretion might be the better part of valor sometimes. But, I hope I would remember that they treated me rudely, and not accept invitations from them again. It's not something one should have to put up with on a regular basis.
~Lynn2000

nayberry

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #49 on: July 20, 2013, 06:46:44 AM »
i can remember visiting family in Ireland when i was about 5 or 6, i was merrily wandering about having sips from all the pints of Guinness,  my mum said the only after effect was i snored that night.  still like it but can only manage a pint before i feel full!

i'm now 34 and have the occasional drink but have never liked the taste of wine and only had about a year or so when i'd got out getting drunkish.

i know i've seen my parents merry a couple of times but never passed out drunk,  and my brothers only did the "sodrunkicantstand" once each,  as my mum had no sympathy for a sore head so all the noisy cleaning would start at 7am!

i think seeing how your parents drink and how they talk to you about drinking makes such a difference. 



oh and on the one drink and pished,  a former colleague can't drink beer as the yeast in it sends her of the chart after a half, but she can drink a bottle of wine with dinner and only be tipsy (not saying she does, just to show the difference)

MrTango

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #50 on: July 20, 2013, 09:40:33 AM »
I think of it more like, "Uncle Bob is on a low-sugar diet now, you know. It really bothers him to not have those treats anymore, but it's better for his health. Since you're sitting by him, I don't want you to eat dessert, because I don't want him to feel bad that he can't have it."

It's just that nexus of "concerned and considerate" meets "what the--NO!" In that situation, I would want to plop down next to Uncle Bob with a giant piece of pie, but I don't think I actually would, because that would be punishing Uncle Bob for his wife being a busybody.

An even better punishment for the Busybody would be to say "Oh, in that case, I'll move to your seat so you can sit next to your husband to comfort him about this issue."

AllTheThings

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #51 on: July 20, 2013, 11:28:49 AM »
It seems to me that if the aunt wants to set a good example for your cousins, she's the one who should abstain from drinking. If their parents want to set a good example, they can abstain.

Even if the rule they want to have is "don't drink around people who are over twelve but below legal age, because it might tempt them," that only has a chance of working if everyone obeys it. Someone who wants that as policy needs to keep their children from situations where they might be tempted; in this case, that would have meant the busybody aunt finding those cousins' parents, and letting them know "there's beer here, you folks might want to take the kids home." Such parents could, of course, host a party and put the word out that they don't want alcoholic drinks in the house.

The rule the aunt seems to want is "we get to have fun around our/those kids, but you don't."

I'm sure the great-aunt would have had some ready excuse, such as telling the OP that she and her sister are the closest in age to the underage kids, and therefore are the "biggest influence" on them, or something.  ::)


The idea was that everyone else there was at least middle aged, so there is no way anyone would ever classify them as being "kids." According to my aunt, her grandchildren would see us drinking, they would think they were entitled to have some too, since other "kids" were drinking. My middle aged parents drinking wouldn't cause that reaction since they are clearly older than the cousins. Of course the whole thing ended up being stupid anyway, since as far as I could tell, the cousins never said anything about wanting beer.

HoneyBee42

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #52 on: July 20, 2013, 11:37:09 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.
Agreed--those "generations" aren't hard and fast.  I remember as a kid having a classmate who was an aunt from the day she was born (her sister had had children before she was born).  In my own family, I am the firstborn of my generation and I have first cousins who are younger than my oldest son, and I didn't socialize with these cousins at Thanksgiving, but my son was free to play with them while I chatted with my aunt who is the mother of those cousins, because she and I had a whole lot more in common despite the fact that there's probably something in the vicinity of 15 years difference in our ages.


Thipu1

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #53 on: July 20, 2013, 11:44:20 AM »
Also, people of an older generation tend to forget that their children are adults.  MIL has no serious memory problems but she WILL refer to Mr.Thipu and his sister as 'You children'.  SIL is 70 with grandchildren of her own. 

SIL does the same thing.  Her children are all in their 40s.  They're all married with children but, in SIL's mind, they will always be 'the kids'. 

mbbored

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #54 on: July 20, 2013, 11:49:26 AM »
I had the same thing when I was a newly legal drinker. Among my cousins there's a number of boys who are my age or 2 or 3 years older and then a whole pack of girls who were 5 to 15 years younger. I always preferred to hang out with the boys but my aunts and uncles kept forcing me to play with the girls.

The first time I went to a big family event after I turned 21, I poured a glass of wine and went to sit in the "adult room" and catch up with my guy cousins. My uncle came over to me and tried to take my glass, saying I wasn't allowed to drink because I would make the "girls" want some and I should stop bothering the adults and go play in the "kid room." I stole my glass back and said he wasn't my parent and this wasn't his home, so he couldn't tell me what to do. He replied that it was my job to monitor the girls so they didn't get into trouble.

I took a big chug of wine and told him I was already too drunk to supervise but he could totally go keep his own children from destroying everything in my grandmother's house.

Danika

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #55 on: July 20, 2013, 04:12:30 PM »
I had the same thing when I was a newly legal drinker. Among my cousins there's a number of boys who are my age or 2 or 3 years older and then a whole pack of girls who were 5 to 15 years younger. I always preferred to hang out with the boys but my aunts and uncles kept forcing me to play with the girls.

The first time I went to a big family event after I turned 21, I poured a glass of wine and went to sit in the "adult room" and catch up with my guy cousins. My uncle came over to me and tried to take my glass, saying I wasn't allowed to drink because I would make the "girls" want some and I should stop bothering the adults and go play in the "kid room." I stole my glass back and said he wasn't my parent and this wasn't his home, so he couldn't tell me what to do. He replied that it was my job to monitor the girls so they didn't get into trouble.

I took a big chug of wine and told him I was already too drunk to supervise but he could totally go keep his own children from destroying everything in my grandmother's house.

Good for you!!! That's exactly the kind of thing that happens in my extended family. You handled it perfectly!

nolechica

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #56 on: July 20, 2013, 11:34:24 PM »
I'm the first gen yer, other first cousins are gen x, as such if aunt had said that to me at 21-23, I'd have said my sister and cousins will not be bothered by my drinking.  And in my family, one first cousin is younger than the oldest first cousin once removed.

nuit93

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #57 on: July 22, 2013, 01:04:21 AM »
I have two stories that are kind of like this.

Last night, I had some friends over, and I offered liquor/alcohol as well as non-alcoholic drinks. One of my friends is pregnant. I don't know her or her doctor's stance on drinking while pregnant. When I offered the others some beer or schnapps, I wasn't sure what to do about her. I offered them to her too. I probably should have stopped there, but I didn't want her to think that I'd forgotten that she was pregnant, so I added "if you want a sip, that's fine by me" but then I wasn't sure if that was coming across as judgmental or whatnot. She declined.

I think it would be the most polite thing to offer all the beverage options at the same time, no matter how likely you thought it was that some options would not be of interest to some guests (unless the guest has made an announcement that he or she will never drink X because of health or religious reasons). A general 'Beer? Schnapps? Soft drinks- we have Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite, plus sweet tea and lemonade' should work.

I think the "no alcohol if you're pregnant" might be a cultural thing too...I've heard that in some countries, the recommendation is "well, just don't drink too much" instead of "fully abstain".

Raintree

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #58 on: July 22, 2013, 02:01:04 AM »
The first time I went to a big family event after I turned 21, I poured a glass of wine and went to sit in the "adult room" and catch up with my guy cousins. My uncle came over to me and tried to take my glass, saying I wasn't allowed to drink because I would make the "girls" want some and I should stop bothering the adults and go play in the "kid room." I stole my glass back and said he wasn't my parent and this wasn't his home, so he couldn't tell me what to do. He replied that it was my job to monitor the girls so they didn't get into trouble.

I took a big chug of wine and told him I was already too drunk to supervise but he could totally go keep his own children from destroying everything in my grandmother's house.

Huh??? How did he think parenting his kids was YOUR job? You handled it just fine, although even if you didn't have the "too drunk to supervise" excuse, you still could have informed him that you were not the babysitter, and if he wanted to hire a babysitter for the party he should have negotiated in advance, at the going rate, of course, which you could have accepted or declined depending on whether or not you wanted the work.

snowdragon

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Re: can a host restrict certain guests from food/drinks?
« Reply #59 on: July 22, 2013, 03:04:40 AM »
The first time I went to a big family event after I turned 21, I poured a glass of wine and went to sit in the "adult room" and catch up with my guy cousins. My uncle came over to me and tried to take my glass, saying I wasn't allowed to drink because I would make the "girls" want some and I should stop bothering the adults and go play in the "kid room." I stole my glass back and said he wasn't my parent and this wasn't his home, so he couldn't tell me what to do. He replied that it was my job to monitor the girls so they didn't get into trouble.

I took a big chug of wine and told him I was already too drunk to supervise but he could totally go keep his own children from destroying everything in my grandmother's house.

Huh??? How did he think parenting his kids was YOUR job? You handled it just fine, although even if you didn't have the "too drunk to supervise" excuse, you still could have informed him that you were not the babysitter, and if he wanted to hire a babysitter for the party he should have negotiated in advance, at the going rate, of course, which you could have accepted or declined depending on whether or not you wanted the work.

  In many families it's the female member's job to supervisor/tend the kids.  Some do it by all the moms take turns. others by generation. In my family the single adult females had to take care of the kids - so the parents could visit.  There by denying the single females of any chance to do anything during family visits but babysit, for years. When I was a kid there were enough of us that we could play together and be "Supervised" by the older cousins - who were also playing. 
  When my generation started having kids, that changed because the older ones moved out and away, as others became parents. At one point it was me and my much younger cousin "sitting" for hours on end.  I objected because cousins who brought 4, 5 or 6 kids with them were relaxing while, I and the younger cousin did not get to eat, visit or relax....while cousins 20 years younger than I relaxed and had a good time.  I don't go to family events anymore, except funerals....and they tried to press me into service at my own father's funeral. Because I committed the grave "sin" of being female, single and without kids.
  It sounds like in mbbored's family there are similar expectations.