Monday, June 21, 2010
Last week, in our first post of the new 'Manners Monday' series we discussed how to treat a guest and be a good host when they visit, as it pertains to offering food and beverages. This week it's all about timing: When and how long to visit without overstaying your welcome.
We all know that person who drinks a little too much wine and stays hours after a party to the point of being obnoxious. There are those that show up at your door before you're even fully dressed or ready for company and then yet still, there are those that have a complete lack of respect and disregard for your time by showing up more than fashionably late to an event or dinner party.
Avoid Overstaying Your Welcome
1. The Drop-In- If you are just dropping by to visit a friend and have not called them to inform them first, the visit should last no longer than 20 minutes, unless those you are visiting urge you to stay longer and were truly delighted by the surprise. Do try to avoid the drop-in no matter how much you wish to surprise someone. You never know what their day entails and may catch them off guard.
2. The House Party or Casual BBQ- If you are invited to a more casual venue, your host may deem it a 'drop-in throughout the day' sort of affair or there may be a specific time listed on your invite. If there is a range of time such as between 1-5pm, be sure to stay no longer than the 5pm time listed and try to arrive at least an our before the party is due to end. Don't show up early before the time specified, as your host may still be finding her perfect attire and avoid sipping on a glass of wine and staying for hours afterwards, even if other guests do. Your hosts may have something else to attend to afterwards but aren't interested in sharing those details.
3. The Dinner Party- If you are invited to a home for dinner, treat it as you would a restaurant and don't be late. Arrive no later than 10 minutes after the specified time on the invitation. Also, it's important to put in some face time, don't attend if you have to leave quickly after dinner or you will appear as though you are dining and dashing. Always offer to assist with the clean up and any dishes, your host will usually decline but it is only polite. Do stay for an after dinner drink or coffee if offered and some conversation but be sure to leave as other guests leave. You don't want to get to the point where you're chatting up your hosts well into the late evening hours while they're rubbing their eyes to give you a hint to leave because they're tired.
4. You: The House Guest- If you're staying for a weekend, week or longer, be sure to define the time frame upfront with your host and don't deviate from it unless discussing with them first. They should know exactly when you are to arrive and leave and you should also plan to use a cab or rental car unless they suggest otherwise or offer to pick you up from the airport. It's never appropriate to assume that they will be your chauffeur and it gives you your own independence while visiting. Be sure to tidy up and leave your room or space just as you found it and always leave your host or hostess with a special gift to thank them for their hospitality, even if they are close family members.
5. The Overnight Date- Don't turn an evening at your man's apartment into an overnight date-unless he suggests it and you are comfortable. If a man has invited you to stay in his home for a night or a weekend, regardless of how serious the relationship is, it's never okay to overstay or leave your personal belongings behind-he'll be onto you! As with any other situation, be neat while you stay and take everything home that you came with. Don't extend a longer stay by taking time off of work or planning a fun day for the two of you. Treat the situation as you would any other host. Leave when you are supposed to unless he's begging you to stay longer. However, even then in a relationship as a woman you risk being less mysterious and he may not be longing for more time with you.
Have you ever hosted such a great party that some of your guests just wouldn't leave? Maybe you entertained weekend guests that stayed well past the time they promised? Perhaps you see yourself as the guest who has overstayed? Leave a comment and share your experiences!
Thank you for reading!