On a related note to the previous post:
When hosting guests at my home, if I am dishing up single servings of something (dessert, mixed drinks, etc.) that I intend to hand-deliver to each of my guests individually, I try to ask if they would like whatever it is I am serving.
"Hey Joe, would you like some pie?"
"Susy, I'm making some smoothie. Can I bring you a glass?"
I do this to minimize potential awkward moments for my visitors. If they don't want dessert, they can politely decline right then. No harm no foul. Everyone is polite, everyone is happy.
The alternative is for me to thrust a plate of whatever at them and then what? "Uhhhh, no thanks. I'm on a diet." "WHAT?" "I'm on a diet. Thanks for announcing it to the group."
Or even worse is for them to politely accept and then have to gag it down. "Uh, oh, thanks! Uh, can I have a huge glass of water with this? Just bring a pitcher."
And we've all seen the polite-accepter who then spends the evening dismantling the food and pushing it around to make it look like it's been eaten.
I'm not talking about sitting down to dinner where you can dish up what you want. I'm not talking about bringing a bowl of popcorn to the living room for a group watching a movie. I'm talking about, "Here you go. Here's your food that I am assuming you want and giving you no choice about."
I've had some bad experiences with this, so my opinion is admittedly biased. I've regretted being rude and declining food that was sprung on me in this fashion. I've politely eaten food that made my stomach churn. What do you think? Is it common courtesy for a host or hostess to check with their guests before serving? Or does the entire responsibility fall on the guest to be polite and eat what is served?