Open thread

by EPI Staff on January 10, 2011

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Renee January 10, 2011 at 3:20 am

I am struggling with my fiancé’s friend’s wife. When we spend time with the couple, she is regularly rude to me, and I feel terribly uncomfortable. Then, usually out-of-the-blue, she will send a kind email. The most recent problem is that she has offered to throw me a “Pampered Bride” party, and asked if I would be available next week. I’ve told her that yes, I would be available on the weekend. She replied, “No, I mean are you available on a weekday? Because my mom is visiting, and she’s the one who’s throwing the party.” When I replied and told her that most of my friends would be working during the weekdays, and that I would have class, she didn’t respond at all. I feel I’ve offended her, but with our tumultuous relationship, I’m not sure that asking her about it would be a good idea. Advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Alicia January 10, 2011 at 1:11 pm

If A Pampered Bride party is what I think it is . A Pampered Chef party where all the guests instead of feeling pressured to buy themselves overpriced cookware feel pressured to buy the bride overpriced cookware. Then I would just decline entirely as it is not a party of hospitality of good wishes but instead a buisness oppertunity for her.
If I am wrong about what this event is then the advice may not stand.

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Shannon January 10, 2011 at 2:01 pm

I’m quite sure it is that, and I second this advice. While I love my (admittedly overpriced) Pampered Chef stuff, having a sales gig masquerading as a shower is tacky. As is pretending she’s doing something nice for you.

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Lin January 12, 2011 at 6:17 pm

I could be reading this incorrectly, but I would also be a bit iffy about my fiancé’s friend’s wife’s mother (I’m assuming you two haven’t even met) throwing me a shower of any variety.

In regards to no response to your e-mail, don’t assume you’ve offended her. If she has as volatile of a relationship with her computer as I do with mine at the moment (mine likes to blow up some of its internal parts), her computer could not be working, or life has kept her from the computer, and she has not read the e-mail. Let the e-mail sit and give her time to respond – if she wants the gig badly enough, she’ll respond in a timely fashion.

If you are concerned about offending her, maybe not totally decline the invite, but to offer to host a Pampered Chef party in the future, when all the wedding planning chaos has died down, you and hubby-to-be are settled in, and her mother isn’t in town (after all, she should be spending time with her mom while she’s visiting, not conducting business and dragging her along as it sounds like what she’s really doing).

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Elizabeth January 10, 2011 at 3:55 am

What is a pampered bride party? I just googled it and didn’t find much besides businesses with that name.

In any case, people like this thrive on drama, so you should continue to be polite, pleasant and non-reactive. While it seems as though parties like this could be thrown on a weekday evening, if you and the ostensible guests of such a party are largely unavailable during weekday evenings, you did nothing wrong by saying so. All you can do is to thank her for her kindness in wanting to throw you a party, and if it doesn’t work out, it’s a shame, but you’ll look forward to seeing her at the bachelorette party/ wedding/ your next dinner party.

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Jody January 10, 2011 at 12:05 pm

I think your reply was the polite solution — you told her you’d be available on the weekend, and you politely told her why you wouldn’t be available on a weekday. I don’t think that you’re obliged to change your schedule in this case.

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Renee January 10, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Thank you so much, ladies. I hadn’t thought about the possibility that the party itself is one that (in its nature) will make the guests feel uncomfortable. That is really the last thing I would want.

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Jayne Mattson January 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm

I would love to hear if hand written thank you notes are really a thing of the past. I have nieces who over the years I have encouraged to send them. Every once in a while I receive one, but overall they don’t feel the need. The kids today are not even taught cursive writing, so I don’t think writing (even printing) is supported.
I was brought up sending thank you notes within 48 hours of receiving a gift or thoughful gesture, but even my baby boomer generation are not sending them as much. I am hearbroken that this beautiful social grace might be disappearing.

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Just Laura January 12, 2011 at 9:47 pm

The subject of “Thank You” notes is probably addressed at least once/week, and here’s the link to the most recent discussion.

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