A forum friend (granddaughter here) told this story, hoping for some advice. Her grandma holds poker parties and at these poker tournaments everyone drinks. One of her guests, granddaughter’s BFF’s fiance, accidentally spilled an entire glass of red wine all over grandma’s light beige carpet (almost white). Fiance felt terrible about it and spent an hour trying to clean it up. The wine was everywhere. It looked good when they left and they offered to come back with a steam cleaner to clean it again.
Here’s the issue: grandma asked granddaughter to ask her friend and friend’s fiance to pay her $250 deductible because grandma filed a claim with her insurance to get new carpet. Best friend and her fiance haven’t had a chance to use the steam cleaner yet.
Some background: The friend and her fiance had been to grandma’s house at least 5 times for these tournaments and know her well. Grandma is the type of person who would look for an opportunity to make someone else pay for something. Granddaughter tried to talk her out of the deductible idea and said that the fiance was really sorry and that he would definitely steam clean it. Granddaughter is embarrassed and doesn’t want to be between family and a good friend.
The stain was huge. But it was barely discernible after the hour of elbow grease in cleaning it. But grandma said it must have soaked into the pad because the wine bled through again. It’s a 6 year old carpet, so granddaughter knows that grandma sees the opportunity to get a new carpet.
An item of interest: grandma drank too much at granddaughter’s house last Thanksgiving and vomited all over her bathroom and her wall. She didn’t ask grandma to pay for anything. I don’t know if grandma cleaned it up. 0301-12
To set the stage for my reply, a few comments….
How well the wine spiller knew the hostess is irrelevant to what is required of the guest to do to remedy the problem.
Whether Grandmom was a greedy money grubber in the past is not relevant to the matter at hand.
What happened at Thanksgiving between Grandmom and another hostess is not relevant to how fiance should resolve the problem he has created for his hostess.
Grovelling apologies followed by a rapid clean up was the right thing to do. However, the final resolution on how to remedy the problem lies with the hostess/homeowner. Guests who spill spectacular amounts of staining liquids onto carpets or irreplaceable items in the house are obligated by etiquette to replace it. Ditto if the guest breaks an object belonging to the host who considers it valuable. It must be made new again or the host compensated for the loss. The host has an opportunity to wave off these sincere offers from the accidental guest but if the host does not, the guest does have an obligation to carry through and replace what he/she damaged.