1. Sandy

    We are fortunate to have sold the house we never liked and are building a smaller home more suited to our personality.

    Friends and acquaintances have expressed, some out of politeness and others out of genuine interest, their excitement about seeing our completed home.

    We love to entertain but don’t like to impose or show off. I feel like the natural order would be for us to host an open house when the house is completed, but I’m not comfortable with a “look at me” party.

    Naturally, some groups of friends will be invited in short order separate of an open house. There are others who I consider close acquaintances (my husband’s running club or parents of my teenagers’ friends) with whom we don’t necessarily socialize with outside of a holiday party or meeting at a restaurant. However, many in these groups know we are building and have expressed interest in the final product.

    Is an open house the best way to handle this situation? I don’t want to obligate people to bring gifts, but I know if the situation were reversed, I would bring the hostess a bottle of wine or plant. I’m just not comfortable putting myself in the spotlight or hosting what seems like a gift grab, but I don’t want to offend by not hosting some type of gathering.

    • Alicia

      Well years ago when I had my new house I also felt this way. I did not want to show off persay or to make people feel like they needed to bring housewarming gifts. So instead of doing an official housewarming or open house I just held a “summer party” those who wanted to see the new place got to see all of the new place. People who just wanted to party just had fun. Nobody felt obligated with housewarming gifts, it was just a party for the sake of summer. I suggest you do similar ( spring, summer , fall or winter ) throw a party without calling it an open house or a housewarming . Just a party for party sake.
      Actually mine morphed into an annual event as it was so much fun.

    • Nina

      Above all, I think you should do what you want and that will wind up being the most polite option. If you would enjoy hosting an open house, please do it–it won’t be a look-at-me event, it’ll be a look-at-my-house event, and if you are proud of it and would enjoy making others welcome there, you should enjoy the open house. Yes, many guests will probably bring gifts, but they will be smallish, and an open house carries limited obligation–it people don’t want to give something, they probably just won’t.

      However, please don’t host an event that you are uncomfortable with. I can’t imagine anything more depressing than arriving at a party and realizing the hosts didn’t really want their guests there. You can always invite people in as individuals for a casual coffee and a tour if they are very curious to see the place–before a run or after an event, or whatever you are comfortable with.

      • sandy

        Thanks Nina and Alicia. We love to entertain, and I love a good party. I guess I’m just hyper sensitive because of the housing market. We are lucky; others who have tried to sell their homes haven’t been able to.

        I think a party for a party’s sake – welcome summer – is a good solution.

  2. adriana

    My parents have their 50th wedding anniversary coming up. They have lived separately for over 30 years, with the exception of a weekend here and there together. It hasn’t been a very “loving” union, in my opinion. Will it be awful if I do nothing for their golden anniversary? I feel it would just be awkward.

    • Alicia

      There is no obligation for you to do anything for anyones anniversary. So not worry about it and do not feel obligated to celbrate something that is not even your occasion. If your parents want to do something for their anniversary then that is great but you shoudl not worry about it .

    • MichelleR

      Are you comfortable simply asking them? I think I’d ask them if and how they’d like to celebrate and go from there.

  3. Rev. Svend la Rose

    Once a man’s behavior indicates, as you clarified on January 20 of last year, that he is neither a gentleman nor close enough in refinement to be treated as though one by courtesy alone, how does one address him? Moreover, what behavior should I look for in distinguishing the gentleman who labors for whatever reason from the truly common laborer? In other words, if I take up ditch-digging or such for want of a benefice, how can I demonstrate that I am a gentleman clearly enough to cause people to take the chance to get to know me in person?

    • In Middle English, a “gentle man” was a man of noble birth. Behavior had little to do with the designation. Later English society considered a gentleman to be a man of wealth and leisure. There were behavioral expectations placed on this man of leisure, but not all followed this code of conduct (read a Jane Austen novel for more on that).
      Today, “gentleman” can mean many things. A quick look through a dictionary brings up the definition of general address, i.e. “Gentlemen, start your engines!” There is no expectation of wealth, birth or behavior in such an address. A polite person may point to a man on the far side of the room and say to her companion, “Do you know the gentleman over there?” Again, the only demand this term makes is that the person in question be male. Still another modern definition I found is the following: a civilized, educated, sensitive, or well-mannered man.

      So it appears that in modern Occidental society, the term “gentleman” denotes a male who is educated and well-mannered. A gentleman may be a President, a rocket scientist or a ditch-digger, provided he possesses the aforementioned traits.

    • Zakafury

      Is this even serious?

      Your outlandishly flowery verbal style should mark you among the world’s elitists, not to be confused with truly common people. As to how you might distinguish ditch-diggers to be befriended from those to be avoided, I can offer no advice.

      I suggest you address all people by their name, regardless of how far down your nose you feel entitled to look.

  4. The D Life

    The Unsolicited Photo

    Hello All,
    Last night I received a most strange and unsolicited email from a good friend, with the photo of my husband and his ex-wife at a party with this particular friend attached, and a comment about “the good old times”, since this friend has been acquainted with my husband for thirty years, but as it happens we became good friends she and myself. She copied my husband in the email. That is, my husband received the photo too.

    My husband has been divorced from that woman for 19 years (we have been happily and lovingly married for five), and needless to say that the email, photo, etc. does not make me feel insecure in the least or worries me about my husband.

    My issue is my friend. I replied to her saying something a bit sarcastical as “Just what I was expecting to see”. She apologised saying that there was no harm was meant, that she should have cropped the photo. It is not a big deal, but all the same I cannot see the point of it.

    My friend is aware that my husband’s ex – wife is a very scheming woman who would boycott our relationship from the beginning (even if she has been in a happy partnership for many years), would manipulate their daughter to the point of having the 18yr old kid in my home for an entire fortnight on holidays several occasions and the girl would not speak a word to me (even if I had lost my Father from a cruel disease a few days before by the time she arrived to our home once).

    Now, all that is in the past and things have improved slightly. However, I do not expect much on that side.

    As I said, my issue is since a well brought up lady, well mannered, polite, intelligent and educated, who I think is very fond of me and I of her, finds appropriate sending me such a photo (it does not hurt, I promise) of a long gone past life, knowing that I’ve suffered a lot this scheming woman, that this person and her daughter manipulated things against us to the point of success – love always wins! -, and caused a lot of turmoil in our relationship, and sends me the photo most cheerfully, what approach should I adopt with her.

    I will be seeing her in two weeks, since we are taking holidays in the country where this lady lives and she will join us for a week end.

    I think that it is best to forget what I understand as a distasteful email, but just in case that she brings the topic up…

  5. Alicia

    I think you are reading to much into this photo. The friend clearly was going through a bunch of old pictures and say this one of your husband having fun at a party and thought he or you may appreciate the photo. Clearly , you did not. But I would not take any malicious or unkind thoughts that you are reading into it. Crop the picture deleate the picture but relax about the friend who does not seem to be trying to be anything but kind.

    • The D Life

      Thanks Alicia for your comment.
      I really appreciate it, you are right, I am fully aware that there was nothing malicious. I just did not expect her to send me a photo of someone who caused me so much pain (the ex).
      I realise I am being oversensitive.
      Thanks, again.

  6. Generous to a Point

    My husband lent to an old friend and colleague of a higher rank in his organisation and his wife whom I had briefly met twice, our flat on the beach.
    I had left less about fifteen garments neatly folded and arranged by colour in three piles in the closet in our bedroom – which the couple was to use – and took with me to my city home most of my clothes, leaving strictly what I only get to wear by the sea. I am tidyness obsessed about my house, that including closets. The closet did not have keys by the time.
    When the couple finished their three week holidays there, we started ours in the flat.
    As soon as I opened the closet I realised that someone had gone through my things, and that three very fine pieces (really nice and top quality stuff, for smart nights out by the sea, think silk and linen) had vanished. We also found some pottery and stuff broken. Things brought as souvenirs from holidays, but meaningful to us.
    The flat has housekeeping service, and we had had the same housekeepers for the last three years and never worried about our things, since they were utterly trustworthy.
    This couple hosted another couple friends of theirs in our flat during one week end, without asking us for permission or just telling us beforehand. They just assumed that since all the men were colleagues at the organisation, it would be ok. I had never seen the wife of the second couple ever in my life.
    My husband did not want to hear about my clothes having disappeared and got very angry with me saying that I have too many clothes. I ended up ringing the guy two days later asking whether his wife in the mess packing creates, had by mistake packed these three garments.
    The guy did not like my call and his wife only rang me the following day to say that she had not included anything by mistake, that she had even shopped for clothes during her stage, that possibly with so many people in the flat (this includes the couple we did not know that they were to host), the maids had possibly taken advantage of the situation nicking my stuff. I really find this gross, since those girls are hardworking and honest, and not one of her things or the other lady’s disappeared.
    I feel in the most awkward of the situations, since my husband looks up to this guy, admires his intelligence, this guy has had power over my husband career, and chances are that in the future we may have to socialise or share tables at work events.
    I really feel at a quandary. I am who has been perjudicated, but at the same time, these people seem to be unquestionable due to their high profile professional rank.
    Funnily enough, we are talking about people who are especially trained in protocol and etiquette due to their profession.
    I’d appreciate your comments. My marriage has suffered from this episode, which I consider so unfair.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      You already did the only thing you can, which is call them and see if they took the clothes by mistake. Now all that’s left is to not invite them to stay in your flat anymore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *