1. Country Girl

    This might be a bit of new-school etiquette. =) We like to invite friends over for casual hot tub/BBQ parties. We specify in our verbal invitations that this will be a hot tub party and please bring your swimsuit.

    On a couple of occassions there has been one or two guests (for whatever reason, sometimes body image I imagine) who have opted not to bring a suit. This usually means that others feel guilty for leaving this person out, and either no one or just a few people get in the spa as planned.

    What is the etiquette in this situation for both us as hosts and for guests?

    I don’t want to have to resort to trying to assume who may or may not feel comfortable using the hot tub when planning who to invites. Should one decline the invite, or tell a host ahead of time if they don’t want to get in the spa? Is it rude to have a few people including us as hosts soaking while others are inside? Are we responsible to plan other activities for anyone who might not want to get in the spa even though we specify that it is a hot tub party?

    • Since we can’t make decisions for others, do not worry that some people came to your party and then didn’t want to get into the hot tub. We too have parties that might involve the hot tub. Our tub sits on a large deck, and for those who don’t want to get in, we pull up several chairs and small tables near the tub. This way everyone can still easily relax and interact with everyone else; no one feels left out. Does that help?

      • Country Girl

        That is a very good suggestion, and typically what ends up happening in the summer. However we live way up north and in the Fall-winter months is when this situation becomes a problem because very cool or cold weather often prohibits sitting outside on the patio at night, then we end up with a group of guests inside and a group outside. (Or all our hard work and planning in getting the hot tub area ready goes to waste because of the trickle down effect of “Well if so and so isn’t getting in then I guess I won’t either.”)

        • Country Girl,
          I would simply appreciate the fact that your friends enjoy getting together at your home and leave it at that. There are many reasons people may choose not to take a dip in the hot tub and they are of concern to no one else. Obviously, you are not stating that group participation in the hot tub is a mandatory part of the evening, and your friends are choosing what they wish to do. If it doesn’t bother them, please don’t let it bother you. Instead, go with it … set out some extra beverages, a snack, perhaps a game and inform everyone that this is for the “indoor” group to enjoy while the “outdoor” group relaxes in the hot tub. You can all look forward to meeting back up later!

          As for being the hosts, again, make your choices accordingly. Perhaps one of you may choose to stay in while the other one of you takes a soak … or you both go out. The point is, if you are relaxed and enjoying yourself, your guests will do so as well.

        • Country Girl

          Thank you for all your feedback. =) Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t let this ruin my party or my day. (What a great life if that is the only thing to get down about!)

          I just wanted to be sure I was neither misleading or disappointing those that came for the purpose of getting in, nor making feel awkward those who don’t. And I threw out the possibility of body image, not to say we judge those who don’t get in, just to set the stage for my question because this type of thing doesn’t allow for the quick fix of offering a spare swimsuit, which we do. (And Rusty Shackleford I loved the tidbit about Mr. WRH. How cool would that be?)

          It just seems like such a strange situation when guests at your party are forced to break into groups, and I didn’t feel sure that we were doing the right “host” thing. I guess my funny little thought-process was saying to me; if one offered to host a party on a boat and a guest was prone to getting seasick thus stayed ashore, is the host responsible to make sure they are having a good time on shore? Should the guest have accepted the invite in the first place? What is the proper way to handle a situation where this “party separation” takes place? I, myself, wonder at times when I am invited to a party at which the main activity is something of which I am not fond if I am free to show up anyway and decline participation, or if I should inform the host of this before hand, or if I should just decline the invite.

          I appreciate your thoughts, and will take your words that this type of separation is perfectly fine as long as the “indoors” crowd is having fun and the “outdoors” crowd is having fun and make plans for those who choose not to participate. =)

    • Alicia

      Sounds like a fun party. However there are miriade reasons one may not want to get in a hot tub ranging from simply forgetting a suit to feeling bloated that day to not being 100% comfortable being in that close proximity to all those there. If people attend and have fun if they get in or not should have no effecct on reinviting. Relax let your guests enjoy themselves and you enjoy yourself too. That said 90% of time I would love that type of party.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      It never hurts to have some spare trunks/suits for your guests. William Randolph Hearst was known for giving his guests a swimsuit to take home after their visit to his famous Neptune pool. And yes, it would be a nice gesture for you to have some activities for those who don’t want to get in the spa.

  2. Rosie's Mom

    My supervisor is about to retire and has not mentioned it to me personally, nor has it been officially announced. However, most of the office personnel is aware of her plans. Some of the staff had made plans and threw her a retirement party on Monday. Last week she was aware that someone (not knowing that I was not aware of her retirement) mentioned it to ask if I would participate. Of course regardless I would help in any way I could with what they needed. Her party was on Monday. The very next day she came to me to officially let me know that it is her intent to retire at the end of the month. Granted we are not friendly with each other; but was it wrong of me to expect the professional courtesy of letting me know her intent to retire (at least prior to her party) – after all is she is my direct supervisor.

    • Country Girl

      I agree with your sediment that it would have been nice to have had more notice than this that your supervisor was retiring. Her leaving, and thus the gaining of a new supervisor, will have an effect on your and other employees’ jobs. Giving you more notice would have been a professional courtesy in my opinion, since as you mentioned this plan was obviously not secret for any reason. I definately feel your frusteration with being left out of that loop.

  3. Hello Rosie’s Mom,
    To be straightforward, your supervisor owes you no explanations as to her actions; she is your supervisor and it is her right to inform you as to her actions in her own time. Would it have been courteous for you to hear it from her rather than from the office grapevine? Perhaps, but as you say, you are not friendly, so she owed you nothing extra in the way of explanation. She made the official announcement and informed you as to when she would be leaving; call it good and perhaps you will be able to establish a more friendly relationship with your next supervisor.

    The thing to remember about etiquette is the only person you can control is yourself.

  4. EmptyNester

    Do grown children send wedding anniversary cards to their parents? My siblings and I always ackknowleged our parents anniversaries with cards or a gift, and a party for milestones. Now I send anniversary cards to my daughter and son-in-law. Our three children never acknowlege our anniversary and this one being a milestone I admit I’m hurt. Each year when I bring it up to them they act shocked that I expected a card or a phone call. Am I being too sensitive? Am I way out of touch with today’s etiquette?

    • Alicia

      Honestly an anniversary is only a significant event to those whom have the anniversary. When your kids were young did you prompt them and teach then to make anniversary gifts for your husband and you? Why would you expect them to change now? I have never once sent my parents nor anyone an anniversary card/gift/ or any sort of ackowlegement. I do know some families teach that it is a big deal starting at a young age but if you did not teach them as kids that they needed to do something the same way you taught them they needed to do something for say mothers day then really why would they? It is not their anniversary. Celebrate it with your husband whom hopefully you have over the significant number of years conveyed that he had beeter be up for celebrating it.

      • I’m going to agree with Alicia. I don’t acknowledge my parents’ anniversary because that was an event in which I took no part, and has little to do with me. The only time I’ve ever given a card for an anniversary was for my grandparents at their 50th, and then again for their 65th.

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