Author Topic: Changing something for guests  (Read 16392 times)

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Cleargleam

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2012, 04:34:26 PM »
The letter writer was comfortable buying the artwork for his wife - he needs to man up and tell his mother to get over it, or to resign herself to visits only at her home.

Ultimately, it depends on how much you want to play host vs. be a guest, and where your personal boundaries are.

I would never ask a friend to change their decor on my behalf; if I were too embarrassed by a particular piece of art I would, where possible, position myself where I would not see it. 

Being a guest does not give one an opening to pass judgment on the host's lifestyle.

I will go to efforts I consider reasonable to provide a beverage choice for a guest; I will endeavor to act with consideration when it comes to serving something I know is contrary to my guest's religious or medical dietary choices.

Which is to say, I will not serve beef with a cream sauce if I know the guest keeps kosher; on the other hand, while I will provide a vegetarian/vegan option for a dinner party, I will not feel I must limit the entire guest list to vegan options because I have a vegan guest.

« Last Edit: September 05, 2012, 04:42:16 PM by Cleargleam »

Sharnita

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2012, 04:35:43 PM »
Snowdragon, you seem to have missed the point of my post. The change would not be for the guest it would be for me - so I could enjoy it without associating it with conflict. And I never said they have to do anything, not sure where you got that.

GratefulMaria

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #17 on: September 05, 2012, 04:36:01 PM »
My mother always had ashtrays for the use of smoking guests.  DH and I keep the inside of the house smoke-free, at his insistence.  When FIL was alive, we'd go for walks or do something outside together when he'd smoke so we could still spend time together.  I suspect it went both ways, i.e. that he'd work with the circumstances and smoked when we were outside.

bah12

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2012, 04:40:36 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?

I think that hosts and guests  have equal responsibility.  The host to accommodate the guest and the guest to accept the host and the home.  I don't think that one responsibility trumps the other.  Certainly, if someone's decor is so over the top offensive to me, I probably wouldn't be visiting their house in the first place...at the same time, if all I had to do was move one thing out of the guest room, as a host, I'd probably accommodate it (presuming that my relationship with the guest was more important to me than that one thing).

For me, it all comes down to reasonableness.  I'm fairly easy going when it comes to other people's houses, but I can't say that no one has ever accommodated me ever.  Because my non-coffee drinking hosts have had coffee for me in the mornings, and my single girlfriend once gave up her bed for me, DH and DD to share, while she slept on the couch.  Would I have thrown a fit if these things weren't given to me?  No.  Did I expect them to happen? No. But I certainly appreciate the hospitality.

When I have guests in my home, I try my best to make them as comfortable as I reasonably can, and small inconvenient changes aren't that big of a deal.  I have never had a guest insist that I provide something I couldn't, but my guess is that I wouldn't react too well to be told what to change...it doesn't mean I can't make some changes though.

snowdragon

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2012, 04:43:24 PM »
Snowdragon, you seem to have missed the point of my post. The change would not be for the guest it would be for me - so I could enjoy it without associating it with conflict. And I never said they have to do anything, not sure where you got that.

 I was asking where the boundaries lie - if etiquette demands that  one is to change their eating habits and home decor for a guest what else is to be changed? 
In my mind if I have to move it in order to avoid conflict with someone over my home decor, so that I may enjoy my home decor in my home when they are gone, that seems like a lot of power that the guest has.  The guest should be the one making the "concession" and not starting the conflict to begin with, IMHO.

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #20 on: September 05, 2012, 04:43:59 PM »
As a guest, if there were a large picture hanging on the wall of the guest room that bothered me for any reason - be it a nude or something violent or whatever, I'd ask my host, 'Do you mind if I take the picture down while I'm here?  I'll put it back when I'm leaving.'

If they objected, I'd leave it in place but if it bothered me that much, I wouldn't come back for another visit.
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SPuck

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #21 on: September 05, 2012, 04:45:38 PM »
I guess when it comes to the photo its a matter of taste. On the other hand I wouldn't remove a religious symbol for an atheist, nor would I take takings of one religion because someone of another religion is in my house.

Sharnita

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #22 on: September 05, 2012, 04:52:50 PM »
If I thougt there would be conflict and thr concession was more than I wanted to make I simply would not offer to host. As a potential host I hold that power. It can be trickier with familu who assime they are welcome but you do have that power.

Girlie

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2012, 04:55:04 PM »
You're certainly not required to make such accomodations, but if it's the matter of one picture that could be easily removed or something of that nature, and the guest is someone you care about and wish to be comfortable - why not?
It's easy to become offended because you don't think you should have to remove it, but then you have to also be willing to accept the repercussions of what that could mean for your relationship with that person.

If it were me and I had a dear friend or loved one who had nude pictures on display (minus things like photos of the David, or something), I would feel immensely uncomfortable. They would not have to take them down for me, and I would be very polite, but the visit would be short, and it would be the last.


Tabby Uprising

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #24 on: September 05, 2012, 04:56:10 PM »
Snowdragon, you seem to have missed the point of my post. The change would not be for the guest it would be for me - so I could enjoy it without associating it with conflict. And I never said they have to do anything, not sure where you got that.

 I was asking where the boundaries lie - if etiquette demands that  one is to change their eating habits and home decor for a guest what else is to be changed? 
In my mind if I have to move it in order to avoid conflict with someone over my home decor, so that I may enjoy my home decor in my home when they are gone, that seems like a lot of power that the guest has.  The guest should be the one making the "concession" and not starting the conflict to begin with, IMHO.

I don't think etiquette does demand it.  I think it really does come down to personal preferences on the part of the host.  So you are fine not to change anything and someone else is okay to change something.  It'll vary from host to host and situation to situation.  As long as no fits are thrown or tempers-a-tantrum, I think etiquette wise both viewpoints are fine.

Moray

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #25 on: September 05, 2012, 04:58:18 PM »
You're certainly not required to make such accomodations, but if it's the matter of one picture that could be easily removed or something of that nature, and the guest is someone you care about and wish to be comfortable - why not?
It's easy to become offended because you don't think you should have to remove it, but then you have to also be willing to accept the repercussions of what that could mean for your relationship with that person.

If it were me and I had a dear friend or loved one who had nude pictures on display (minus things like photos of the David, or something), I would feel immensely uncomfortable. They would not have to take them down for me, and I would be very polite, but the visit would be short, and it would be the last.

Just curious, but where do you draw the line? It's still artwork depicting the nude form, whether it's from 1504 or 2004.
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Tabby Uprising

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #26 on: September 05, 2012, 05:03:06 PM »
You're certainly not required to make such accomodations, but if it's the matter of one picture that could be easily removed or something of that nature, and the guest is someone you care about and wish to be comfortable - why not?
It's easy to become offended because you don't think you should have to remove it, but then you have to also be willing to accept the repercussions of what that could mean for your relationship with that person.

If it were me and I had a dear friend or loved one who had nude pictures on display (minus things like photos of the David, or something), I would feel immensely uncomfortable. They would not have to take them down for me, and I would be very polite, but the visit would be short, and it would be the last.

Just curious, but where do you draw the line? It's still artwork depicting the nude form, whether it's from 1504 or 2004.

Could be the difference between the nudes you know and the nudes you don't know  ;D

SPuck

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #27 on: September 05, 2012, 05:12:30 PM »
I'm going with the your house you have the right to your decor. I wouldn't remove a cross on the wall if I had an atheist in the house, but if I an item depicting the flying spaghetti monster I wouldn't remove it for a Christian or any person of any faith.

It took me three times to spell spaghetti.  :P

Twik

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #28 on: September 05, 2012, 05:15:52 PM »
On the other hand...

The husband mentioned that the picture may impact the way his mother views him. While you might tell him to man up, and let Mum know he digs pictures of naked women in dinosaur masks, perhaps he's not ready for her to know that. In which case, it's not simply a matter of them making Mum comfortable, it's a matter of one of two people living there not being comfortable being "outed", so to speak. I don't think it's completely fair for his wife to unilaterally demand that he display something that would make him embarrassed in front of his mother.

Not if she ever wants to get a similar gift, anyway.
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bah12

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Re: Changing something for guests
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2012, 05:27:16 PM »
To me, the issue with the letter isn't even about what is and isn't reasonable as far as accommodating a guest.  As a PP pointed out, both viewpoints are ok etiquettewise.

This is a relationship issue.  They have a difference of opinion and probably the wife is thinking that her husband is putting his mom's feelings above hers.  At the same time, the husband is probably thinking it's a simple request to help him out so that he doesn't have to have to be embarrassed or feel awkward around his mom, and that his wife isn't considering his feelings.  They really need to work out a good compromise.  If I were the wife, this wouldn't be the hill I'd choose, but if she chooses it, she needs to be prepared for the consequences.  Her husband may feel that this painting (a gift he gave her) is more important to her than him.  If it affects his relatinship with him mom, it may also affect their relationship as a couple.

Don't get me wrong.  I'm with her on the principle of the matter, but practically speaking, I would hope that she would be willing to move that picture for a few days a year at her husband's request.