Left over from last Thanksgiving: Evidence from Gentle Readers of how people concluded the holiday for gathering in warm fellowship to give thanks for the bounty received:
• “My sister went to great expense and labor to give Thanksgiving dinner. Although she did not ask the guests to bring anything, a couple of them brought wine and one guest brought a couple of cans of nuts, both taking the leftovers home. One guest told my sister in advance that she was going to take some leftovers for an ill friend, brought her own containers in which to put the leftovers, and took not only some for the friend but also some for herself. Another guest, without receiving an offer, just left with leftovers.
“My sister is extremely kindhearted and always makes way too much food. I told her that, next year, she should charge for takeout dinners.”
• “My friend had provided all of the food for Thanksgiving, and the preparation for everything with the exception of the pies.
“When the dinner was over, a neighbor she had invited started carving the leftover bird. The hostess gave him a pie plate, thinking he would carve his portion of the meat and leave room on the plate for the potatoes, stuffing and vegetable to take home.
“Instead, he proceeded to carve away on the bird, filling the entire plate with just turkey meat. It was a large bird, 20 to 22 pounds. When the plate could hold no more turkey, he quit carving and took the plate home with him.
“My friend had intended to split up the remaining bird for herself to take to work the following week and to give some to me. What the neighbor left was barely enough for one or two meals.”
• “We were asked to contribute to a lovely Thanksgiving dinner at the home of friends, and I made more than enough soup for the 18 people who were invited. After the dinner, I noticed that the hostess put the leftover soup into a container for her own use. She had her housekeeper clean my pot and gave me my empty pot as we were leaving.”
• “I was asked to bring a rather specific bottle of wine, which I did, although it was rather costly. Once I got to the party, I found out that almost everyone had brought wine, almost all pricey imported bottles.
“The party lasted several hours, but during the course of the dinner my bottle of wine was never opened. As I was leaving, I was shocked that the hosts did not offer to return the wine to me. They kept not only my bottle, but also a few others’ bottles that they had specifically requested us to bring.
This, while others who attended and brought only food were allowed to take their leftovers home.”
A fine way to top off the day of giving thanks and sharing – squabbling over the leftovers.
These people are not starving, Miss Manners gathers; on the contrary, they are probably complaining of feeling overstuffed. They are not at soup kitchens, where they hope to stretch the holiday meal for an otherwise bleak next day.
Nor are they at restaurants, where they may ask to take home food they bought that would otherwise have to be thrown away.
They seem to have mistaken the holiday for Grabby Day.
Get back to work!
Dear Miss Manners: Lately I have had two (so-called) professionals in my home. While I am paying for their service, they have turned the professional conversation into political ranting.
I have strong political opinions and enjoy a good debate, but I didn’t think it was in any way appropriate to get into a debate with someone I have hired.
What is a polite way to let someone know that I have opinions but don’t want to discuss them?
Gentle Reader: Even if you agreed with their politics, Miss Manners would recommend saying, “Can we get back to going over my taxes?” or “fixing my toilet” or whatever it is that you are paying them to do.