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.