Q: I was at a wedding last weekend that was much fancier than the weddings I'm used to. After hors d'oeuvres, soup, and salad, I was too full to eat my entree. I asked if it could be boxed so I could take it home. The other diners at my table barely touched their food, but none of them asked for a box to take it home.
I didn't see many other people leaving with food. Was it inappropriate to ask for my food to be boxed? I hate wasting food, and seeing so much food wasted left a bad taste in my mouth about the wedding.
A: I know there are people out there who find boxing to be rude in any circumstances, but I'd rather offend them than throw away a perfectly good dinner. I think what you did was fine. Remember, judging is rude, too, so anyone who clucked at your choice as a faux pas was committing a faux pas.
Anonymous: The rule for whether it is okay to box up your food to take home to enjoy later is generally based on who paid for it. In this case, she had not paid, which is why most of the people attending the wedding did not do as she did. If you are paying for your meal at a restaurant and cannot eat all the food, then there is no reason not to box it.
Carolyn: This has the air of being right, but I've consulted my inner Demi Moore and I strenuously object.
If you're digging into the buffet to take some home for dinner tomorrow, then you're a moocher, yes — but if someone treats you to lunch, then you have to throw away your uneaten half-sandwich? That can't be right.
When plated food goes uneaten, it's destined for the trash no matter who paid for it, so please keep choosing to keep it out of a landfill.
Pro-Boxer: Etiquette says that it is rude to waste life in vain. Thus, boxing food must be the polite thing to do.
Carolyn: Since I agree, it must be right. Thanks!