Peeved by PDA: How to handle your discomfort

by epi on May 7, 2012

Q: What are the rules on public displays of affection? I recently had guests at my home- my father in law and his new wife and they massaged and hung all over each other the entire week. Is it appropriate for me as the hostess to say something when this happens?

A: PDA’s are never comfortable for others, but it is equally awkward to say something. As a hostess, unless the behavior is such that it is shocking for children, one generally says nothing but rather bears the discomfort or does one’s best to ignore it.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth May 7, 2012 at 11:38 am

This is the kind of things I would address with humor:

“Gee, is it getting hot in here??”
“For a minute I thought we had a couple of hormonal teenagers staying with us!”
“Lordy, will you two get a room?”

This only works if they are being mildly inappropriate. For something truly inappropriate, I would just leave the room. When they asked later where I went, I would say, “it looked like you two needed privacy. But in the future, would you mind retiring to your room for that kind of thing?”


Helen May 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm

How do you invite people to dinner but tell them in a polite way that everyone needs to pay for themselves?


Elizabeth May 7, 2012 at 12:06 pm

You don’t ‘invite’, you ‘organize’. When you organize, you are not the ‘host’ who is expected to pay. A good organizer is upfront about the possible costs: “Dear Friends, a number of us are getting together to celebrate Jenny’s promotion. We’re going to meet at Chez Laurence at 8pm Friday. Please let me know if you can join us, so I can make the reservation. FYI: Entrees go for $15-$24.”


Susan May 7, 2012 at 1:29 pm

I have found that even when people know they have to pay, the organizer usually ends up to be the one who figures out what each person owes (including tip) at the end of the evening. The restaurant doesn’t want to provide a number of separate bills. If it’s “just the girls” for lunch we generally just split the bill evenly because there isn’t much of a price difference. Dinner and drinks, however, can make a substantial difference in each person’s bill.


Jerry May 7, 2012 at 11:12 pm

Water pistol!


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