|DEAR ABBY: My husband and I were invited to a dinner party at a couple's home. We accepted the invitation with pleasure, only to be told afterward that it was going to be a "potluck."
My husband and I were raised to never go to someone's home empty-handed, so we were happy to bring a dish to contribute to the meal. When I called the hostess to ask if we could bring dessert or perhaps an appetizer, she informed me that the menu had already been planned and we were assigned a side dish neither of us had ever heard of. Then she told me she would email me the recipe.
Abby, I was shocked and, frankly, offended. I would never tell a guest what to bring and what recipe to follow. When my husband told me he was willing to give the dish a try, I told him I would not attend a dinner party where I was commanded to bring a specific dish.
My husband stayed home with me that evening, but says he can't understand what the big deal was. Was I wrong to refuse to participate? Or should I have gone along with the program and kept my mouth shut? -- LOST MY APPETITE
DEAR LOST: Having accepted the invitation you should have gone to the dinner, taken the side dish and made the best of it. You may have missed out on a memorable and enjoyable evening.
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DEAR ABBY: Perhaps I'm a little old-fashioned, but do you think it's acceptable when having a large wedding and reception to hurry your guests away so a smaller group of intimate family and friends can attend a more exclusive reception? Is this now common among new couples?
I'd gladly attend a single open house or reception in the new couple's honor after their honeymoon, when they wouldn't be so rushed. Your thoughts, please. -- SOMEWHAT OFFENDED IN KENTUCKY
DEAR SOMEWHAT OFFENDED: No, it is not a trend. To shoo away one's guests so that a private party can be held afterward is rude. It shows lack of consideration for the feelings of one's guests, and it is very poor manners.