Open thread

by EPI Staff on October 8, 2010

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This open thread is your space to use as you like.  We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Mollie October 8, 2010 at 10:41 pm

Whenever we travel to visit my in-laws, my Husband and I are unable to sleep, as the bed is very old and uncomfortable. We were thinking about booking a motel, but know this might hurt feelings. Is it wrong to nicely mention to the in-laws the bed might need to be replaced? We all have a very good relationship. Thank you!

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Graceandhonor October 10, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Mollie, your husband should say to his parents, “Mollie and I love staying with you, Mom & Dad, but my back really suffers on that guest bed of yours. So, how about we chip in half on a new mattress and boxsprings?” You’d spend what it would cost you to book a motel for a weekend, and they shouldn’t be offended when their home is getting an upgrade. I imagine other guests will benefit, too.

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Lanna October 9, 2010 at 6:12 pm

A woman whose daughter is a friend of my daughter’s called and invited my family to dinner to get to know each other. When she called she went into great detail about everything they would be serving. I thought this was so that we would know what kind of wine to bring. It was a very casual dinner and we brought what we considered a mid priced wine. I checked the internet to be sure it went with their main dish.
When we arrived we found that they were serious wine collectors with a huge cellar. They thanked us for our wine and seemed amused, so I know I did something incorrect. They didn’t serve my wine, or any, for that matter.
I have been wondering ever since, when she described the whole meal in detail was I supposed to offer to bring wine and asked what she would like rather than choose it myself?

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Graceandhonor October 10, 2010 at 4:09 pm

This is an odd scenario. Perhaps she described the menu in detail as a means of seeking your approval or comments about dietary restrictions. You did nothing wrong in bringing a bottle of wine of your own choosing. Their amusement may have been a “coals to Newcastle” observation in view of their wine cellar, and it is puzzling they didn’t open a bottle of something with your dinner. Perhaps they don’t drink in front of their children, or indeed may be wine snobs and based their decision not to serve wine on your taste in the selection you brought. Regardless, it doesn’t matter at this point. I’d say your hosts commited the errors, so rest your mind.

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Christopher October 10, 2010 at 1:36 am

A friend of mine wants to throw me a birthday party that the more I hear about, the more I don’t want to attend. She’s inviting a lot of people I don’t know, and some I don’t like, to a place I’m not especially comfortable being. She seems to be going to a lot of trouble setting this up, but it all seems less about me and more about her.
Is there a way I can, as politely as possible, back out of this?

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Graceandhonor October 10, 2010 at 4:13 pm

“Sally, you are a sweetheart to offer to throw a party for me, but I am uncomfortable with the way it is unfolding. Could we just change it to a party in general?” The focus would then be off you and other than a token appearance, you’d be off the hook.

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Becky October 10, 2010 at 2:15 am

I have a question regarding weddings~~ I was asked to be in a wedding but was unable to be a bridesmaid as my husband had to move us out of state due his job around the same time the wedding was going to take place. I was still in the area for the bridal shower and never received an invite to the shower or the wedding. Do I need to send a gift to the bride or do think she was upset with me for not being in the wedding? I’m not sure what to do. Thanks

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Graceandhonor October 10, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Its a shame your friend took your declining to be in her wedding as disinterest in attending. If you care to maintain the friendship, send her a gift with a note, “Sally, I am sorry I didn’t receive an invitation to your wedding or shower, as I had looked forward to attending if I could. I hope you and John will be very happy.”

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Pete October 12, 2010 at 2:29 am

My wife and I are throwing a 1st birthday party for our daughter at a local restaurant, about 30 total family and friends. My sister has made 2 requests – 1) her husband wants chicken marsala (1 of 3 menu choices), but without mushrooms and 2) she wants my nephew (12 years old) to have an adult meal – the sliced steak, but with no sauce, and ketchup. Adult meals are slightly more money (i think $17 versus $10, but money not really the issue here).

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Graceandhonor October 12, 2010 at 4:27 pm

Not sure what your question is, Pete, but since it isn’t an issue of money, go ahead and accommodate the wishes of your family guests. Your sister is obviously pulling immediate family rank and their expectations will be a pain to see to, but if you don’t, I’m sure you’ll hear about it. They committed a faux pas, but in view of your more important focus that day, let it go.

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