Open Thread

by epi on March 25, 2013

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

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 }

gidget johnson March 25, 2013 at 10:12 am

The other night, I had just come back from a stayover with my brother and his wife while we went to a relative’s wedding. My husband was looking forward to me getting home so we could spend some time together. My nephew and his girlfriend call and come over to see us because he’s in town and mention to me that they have to stay in a hotel. Should I have invited them to stay even though my husband wanted some privacy and really doesn’t feel comfortable with unmarried couples sleeping over? We only have a single bed to offer them and a couch that’s broken – should I have offered that? I know my nephew and his girlfriend don’t really understand that some people religiously object to unmarried couples staying over – they would think it is judgemental and their parents are ok with it. My husband gave off some body language that he didn’t want them staying, and so I know they’re hurt and I’ll probably hear about it from my brother – who often looks for things to be wrong with me. For what it is worth, I slipped over to their hotel last night and paid more than half of their bill (70$ out of $126). I really can’t afford it. I haven’t heard from them about that. My nephew makes good money in his job. I love my nephew, but even if I tell him the truth, I know he won’t understand and it will cause problems and I don’t want to hurt him. In the past, my husband has not always been welcoming and it has caused some strain on me with my family.

Reply

Just Laura March 25, 2013 at 10:34 am

You should never feel forced to allow others to sleep over at your house. You may have no room, not able to afford guests, or simply have a headache- it still doesn’t matter.
I’d sympathize more with your nephew and his girlfriend if they had given you some advance notice. You still would have been within your rights as Homeowner to expect they keep to separate quarters (she takes the bed, and he takes the couch, for instance), but since this was so last-minute, I completely understand why you were unable to accommodate them. If anyone gives you grief, kindly let them know you weren’t prepared to entertain overnight guests.

I wish you hadn’t “slipped over to their hotel” to pay part of the bill. They probably haven’t mentioned it since it appeared they received a discounted rate or it went directly to their credit card and they won’t see the price until their monthly statement arrives. I’m sorry for your frustration.

Reply

Alicia March 25, 2013 at 11:24 am

Because someone you love is in the area does not mean you need to open your home to them. Mentioning that they are staying in the hotel is not asking for lodging. You also do not have any obligation to say yes if actually asked. Nor should you have felt obligated to pay a portion of the hotel.

Reply

Maurleen March 25, 2013 at 11:47 am

For an outside afternoon/evening party in the early fall (warm area) what wording is appropriate on the invitation to mean nice sundress not tank top and flip flops. The invitation paper, print and language would be on point with this but some invited may need further guidance.

Reply

Just Laura March 25, 2013 at 11:55 am

Supposedly the time of day and location of a wedding/reception clearly indicate the dress code. For instance, most people understand that an evening reception at a country club will have more upscale expectations than a brunch on the beach. That said, you are unable to force your guests to conform to standards of dress. Yes, it can be frustrating, but unless they specifically ask you what to wear, you may expect a few to show up in flops.

When I lived in Florida, flip flops were the rule for some, rather than the exception. I attended many a reception (on beaches, in churches, at the World Golf Hall of Fame) where many guests both male and female wore flip flops. I finally asked one person why – she said those were the only type of shoes she owned!

Reply

Alicia March 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Really unless it is a very very casual bbq any party worthy of written invitations tank tops and flip flops are incorrect. Assume that your guests are adults and they have the manners and respect worthy of the gracious invite that you are sending them. No matter the wording you use you will not get those who are slobs to dress you will only annoy those who would never be that rude as to show up dressed anything but correctly.
My mom always told me to aim to be in the 75% dress code wise you always want to be just a smidge dressier then average but not oddly overdressed.

Reply

Elle March 25, 2013 at 2:51 pm

I make a point to eat a very healthy diet most of the time. Unfortunately, my co-workers have taken to commenting regularly and publicly about my eating habits, either when I opt out of the un-healthy meals provided at lunch and breakfast meetings, or when I occasionally break from my diet to enjoy a dessert. I find these comments increasingly irritating–am I wrong to react this way? Also, do you have any advice for how I might politely respond to comments about my diet? I don’t want to snap at these people, but I would really prefer it if they kept these comments to themselves.

Reply

Elizabeth March 25, 2013 at 4:42 pm

There are lots of strategies for dealing with these kinds of unwelcome comments, many of which you have probably already employed. One of them is silence, or just ignoring the comments. Another is “bean dipping,” in which you just try to change the subject. However, you may need to deal more directly if the comments do not seem to be letting up. You might try saying cooly, “So you’ve said before.” or “Thanks for your concern.” You might also say, “It’s really fascinating how interested you are in what I eat.” Another strategy might be to bore them to death. When a comment is made, you can give a long and detailed description about the food and its nutritive qualities, the longer and more detailed the better. Soon your coworkers will try to avoid such lectures by avoiding the subject.

If you think, at a certain point, that people are commenting on your food to actually harass you, you may need to simply say “I’d appreciate it if you didn’t comment on my eating habits.” and “If you continue to comment on my eating habits, I’m going to take it as your creating a hostile work environment and go to HR with it.”

Reply

Kathryn March 25, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I am in the process of creating my wedding invitation but am having a difficult time finding the correct answer for how to list my divorced parents as the hosts. I understand that the mother of the bride comes first & she is not married so I would use “Ms. Jane Doe” however, my father is the one paying for my wedding. So in this situation would I list my father first or do I still list my mother first & my father under such as:
“Mr. John Doe
Ms. Jane Doe
request the honour of your presence….”
Would that be correct?

Reply

Elizabeth March 25, 2013 at 4:36 pm

The “hosts” of the wedding is not necessarily the person paying for it. You and your fiance could be paying for your wedding, and you could still list your parents traditionally on the invitation. It is actually not anyone’s business who’s paying for the wedding, that’s your dad’s gift to you. I would list your parents traditionally on the invitations, with your mother first.

Reply

Kathryn March 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Thank you! One additional question. When listing them I have also read that you can list “and” in between the parents names, or not. Which is the correct way to list divorced parents?
“Ms. Jane Doe
and
Mr. John Doe”
or
“Ms. Jane Doe”
Mr. John Doe”

Reply

Alicia March 26, 2013 at 9:42 am

Payment has nothing to do with order listed. So Mom still gets listed first.

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: