My husband and I hang out with four other couples sharing dinners and parties at each other's homes. One couple also hosts an annual cottage weekend. These occasions are always BYOB (bring your own bottle).
One of the husbands repeatedly says that when you attend someone's home/cottage, that if you bring alcohol you don’t take any leftovers home.
If you bring a 750ml bottle of gin and have one or two drinks that evening the correct thing is to leave the remainder with the host. Is this correct?
I'm the person who’s been taking my leftover booze back home, as I'm not a big drinker.
A quick, unsatisfying scan of wavering etiquette writers, outraged hosts, and partygoers who either hang onto their own six-pack (young ones) or drink all the best stuff (older ones) leaves me with the only logical approach: Common sense.
Five couples partying together at cottages, pools and private homes for years have it lucky as close friends. You can take your gin and leave some for your pals, without a major loss. Or you can bring a smaller bottle.
Meanwhile, the hosts go to some trouble setting up for the gang, and cleaning up after all have gone. Since everyone attending is taking booze each time, it should pretty much even out in efforts and costs.
Dear Readers – In my December 27thcolumn, I asked, what is your resolution for 2019, for a daily theme in your life to lift your spirits.
Reader – “My daily theme is to express empathy to others. Empathy is a skill, not an emotion.
“We’re not born with this ability and we shouldn’t mistake it with sympathy. Empathy is crying when watching a sad movie or reading a sad novel. It’s feeling what others feel.
“It’s needed as the foundation of every relationship…. with your spouse, children, parents, siblings, co workers, bosses…
“To empathize is the ability to remove your emotions from a situation and try and understand (not always agree but just understand) why another behaves or feels the way they do.
“A simple example is giving a random compliment… even as small as telling your building caretaker “thanks for doing such a great job. Your hard work is very appreciated.” People in such positions usually hear complaints, not compliments.
“You can also compliment someone you love despite a turbulent relationship, e.g. your teenage child, a difficult sibling or parent.
“Or tell your spouse, “enjoy your time out with your friends tonight… you work hard and deserve it.” It can be a difficult statement if you’ve been waiting to be relieved from parenting duties by this spouse.
“However, the beauty of empathy is that it can be contagious. Once you send a compliment or show someone that you understand and feel what he or she is feeling, that person will learn to send empathy too.
“It can be the beginning of walls breaking down and tension easing.
“Receiving empathy can also have a huge impact on how you view yourself. It can only benefit your self-confidence and helps you see how others see you, changing your entire sense of wellbeing!!
“Empathy is a skill all of us should learn. It can be very difficult to put yourself in other people’s shoes and truly feel their anxiety, fears, anger, or sadness… especially when you are so tied up in your own emotions.
“Yet empathy is the key to great relationships. One compliment is all it takes to get this ball rolling!”
FEEDBACK Regarding the daughter who's mom attempted suicide in her home (Dec. 25):
Reader – “Moms deserve respect and forgiveness because (unlike hers) they put their kids first.
“What a burden to leave her daughter if this suicide attempt had succeeded.
“She would’ve come home to petrified dogs and her mother's corpse. The drastic situation and being pepper- sprayed could’ve scarred her dog forever.
“This daughter has apparently given her mother myriad chances and been let down repeatedly. She should take care of her own mental health and marriage and be done until her mother gets it together.
“Her mother's mental health isn’t her responsibility, but an unfair rollercoaster ride she needs to get off.”
Ellie – Yet she’s self-described as the strongest adult child, who has a good life, and has always been close to her mother. I recommended helping get her renewed treatment and into an addiction-related support group… plus acceptance of her mother.
Tip of the day:
Since BYOB is about bringing booze, not taking it home, use common sense about the occasion.