A neighbor invited my spouse and children over the other day for muffins and hot chocolate. When they arrived, they were served muffins, but did not immediately receive hot chocolate. My daughter alerted their host to this omission by saying, “Umm…you forgot the hot chocolate.”
My spouse was appalled. Back at home, we had a dinner-table conversation about what the most elegant and respectful way to handle the situation might have been. Unfortunately we had three different opinions, and we could not reach a consensus. I’d already returned the three etiquette books I had out from the library to help me polish my social graces (turns out I shouldn’t spit food into my napkin or use my butter knife as a mirror to help me when I apply lipstick at the table…who knew?), so I’m putting the question to you.
Which of these is the proper way to alert a host that he’s forgotten to provide a specific item he previously offered?
a) “Umm…you forgot the hot chocolate.” (my daughter’s actual response)
b) “When we were out shoveling snow a little while ago, you mentioned hot chocolate. May I please have some hot chocolate?” (my spouse’s suggestion)
c) Say nothing. It’s rude to request something in someone else’s home. If they remember, fine. If not, you must do without. (my suggestion)
Other suggestions are welcome. I’m looking for a best-bet response, something we can offer our daughter as a guide for her future behavior in a variety of similar situations. (Sure, I could Google it, but this is more fun.)