DEAR MISS MANNERS: We invited friends over to dinner, a couple and their several children. We, too, have a large family.
Since we abstain from eating animal and animal byproducts, I made a Mexican dinner, quadrupling the recipe to be sure there was plenty for all.
When I was almost finished preparing the meal, in the presence of this family, one of the parents grabbed our phone and made a cheese pizza delivery order for their children. When the doorbell rang, that parent answered the door and paid for the order.
I am wondering if it was rude of us not to jump up and pay for the pizza, since they were our guests and it was our job to make them comfortable. I know we would not eat animal products offered to us if we had been invited to dinner.
The adult guests repeatedly raved about how much they enjoyed the dinner I made. Thoughts?
GENTLE READER: Only that it is good that the grown-ups liked the meal you prepared. If not, they might have ordered a catered meal from their favorite restaurant, and the cost of making them comfortable, if you got to the door first, would have been considerable.
At a time when many people expect their guests to provide refreshments, Miss Manners is grateful that you worry about providing for yours. But you did. You prepared them a meal you thought would please them all.
But guests also have obligations, and they did not meet theirs. That they were rude enough to show you that the meal did not please them all is not surprising in people who did not teach manners to their children. You are not responsible for their rudeness or their debts.