When is it not proper manners to drink beer from the bottle?
Young people seem so intent on not using a glass, and sometimes I feel I am being an old fuddy-duddy when I offer a glass with the beer.
I have always preferred to let people pour their own beer, but I felt rather insulted when I had a dinner party and people started bringing their beer bottles to the table.
Am I old-fashioned to think that a beer bottle on a table is rather an ugly sight? Is it proper to use a glass at the table and drink from the bottle before coming to the table?
I prefer my beer in a glass, and when someone serves me a beer and doesn't offer a glass, I am embarrassed to have to ask for one. What is modern-day etiquette on the subject?
A. The consensus of modern etiquette arbiters, last time we all sat around drinking beer together out of cans, was that dispensing with the glass is a ritual intending to demonstrate a cozy kind of defiance.
Therefore, while it is all right in its place (in a stadium or television room, while one is watching sports events, for example), it is inappropriate at dinner parties other than picnics.
Your mistake was in assuming that it is the room, rather than the occasion, that makes the difference. If you understandably don't want beer bottles crossing your dining-room threshold, don't hand them out in the living room.
While the Etq. Arbs. were meeting, they sent out a reminder that one should never be intimidated by pejorative terms (fuddy-duddy, old-fashioned, out-of-it) used by the careless to characterize the civilized. If you want a glass for your beer, ask for one.
Feeling incorrect? Address your etiquette questions (in black or blue-black ink on white writing paper) to Miss Manners, in care of this newspaper.