Best Behavior: Party Foul

Tray Trouble

I’m in recovery, and I haven’t had a drink for six months. I’ve been staying away from cocktails, of course, but I decided to go to a pre-wedding party last week at the home of friends, who are well aware of what’s going on in my life.Servers were passing trays, and the only thing being offered was Champagne. I asked for a glass of water, and the server brought it to me. I’m not asking to be treated in any special sort of way, but it seems to me that they should have offered something nonalcoholic. Who knows? I might have been pregnant. Is this what I can expect at parties for the rest of my life? —Anonymous, West Meade

Congratulations on the past six months. You have no reason to stay away from parties. The hosts should have thought ahead before they threw one — and not just because they knew you would be there.

No, you shouldn’t have had to ask, but you were right to go to the server for help. Otherwise, you’d have been left trying to chew on canapés with nothing to wash them down. At least the server knew where to find the kitchen and a glass.

Yes, the hosts of the party should have offered sparkling water. That would have been nice, considering Champagne was being poured. There’s almost always somebody in the room who isn’t drinking for their own personal reasons.

You have no duty to mention the gaffe to the hosts, unless you want to make sure they don’t forget again. You can do it when you call them to recap the fun of the party. You’ve got a good life ahead of you, and they’ll want to be part of it. It’s time to start them thinking.

Boxed Up

My fiancé and I are getting married next month. We’ve both been married before and have been living together for the past year. So when we sent out the invitations, we requested no gifts. We made it clear. A couple threw a party for us a couple of weeks back.Predictably enough, people brought along bottles of wine, but a good friend showed up with a wrapped gift. She said she knew that we are both good cooks (which is true). When we got home and opened the package, there was an immersion blender.We already have one, so we want to return it, but we don’t know where she bought it. I guess we’ll have to ask her, but this whole situation has gotten extremely awkward. Help me, please! —Anonymous, Hillsboro Village

The only thing that’s awkward about this situation is that you’re caught having to ask a difficult question.If you don’t want to bother the well-meaning nonreader, you have the option of keeping the box (and the ribbon that came with it) and passing along the blender the next time you’re invited to a wedding.

The woman who’s causing you concern probably wasn’t paying attention. What can you do but act grateful? Raising your question may, however, paint her into a corner. Maybe the next time she gets an invitation, she’ll read the small print.

Have a question for John? Email him at jbridges@nfocusnashville.com.