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Thread: Tell me your opinion about this family issue

  1. #31

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    At first I thought that it is a reasonable request since it is against your religious beliefs and it is a party for you and your family.

    However, I then started thinking about my own religious beliefs, and the behavior that I believe is sinful, and how I couldn't ask every guest at a party of mine to behave in a sinless way even when it makes me uncomfortable to be around it.

    So I guess I have mixed opinions about it.

  2. #32

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    Oh, to answer the question, I would ask, but not push it if it seemed like a big deal, as it is her house and her party. Even if it is in your honor. Would she need to call each person and tell them not to bring any? Or just not serve it herself? Are you going to be upset if people bring stuff anyway?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    At first I thought that it is a reasonable request since it is against your religious beliefs and it is a party for you and your family.

    However, I then started thinking about my own religious beliefs, and the behavior that I believe is sinful, and how I couldn't ask every guest at a party of mine to behave in a sinless way even when it makes me uncomfortable to be around it.

    So I guess I have mixed opinions about it.
    It reminds me of my friend who is vegetarian. I know she is a vegetarian, so when we have get-togethers, I am always sure to plan a couple dishes without meat. Does she ask? No. Does she even expect someone to cater to her specific food needs? No.

    Wasn't there a 'gluten' discussion quite recently where the general consensus was that no parents don't expect an individual to abide to their childs diet needs, but the thoughtfulness is appreciated.

    Is the consensus here different because this is a religion based question?

    ETA: My thought process on this is quite different than most I guess. We have an eclectic religious family including Baptists, Catholics, Jehovah Witness', Muslims, Aethiests, etc. No one has ever had an issue/made requests based upon their specific beliefs. It would get much too complicated if they did.
    Last edited by Smplyme89; 04-23-2013 at 11:31 AM.

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  4. #34

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    I would say since it is a party in your honor, asking that there not be drinking there is not unreasonable.
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  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    At first I thought that it is a reasonable request since it is against your religious beliefs and it is a party for you and your family.

    However, I then started thinking about my own religious beliefs, and the behavior that I believe is sinful, and how I couldn't ask every guest at a party of mine to behave in a sinless way even when it makes me uncomfortable to be around it.

    So I guess I have mixed opinions about it.
    I don't expect people to be sinless around me. I am not sinless around me. The alcohol issue is the only thing I would address in this way.
    Mom to two little girls (born 6/08 and 2/11) and another on the way.

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smplyme89 View Post
    It reminds me of my friend who is vegetarian. I know she is a vegetarian, so when we have get-togethers, I am always sure to plan a couple dishes without meat. Does she ask? No. Does she even expect someone to cater to her specific food needs? No.

    Wasn't there a 'gluten' discussion quite recently where the general consensus was that no parents don't expect an individual to abide to their childs diet needs, but the thoughtfulness is appreciated.

    Is the consensus here different because this is a religion based question?
    I think the difference is that the OP is wanting everyone to be alcohol free. The vegetatrian and gluten free examples don't compare because in those cases gluten free or vegetarian options were provided along side gluten and meat.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smplyme89 View Post
    It reminds me of my friend who is vegetarian. I know she is a vegetarian, so when we have get-togethers, I am always sure to plan a couple dishes without meat. Does she ask? No. Does she even expect someone to cater to her specific food needs? No.

    Wasn't there a 'gluten' discussion quite recently where the general consensus was that no parents don't expect an individual to abide to their childs diet needs, but the thoughtfulness is appreciated.

    Is the consensus here different because this is a religion based question?

    ETA: My thought process on this is quite different than most I guess. We have an eclectic religious family including Baptists, Catholics, Jehovah Witness', Muslims, Aethiests, etc. No one has ever had an issue/made requests based upon their specific beliefs. It would get much too complicated if they did.
    I think the consensus is partially different because its a religious issue as opposed to a preference, but also because she is the guest of honor (which to me means that her wishes are priority). And it doesn't sound like she is concerned about herself so much as her family, who have also been invited. If it was his family just having a get together at their home, or a party for someone else, etc., I would have responded differently.

  8. #38

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    Since the party is in your honor, then I think it's definitely reasonable.

    Religious practices or not, if it's not something you or your guests are comfortable with then I wouldn't have it. Plus, it's alcohol. Not a necessity. People can drink afterward.

    My wedding was alcohol-free due to my DH's family's beliefs. My family simply drank afterward ;) I think respecting others wishes, especially the guests of honor are more important than having a drink, IMO.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by runningmomofmany View Post
    I think the difference is that the OP is wanting everyone to be alcohol free. The vegetatrian and gluten free examples don't compare because in those cases gluten free or vegetarian options were provided along side gluten and meat.
    But even if a gluten free family or vegetarian family decided that they only wanted to serve those dishes at a party that THEY were hosting I would personally not think it was rude. Honestly I get catering to your guests, but I feel like if it's your party it should be on your terms. If others don't like it they don't have to attend. A note on the invitation on what to expect might be helpful but really who cares. It's just a few hours and it's about the people you are with or what you are celebrating imo. Trust me...I love food and drinks! But again, your party, your house, your preferences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC's wifey View Post
    I think the consensus is partially different because its a religious issue as opposed to a preference, but also because she is the guest of honor (which to me means that her wishes are priority). And it doesn't sound like she is concerned about herself so much as her family, who have also been invited. If it was his family just having a get together at their home, or a party for someone else, etc., I would have responded differently.
    Being that this is one of those topics where I keep having to ask myself 'who could this tick off' I'll just leave your 'preference' comment alone.

    OP asked for an opinion and I already stated mine so I'll just back away and go back to my corner

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  11. #41

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    I guess I just feel like it's family so you should feel safe to make whatever requests will make you feel more comfortable. If you were going to a dinner party at a co-workers house, I'd say totally not an appropriate request. But family looks out for eachother and the party is FOR you so I don't see the problem.

  12. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smplyme89 View Post
    Being that this is one of those topics where I keep having to ask myself 'who could this tick off' I'll just leave your 'preference' comment alone.

    OP asked for an opinion and I already stated mine so I'll just back away and go back to my corner
    Sorry! Didn't mean to offend! Just trying to answer the question. By preference I mean like someone who doesn't like the taste of tomatoes or something. They have nothing morally/ethically/religiously against tomatoes, or against anyone else having them, they just don't like them. My answer would be the same for any guest of honor who believed strongly against something, regardless of if it fell into a "religious" category (the OP's just happens to be religious). If they were really environmentally minded, for example, and paper waste was a big deal for them, if they were the guest of honor and they politely asked, I would happily make it work for them.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by KC's wifey View Post
    Sorry! Didn't mean to offend! Just trying to answer the question. By preference I mean like someone who doesn't like the taste of tomatoes or something. They have nothing morally/ethically/religiously against tomatoes, or against anyone else having them, they just don't like them. My answer would be the same for any guest of honor who believed strongly against something, regardless of if it fell into a "religious" category (the OP's just happens to be religious). If they were really environmentally minded, for example, and paper waste was a big deal for them, if they were the guest of honor and they politely asked, I would happily make it work for them.
    Trust me, no offense taken

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  14. #44

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    I'd ask them to make the party a breakfast or brunch. That way alcohol is less of an issue. But I agree with the majority - it's a party in your honor, including your family. It is reasonable that they don't serve alcohol.

  15. #45

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    I don't know. I think the request can be made, but I do think it's a *bit* rude. If you were a staunch vegan for moral reasons, would it be okay to ask that no meat be served to any of the guests because you're not comfortable with killing animals or that there be no milk because you find animal products objectionable? Personally, I think unless the drinking at your MIL's parties is excessive, I wouldn't ask.



  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I guess I just feel like it's family so you should feel safe to make whatever requests will make you feel more comfortable. If you were going to a dinner party at a co-workers house, I'd say totally not an appropriate request. But family looks out for eachother and the party is FOR you so I don't see the problem.

    I agree with Bridget.

    I often bring a bottle of wine as a gift/contribution to a party, but would not be upset at all to be asked to not bring it and I would just bring something else instead. On the other hand, many of the family parties I go to are potluck style and some of the other parties I go to have some kind of theme to them that require a level of effort on my part to either bring something, do something, or make something. I had to not only dress up as a former US president, but learn interesting facts about his life and speak in character all evening at the last theme party I went to. That is WAY more taxing than just being asked to contribute a dish or not bring alcohol.


  17. #47

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    I think it's weird if the person who is throwing the party doesn't ask for your preferences and wishes. Religion put aside, bc I think it's a moot point, if you don't want alcohol then fine don't have it... You're the guest of honor it should be what you want.

  18. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bridget View Post
    I guess I just feel like it's family so you should feel safe to make whatever requests will make you feel more comfortable. If you were going to a dinner party at a co-workers house, I'd say totally not an appropriate request. But family looks out for eachother and the party is FOR you so I don't see the problem.
    This.



  19. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by 3andMe View Post
    I agree with Bridget.

    I often bring a bottle of wine as a gift/contribution to a party, but would not be upset at all to be asked to not bring it and I would just bring something else instead. On the other hand, many of the family parties I go to are potluck style and some of the other parties I go to have some kind of theme to them that require a level of effort on my part to either bring something, do something, or make something. I had to not only dress up as a former US president, but learn interesting facts about his life and speak in character all evening at the last theme party I went to. That is WAY more taxing than just being asked to contribute a dish or not bring alcohol.
    Oh wow. I'd like to go to one of your family's parties!

    Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I will just let DH think it over and decide what to do.

    And thank you Kacey'sWifey for giving some perspective on where I am coming from. (I am too lazy to look back for your post so that I can quote it) I know it's the sort of thing that a lot of people would have a hard time understanding. But I appreciate seeing how different people think about it.
    Mom to two little girls (born 6/08 and 2/11) and another on the way.

  20. #50

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    I agree with Bridget, too. It's in your honor, so it's about you and your dh and your families. I don't find it rude at all to make a request. It's not uncommon to ask that honorees' preferences are respected for their comfort. Plenty of vegans and vegetarians would indeed find their good time ruined to have to watch others eating meat, for example. I've been to lots of vegan weddings, and I've never felt put out because I couldn't eat meat for three hours. It's not like anyone needs alcohol and should be offended if they can't drink. I've been to a few weddings and a ton of parties without alcohol, too -- one of my dh's close family members is an AA member. No one complains about the lack of alcohol. (Actually, though, I'm wondering if the fact that it is a religious observance is what is causing dissent here. I wonder, if your request had been due to one of the honored parties being an alcoholic, if folks would still find it rude to be asked not to drink. I think not. I don't know why it should make a difference. I certainly hope that your party will be absent any of those sentiments.)

    That said, it would probably be most polite to make it a quiet request to your MIL that she can circulate. And if someone doesn't get the memo and brings wine or whatever, it would be kind not to make a big deal of it. The thing is to try to make all guests comfortable within the parameters, so no one feels they've committed a faux pas. Make sure there are plenty of other tasty beverages around -- maybe some pretty punch. Can your DH make the request to his mom? It sounded, in your OP, that you would be doing it. I think he should be the one, since it's his family, and that he should make it clear it's his preference too, not just you and your family.
    -- mom to DD1 1/98 and DD2 10/09


  21. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by pepperlru View Post
    I agree with Bridget, too. It's in your honor, so it's about you and your dh and your families. I don't find it rude at all to make a request. It's not uncommon to ask that honorees' preferences are respected for their comfort. Plenty of vegans and vegetarians would indeed find their good time ruined to have to watch others eating meat, for example. I've been to lots of vegan weddings, and I've never felt put out because I couldn't eat meat for three hours. It's not like anyone needs alcohol and should be offended if they can't drink. I've been to a few weddings and a ton of parties without alcohol, too -- one of my dh's close family members is an AA member. No one complains about the lack of alcohol. (Actually, though, I'm wondering if the fact that it is a religious observance is what is causing dissent here. I wonder, if your request had been due to one of the honored parties being an alcoholic, if folks would still find it rude to be asked not to drink. I think not. I don't know why it should make a difference. I certainly hope that your party will be absent any of those sentiments.)

    That said, it would probably be most polite to make it a quiet request to your MIL that she can circulate. And if someone doesn't get the memo and brings wine or whatever, it would be kind not to make a big deal of it. The thing is to try to make all guests comfortable within the parameters, so no one feels they've committed a faux pas. Make sure there are plenty of other tasty beverages around -- maybe some pretty punch. Can your DH make the request to his mom? It sounded, in your OP, that you would be doing it. I think he should be the one, since it's his family, and that he should make it clear it's his preference too, not just you and your family.
    Agree.

  22. #52

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    Quote Originally Posted by pepperlru View Post
    I agree with Bridget, too. It's in your honor, so it's about you and your dh and your families. I don't find it rude at all to make a request. It's not uncommon to ask that honorees' preferences are respected for their comfort. Plenty of vegans and vegetarians would indeed find their good time ruined to have to watch others eating meat, for example. I've been to lots of vegan weddings, and I've never felt put out because I couldn't eat meat for three hours. It's not like anyone needs alcohol and should be offended if they can't drink. I've been to a few weddings and a ton of parties without alcohol, too -- one of my dh's close family members is an AA member. No one complains about the lack of alcohol. (Actually, though, I'm wondering if the fact that it is a religious observance is what is causing dissent here. I wonder, if your request had been due to one of the honored parties being an alcoholic, if folks would still find it rude to be asked not to drink. I think not. I don't know why it should make a difference. I certainly hope that your party will be absent any of those sentiments.)

    That said, it would probably be most polite to make it a quiet request to your MIL that she can circulate. And if someone doesn't get the memo and brings wine or whatever, it would be kind not to make a big deal of it. The thing is to try to make all guests comfortable within the parameters, so no one feels they've committed a faux pas. Make sure there are plenty of other tasty beverages around -- maybe some pretty punch. Can your DH make the request to his mom? It sounded, in your OP, that you would be doing it. I think he should be the one, since it's his family, and that he should make it clear it's his preference too, not just you and your family.
    I agree.




  23. #53

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    We went through a similar situation with our wedding only WAY more exagerated. DH and I don't drink (not religious reasons - he comes from a family of alcoholics and decided he didn't want to live like that and I've never really understood/embraced the idea of drinking so it just works for us) and decided we didn't want a bar at the wedding because...well...we didn't want it to turn into every other wedding his family has - sorry if that's rude, but it's true. My family drinks socially sometimes, but it's not a big deal for them to not. Our parents were paying for the wedding and reception so they were very involved in the planning. When we booked the reception hall the worker asked if we wanted to pay for the bar or to have the guests buy their own drinks or drink tickets etc. We said we didn't want a bar at all and would be serving coffee, water, and punch ourselves. In the area we're from that's a little odd so we got a few questions, but in the end they just basically said ok, it's your reception so it's really up to you. When MIL found out she was LIVID! To the point she called the reception hall and set up a bar that she paid for without telling us. Luckily the lady that worked there has known my mom for years and called her to make sure it was right. We told her absolutely not and to send MIL her money back because we didn't want it. DH called his mom to let her know to expect a refund. She was SCREAMING at him on the phone about how NOBODY from their family would come if we didn't have a bar. He told her if the only reason they were coming to our wedding was to get a drink he didn't want them there anyway. She called all his aunts and uncles trying to get them stirred up. A few called him to ask what was going on and he just told them this was what we decided and if they didn't want to come that was up to them and he wouldn't be mad. This lasted almost a month before she finally let it go. When the wedding came around pretty much everyone showed up (we had a HUGE wedding and reception) and the ones that didn't wasn't because of the bar. A few left earlier than usual to go out bar hopping which was fine (we weren't offended or upset by that) because once they start drinking you can't talk to them anyway. There was a bar next door (same building so the drinks could be brought in) and a few people did that, but it was really minimal - there were no fights, puking, or things getting broke - and no one got mad. That's as close as we'll ever get to a dry party with his family. TBH, if it had been a strong religious issue I would have said no alcohol at the reception at all in a heartbeat regardless of how upset she would have been. It was OUR wedding. I don't ask them not to drink at other events because those aren't about US or OUR KIDS specifically, but when they come to our kids' birthday parties or our house for any other reason there's no drinking. It's just understood and, regardless of their affinity for alcohol, everyone is respectful. Yeah, we get ribbed about it on occasion, but they all know it's their choice to show up or leave at their leisure just like it's ours at their events when the drinking gets out of hand.

    So having been down this road with people who drink way more than it sounds like your DH's family does, my answer would be that if the party is for you and your family people should make it about YOU AND YOUR FAMILY and respect your wishes for the duration of the party. Most people aren't going to be too upset and those that are aren't really coming to celebrate you coming back anyway so it might just be best if they didn't come. Even after all that my MIL got over it eventually and just gave in to the idea that she wasn't going to bully me about things - although she still tries regularly about just about everything. If you have a good relationship with them already I don't see this being a big issue.




  24. #54
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    I would make the request but give MIL the out (saying I'd understand if she didn't want to host a party w/o alcohol and that there'd be no bad feelings in that case). It's a funny situation, b/c, yes, she is offering to host the party in your honor- but she is still the one throwing the party. From what you describe, it seems like she might not mind the request- but it also seems like, given your acceptance of family members drinking in the past, it might surprise her. I think it's only fair to allow for the possibility that she might prefer to plan for something a little different in light of your request.

  25. #55
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    Yeah weddings are the event where alcohol seems to cause the most conflict one way or the other. DH's family gets crazy and destructive when they drink. We leased two beach houses for our family (our responsibility for damage) so we asked them not to drink in the houses. The night before our wedding, we heard them partying from the next block over in the other house. DH asked them to honor their promise not to drink and pour out the alcohol. Instead, they LEFT that night and missed our wedding. DH's own father missed our wedding because he chose alcohol. Its just not that important. Family is what is important.

    Sorry, this is probably hijacking. That event just really impacted my view.

  26. #56

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    I'll chime in as a "drinker" and say that I think it is reasonable to ask one side of your family to respect your beliefs on this issue, as well as those of the other side of your family. I'm not sure how many non-family members will be invited to the party, or how many guests don't that your family doesn't drink alcohol. Among my friends we do bring wine or beer as a hostess gift and it is usually opened that night. My sister was in a situation where she went to a gathering at a friend of a friend's house. She brought wine, but at no point was it opened and no one else brought it (she knew the mutual friends all serve alcohol at their parties so she just did what she would do for their houses). She had no problem not drinking, just felt a little awkward because she didn't know the situation. So I guess I would just appreciate the heads-up if I am going to a house where there is sometimes alcohol served but would certainly understand and gladly comply with the wishes of the guest(s)-of-honor.


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  27. #57
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    I feel like it never hurts to ask and request it. Family communication is very important and you are going to do in a polite fashion. I do think its absolutely not rude especially when kids are there. I come from a family that loves to drink on my dad's side and every family event there is booze. Quite honestly as a child I felt so embarrassed at family gatherings when the adults drank a lot. I try not to drink very often myself I can say I might drink 4 times a year. I don't drink in front of my kids. We have alcohol in the house put up way out of sight and more than likely we will probably ditch it. I admire your strong commitment not to drink alcohol. I also feel like this though not exactly the same when if I were to honor someone example like a baby shower I would ask my friend if she had any requests and I would do my best to honor that. I feel like its the fair thing to do. We had a friend at Cody's birthday party and he did not eat pork due to religious reasons we had pizza and naive me did not realize pepperoni was pork but, there was already a request for a pizza with beef and we had enough people who wanted beef we honored it. I feel like in my opinion there is nothing wrong about trying to make guests feel welcomed within reasonable limits.
    Last edited by hotpinkmomma0811; 04-23-2013 at 03:47 PM.



  28. #58
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    I don't think it's unreasonable to ask your MIL given it really is so important to you and your family! That said, you may find people have a few drinks at home before they come to the party perhaps?! Just curious, would that be a problem?

    Someone suggested brunch-style party? Seems like it might be a good solution if timing works for you. Surely it should remove the issue of alcohol entirely if much earlier during the day!
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  29. #59
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    Didn't read all of the responses, but I do not think it is out if line at all for you to ask that of your MIL. In fact, I bet if I had a family part where no alcohol was being served, a lot of my family wouldn't show up, and I'd actually be very happy about that lol.

  30. #60

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    I would definitely ask. Not out of line, and honestly, if the serving of alcohol is such a big issue then maybe they have a problem. I get the idea of celebration and booze, but what I don't get is the idea that a party is not a party if there is no alcohol. My mom allowed my sister to get married at her house, with the stipulation that they couldn't have alcohol. My sister's dh's family acted like total jerks about it. The best man even commented on it during the toast in a very rude manner. I think there's something wrong with a person who can't enjoy themselves without alcohol. I don't object to drinking at all. In fact, I drink on occasion. I typically serve wine when we entertain. However, my dad is an alcoholic and so is my mom's sister. I would not serve alcohol or allow it to be present if they were going to be here. The mark of a good hostess is to consider the needs of her guests of honor. And since that is you in this case, then it is completely appropriate to ask that alcohol not be served. It is also the mark of a good guest to respect the boundaries of their host or hostest. That means not bringing booze into a home where there are objections to drinking.
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