Open thread

by EPI Staff on March 10, 2011

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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.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Alicia March 10, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I live alone in a suburb about 10-15 minutes out of the city. Often when my friends are getting together I will get calls or texts asking if I can pick up someone on my way and drop them off and thus act as the designated driver. I do this most commonly for three different friends. It typically takes me about 5 minutes out of my way each way. I am a responsible DD and never ever drink more then a single drink all night if I am driving. Sometimes, I want to be able to have more then that. Would it be inconsiderate to occasionally ( ie about once/twice a year) to ask these friends to drive out of the city and then back in in order to pick me up so that I can have a few beers? I have no desire to get drunk just have more then I would drive with.
So is it the further persons responsibility to always DD since the others are sort of on the way to the bar? Or what amount of time should the closer person DD for the further person?

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Just Laura March 10, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Frankly, I am surprised that your friends haven’t already offered to repay this kindness to you, or at least help you with cab fare every couple of months or so. In my circle of friends, we take turns, even though we all live several miles from each other.
If trains/busses aren’t an option for you, then ask your friends. Thanks for being so responsible while imbibing.

When I lived in NJ and most friends lived in NYC, twice a year they’d come out to me and enjoy some great historic north Jersey bars – is that an option where you are?

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Camille March 10, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Yeah, I was thinking cab….maybe you could suggest that you all take a cab and split the fare? Or, it may just be worth it to take a cab anyway. Your friends might get the hint if they are having to drive themselves home all the time.

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Eddie March 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Do you have any local friends there? Like someone on your block? If so, this is a great opportunity to expand your circle of friends…. well, assuming you have the seating.

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Country Girl March 10, 2011 at 11:52 pm

If you are really close with any of these friends, another suggestion would be to ask if you might be able to stay the night at their place. Let them know that you would like to endulge a bit more and not have to worry about driving to and from your house. You could drive your car to the friend’s house then ride with them into the city and back. I used to do this with friends who lived closer to the place we would be going.

*And best case scenario, they will take a hint and say “Oh gosh, you DD for me so many times. Why don’t I just drive you to and from your house?” You won’t have even had to ask them outright, so they’ll be happy thinking it was their idea.

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Cathy Jayjack March 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm

Our family members have been invited to a wedding and reception about 500 miles from home. The reception is for adults only, and we don’t have a problem with that. But would it be appropriate for my daughter to bring her 7-month-old baby? She’s apprehensive about leavivg her with a strange babysitter, especially one who will be watching other kids too.

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Graceandhonor March 10, 2011 at 11:18 pm

No, it is not appropriate for her to bring an uninvited baby. Perhaps you all can divide babysitting among you so Mom can attend some of the festivities but the baby should not be taken somewhere it isn’t specifically invited, especially to something that is clearly stated adults only.

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Kiley March 10, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Definately agree with G&H. If your daughter accepts the invitation to the reception, it becomes her responsibility to make sure she has a proper sitter. There seem to be 2 options: your daughter could find someone to take care of the baby during the reception (husband, an extra sitter recommended by family, etc) or she can attend the wedding and simply forego the reception. Bringing the baby to an adult-only gathering will not only likely make everyone uncomfortable, but also make them wonder why they were not allowed to bring their young children. And of course the golden rule is to never bring, or ask to bring, someone who has not been given an invitation, even in this case the baby.

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Elizabeth March 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm

While I mostly agree that it is, of course, inappropriate to invite others along to something you’ve been invited to, I sympathize with the new mom who will probably, in the end, not be able to attend this wedding. If I were this woman and my only option was to drive 500 miles so I could attend the ceremony and not the reception, but rather be cooped up in a hotel room with the baby, I would most likely not attend that event. The babysitter route may also not be feasible if she’s still breastfeeding.

While I understand that toddlers and older children are not welcomed to weddings for lots of reasons, a 7 month old probably won’t do much during a ceremony or reception, and if s/he cries, s/he’s easily removed from the situation. I think we need to be more tolerant and accommodating to new parents, especially if we want them to travel, stay in hotel rooms, attend our events and buy us presents.

If I were the new mom, I would call the bride or groom (or their parents, whoever I knew best) and explain my situation, describe what I would feel comfortable with (a babysitter dedicated to my child, the need to have him/her nearby for feedings, etc) and ask what they would suggest. Hopefully they would be accommodating, but if not, I’d just send my regrets. It’s not that easy to travel with a young child, and hopefully the bride and groom would understand that.

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Graceandhonor March 11, 2011 at 3:57 pm

It is rude to place the bride in the position of having to make an exception for a baby after she has so clearly conveyed her wishes.

Kiley March 11, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Once again, G&H is correct. As a guest, many people will experience minor and major inconveniences in order to attend the important events of others. This doesn’t excuse bad etiquette. It is always up to the guest to weigh the pros and cons of attending before making a commitement. The bride has expressed her wishes for adults only. End of story. (And if the faux pas of bringing baby occurred, how much fun would poor daughter even have rushing away for every cry, handling baby in an unfamiliar area around those who will likely be intoxicated, and trying to squeeze in time to breast feed?)

Alicia March 11, 2011 at 4:03 pm

No it would not be appropriate.
Daughters options are
1. Decline the invite
2. Leave baby with responsible adult she and her husband trust ( maybe other grandparents? or aunt or uncle?)
3. Leave baby with her husband/babys father and only she attends.
Anything else would be rude.

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