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Passing Food and Helping Oneself First

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

While dining with my new in-laws, I was asked to pass the potatoes. So, I helped myself to some before handing the bowl to my husband. My mother-in-law told me later that I should never help myself before passing the food. Is she correct?


Passed Out

Dear Passed Out,

No, your mother-in-law is not correct. When asked to pass a dish of food, it's okay to help yourself to some. While helping yourself, say something like, "I'll help myself to some now so that you won't have to pass it back to me." But, if there's not much left, then don't take the last helping; pass it to the person who requested the dish.