Dear Mrs. McVeigh,
I was recently at a dinner, and the hostess announced that we were having seafood. She said she realizes that some people are allergic to it, or may not care for it, so she has a meat substitution. In a situation like this, is it rude to ask to be served the meat just because you do not like something? At that moment I heard my mother’s voice telling me that I should at least try what I am served, and not to insult the hostess.
Dear Seafood Hater,
If the hostess offers an alternative to what she is serving, there is nothing wrong with taking her up on her offer. What would be rude is to tell her that you do not like seafood when she does not offer another option. For those who are allergic to seafood and are not offered another option, you could discreetly pull the hostess aside and tell her to serve you everything but the seafood because of your allergies. If she looks stressed and starts to scramble to find something else, assure her that you are fine with the other food that she is serving. If you sit down and your meal is already at your place, then do not call attention to the situation. Try to eat any other food that you feel confident has not touched the seafood. When finished with the other food, you can cut up the seafood to appear like you are eating it. You can then offer to clear plates at the end of the meal, so you do not call attention to your plate with the seafood still on it.