General Etiquette > Family and Children

If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?

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Bottlecaps:
By chooses, I mean they have no other engagements lined up, they just simply don't want to go.

Our roommate, we'll call him Bob, was invited to come to our family Thanksgiving meal at my sister's house. He chose not to go because he said he doesn't like being around that many people. I do understand that, but my sister has a pretty strict policy on taking food home - you only get a plate sent home to you if you couldn't attend, meaning that you had no choice. If you have a choice to attend and you don't, then you don't get a plate. For example, she sent home plates of food to BIL's cousin because she had to work, and we brought home food to Uncle Chatterbox (yep, still using that nickname, LOL) because he had to work. If either of them had not had to work, they absolutely would have been there, but they didn't have a choice so Sister Bottlecaps was more than happy to let us bring food home for Uncle and to let BIL's aunt take food home for cousin.

I'm afraid Bob is kind of upset that no food was brought home for him, but I understand why my sister has this policy on taking food home. If she didn't, then everyone would be taking plate upon plate of food home for relatives and friends who were invited but just didn't want to come, and it would cut into the share of food that those who actually attend get. It's one thing to not be able to attend because of work or something else that takes precedent, but if you're available and just don't want to come, then that's your choice - but you don't get a to-go order either.

My question is: is it rude to refuse to send/take food home for someone who is free to go to an event, but chooses not to? Are they owed a doggy bag even though they were more than welcome to attend, free to attend, and simply didn't want to?

(More details in reply #37, as I didn't include some other details in this original post but as a few questions came up during the discussion, I thought they might be worth adding. :))

lady_disdain:
No one is owed a doggy bag. An invitation can be accepted or not, but that is the limit.

sammycat:

--- Quote from: Bottlecaps on November 28, 2013, 07:50:17 PM ---My question is: is it rude to refuse to send/take food home for someone who is free to go to an event, but chooses not to? Are they owed a doggy bag even though they were more than welcome to attend, free to attend, and simply didn't want to?

--- End quote ---

No.

In this particular instance Bob is acting extremely entitled. If he wanted the food that badly, he knew where it was. If he chose not to go, then it's (his) tough luck, he missed out.

VorFemme:
I was wondering if this was a paid event (if they paid but didn't come - then they can have a plate since it was "paid for") - but it's a family event.

Slightly different situation...

I have to agree with your sister - if you were going to come but were prevented by work or illness - then you get a "doggie bag".  If you're too much of an introvert to show up and you are NOT a blood relative or SPOUSE to a blood relative (I can see spouses getting a bit more leeway than people who are only dating a blood relative) - it's a little trickier.

I think that your sister has a reasonable policy - anyone who could not come gets a plate made to be brought back to them.  Bob didn't want to come - the food is for those who showed up and leftovers are plated for those who were prevented from showing up.  But not for those who made the choice not to come.

Those who want the food but don't want to show up - don't get the benefits without being there.

Pen^2:
Bob seems to be confusing an invitation with an offer for free food. The invitation might be for an event where there will be food, but they are not the same thing. Even if they were, he declined, so he gets no food anyway. He's being rather entitled here. He is owed nothing more than what was in the invitation if and only if he had decided to accept. He did not accept and so is owed nothing.

There would be exceptions if he was an elderly grandparent who had intended to attend but had fallen ill recently, say, or something similar. He has no such excuse--he knowingly decided he didn't want what was offered.

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