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Miss Manners: Leftovers pose quandary for some

Mon., Nov. 12, 2012, midnight

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.”

• “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.

“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.

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