House guests, party guests,
Some people have no couth whatsoever. In
December 2002, we had a Christmas party. Everything was going great and we
were all having a good time until two of my husband's guests got a little
tipsy and decided that they were going to make a porno in front of all the
guests. "Pete" and "Miranda" were all over one
another. She was sitting on his lap sticking her tongue down his throat
and he had his hands all over her. Our guests were shocked at their
behavior. Now after all the fondling was over, they decided they were
hungry. Miranda must have thought I made the whole platter of dip just for
her because she decided to start eating it right out of the pan with a
fork. I was appalled at what she was doing, and of course now no one
wanted to eat it after she was shoveling it in and dropping it from her
mouth back into the dip. We have recently been invited to their wedding,
which we will not be attending, and they will never be invited to another
one of my parties again.
Is there a spot for Etiquette Hell Picky
Gal I know is the pickiest eater in
history, and rather than downplaying it to cut down on the annoyance
factor (as some thoughtful souls do), she apparently thinks it elevates
her status. Sort of a Princess and the Pea thing, not that she would ever
actually consume a vile legume.
We used to dine regularly with her and
her husband, and just ordering dinner was a fifteen-minute ordeal.
"What exactly is in it? Would you double-check with the kitchen on
that? Because I can't eat _____, _____, or _____. Is it orange? I don’t
eat anything that has the color orange in it. Please don't bring me any
vegetables, and none of that garnish stuff, and can you put everything on
separate plates? And can you substitute ____ for ____, because I never
touch _____. Eeeew."
Not content to leave it alone when she
was done with her order, she wanted others to know that they were making
the wrong dinner selections. Other people's orders were met with a running
commentary of "Eeeeew" and "Yuck, how can you eat
And no matter how carefully the kitchen
tried to meet all her demands, she sent everything back at least once. Not
all at the same time. One by one, so the server had to make extra trips
for every single item she found not to her liking, which was invariably
all of them.
One server finally refused to serve her
anymore when she sent her water back. Twice. It was TAP water, and quite
unlikely to magically change its texture, timbre, and tone on the next
draw of the tap.
Anyway, these antics reached their
zenith when she and her husband were invited for dinner at a friend's
house. This particular friend is the most gifted cook it's ever been my
pleasure to know --- she's just spectacular with food. The menu that night
included boeuf en croute, twice-baked potatoes, fresh asparagus,
homemade Sally Lund bread, and a magnificent berry-laden cheesecake. The
candlelit table was set with the hostess's finest china and crystal.
The couple arrived forty-five minutes
late, explaining that the drive-up window at McDonald's was slow and they
had to get something for Ms. Picky Eater because they knew that my friend
wouldn't be serving anything she liked.
Then she asked for ketchup and put her
French fries, still in their bright red cardboard McDonald’s container,
on the porcelain plate, and proceeded to chomp her way through them, all
the while doing the "Eeeew!" commentary while the rest of us
dined on the hostess's remarkable cuisine.
They were never asked for dinner there
again, and we now avoid socializing with them at any event that involves
food. All in all, though, it’s provided us with hours of merriment.
Whenever my incredible-cook pal invites us over for one of her sumptuous
dinners, we always volunteer to bring the McDonald’s French fries.
My husband and I just came back from a
week-long vacation during which we stayed one night (one night too long,
but one shorter than originally planned) at his brother's home. Having
hosted my brother-in-law on more than one occasion (2 or 3?) during the
past year, my husband thought it would be acceptable to ask if, since we
would be passing through town, we might stay two nights in his home.
Naturally and as a matter of courtesy, we phoned about 3 weeks in advance
to find out if he had room and if it would be all right to stay. We were
told it would be fine and were not given any indication that he might not
have room for us.
Fast forward three weeks later: my
husband and I call in advance of leaving our home which is four hours away
to let his brother know we are on our way. No problems were mentioned.
Four hours later, we arrive at his home --- with house-warming gift in
hand --- only to be told to basically 'get lost' for about an hour as he
and his girlfriend (surely recruited to clean up the place) hadn't
showered. Slightly miffed and tired (as it was getting late; we got a late
start so as to give them time to have time together), we agreed and came
back 1 1/2 hours later. They still weren't ready. We patiently waited for
the two of them to shower and get dressed so we might all have dinner,
which as it happened, didn't occur until close to midnight! As a token of
our appreciation for letting us stay in his home, my husband paid for
After our late dinner, we returned to
our host's home, after which we were informed that despite having a
three-bedroom home, one room, which we had assumed was a guest room, was
dedicated solely to his pet cats, one was his bedroom and the other was an
office. Had we known this in advance, surely we would have stayed in a
hotel. Our host insisted on us staying in the bedroom while he would sleep
on his couch (which he claimed was comfortable). We reluctantly agreed to
sleep in his room, after which he and his girlfriend, who was about to
leave, "warned us" about the down comforter. After bragging how
he got the comforter at the Salvation Army for $5, our host proceeded to
tell us to ignore the "blood stains" on it, but tried to assure
us the comforter had been washed. Needless to say, this didn't quite make
for a sound sleep. Was this the point?
Next morning after we showered and
dressed, the girlfriend comes back, bringing with her breakfast for my
husband, her boyfriend, and herself. This was clear to me after the host
yelled from the dining room my husband's name, with no mention of mine, to
come out for breakfast. I was left in the bedroom to contemplate why,
after spending time with the two last night, I would be left out. Feeling
hurt, I walked out and proceeded to tell them I was leaving to get my
breakfast "since no one bothered to ask if I wanted any."
After taking a leisurely breakfast, I
came back, informed my husband we were leaving, packed, thanked my
brother-in-law for hosting us, and proceeded to make reservations at a
local hotel. I later found out from my husband that my hurt didn't faze
his brother and his girlfriend, as they proceeded to play with the cats
and talk about them.
Needless to say, the girlfriend, for
sure, isn't welcome in our home. It's tougher w/ the brother-in-law, since
I dated a wonderful young man a few
years ago who had grown up better off than most. We traveled quite a bit
throughout our year and a half relationship. His family and friends were
charming and kind, with the exception of one. On a trip out to San
Francisco to attend one of his female friends' birthday parties, I met the
rudest human being I have ever encountered: the father of the birthday
girl, "Dr. F."
After being introduced to Dr. F and his
wife, they immediately shut me out of the conversation. They talked to my
boyfriend about how much they had always adored him, and how they had
always wished my boyfriend and their daughter had ended up together. They
thought it was such a shame; they spent so much time going to my
boyfriend's polo matches in an effort to strengthen the friendship between
the two families and all for nothing. Mind you, the birthday girl has been
married to a very nice young doctor and my boyfriend hadn't even lived in
the United States for five years.
At this point my boyfriend began another
conversation with an old friend only to have Dr. F and his wife turn their
attention to me. They wanted to know who I was, how my boyfriend and I had
met, where I was from. I was literally interrogated. When I said I had
grown up in Wisconsin and had met my boyfriend traveling in the Caribbean
Dr. F. commented that," It must be exciting for a girl like me to do
so much traveling." Not believing that I had just been insulted I
continued on talking about our travels and how much I enjoyed the people I
had met in San Francisco. Dr. F. then said," I agree, people out here
are very friendly, a lot like you Midwestern folk. However, out here we
have class and sophistication."
At that point I excused myself and
grabbed a glass of wine and went on a search for my boyfriend. After
explaining to him what had just happened he apologized and agreed that
they were the rudest human beings on the planet. On our second visit to
San Francisco we made sure not to make any plans with anyone who would
invite Dr. F. and his charming wife.
First off, I'd like to say thank you for
considering my story. You have a really wonderful website, and you manage
to make it both humorous and informative. It's a great resource for those
who are *ahem* a little inept as far as social skills go.
These are a handful of stories about
Dan, a young man I dated in high school, and his lovely family. The first
story begins one evening, when I had come to Dan's house after school. We
would usually walk home together, and go either to my house or his. I
hadn't noticed it was getting late in the afternoon (around 5:30), until
his father poked his head in Dan's bedroom door, where we were studying,
looked pointedly at me, and said, "Dan, dinner is ready."
Embarrassed that I was intruding, I stood to go. Dan stopped me and said,
"Just stay here. It won't take me long to eat."
Shocked, I remained in the room. After I
had gathered the guts to leave, I walked out through the house, passing by
the dining room as I was leaving. Summoning as much dignity as I could, I
said, "I'm sorry to have interrupted you. Good evening" and I
went to let myself out. Dan immediately jumped up, grabbed my arm, and
said, "I told you to stay in my room. I'm almost done."
I was humiliated that I was no longer
seen as a guest but an intruder, and told Dan as much. He seemed surprised
that I was upset. I told him I'd see him the following day, and left
There was another incident when his
father had left town for a day or two. Dan's mother worked two jobs to
support them, while Dan's father stayed home and did the cooking. Not
cooking and cleaning, just the cooking. He was fully capable of working;
he simply chose to let his wife shoulder the responsibilities of
financially supporting their household. But, I digress. Dan and his mother
did not know how to cook, and Dan had mentioned to me the previous day
that he would have liked to make spaghetti, but he didn't know how. Eager
to help, I offered to come and show him how to make spaghetti.
When I had said, "I'll show you
how", I suppose he thought I meant, "I'll cook it for you while
you and your mother watch televangelists", because that's basically
what happened. Well, I was a little upset (I should mention that Dan
regularly ate at my house, at least once a week, and I had never been
invited for dinner. I didn't expect an invitation, but I especially did
not expect to be treated like a servant when I visited.) When, after
announcing to Dan and his mother that the food was ready, he came into the
kitchen, loaded his plate up, and said, "Great! You should probably
be going home now, isn't it your dinner time as well?"
I have the firm belief that this family
is the carrier of the "bad manners gene". His mother quite
frequently regaled me with stories of her menstrual troubles (really
things which are too graphic to mention here). Not to mention, when Dan
and I broke up (much to his father's relief; the man openly hated me not
only because I am a practicing Catholic and he disagreed with my choice of
religion, but because I am a redhead as well.), his mother felt the need
to verbally bash me, saying I dressed like a slut. I may have been a
typical teenager, but my dress was far from inappropriate.
Thankfully, I am now with a wonderful
man whose manners are impeccable (he actually opens doors for me. Dan
believed I should open doors for him!), and whose family is so kind, they
are like my own family.
I am truly thankful to have found people
who are not carriers of the "bad etiquette gene".
I received a phone call from a friend
Judy, whom I occasionally see at church. It seems that a mutual
friend-of-a-friend "Rose" was vacationing in the area, staying
with several relatives on a rotation basis for about a month. She asked if
I could take Rose in for a "few days." I should have given it
some thought before I said yes, because, if her relatives found her
tedious, that was a sign something was amiss. Rose is not related to Judy
in any way. Judy had Rose for about a week, and I guess Rose was running
out of free bed and board. Anyway, Judy dropped Rose off. I gave Rose my
"nickel tour" of the house, which is a 3 bedroom, 2 story
townhouse. Rose's compliment? "Gee, your house is just like a
trailer!" What was that supposed to mean? I gave Rose the downstairs
guestroom, and she unpacked her 2 bags onto the top of the bed. I
previously pointed out that all 4 drawers in the dresser in the guestroom
were empty, as was the closet, but apparently Rose felt the bed was a
better place to place her cosmetics, toiletries, clothes, and what-not.
That evening she asked if she could sleep on the couch in the living room.
I asked her why not use the bed, and she said she had her things on it. I
again mentioned she had the dresser and the closet, but she insisted she
was already settled in. I pulled out the bottom trundle of the guest bed
(it was a trundle bed) and made up the bed for her. She said it was too
hard and she had a bad back. She said she would sleep on the floor
instead. I put a comforter and a sheet and then the top sheet and blanket
on top. She said it was "too hot" and wanted to sleep directly
on the carpet. The carpet is new and soft, but I couldn't see why that
would be "cooler" than sleeping on top of a cotton comforter. I
said I think she should have the sheet between her and the carpet, so that
it wouldn't get hot or uncomfortable. Rose said she would try that. The
next day I found out she didn't like the sheet, and she slept directly on
the carpet. Oh brother.
Well, a lot of other things went on that
first day. Such as she insisted on cooking dinner, which I gently turned
down. But while I was out of the room, she began to make soup from
vegetables in my refrigerator. I caught her just taking them out of the
refrigerator and just dropping them into the hot water. I said I hadn't
washed them, they need to be washed, and she just laughed.
The end of that 2nd day, I found a
sealed envelope on my bedroom dresser. I opened it, and it was a printed
thank you card, signed by Rose. It said something about "Thank you
for your hospitality and the good time" etc. Strange! Rose was
staying until Sunday, and it was only Wednesday. Perhaps she was thinking
I was going to make her leave prematurely? I had a bigger heart than to go
back on my word. I should have taken her over to another friend, because
she clearly had some kind of screw loose.
Every year my temple organizes an
auction as a fundraiser. They sell a lot of big ticket items like
vacations, antiques, etc. as well services. Every year my parents, who are
excellent cooks, auction off a dinner party to be held at our home. One
year a group of my parents’ friends were the highest bidders. They
agreed to split the cost of the dinner equally. However there was one
woman in the group who had recently been through a bad divorce and was now
raising four children by herself. The group decided to cover her share of
the dinner and let her pay them back when she could afford it.
Because the bidders were such good
friends of my parents, my mom and dad figured that they could treat this
party like any other, and eat dinner with their guests. Everyone was
amenable to this but the divorced woman. She literally told my mom that
she wanted her to "dress up like a servant, eat in the kitchen and
wait on me hand and foot." When my mom protested, the woman said
"I'm paying good money for this. I should get what I want." My
mother was heartbroken. Their friendship was already falling apart and the
dinner party incident pretty much killed it. She didn't find out until
later that the woman never paid the other people back.
My father was given just a few weeks to
live, and he had asked to die at home. It was Christmas and my mom hadn't
had a chance to leave the house in weeks. When I arrived to help, my
sisters and I conspired to get Mom out of the house for a break, and I
stayed alone with my dad. I had settled Dad in for a nap when the doorbell
At the door was a woman I had never met,
but recognized immediately as someone my dad often told stories about. She
and her husband are very wealthy but very frugal, and live in Britain for
half the year and in Canada for the other half so they can take advantage
of the healthcare system. They belonged to a club my parents belonged to
and were known for never paying their share. My parents had often talked
about how these people would arrive on their doorstep fresh from the
airport looking for a place to sleep and how they could never get them to
leave. My dad's description of her was "that skinny English witch who
always wears a raincoat."
I introduced myself but although she
took my hand, she never bothered to tell me her name. I didn't want to let
her into the house because I didn't want her to wake my dad. She said,
"Are your parents home?" I gently explained (knowing she had
been overseas and probably hadn't heard) that my dad was dying and I had
just managed to get him to sleep and my mom was out for a couple hours as
a break. She looked quite distressed. "Oh my," she said, "M
and I have just arrived from the airport and had hoped to stay with your
parents for a couple of days while our condo is being painted." I
told her that was out of the question as my husband and kids were arriving
that afternoon from back east and we were taking up the guest rooms. Plus,
she must understand that our family was under a lot of stress. She sighed.
Not a word of sympathy or apology for bothering us at such a time. She
smiled what to her was probably a winning smile but to me just exposed
some very bad teeth. "Well, your parents have three extra bedrooms.
Surely your boys could double up? This is Christmas and the hotels might
be full. No room at the inn and all that."
I stared her down. "My father is
dying. This is our last chance to be together as a family. At this point,
we are limiting outside visitors to less than an hour a day. We just can't
have someone staying here right now."
The smile vanished. She said, "This
is so inconvenient for us. When is your mother home? Her manners are a lot
better than yours and I'm sure she would be quite upset with how you've
Taking a line from a book I remembered
reading as a child, I pulled myself nose to nose with her, "I'm
sorry, but my mother will not be in .... to you" and closed the door.
Then I heard my dad laughing from the bedroom. He had woken up when he
heard the doorbell and had overheard the whole conversation. His
repetition of the story gave us a lot of laughs over the next few days.
When he died two weeks later the nasty couple didn't show up at the
Reading the "Guests" section
of your wonderful website, I was reminded of a visit from my former
father-in-law and his (now blessedly ex) second wife. I'll call them Al
I was pregnant with my second child and
working full-time. I was having a very uncomfortable pregnancy; every day
at work, my feet would swell so badly that when I got home, the first
thing I'd have to do would be to lie down with my feet elevated for an
hour to get them to shrink enough to that I could even think about doing
anything else. My husband tried to help out, but he was not much of a cook
and it was easier to let me rest for an hour and then cook.
Al called one day and said that he and
Jeannie were going to be driving around the country, and wanted to stop by
and visit us for a few days. This was my FIL, so I wasn't going to say no
(even though I didn't like Jeannie very much, like everyone else in the
family). All we asked was that they NOT visit after August because of my
uncomfortable pregnancy, and that they understand that since we were
working full-time we couldn't entertain them very much and they'd be on
So they tell us they're going to show up
on a certain date -- and a week EARLIER than the expected date we get a
phone call: "Hi, we're in town! How do we get to your house?"
Okay, fine, they arrive at our home a week early. I had planned to take
some vacation time the following week while they were there, but couldn't
reschedule it so I had to get up and go to work the next morning. I get
home from work and they're out sightseeing, which is fine; but as I'm
lying there trying to get my feet back to normal size, they suddenly
breeze in: "Hi, what's for dinner?" And they couldn't even tell
by the look I gave them, accompanied by my response, "Whatever you
want to cook for yourselves," that they were being rude!
The entire week, they expected me to
cook meals for them, put up with their coming and going at all hours, and
generally treated our house like a hotel and me like their unpaid servant.
After they left, my husband turned to me and said, "You know, I never
really disliked that woman -- BEFORE."
Jeannie also endeared herself to my
parents when she and Al dropped in to visit them at a time when we were
also there. This was outside Chicago in midwinter, and they arrived at the
same time as a snowstorm, so we were stuck with them all day even though
my father had WARNED them not to come because of the snow. They were also
told that Jeannie's tiny rat dog that she called "Poopie" was
not welcome because my parents had a very elderly cat that had never had
to deal with a dog before, but they brought the stupid thing anyway and
because of the snowstorm there wasn't anything we could do about it.
Poopie proceeded to snap in my baby's face from inches away and piddle on
my mother's kitchen floor. Over Jeannie's protests that "He doesn't
mean any harm!" Poopie got exiled to the basement for the rest of
their visit. I only wished I could have buried him in a snow bank!
The last time I saw Jeannie was several
years later. My by then ex-husband had died unexpectedly at age 40 from an
undiagnosed medical condition, and the entire family was in shock. Even
though we had been divorced, it was a very civil divorce and we'd stayed
friends, and so I brought the kids halfway across the country for their
dad's funeral. His dad and brothers were all very nice to me, so it wasn't
After the funeral, we were all gathered
back at his brother's house and I was making polite conversation with
Jeannie in the living room. Now, mind you, while not the size 8 I'd been
for years and years, I was still only wearing about a size 12 so wasn't
exactly fat. Jeannie starts complaining about how she's so gained so much
weight and it's just so terrible (if she'd gained more than 5 pounds, I'll
eat my hat). In an effort to be polite, I replied, "That's okay,
Jeannie, none of us are as slim as we used to be." She looked me up
and down and in a really nasty tone replied, "THAT is certainly
true!" I just had to laugh about it; to be so rude at a time like
Last time I talked to my ex-BIL, he
informed me that his dad and Jeannie are now divorced. And to quote him,
"Thank God!" <g>
This happened many years ago, when my
husband and I were engaged and living together. We received an invitation
to a barbecue from my husband's best friend Ron. At the time, Ron was
living in an apartment in a two-family house in Queens, NY. We had not
seen Ron's apartment prior to the party, and we assumed that he had the
use of the back yard for his barbecue.
When we arrived at the house, he ushered
us inside and we spent a few minutes chatting while we waited for the
other guests. It turns out that there were no other guests -- it was just
us and Ron. After about a half hour, Ron told us that it was time to get
the grill ready for cooking, and we were delighted because we were hungry.
He reached into his closet and pulled out a small hibachi grill and a
little bag of charcoal. Then he carried the grill and charcoal down the
front steps, but he did not head for the back yard. His rental did not
include yard privileges so he decided to cook right in the middle of the
city sidewalk. Do you know how close to the ground a hibachi is? Have you
ever seen a NYC sidewalk? Believe me, you would not want to eat anything
that came close to the sidewalk.
Cars passed by and kicked up dust, stray
dogs hung around, and Ron crouched on the sidewalk, poking at the hot dogs
he was grilling. My husband just smiled and talked and ate his hot dogs,
but he was as appalled as I was. We actually had to sit on the curb with
our feet in the street because Ron had no lawn chairs and did not want to
sit on his landlord's front steps. Our noses were about level with the
bumpers of the cars that occasionally passed by.
One more thing about Ron: When my
husband and I got married we invited Ron and a guest to our wedding, which
cost $175.00 a person, a lot of money in 1979. We walked from table to
table to chat with our guests and when we reached Ron's place, he reached
past his date and handed my husband a five-dollar bill and said,
"Congratulations". That was our wedding present. Please note
that Ron was single, both of his parents were doctors, he worked full time
at the Post Office and his parents had a 14-room apartment on Central Park
South (for those unfamiliar with NYC, that means that they had big bucks).
We're not greedy about presents and it wasn't the amount of the gift that
stunned us -- it was the fact that he casually opened his wallet at the
table and just handed us the 5-dollar bill. No card, not even an envelope.
When Ron got married a few years later, I wanted to give him $5 for a
wedding present, but instead we gave him a normal gift and have spent the
last twenty years laughing about him.
My husband and I used to be friends with
a couple three years younger than ourselves. My husband is military and we
live in base housing with two young boys. He's also a jr. enlisted so we
don't have a lot of money either. Neither of the couple was employed; they
lived with the husband's parents with their little boy.
The night before my oldest son's 2nd
birthday, the wife and I went out together to the mall for a very short
time, as her husband called saying he'd been called by an old workplace
he'd been fired from and asked to work for the night. I was confused and a
little suspicious when we arrived at his parents’ home and the husband’s
good friends were sitting on the couch and she packed their son up to stay
at our house. His parents had cooked a dinner for her but it wasn't made
when SHE was hungry so she refused to eat it. She just wanted to come over
to my house. I took her back and she mentioned she needed something for
her son (diapers, I think) but she was too tired to go anywhere and handed
me the $ to get it for her. (never, I was tired and had to get things
ready for my son's party the next day) When I came back, I made dinner for
myself, my 2 year old and my husband. She came over and planted her nose
over what I was making (Plain chicken breast cut into strips for dipping)
and said "MMMMMMM that smells good. I'm hungry". I had barely
made enough to feed my family and I was very hungry so I gave her half of
mine, hoping my 2 year old would have a small appetite that night and I
could take his leftovers. He didn't. Then she whined she wasn't full, a
couple of times before giving up hope that I'd make something else for
The next day we got up and I continued
to prepare for my son's birthday party, which would be around 2:00, when I
thought he would have risen from his nap. Little did I know my husband
would plan to leave for the park an hour and a half early, making a nap
impossible. Our friend's husband showed up shortly before it was time to
leave for the party. I brought our booster seat for my 6 month old to sit
in while we ate so my hands could be free to serve. When we arrived at the
park the other girl barely lifted a finger to help me, my husband and her
husband set up for the party. Then she picked a fight with her husband for
not bringing the high chair for their husband, even though I offered them
the booster seat while the baby napped. When it came time for her son to
nap she planted herself in the only available seat she'd made herself by
removing my son's infant seat to their car. When I wanted to nurse my son
in privacy, I was told I could do it in their car as she didn't want to
move her (wide awake) son. I could tell the other guests weren't quite
sure what to make of this girl. Her husband came over while mine was
cooking to ask for the first burger off the grill, as his friend had an
accident and needed him to come get him and all their other friends and
had to leave his wife and child behind, leaving us to find a way to get
her to our home, as he had no idea how long it would take him to get them.
Finally the party was over. My son had
managed, despite being tired since his daddy denied him a nap before the
party, to open his presents and actually say thank you's. We got a ride
for the girl from our very sweet next door neighbor and our two boys
passed out before we even put the car in first. When we got home I took my
sons to their room. The 2 year old was out so he was no trouble, but the 6
month old was hungry again so I had to nurse him and get him down for a
nap. The girl came over and got somewhat huffy that I wasn't helping (she
didn't bother to notice that I was trying to get my baby down for a nap)
and told her 10 month old son that "Aunt Annie" would watch him.
I'd had enough and informed her that Aunt Annie (mind you this girl is NOT
my sister, nor is she any relation of mine thankfully) had to take care of
her own child and while able to keep an eye on hers, wouldn't be able to
stop him from incurring any damage to my home. The girl brought things in
from the car and plopped them in the house then plopped herself on my
computer and played to her heart’s content while I tried to baby-sit her
son as she was ignoring him, put my baby down for a nap and clean up.
Finally her husband called around 7pm saying he was way too tired to come
get her and his son, could we drive her home? I have never been so happy
to drive in my life.
Luckily, as we have cut contact with her
and her husband, she will be attending no more birthday parties of my
Several years ago, my husband received a
call from a couple he’d been friends with in college. They were going to
be in our area (they didn’t say why) and wondered if they could stay
over at our place. We accepted, of course; we were living on a tight
budget and understood how burdensome a motel bill could be. At the time we
were living on one modest income in a smallish, 3-bedroom house with our
three preschool children. We knew it would be a tight squeeze—especially
since our visiting friends had a 3-year-old of their own—but we could
put up with anything for a night or two…and hey, it’d be fun to catch
Greg and Ally told us they’d arrive at
9:30 or 10 p.m. I made the practical decision to go ahead and put our
children to bed at their usual time; late-night visitors would just get
them all excited, and I figured it’d be difficult enough to get our
guest’s child to sleep in a strange house so late in the evening. We
waited and waited, and at almost midnight the visiting family arrived.
Although my husband had to be up early for work the next morning, we of
course invited our old friends to sit down and visit.
I let them know right away that our
children were asleep and that I thought it’d be best if we waited till
morning for them to get acquainted with Little Mildred, Greg and Ally’s
precocious 3-year-old. But Little Mildred wanted to play, and despite her
mother’s instructions to be quiet and to keep away from the children’s
bedrooms, it became abundantly clear that Millie was her own boss. Within
15 minutes the boisterous tot had awakened all three of our children,
including the youngest, still a babe in arms. We adults continued to visit
as best we could, but it was pretty much bedlam. It was after 2 a.m.
before everyone got to bed. My husband and I gave our bedroom to our
guests and slept (or tried to) on the fold-out couch in the living room. I
had fixed up a soft pallet in the floor of the master bedroom for Little
Mildred, but apparently the little dear wasn’t too happy with this
arrangement: she visited various members of my family during the night, as
eager to play at 4 a.m. as she’d been at 10 p.m.
The next day we learned that Greg and
Ally were on "vacation," and that their vacation consisted of
traveling from home to home of old college friends, hanging out and
enjoying whatever amusements each community had to offer. They planned to
stay with us "three or four days" (they hadn’t decided for
sure). During their stay, they would leave for a short while—sometimes
an entire afternoon—to go see some of the local sights with their child,
but a good deal of their "vacation" consisted of lounging around
our home, both day and night. A certain amount of this we didn’t mind—through
rather odd, Greg and Ally were interesting people and we really did enjoy
catching up with them. And they weren’t really interfering with our
plans all that much—I was a stay-at-home mother, and at that stage in
our lives we were basically homebodies because we had tiny kids and very
little money. Little Mildred was a bit of a pill, but my kids did enjoy
playing with her (after all, they weren’t exactly little angels,
But there was the matter of food.
Our little family had a strict grocery budget, and eating out was reserved
for special occasions only. Serving our uninvited guests a meal or two
wouldn’t have been a problem, but Greg and Ally (who were, incidentally,
huge eaters and—it must be said—huge people) were joining us for two
or three meals a day. Not once did they offer to take us out for a meal or
to provide some groceries or grocery money. This struck me as extremely
ill-mannered: I could understand needing to beg for lodging, but eating
our larder bare seemed to fall decidedly in the category of
"sponging." After all, your family has to eat no matter where
The morning of their third full day with
us, we were understandably relieved when our friends announced they’d be
leaving the next morning. When I mentioned that I’d be going to the
grocery store that afternoon, Ally said, "Oh, I’d like to cook
dinner to thank you for your hospitality." Finally she was
making a move to reciprocate! I gladly accepted her offer. Instead of
going to the grocery herself, however, Ally simply added several items to
the grocery list I was making. She did cook a nice meal for the eight of
us that night, but with ingredients I had purchased and paid for out of
our own meager funds.
The next morning, after a hearty
breakfast (cooked by me, of course), our guests finally hit the road. He
had some nice, bland words for our houseguests as we said good-bye in the
driveway, but one thing we sure as heck did not say was, "Come
I think this story could be
filed under "Ignorant Hosts" in the Guests category. At this
point in time it seems pretty funny (actually, I was never offended; I
always thought this was amusing).
After my first semester in college (600
miles away) I came home for Christmas break. I was invited over to an old
high school friend’s house for a New Years gathering. I decided to go,
because I really didn't have any other plans other than crashing in front
of the couch and watching TV with the family. At this New Year’s
gathering, there was the hostess, me and two other people I had been
friends with in High School. We sat around and played the card game Magic
- The Gathering. I had never played the game and was pretty clueless about
playing it, but I played the best I could. I lost pretty early in the game
and sat out and watched (which was fine by me). We played this card game
right up until 12:00am when the New Year rolled around. Right about that
time, Madison, one of the guests and best friend of the hostess, beat our
hostess at the game of Magic, at which point the hostess flew into a rage
that her friend beat her at a silly card game.
After howling for several minutes, at
approximately 12:05 am she kicked us all out of her house, putting a
damper on the New Year because she was a sore loser.
What makes this story better is that
this was the same person who after being one of my best friends in middle
school, refused to acknowledge me for a year and a half in High School
because she and Madison thought I was in Madison's words, "hopelessly
It has been a LONG time ago, but some
things you never forget! My story concerns an extended visit from someone
that I had once worked with and stayed in touch with over the years. She
had divorced and moved with her son (same age as my first son) to live
like a hippie in New Mexico. While there, she had several boyfriends and
then chose to have a child by a married man. She did not let this man know
what she was planning and chose him purely for genetic reasons. Then she
went to the town where he lived with his wife and broke the news. It did
not break them up, not that she cared; she just wanted them to know. When
the boy was born, she named him, giving him the last name of the town he
was born in. I think his first name was that of his father.
When the baby, very obese, was quite
young, I guess about 6-8 months, she wanted to come back to her former
town for a visit. I was married with 2 boys also and lived "in the
country", a short distance from a major town. We had a fairly large
2-story house so space was not a problem. At the time, I was a
stay-at-home mom, so we said OK. I don't remember how she and the boys got
here; they had no transportation, as friends had borrowed her VW camper
and wrecked it.
So they move in upstairs, no mention of
helping out with food bills, etc., so now we have 3 more mouths to feed
and our only income is from my husband's blue-collar job (even though he
has a BS in Music, but no ambition). This is in the summer in a central
southern state, it is HOT, and we are in a DROUGHT! Every day, we watch
the clouds well up in the northwest and drift off to the northeast without
a drop for us. There is a bizarre infestation of tiny seed ticks (?) that
drop out of the junipers en masse on the back of her oldest son. She takes
him into the house and proceeds to de-tick him in the living room!
I have no money to entertain her and the
kids, so every day is like this and I am going nuts! Then she tells me
that she is "so HORNY"! We set her up on a date with one my
husband's workers. He is nice and cute but very shy. He is short, but she
is much shorter and cute also. She wears blue jeans and borrows the only
top that I have which could even vaguely be described as "sexy".
I volunteer to baby-sit and off they go. The baby would not sleep unless I
stayed on the bed with him. We were asleep when momma awakens us with the
news that I can go now and she will need the bed. It's OK to leave the
baby there however. EWWWWW!!!!!!
Hi, Jeanne, love the site. I've got a
story that isn't all that bad, but it burns me up because this sort of
behavior is so prevalent nowadays.
My friends and I routinely get together
for a dinner party at one of our places once a month. Hosting rotates
among four people, of which I'm one. We don't get to see each other very
often, so having a guaranteed get-together once a month is really welcome,
and whoever's hosting usually goes all out on the dinner (lots of good
food and lots of wine), so we have a lot of fun at these dinners.
Unfortunately, for the last three
dinners, one couple, Dave and Jen, have been arriving late, just as
dinner's about to be served, and leaving early, as soon as the dessert
plates have been cleared. It feels like they only come for the free food.
At the last dinner I hosted, they arrived at 8:00 p.m., even though I'd
told them dinner was to be served at 6:30 (and yes, I did hold dinner for
them). Then they left at 10:30, even though the party usually goes until
well after midnight. (The other guests left at 1:00 a.m.)
Their leaving early wouldn't have
bothered me, except they decided they could stay long enough to have
dessert (two servings, in fact), even though we waited about an hour after
dinner before we were ready to eat dessert.
Even worse, because they didn't want to
pay for their cab ride home, they asked my roommate to leave the party to
drive them home, even though they had only met him *once* before (at a
previous dinner I'd hosted.)
Every time they come over, I feel taken
advantage of. I don't know why my friends continue to put up with their
behavior: it irritates me to the point that I'm tempted, the next time I
host, to make dishes that I know they won't eat. (They're very picky
eaters, on top of everything else.)
My roommate from college, who was also a
good friend, moved out of the state after college, got married and bought
a house. A couple of years ago, she invited me and another friend to stay
with her over a weekend, and I eagerly accepted and we made the trip.
From the outside, the house was
beautiful. The inside was a different matter. Unwashed dishes were piled
up in the sink, and food-crusted dishes were scattered throughout the
rooms. There were dirt and muddy footprints all over the kitchen floor.
She has two dogs, both of which shed A LOT. Dog hair was everywhere. I sat
on the sofa, and my black sweater was immediately covered in white. Two
large laundry baskets sat in the living room, overflowing with dirty
clothes, underwear and bras. Mere words cannot even describe the state of
disarray this house was in. I grinned and bore it, however, because after
all, I was invited to stay, free-of-charge. It would be rude to criticize
someone who invited me into her home.
But what really made my blood boil was
her cavalier attitude about the state of her house. "Oh, I know the
place is a mess. I just didn't have time to clean it up before you
came," she breezed. Didn't have time? She knew we were coming for two
months! How could she "not have time"? Then she said: "And
anyways, it was just you guys. I knew you'd understand". Yep, it was
"just us". I was revolted, insulted and most of all, angry that
she didn't consider us "important" guests, at least not enough
to do a little pre-visit clean-up for. I did stay the rest of the weekend,
and yes, we're still friends. I never did tell her how insulted I was. I
have been invited to stay again, and will see her next month.
However, I've claimed "dog
allergies" and have elected to get a hotel room!
After my husband and I moved away from
our home town to another state, we offered for our friends and family to
"visit anytime". We had many pleasurable visits with friends and
family alike as our guests over the years. However, one of the first
"guests" we had still leaves me wondering about the nerve of
My friend and her husband planned to
visit us and attend a baseball game while in town. My husband and I were
not going to attend the game since he had to work but we had several other
activities planned for the weekend they would be staying with us. Our
guests arrived several hours late with no call to us to let us know that
they were safe and indeed on their way. (I had taken a half-day's vacation
and they arrived well after I would have been home from work!) We were to
go to dinner that night but they didn't want to wait a half hour for my
husband to get home from work and opted instead to head to Chik Fil A.
Instead of coming back from "dinner" and going with us for
coffee and dessert as planned, they made several shopping stops and
returned after 9pm. They then informed me that they'd decided to tour the
baseball facility the next day instead of going to an event for which I
had already purchased tickets. I thought they were coming straight back
after the game and waited for them until late in the evening, trapped at
my own home because they had no key.
The next morning (a Sunday) I prepared
breakfast and they announced at breakfast that they had bought tickets for
another game that day! They again left very early to watch the baseball
players warm up before the game. This time I was smart enough to give them
a key and I left shortly after they did. They didn't want to participate
in any activities that evening when they returned because they were too
tired from the game and the tour. I had taken a half-day's vacation for
Monday but I left them to lock up and hurried to work so I wouldn't waste
another half-day vacation! Needless to say, I never invited them back. I
wasn't running a hotel!
My parents have a large home and often
host events for family and friends. Several months ago they hosted a
wedding rehearsal dinner for friends of ours. I was acting as the door
keeper as my mother and father were talking to the guests (most of whom we
did not know). I answered the door welcomed the woman in and told here
where the hors d'oeuvres and drinks were etc. She complimented my parents’
home and then asked "How much did they pay for this"? I was
floored!! While I was stumbling around for a polite answer, she proceeded
to ask "How many bedrooms", "What is the square
footage", "How many bathrooms", "How much land"
etc. I could not believe it, ALL before I introduced myself or even knew
her name. She then asked to see the house (even before she greeted the
newlyweds-to-be). As I showed her the house (what else could I do and
still remain polite) she asked me where I lived, how close it was to my
parents’ home, the square footage of my house, how much I paid for it
and at what interest rate we financed it at!! Needless to say, I politely
avoided her for the rest of the evening and as much as I could at the
wedding the next day
I have kept in contact with my three
good friends from high school, T, R, & L. After graduation, we all
went our separate ways to college, T and myself locally, L a few hours
away, and R in a neighboring state. Whenever the two travelers came home,
we tried to get together for a few hours at least. In the last few years,
I have gotten married, T is married with one child and another on the way,
and R is widowed with one child (a very sad story), but we are all local.
L is several states away in graduate school. So now, whenever L comes home
we try and get together.
It's Christmas season 2002 and L will be
home from Christmas to New Year's. We plan, via email, to get together on
the Saturday after Christmas. I ask if they would like to come to my house
as they all live in close proximity to one another and could all drive
together, kids included if they wished. T would rather have it at her
house (with no particular reason given) even though I live 45 minutes away
and would have to drive by myself. We should come around 2pm and we will
have pizza for lunch. What should I bring? Nothing, I am told. Regardless,
I spend all morning baking cookies to take for dessert. I do not eat lunch
as we are having pizza.
I arrive first and graciously hand over
my homemade cookies, which are placed in the kitchen. L arrives next with
hot garlic bread wrapped in aluminum foil in hand and finally R with her
daughter. We say our hellos and are standing around the dining room making
small talk as we watch the two young children get acquainted. We proceed
to stand around the dining room for the next hour, as we are never asked
by our hostess to have a seat or move into the living room.
She finally offers us a drink (the only
offer of drinks all day, but no pizza in sight) and says let's sit in the
living room. Finally! We sit down and she immediately turns on the TV and
starts flipping through channels. One of my pet peeves is having the TV on
while trying to have an adult conversation. It distracts everyone and you
have to talk over the noise. It was hard enough to talk over the kids.
By this time, I am starving as it is
almost supper and I haven't eaten since breakfast. I figure that I just
misunderstood and she was planning on eating at suppertime. We continue to
talk and play with the kids as I watch the clock hoping that at any minute
she will offer something to eat. The entire time her husband is wandering
around the house, playing on the computer in a nearby room, and finally
joining us in the living room.
At that point, we discover that her
husband is on call and could be called into work at any time. He is a
train engineer and if they call him, he has two hours to get to his
station and he will be gone for 5 days. They figure that he will get
called in because of the holidays. We continue to talk and are basically
waiting around for him to get called in. At this point, T casually
mentions that they are going out for supper in a nearby town if her
husband does not get called in. What?!? Where is the pizza?
At 6:30, the call comes and her husband
starts to get ready. Of course, we feel obligated to leave so that they
can spend an hour together before he leaves for five days and will be gone
for New Year's. As we assemble to leave, I go to the kitchen and retrieve
my cookies so that everyone can have some "for the road".
We say our goodbyes and as we walk out
the door T reminds L not to forget her garlic bread. L probably devoured
it on the way home!
I drove away with my stomach about to
collapse and stopped at the first restaurant that I could find. I never
did ask L or R what their opinion of the day was. I didn't want word to
get back to T that she was the worst hostess that I have ever known.
I was visiting my sister in Chicago.
When my husband mentioned this fact to his sister, who also lived in the
Chicago area, she quickly called and invited us to their apartment for
dinner the next night. Although "BB" is not my favorite SIL, I
accepted. I asked what we could bring and she suggested a salad...no
My sister got off work, took the EL home
and we hopped in her car to get out to the 'burbs for dinner. When we got
their BB's hubby "AH" answered the door and told us that BB
wasn't home from work yet. AH is a complete computer geek and was way too
busy watching Star Trek reruns to even speak with us or offer us a drink.
AH was then un-employed and yet had made NO attempt at preparing for
company. There was cat hair EVERYWHERE in the apartment and the entire
apartment was very messy.
Fortunately (I say that with my tongue
in cheek) BB was there within about 10 minutes. We asked if we could help
with dinner. She said she hadn't really planned anything yet, but thought
she had some spaghetti sauce in the pantry and some spaghetti noodles
"somewhere". My sister and I proceeded to start supper while BB
changed her clothes from work and yelled at her husband. We washed all the
pots before using them to cook, even the ones that were "clean".
We ate on the table in the
"nook" after AH cleared off dirty computer parts. No one
bothered to wipe off the table before we ate, although the cats had been
walking all over it. After a sparse (and quickly eaten) meal of salad and
spaghetti, we beat a hasty retreat...and stopped for ice cream...laughing
hysterically about the whole incident!
I met Sarah at work. We slowly became
friends and started hanging out after work. I knew the girl didn't have
the best manners when she'd belch in front of strangers and not think
twice about it but I had no idea how rude she really was.
On my day off, I got a call from her
saying she was in my area and wanted to hang out. So she happened to come
by when I was making myself lunch. To be polite I cooked lunch for her
Hours passed by and I had an appointment
at my gym with a personal trainer. Sarah didn't get the hint it was time
to go home so I just let her stay at my house alone until I got back. It
was the most intense workout I've ever had and when I got home I was
already sore and my body was tired and shaky. We were sitting on the couch
when Sarah said to me "You should make dinner now." She already
knew what I was making myself for dinner but I was surprised she invited
herself to join, let alone tell me when to cook it.
Later I did make dinner and for the
second time that day, she stayed. After we ate I was really feeling the
effects of my workout and asked Sarah if she could please load the
dishwasher to help me out since I could barely stand up (considering the
specific diet I was on wasn't cheap and I just fed her twice, I didn't
think this was an unreasonable request) she then replied "At home, I
have a dishwasher, it's called my mom." I just stood there with my
mouth open while she walked out of the kitchen and went and sat at my
computer to use my Internet. I was in total awe that someone could be so
rude, but unfortunately that wasn't the end.
A day or so later, she dropped by
unannounced and proceeded to show me that, when she was at my home the
last time, she stole a bracelet of mine and was wearing it that day. I
demanded my bracelet back, told her off and never spoke to her again.
A Jewish boy celebrates his bar mitzvah
at the age of 13, and a Jewish girl celebrates her bat mitzvah at that
age. The occasion is a religious service recognizing that the young person
has accepted adult responsibilities within the religious community. The
occasion is usually celebrated with a formal party. My daughter attended
many such parties during the year when her friends turned 13, and recently
celebrated her own bat mitzvah. I fear for the next generation. The
manners -- or lack thereof -- I saw among some of her friends surprised
me. Several of my daughter's acquaintances, who were not on her guest
list, asked for invitations to the party. Several of the people she did
invite accepted the invitation, and then called a day or two before the
party to tell my daughter they couldn't come after all. One boy had
accepted the invitation even though his own sister's sweet 16 party was
scheduled for that day -- of course he couldn't be in two places at once,
but I wish I'd known that before I finalized my arrangements with the
One of the bar mitzvah parties last
spring was at a lovely restaurant. The parents went to great expense,
providing a formal luncheon and dancing (a DJ was hired) in their son's
honor. The parents invited their friends and family members, and the son
invited a group of his friends as well. I was amazed, therefore, when my
daughter came home from the party and informed me that several of the
younger guests seriously thought about leaving the party for a short while
to go to a nearby arcade to play carnival-type games.
On another occasion, a young lady (we'll
call her Tiffany) discovered that her bat mitzvah party would take place
at the same time as another bat mitzvah party (we'll call her Sara). There
was a group of 4-5 people who were friends with both girls and were
invited to both parties. I always thought it was up to the guests to
decide which invitation to accept, but Tiffany actively campaigned to have
the friends attend her party, and not Sara's.
I can't wait to see what happens 10
years from now, when they all start to plan their weddings.
'Sarah' and I were at university
together about 6 years ago but have kept in touch since even though I
moved to London and she went to San Francisco with work (she is originally
from Northern Ireland). When her contract ended she returned to N. Ireland
and started looking for jobs especially in London due to the specialist
nature of her field. She was offered a job interview in London (on the
Monday) so I invited her to stay at our house and to come for the weekend
as we had a lot to catch up on.
So she flew over on the Friday night
after work and we collected her from the airport. We were discussing what
to do the next day and she said she'd like to do touristy things as,
coming from N. Ireland, she didn't get to London very often. I asked her
what time she would be up so we could make plans and she claimed 9am,
usually. I gulped (a bit early for a Saturday, the only day I get a lie
in) but agreed as she'd come a long way and I had lots of exciting things
planned. Well, the next day my husband and I slept through our alarm (we'd
stayed up late chatting) and at 9.30 sprang out of bed and hurriedly got
ready, however, there was no sign of 'Sarah'. At midday we wondered what
was going on. By 2pm we thought maybe because we woke up late she had
decided to take herself out on her own and forgotten to leave a note. At
4pm she finally got out of bed proclaiming what a wonderful sleep she'd
had! I was a bit upset that all our plans were ruined but had used the
time to prepare for the dinner party we were holding that night for some
of our other mutual friends. It went really well and people finally left
at 3am and we crawled into bed.
At 8am the next morning Sarah woke us
demanding a lift to the station because she wanted to go out (she is very
Christian so we had planned to take her to our church but she decided to
go into town instead, despite knowing we were going to church and wouldn't
come with her). She got back late that evening and we watched a film and
it was nice.
Monday, the day of her interview, I gave
her my keys telling her they were my keys as we didn't have a spare set so
to please make sure she was home by 5.30 when I got home from work. I got
home at 5.30 and the house was all locked up, no one around so I stuck a
note on the door and went next door for a cup of tea with my neighbour. I
had bought ingredients for dinner which I had to borrow my neighbors'
fridge for. By 7.30 I was getting worried as she wasn't answering her
mobile and I knew her interview had been at 10.30, I worried she had got
lost on the way home. She turned up at 7.45 with no apologies and a
takeaway for herself only, I was astounded. Who, when they're a guest,
buys only herself a takeaway without checking on their hosts' plans
first?? I cooked dinner for my husband and myself only and we ate it with
her just sitting watching us as she'd already eaten.
She was due to fly home the next day but
in the night became exceedingly ill and wasn't well enough to leave so we
told her to stay as long as she needed. During the extra 4 days she stayed
she spent the entire time watching films (fair enough, what else is there
to do?), except that if we arrived home from work whilst one was playing
she refused to acknowledge us until it was finished, however long it had
left to play. She even shushed us if we dared to speak whilst she was
watching something. She also turned our alarm clock off causing us to
oversleep one morning and my husband to miss an important meeting and get
reprimanded at work. Apparently it had been going after we left one
morning (it automatically switches itself off so we just leave it) so she
had gone into our bedroom and just pressed every button in sight until it
went off, also deactivating our alarm.
When she left on the Friday we both
breathed a sigh of relief. We're still friends and have never mentioned
this visit again.
Since this time we have now had a spare
set of keys cut, make sure to turn our alarm off if we have guests and
when people stay make sure they know our meal plans!
When I was young, my whole extended
family got along and was friendly with each other. Over the years,
however, my mother's sister and her husband have demonstrated repeated
shocking behaviors that have set a wedge in our family, eventually
separating holidays into the groups that visit 'Us' and the groups that
visit 'Them'. Five years ago, when this was all pretty much starting up,
an aunt of mine called to relate one of these stories, and to explain why
they would no longer ever be visiting my mother's sister's side of the
family again. This is really her story.
Uncle Tom and Aunty Betty came from the
era in which Uncle Tom was a Korean War vet. This is important because Tom
was something of a war hero, and pretty much an untarnished man. He lived
a clean, quiet, respectable and stoic life. "Walk quietly and carry a
big stick" was the embodiment of Tom. I've never in my life seen much
emotion come out of him. Betty was a -very- typical woman of the age.
Sweet, demure, and very much a housewife/mother.
Five years ago, my mom's sister's
husband invited Tom and Betty to stay at their winter condo in Colorado
for the holidays. This was one 'tactic' he frequently used to "get
family on his side". It also made for nice house-sitting. In any
event, Tom and Betty thankfully agreed and drove up to their condo from
Texas in early December. One week before Christmas, Mom's sister called
saying they were on their way to the cabin, and Tom and Betty had to
leave. Somewhat shocked, Betty asked how much time they had, and got the
reply "just a few hours, we're at the airport now". A little
shell-shocked, but still the obliging type, Tom and Betty began to clean
up the condo in preparation to leave.
A few hours later Sis and her husband
arrive, get out of the car, and immediately begin to try and hurry them
along. Feeling more and more embarrassed, Betty is now frantically
packing. Unfortunately, some of their clothes were in the process of being
washed and dried. As Tom tries to help, he walks thru the kitchen and into
the garage to find a load of their clothes heaped, WET, on the hood of
their car. Quietly, he folded them up, put them in a trash bag, and put
that bag in a suitcase. Betty, walking in on this scene, then became
frantic that Tom was going to lose his temper. The embarrassment and shame
meter pegged, the two relatives throw everything else in Tom's truck
haphazardly, and beat a hasty retreat into the car and away from the
house. Several blocks down the road, without anything being said, Tom
slams on his brakes, skids the truck thru the snow over to the side of the
road, gets out, and commences pummeling the front driver's side quarter
panel of the car bare fisted and screaming obscenities as Betty broke down
crying in the car for quite a while. Finished, he then got back into the
car, put some gloves on his now bloody fists, and announced to Betty that
he would 'never speak of this, nor see those two evil people again in this
lifetime'. And that was the last of it for him.
That Christmas, Uncle Tom and Aunt Betty
spent Christmas Eve at our house. Tom's hands were wrapped in bandages,
but he ignored any questions as to why. I got a glance at his truck, when
nobody else was outside. The damage to the quarter panel was real and very
Uncle Tom passed away a year ago.
Fortunately, my mother's sister and her husband didn’t attend the
funeral. After the funeral, Aunt Betty said, about the incident, to my
mother the most mortifying summation I can, personally, imagine. She said
that Tom had confided in her afterwards that, "Of all the humiliating
and embarrassing things I've experienced in my life, that was by far the
worst." This is especially sad because Tom spent time as a POW during
the Korean War.
First, I am 20, and I live with my
mother and her boyfriend. We will refer to the boyfriend as "Grouchy
Grouchy D has never been a very
personable human being, but for whatever reason, my mother likes him.
Today, Christmas, this happened.
I was sitting on the couch talking with
my cousin, whom I rarely see, but enjoy her company, as does everyone else
in the family, except for Grouchy D, who is not technically family; though
we try to include him, he certainly doesn't make much effort to
participate. My cousin's husband was standing near the kitchen table.
Small house, so couch and kitchen table are certainly within a distance to
carry on a conversation. Grouchy D grabs the coats belonging to my
cousin's family, drops them in the middle of the floor, and tells them
"Go put that ('that' being a dessert of some kind) in the car, and
get out of here." This was completely out of the blue. I was shocked.
Grouchy D had been known for acting gruff, but never anything like that.
But that's not the end of it. I told my
mother, who was not witness to the shocking behavior, and she asks Grouchy
D about it. He comes in the den and says to me, "I never said
anything like that." Basically trying to make me look like a liar.
Then he goes to bed at 7pm and hasn't said a word to anyone yet.
"Mindy" is one of my close
friends from college. We both ended up getting jobs in a nearby major city
upon graduation, but we live on totally opposite sides of town. One night,
Mindy says that she is going to be on my side of town on a dinner date and
she was off work the next day, so could she possibly spend the night at my
apartment. Not a problem at all, I was actually looking forward to it
because we hardly ever hang out anymore. Well, she calls me after dinner
and says that the date was fantastic and she was on her way to my house.
Lo and behold, the date is obviously not over because she shows up at my
door with her dinner date in tow. The guy seems nice enough, but I am
still not particular about this stranger being here especially since she
failed to mention on the phone that he was coming.
Long story short, they are having a good
time talking on my sofa (mainly about the date, so I obviously couldn't
contribute anything substantial to the conversation). I excuse myself to
get ready for bed as I am dead tired. I bring her a pillow and a blanket
to sleep on and remind her to lock the front door when she gets ready to
go to sleep, assuming that her date was going to be leaving soon. She
Anyway, after sleeping for a couple of
hours, I wake up to take a trip to the restroom. In my drowsiness, I
thought I heard a thud in the living room. On the way to the restroom I
peek into the living room and Mindy and her date are having SEX on my
living room floor! Not only that, but they have taken the liberty to turn
the room into a love den complete with MY candles, MY incense, and soft
music from MY CD collection! Words can't even describe the horror. I
demanded that the guy leave immediately. Mindy felt bad and was extremely
apologetic. I have never looked at her the same way again.
When my sister-in-law, who is seven or
eight years younger than my husband, graduated from high school back in
1996, she sent an invitation to, among others, my older sister and her
husband. Now, it became clear during our wedding three years prior that
there was mutual dislike on the parts of my sister and my in-laws, so it
seemed odd that "Shandra" would invite a married couple
comprised of someone she didn't like and someone she hardly knew to her
graduation. I figured it was just a bid for gifts, especially when my
sister told me the invitation was addressed to "Susan and
Larry". The problem? Their names are "Susan and JOE"!!!
Yikes! I still cringe when I think about it!
I have many horror stories about being a
vegetarian in a carnivore's world. But my favorite story is short and
A (very close) friend called and invited
my husband and me to a barbecue he was hosting at his home. Right before
hanging up, he added, "Be sure and bring something you can eat!"
Page Last Updated May 15, 2007