Author Topic: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?  (Read 8552 times)

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Bottlecaps

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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. :))
« Last Edit: November 29, 2013, 09:30:38 AM by Bottlecaps »
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lady_disdain

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2013, 07:56:01 PM »
No one is owed a doggy bag. An invitation can be accepted or not, but that is the limit.

sammycat

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2013, 07:57:12 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?

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

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2013, 08:08:09 PM »
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.

« Last Edit: November 28, 2013, 08:38:51 PM by VorFemme »
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Pen^2

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2013, 08:11:10 PM »
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.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2013, 08:14:14 PM »
No one is owed a doggy bag, not even those who are unable to attend the event for unavoidable reasons, like working.  Is it nice to pack a meal for people who won't otherwise get one?  Absolutely.

It depends on how uncomfortable Bob would be.  If it was just that he'd prefer not to attend, I wouldn't have packed him a meal.  But if he is bordering on phobic about crowds and has the potential for panic attacks?  I'd have brought him a meal.

My Mom was a home care nurse.  She bonded with some of her long term patients.  There was one couple in particular.  She had very bad Parkinson's disease and wouldn't go to eat in other peoples' homes because she was embarrassed about spilling food everywhere or her husband feeding her, if the shaking got too bad.  So many a holiday, we took a meal into them after we'd eaten.
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Ontario

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2013, 08:25:24 PM »
I think it was EXTREMELY generous for your sister to even invite your room-mate to a 'family' gathering at all.  How nice and inclusive that was for her to do!

Nope.  No soup for Bob. 

I might add that if Bob were actually a dog, and as such wasn't invited to the party, I'd be a little more generous in my attitude about the doggy bag.  Bob the Dog wouldn't have had the choice to be left home while his people were all out having a good time!   ;D

Deetee

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2013, 08:33:32 PM »
For a dinner party absolutely not. No way. Not a chance.

For Thanksgiving or Christmas? A holiday centered around sharing and thanksfullness and giving and family and friends?
I would send home an overloaded plate to anyone close enough to be invited but unwilling/unable to attend due to discomfort with crowds or adversion to my home furnishings.

I like to think that everyone, absolutely everyone gets a good meal twice a year.

Twik

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2013, 08:36:32 PM »
You have to be willing to sing - or at least socialize - for your supper.

Bob's attitude seems to be, "I don't care to socialize with you, but you owe me food simply because you made the mistake of inviting me when I didn't want to go." Even if Bob has a legitimate phobia (which I suspect he doesn't), when you turn down a dinner invitation, it should be understood you have turned down dinner. "Doggie bags" are entirely up to the good wishes of the host, and if he doesn't care to establish a relationship with them, he should not expect the goodies.
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Piratelvr1121

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2013, 08:40:54 PM »
I typically will only send food along to someone if they'd planned to attend but then got sick last minute and thus were unable.  Ie if a kid wanted to attend a birthday party but then got sick the day of (happened to me a few times as a kid) I'd either send a piece of cake home with a sibling or bring over a piece later for them to enjoy when they're feeling better.

Or if an emergency came up (ie someone's relative suddenly got sick and they needed to stay home with them or take them to the ER? Sure, definitely they'd get a doggy bag.

But not coming because they don't feel like it? Sorry, no go.
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m2kbug

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2013, 08:43:51 PM »
I don't think ANYONE, whether they have other obligations or not, should expect a plate of food from the Thanksgiving feast, and I'm curious how these take-home plates work in that they infringe on those that show up.  In my world, left-overs go home with people because they are left-overs and too much a-plenty for the host to use, and sure, let's send Antie Mary a portion of the feast, but never, never have I known anyone to plan portions for 20 in order to accommodate a plate for the 5 that have "legitimate" reasons for not being there in person.

No, Bob should not be expecting a plate of food. 

I think it would be rude to refuse to send left-overs with you on the premise that Bob might eat those left-overs. 

"Bring me home a plate" would be a tongue-in-cheek phrase and not something I would take seriously, nor that the person unable to attend the event would really mean it seriously.

Sister is under no obligation to cook for extra individuals who may not be able to attend.   It's a nice thing to put together a plate regardless of the reasons if she has the extra left-overs to do so.  No one should expect it or demand it.

strawbabies

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2013, 08:44:55 PM »
I think it's rather insulting that he refused to spend time around your family, but expected them to provide him with a meal.

Sharnita

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2013, 08:47:47 PM »
I don't think she has to send food.  That being said,  she had enough for him and planned on his eating it so it doesn't seem like a big deal,  either.  Did she make less after learning he would not attend? 

sweetonsno

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2013, 09:15:38 PM »
I must say that I'm rather amazed that your sister has had this kind of request so many times that she's had to enact a policy.

I'm a little bit on the fence. I certainly don't think anyone is entitled to a plate of food, but I'm picturing the kind of situation where the meal is served family-style and there's way more than everyone can eat. I guess I don't really see too much harm in bringing home some leftovers to share with the roommate, especially if, as Sharnita suggested, she made enough food to accommodate him if he had come.

Now, if your sister makes exactly enough for the people present (like, individual servings of poussin or something), then I definitely don't think she needs to plan another for someone who isn't coming. It's nice if they had to work or had some sort of emergency, but no obligation.

Deetee

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Re: If someone chooses not to attend an event, are they owed a doggy bag?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2013, 09:29:24 PM »
I ran this one by my husband as well as I was curious that I was an outlier on this thread. I presented the scenario butnot my opinion.  He came up with the ssame response as me. Not cool for a dinner party but totally fine for Christmas or Thanksgiving. He said " If I can make this guy who can't handle crowds feel like he is part of the holiday that's great. That's what the holiday is about"