Here's one for the books, Graces.
My friend Grace S generously hosted a party last week. She did so as a favor to a friend. Well, really a friend of a friend, who needed a place to screen her short film about how Jane Austen's novels affected her dating life.
Given the subject matter of the short film, S. wisely invited women only. I don't care how in touch with his feminine side your guy is--he does not want to attend a gathering like this one and the sizable withdrawal from the relationship favor bank that his attendance would require is not worth his reluctant company for the evening. Trust me.
S and her co-hostess assembled a bountiful buffet of appetizers, red and white wine, and pitchers of margaritas. They gift-wrapped copies of the film on discs for all of the guests, and arranged flowers decoratively throughout the house.
The guest of honor arrived in a dress that was smaller than the DVDs. Seriously. The back plunged so deeply that we were put in mind of plumbers crouching under sinks. The tightness of the dress screamed "anatomy lesson" more than "fashion statement." Her first question: "Where are all the men?" Kind of makes you wonder whom (or what) she had in mind when she selected her attire for the evening. Doubtless Jane Austen would have a wry and witty assessment.
When offered a drink, the honored guest requested red wine. S poured her a glass. Guest took a sip, put the glass down and asked, "Do you have anything else?". Oh, my.
What's a Grace to do?
Let's look from both sides:
Now, we've all been there--you're served something that you just don't like. (Though having attended plenty of gatherings at S's home, I know her offerings are always top notch.) In such cases, you simply carry it around until the host isn't looking and ditch the disliked potable in favor of something you like better. You never let the hosts know.
As far as the host is concerned, you smile warmly and say, "Of course. We have X,Y, and Z if you'd prefer any of those. What can I get you instead?". The high road is always a better route, even if it requires some teeth gritting as you travel it.
And speaking of Jane on film, nobody does it better than Emma Thompson. The acceptance speech she gave after winning the best adapted screenplay award for Sense & Sensibility is worth watching....(scroll ahead to :42 to skip the chaff.)