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Miss Manners: Boyfriend wants stuffing without being told to get stuffed

DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it rude to bring your own stuffing because you don’t like what the host is serving? (The “host” is my daughter, and my boyfriend is the stuffing hater.)

GENTLE READER: Since this is a family dinner, there is a polite way for him to bring stuffing that he likes. All he has to do, Miss Manners begs you to inform him, is to obtain your daughter’s permission beforehand to bring it nicely packed inside of a freshly cooked turkey.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My husband and I are hosting our family Thanksgiving celebration this year for 27 family members. Our niece’s daughter’s birthday falls several days before the holiday, and she asked if she could bring a dessert (of which my mother-in-law has already agreed to provide various traditional pies) and celebrate her 10-year-old’s birthday, piggy-backing on our holiday celebration.

My husband and I find this to be very rude. I have already agreed to provide a warm home, family and, of course, napkins, plates and silverware for the event.

What should have been an appropriate response on my part to graciously decline her idea of piggy-backing on our holiday?

GENTLE READER: When you refer to a warm home, Miss Manners presumes that you mean that you will have the heating system turned on. Resenting recognizing a 10-year-old grandniece’s birthday does not smack of family warmth or Thanksgiving spirit.

You have already planned to have family contributions to your meal and a choice of desserts. Why, pray tell, is adding a child’s birthday cake likely to ruin your holiday? Are the children of your family not among the blessings for which you give thanks?

An appropriate response would have been, “How nice.”

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