Author Topic: Changing something for guests  (Read 16410 times)

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SPuck

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Changing something for guests
« on: September 05, 2012, 03:33:17 PM »
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2012/09/dear_prudence_my_wife_refuses_to_hide_a_nude_print_the_next_time_my_mother_comes_over_.html

So Prudences letter has me wondering if people change around there decor or even eating habits for guests? I guess something comparable to this letter is getting a coffee pot for your house even if you don't drink, or buying a particular brand of alcohol for a guest. How much is the proper level of accommodation for a guest? Whether it is just for a day or an extended period?

snowdragon

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 03:41:59 PM »
I don't change my home or eating habits for anyone.  If someone has an issue with how I eat, or how I decorate my home - they can not visit. That includes my mother, but no one gets to force their values on me in the home I pay for and live in. 
  I'd be re-evaluating the relationship if someone tried to impose their values on my in my home ( or car for that matter.) 
  As for the letter in the OP...the man is trying to choose his mother over his wife in her home...I see other issues here than just the picture.

Judah

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2012, 03:42:44 PM »
I've never changed anything about my home for a guest, I don't think.  There are things I'd be willing to change for the right reason, and things I wouldn't.  For example, I won't child proof my house. If I didn't already own them, I wouldn't buy a cup and saucer for FIL just because he prefers them to mugs, but I will buy him evaporated milk to put in his coffee.  I won't put the dog away just because my mom is afraid of him, but I will put him on a leash.  If I had a photo displayed that frightened a child to the point of crying, I'd put it away, but I wouldn't do that for an adult that didn't like it.
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WillyNilly

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2012, 03:49:51 PM »
I think that husband is a mommas boy who needs to realize that taking the picture down is souring the visit anyway because its ticking off his wife.  he grew up, he left his mother's nest, time to cut the apron strings.

I move stuff/buy stuff/ take out or put away stuff that can accommodate my guests needs and comforts but only the extent it doesn't impede mine.  I wouldn't remove art, but I would buy a guests favorite brand soda for example. I will dress to go sleep (instead of be nude) so I won't bump into someone in the hallway on the way to the bathroom but I won't change my morning alarm clock.  I will make a vegetarian main dish and sides, but I will also make some non-vegetarian dishes, maybe even a another main.

Hmmmmm

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2012, 03:55:19 PM »
If I had something up like this picture that I knew would make a well loved and liked guest uncomfortable to be around but who would never voice a complaint about the picture,  then I would take it down because I want my well loved and liked guests to be as comfortable as possible.

But if it was a guest that liked to nitpick and I barely tolerated, then no, I wouldn't try to modify my home to accommodate their taste as I figure they'd find something else to complain about.

Pippen

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2012, 03:57:19 PM »
I hide the bacon if there are any muslims around.

Judah

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2012, 04:01:08 PM »
I hide the bacon if there are any muslims around.

Why?
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Really obvious hints don't work.
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Sharnita

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2012, 04:03:11 PM »
I might take it down or trade it for one in my room ehere they won't see it. If it becomes a topic of debate, conflict and hostility I will never enjoy it the same eay again. Otherwise, I might not offer to host at all. I don't see much point in hosting when you know x will create an argument and you don't want to change x.

bah12

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2012, 04:08:57 PM »
For me, it depends on the guest and my relationship with them.  I have never changed my decor, but I do things to accommodate guests all the times.  Fore example, I'll remove scented candles from the guest rooms and bathrooms if my guests are sensitive to the smell.  I once moved the guest bed into my office so that my grandmother wouldn't have to climb up the stairs.  I buy my guests' favorite drinks and have them in the fridge for their use, even though I personally don't like it.  And while I've never drastically changed my eating habits, once when I had vegetarian guests, I did find recipes that I would also enjoy so that I could prepare one meal for everyone.

There's a limit to what I'll do, of course, but small accommodations, within reason, are not a big deal for me.

For the picture, I think this is something that the husband and wife just need to work out.  I can side with the wife that she shouldn't have to rearrange her artwork because of her MIL's personal distaste for it.  At the same time, I think that if I had a picture that offended a family member, for me, it would be a pick my battle thing.  I wouldn't go around my whole house taking down every little thing that the family member hated, but one picture...I probably wouldn't fight it too much. 

That being said, I wonder how the MIL would react if she saw the picture?  Because if she said anything about it or insisted that it be taken down, she'd be the one I'd call rude.  The husband might be afraid of her reaction, but they shouldn't have to hide their things from his mom.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2012, 04:12:28 PM »
I wouldn't hide the bacon but I'd make sure it was packaged separately in the fridge and not serve it if I had Muslim (or Jewish) friends visiting, since they don't eat pork.

In the linked letter in the OP, I think I would be advocating for taking the picture down if it were my parent(s) or other elderly relative visiting.  But I'd probably show it to them and ask if they'd like me to take it down.

If I had a naked portrait of myself and/or my partner hanging anywhere but the master bedroom, I'd probably cover it for the duration of the visit.  But just about anything else, I wouldn't be too concerned about it.

I do try to accommodate guests as much as I can.  I keep coffee in the freezer and I have a French press for when I have coffee drinking guests.  If I know they are coming, I'll try to buy some cream; otherwise, they have non-dairy creamer.  I only keep water, milk, beer and wine in my fridge.  If I know I have guests coming, I'll pick up some soda and/or juice.  I will cater somewhat to food likes/dislikes and any allergies.  I would make sure to have enough vegetarian options, for example, but probably wouldn't make an entirely vegetarian meal.  One friend doesn't like salad dressing so I'd serve the dressing on the side, instead of bringing the dressed salad to the table.
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snowdragon

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2012, 04:14:04 PM »
I might take it down or trade it for one in my room ehere they won't see it. If it becomes a topic of debate, conflict and hostility I will never enjoy it the same eay again. Otherwise, I might not offer to host at all. I don't see much point in hosting when you know x will create an argument and you don't want to change x.

  I am not trying to be argumentative - but why does the one who lives there have to change for the guest. Where do the responsibilities of the guest to accept the homeowners values in their own space?  And where does the boundary lie? If home"owner" have to change how they eat for a visit or put away something they don't want to see, does one have to dress the way a guest wants - if say their religion demand woman only wear dresses, or not sleep with an unmarried SO because the guest will not like it? 
 

Moray

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2012, 04:20:08 PM »
I hide the bacon if there are any muslims around.

Wait...huh? You know that the mere absence of pork products is not what makes a kitchen compliant with Halal or Kosher laws, yes?

I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, but that sounded awfully dismissive of people's sincerely-held religious beliefs, not to mention that it sounds like you don't trust your Muslim or Jewish friends to behave nicely/not pitch a fit in a non-Halal or Kosher environment.
Utah

NyaChan

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2012, 04:24:24 PM »
I hide the bacon if there are any muslims around.

Wait...huh? You know that the mere absence of pork products is not what makes a kitchen compliant with Halal or Kosher laws, yes?

I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, but that sounded awfully dismissive of people's sincerely-held religious beliefs, not to mention that it sounds like you don't trust your Muslim or Jewish friends to behave nicely/not pitch a fit in a non-Halal or Kosher environment.

Let's calm down everyone, I read this as Pippen just using the phrase "I hide" to mean that she doesn't serve bacon when she has Muslim guests, and she didn't say a word about trying to comply with Kosher laws.  I don't think she is being dismissive of others' beliefs at all. 

Margo

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2012, 04:28:47 PM »
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2012/09/dear_prudence_my_wife_refuses_to_hide_a_nude_print_the_next_time_my_mother_comes_over_.html

So Prudences letter has me wondering if people change around there decor or even eating habits for guests? I guess something comparable to this letter is getting a coffee pot for your house even if you don't drink, or buying a particular brand of alcohol for a guest. How much is the proper level of accommodation for a guest? Whether it is just for a day or an extended period?

For me, changing the decor of my home would be a much bigger issue than buying a specific brand of food/alcohol or getting something like a coffee pot.

In the example given it does come across as the husband putting his mother's (potential) feelings above his wife's (known) views, and if I were the wife in that scenario I would feel justifiably angry.

If I had a picture which I knew might upset or offend a guest who I cared about, I  might consider moving the picture temporarily (for instance, if it normally lived in the room they were going to be sleeping in) but I wouldn't hide it completely, and pretend I didn't own it. However, if I did, I'd be doing it becuase I wanted to make my guest comfortable, not because someone else felt I ought to.

Things like buying a type of food/drink you know a guest likes is a courteous gesture but I don't think it is required - visiting someone's home isn't like visiting a hotel; you fit in with your hosts.

Moray

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2012, 04:32:29 PM »
I hide the bacon if there are any muslims around.

Wait...huh? You know that the mere absence of pork products is not what makes a kitchen compliant with Halal or Kosher laws, yes?

I'm sure you didn't mean it this way, but that sounded awfully dismissive of people's sincerely-held religious beliefs, not to mention that it sounds like you don't trust your Muslim or Jewish friends to behave nicely/not pitch a fit in a non-Halal or Kosher environment.

Let's calm down everyone, I read this as Pippen just using the phrase "I hide" to mean that she doesn't serve bacon when she has Muslim guests, and she didn't say a word about trying to comply with Kosher laws.  I don't think she is being dismissive of others' beliefs at all.

You're right. Let's all calm down. I was merely pointing out that the flippant nature of Pippen's statement was open to interpretation.
Utah