Just Desserts 

Dear Minerva,

I love summer parties with my friends. Every time we have a function where we are all supposed to contribute food and drink, one of our friends always does something tacky. It makes me unreasonably angry. He will bring something to the party to share—usually some kind of dessert item we'd eat later. He then consumes the food and drink everyone else brought but inevitably has to leave early, taking dessert with him. It seems like poor manners to me. What does Boise's Blonde Bombshell say?

Sincerely,

—Over Him

Dear Over Him,

It is poor form to bring food to share and then take it back if it isn't consumed while one is at the party, but there may be a good reason for this behavior. Perhaps it was his raising. Maybe he has financial issues and needs the food. Maybe he's selfish. Etiquette dictates food brought to an event should be left with the host(ess) of the party unless they request people take things home. Sharing is a virtue held in high regard, but often it is something people miss the mark on. While it is bad manners for him to take the food to go, it would be even worse to point out his faux pas at the party. The first and most important tenet of hospitality is making sure your guests feel comfortable. Your friend now has the reputation for being stingy and selfish—I guess that is his just desserts.

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