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Here’s a concern voiced to me, post-Oscar Monday, by a not-overly blond nor excessively slender person, at the gym:
“Last night, I threw my Oscars party. I did all the food, except for the part of it that people brought, just because they wanted to. Drinks-wise, I asked everybody to BYOB. Almost everybody brought wine. [One friend; let’s not give his name] brought a jug of not-so-good Merlot; so it never got opened, all night long. When it came time to leave, he picked up his jug and went home — no explanations, no apologies, no nothing. How rude is that?”
A BYOB invite always begs for mixed blessings, of course.
Not only does it empower people to drink more than they ought to — since they’re consuming their own hooch (so who’s counting?) — it also leads to an unseemly confusion:
Should I — acting like a graduate-school student — scrawl my name on a bit of masking-tape and and stick it across my personal bottle of vodka? (I’d seem chintzy if I did that. Wouldn’t I?) Meanwhile, if I’d really like another cocktail, and, if it’s not all that late in the evening, while unscrupulous others have already emptied my fifth of good Scotch? (I ought to have a right to somebody else’s rot-gut? Shouldn’t I?)
If almost everybody is bringing a bottle of wine for the evening, and if some bottles don’t get opened, it’s perfectly all right for [One Friend; Let’s Not Give His Name] or anybody else, to take home his unopened bottle.
[One Friend; Let’s Not Give His Name] may have decided that his wine was too fine to be wasted on the company at hand. Or he may simply have decided that it’s time to take home his unopened bottle.
This was a BYOB party, after all.
A wrong idea from the beginning; so any judgment calls are iffy.
To make matters worse, the recycling of bottles is unlikely.