Monday, April 20, 2009

Tact and Etiquette are not my strong suits, either.

Tact and Etiquette
Originally uploaded by Valentinian
[This is a testament to how wonderful and civilized our dinner guests normally are, to have this one unusual situation set me off, don't you think? :-)]

A few notes to a 20-something male friend who doesn't read my blog:

When your hostess, who has been working all day to prepare for you and other guests and has two small children to entertain, greets you at the door but neglects to introduce herself properly, please don't rudely bring this to her attention by announcing to the room, "I don't even know you!"

Also, immediately slinking off to the back yard alone for half an hour after refusing all offers of refreshments could be considered rude.

If polite conversation about your upcoming move includes attempts to look on the bright side of a poor location, such as, "oh, but the cost of living will be so much lower in [BFE]!" a response such as, "I'm doing just fine providing for my family right here in [Metro area]" might come off as defensive.

Or, a kind suggestion that now would be a perfect time to go back to school and get your degree (if that is what's holding your career back), as maturity does improve one's work ethic, ought not be met with rolled eyes and laughter.

Your compliments on the meal that was served were appreciated, but departing before the dessert course without taking your leave of the host and hostess are difficult to reconcile.

I am often acutely aware that my own manners are subpar, but it's encounters like this that behoove me to impart some higher sense of proper behavior with my own children. Frankly, this encounter left me uncomfortable and slightly upset. I'm almost certain that this guest wasn't truly attempting to offend me. Almost.

Farewell young friend, and we hope you enjoy your time in BFE.


  1. WOW. I wonder how your guest would justify his behavior?

  2. Any one of those things would be hard to take but all of them? Geez. I bet he hasn't had much experience entertaining. My guess is he won't be first on the next party's invite list.

  3. Kelly O: His wife suggested that an assignment at work was stressing him out.

    Spleeness: We've invited this family (they are related to me) over a few times and they have previously flaked out or were no-shows. I persisted, but now I have no idea why.

  4. Like I said: two years tops before she walks out on his ass. IF she's not an idiot, that is.

  5. In hindsight,you wd have been better off going up to see them at a restaurant. That way no one does a lot of work or spends a lot of money buying food. The Europeans have the right idea. Their home is their castle. They entertain at restaurants that are set up for it. A different room for each course. The last course is in a room where you sit and talk and no one is trying to get you to leave so they can serve the next guy.

  6. I'd still rather entertain people at home than be trapped at some restaurant eating brunch ("Take two good meals and make one lousy one, but with a slice of melon. $22.95. Please pay at the register.") Anyway, dude's probly stressed out over kids, crappy economy, the usual. When sleep deprivation kicks in, manners tends to go out the window.

  7. Wow, this guy sounds like a bit of a tool but I will offer a bit of sympathy on one part of the story.

    As a dude who took 20 years to finish college, I do empathize with him about the school thing. When I was on my 14 year break from school, suggestions that I go back and finish; no matter how well intentioned, polite, and kind they were and no matter who they came from; were always greeted with scorn and defensiveness. Believe me, no one knows better than he does that he needs to go back and get his degree. Cut him a little slack on this one, because I'm sure he's not cutting himself any.



  8. yikes! i'll make sure to be polite this weekend! :)

  9. IMGoph,

    I was slated to attend this weekend's festivities at Casa d'Monkeyrotica, but unfortunately I won't be able to make it. I was looking forward to seeing who you are IRL.


  10. IMGoph: no worries, you're one of the sweetest guys ever!

    HR: we'll miss you and your family on Sunday. :-(

    Monkey & Mom: At least we had quality time with our other guests and the kids got to play outside and in the basement. That's another thing that we wouldn't have had if we went to a restaurant. I'm fine with hosting overall, as well, just surprised by this individual.


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