General Etiquette > Family and Children

S/O Not enough to go around - when you give someone else your unwanted portion

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The other thread made me think of this incident.

My DH and I used to attend a church that had dinner before the weekly Wednesday evening services.  For a small fee (around $3), you got a serving of entree, whatever sides/veggies/salad, drink, and dessert.  Overall, it was a pretty good deal and the food was usually quite good.

On the evening in question, the entree was dark meat chicken portions, which I just do not care for.  I gave my serving of chicken to my DH and just ate the sides and dessert.  Another couple in the same situation as DH and I did likewise.  Someone showed up after all of the food had been served and found there was no more chicken; however, she saw my DH with two pieces and complained to the pastor, who in turn, publicly chastised my DH and anyone else who had "taken seconds before everyone had had firsts."  Technically, my DH didn't take a second piece.  I had taken a piece and, upon discovering that it was not something I could eat, I gave it to him rather than throw food away.  I doubt that it would have been appropriate for me to put my piece back into the common serving dish once it had been on my plate.

So, my question is - who was rude?  Me for not eating my piece of chicken and giving it to my DH?  The late-comer who made the assumption?  The pastor for the public chastisement?

This incident happened many years ago, and it has always bothered me.  We stopped attending that church shortly after this incident and the pastor's subsequent actions toward us, which could be another thread in itself.   :-[


In this case, you *bought* the chicken. If it were a hosted event, it would be polite to pass on the chicken and take the sides and dessert, rather than grabbing the meat and passing it to your husband.  But because you bought it, you were fine to pass it on.

And if you show up late for a dinner, and there's nothing left, then it's your own fault.

Once I was at a banquet that was part of a convention. All they served was chicken. I am vegetarian- so I ate just the salad, side dishes, and dessert. Two guys sitting at my table split my chicken portion after I offered it. To me, this seems the right thing to do in every possible aspect- etiquette, economy, ecology, concern for others, and so on.

The pastor was way out of line.  If he wanted to say anything, he should have asked your DH about the second slice, at which point your DH could have given him a brief explanation.  I don't think the other couple was all that rude, as it's understandable that they'd be disappointed about not getting an entree (and we've all seen those people who take more than their share at potlucks).  I'm not saying it was the best way for them to react, though.

If you knew in advance you wouldn't eat it, then I would say not to pick it up.  But it sounds like you didn't realize it was dark meat until you already had it.  In that case, you're not going to put it back on the plate!  I think offering it to someone who can eat it is fine.  I think that in any case, the pastor (!) was rude to publicly chastise people.


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