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Happy New Year!

I was visiting my boyfriend’s parents shortly after they moved halfway across the country from where my boyfriend (‘Tim’, now fiance) and I were living.  We stayed with them after Christmas and through New Year’s.  One of their new neighbors had invited them to a New Year’s Eve party, and very kindly invited my boyfriend, his sisters, and I along as well.

A little background: this is a pretty upscale neighborhood, with most of the houses having at least 3 bedrooms and cathedral ceilings over the living room.  Most of the homeowners here owned a successful business, or were upper management in large companies.  We had spent the evening at this neighbor’s house two days before the party, and at that time my boyfriend and I were invited to sample a few of the host’s finer liquors, as he had heard from my future in-laws that Tim and I had a small collection of top-shelf liquors of our own. He also proudly showed us his fine wine collection, tucked away in a special refrigerator. Anyway, at a party hosted by people such as these, one expects a certain level of decorum from everyone attending.

As it was a New Year’s Eve party, there was quite a bit of alcohol of various types, and the games the group played were going quite well with energetic involvement from everybody there.  One guest, however, imbibed a bit too much and became overly energetic.  ‘Missy’ grew louder and louder through the course of the evening, until one could not hear the answers shouted out for the game everyone else was playing.  Not only was she loud, she was disoriented enough that she seemed to need twice as much space in the room than anyone else required, and people had to be wary of her as she stumbled by to prevent spilling their drinks on the carpet.  She became so loud and obnoxious that even her live-in boyfriend was embarrassed – everyone else had been embarrassed for quite some time already.

The worst part was shortly after midnight.  Missy was already yelling rather than speaking, and at this point she decided that tonight she was going to make sure that she got some action from her boyfriend, and told everyone as much. She went on at some length, still practically yelling, about how good he was at various bedroom activities.  Her boyfriend was now bright red, and attempted to convince her it was time to go, but she apparently preferred to stay to continue her ‘conversation’.  He eventually persuaded her to leave, but in the meantime hardly anyone in the room could bear to look at one another out of sheer embarrassment.  I don’t expect this type of behavior even at the college parties I attend, and to hear this coming from a woman my mother’s age was absolutely horrifying.  I doubt she’ll be invited to any home in that neighborhood again, even though her boyfriend is fairly well-mannered and liked among that group.   0813-09

{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Alexis January 2, 2010, 12:51 pm

    Oh please please PLEASE can we make an exception to the rule of having to invite BOTH members of a couple?!?

  • Madge January 4, 2010, 12:32 pm

    Income of a neighborhood has no impact on people’s behavior at a party. Or how much they drink or how out of control they get when they do.

  • Jan74 January 4, 2010, 3:45 pm

    I agree with Madge – everyone should expect respect and politeness out of guests, even if they don’t own a home with cathedral ceilings or fine liquors. Manners aren’t something you have only if you attend a well-off person’s home.

  • Sandra January 4, 2010, 9:30 pm

    Money doesn’t buy manners! I’m only on a pension in a Dept. of Housing home but my friends and I wouldn’t even dream of carrying on like that!

  • TylerBelle January 6, 2010, 5:41 pm

    As mentioned by other commentors, what does the neighborhood, the size of home they have, and their job positions have to do with what a host should expect from their guests in behavior? Whether your host has a multi-million dollar estate or has a tent pitched in a campground, one should act respectably when attending an event there. This story paints an equal if not more sour picture of the teller than the guest in question.

  • mollyollydoodle February 12, 2010, 4:38 pm

    Yes, this attitude is confusing to me, too. It’s like, if you live in an apartment or a modest home, boorish behavior is not only acceptible, but expected? Good manners are a product of a decent upbringing – you don’t need a nickel in your pocket to be kind, courteous and polite. And, also, you don’t need a fancy education, either. I once sat next to a famous expert in a specific type of literature and she was rude, belligerent, insulting and, also, a bore (if you are going to rude, you should be entertaining at least). Just teach your children well, as the song goes, and set a good example yourself.

  • Christine March 4, 2010, 2:27 pm

    I would expect different behavior from people at my backyard BBQ than at my wedding reception. I would likewise expect that people might be a little more energetic, and louder, at a college party than at my Aunt’s summer tea party. And having attended a 10 year old’s birthday party in the common area of a trailer park and a party in the formal living and dining rooms in a large elegant house, different behavior was exhibited, accepted and expected at each. Yelling and running children were expected, accepted and normal in the former and would have been unacceptable at the latter.

    While basic manners do carry through most cirsumstances, your surroundings and audience will also influence what is ‘appropriate’.

  • Hadassah October 8, 2010, 9:08 pm

    Money doesn’t buy class.

  • OP November 2, 2010, 11:12 am

    OP here – I’m sorry about implying that those with money should be expected to have manners any more than anyone else should. I was wrong about that, and I apologize. However, I do think that lack of good manners is more inexcusable from people who own businesses or are in management, since I do have more of an expectation that they know better. It’s also more inexcusable when you’re at a nice party. Her behavior would have been almost acceptable (although still over the line!) at the college-age New Year’s parties I’ve attended in the past, whereas at this particular party it was extremely out of place.

  • E February 19, 2011, 5:53 pm

    I can’t believe that noone else has said anything– it sounds like Missy is struggling with a drinking problem. Shame on her boyfriend for not insisting that she leave BEFORE she embarrassed herself so badly.

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