Party Foul

Dear Annabel Manners,

This isn’t really a question, I just have to tell you about the rudest thing I have seen in a long time. Recently I hosted a birthday luncheon for my good friend and 5 other women. One of them is my good friend’s coworker (I don’t know her very well at all).

I was going around the table pouring everyone a glass of wine. The coworker took a big sip, got lip gloss all over the glass, and then she handed it back to me. She said, “I have been working with a nutritionist who is helping me make choices. I choose not to drink this.”

I was speechless. Have you ever heard of anything like this?

– N.S. in GA

Dear N.S.,

Unbelievable! Did she think she was at a wine tasting?

If she knew she wasn’t going to drink, she should have stopped you before you poured it in the first place. Failing that, she could have handed her unsullied glass to the birthday girl with a light, “I’m being good today. More for you!”

As party guests, sometimes we wind up with too much on our plates. A huge hunk of cake, a second helping of rubbery coq au vin — all we can do is be gracious and mindful of the hostess and her feelings. Protest that you’re stuffed, but everything was simply delicious. Take one more bite, then put down your fork.

Now back to the matter at hand. Unless your charmless party guest has other redeeming qualities that make you want to be her friend, there’s no need to invite her back. Save your wine (and everything else) for someone who’ll appreciate it!

Graciously yours,


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