Q: I recently hosted a small gathering of relatives to welcome home my niece who participated in the winter Olympics. A rather odd thing happened, after an hour and a half of conversations with guests, my niece abruptly stands up and announces, she has to go! Shouldn’t a person excuse themselves a little more graciously?
A: Yes, since she was the guest of honor, she should have been more gracious. In fact, it is customary but not mandatory for the honoree to stay throughout the party. In your case, it would have been more appropriate for your niece to have thanked the guests for their presence and support with a brief tactful reason for her departure. It would have been thoughtful for her to let you know as the hostess that she might leave before the rest of the guests.