Author Topic: The Awkward Guest  (Read 4567 times)

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LadyR

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The Awkward Guest
« on: February 06, 2013, 12:13:52 PM »
This story is a couple years old, but I was thinking about it the other day and decided to share. Though, I'm Canadian, it is tradition in my family to celebrate American Thanksgiving with friends, since we celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with family. Since I moved out on my own, I have kept this tradition up and my friends seem to enjoy it. I provide the location (and all the dishes, etc.), the turkey and at least one other dish, everyone else contributes something, I just ask that they run it by me in advance so that we don't end up with 10 salads or something.

This particular year, no one was particularly good about notifying me, but we still managed to have a good (if interesting) variety of food and most of my guests were awesome, as always, however there were a few faux paus committed by one guest in particular, my friend Nick's fiance Nora. I've written about them before: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=99112.msg2429772#msg2429772. Nothing she did was that bad on his own, but taken together, it was definitely wearing on my nerves.

1) For once Nick and Nora managed to find their own way here, yay! They actually took the bus. They arrived a bit later than everyone else, but this wasn't an issue and we were happy to hold dinner for them. However, Nora hadn't mentioned beforehand what dish she was bringing and she showed up with the ingredients for sweet potato soup (which would take more than an hour in my already crowded kitchen) and expected to be able to make it on site and have us wait dinner until it was ready. I politely declined and we went on without soup (Nick had brought a pie, so the soup wasn't their only offering). I wasn't upset about the lack of soup, but a little miffed that she showed up later than everyone else and expected us to wait to eat while she prepared her dish and that she presumed to use my kitchen without asking first (the other guests, about 10 others, had either brought their dish already prepared or asked in advance).
2) During dinner Nora started making arrangements with a few of the guests for her birthday party the next weekend. She did this loudly, in front of everyone, most of whom wasn't invited to her party. When I inquired about her party, trying to hint for her to stop talking about it, she informed me it was for her "big city" friends, not seeming to have any clue that meant she shouldn't be talking about it. Another friend, who was obviously uncomfortable, finally managed to change the subject, but Nora seemed to have no clue she was doing anything wrong.
3) My son was 2 months old at the time of this dinner and I was breast-feeding him. He woke up just after we finished eating and I settled in a corner of the room to nurse him, but so that I could still converse with people. Nora screeched at me "that's disgusting! People are eating (people had finished, but the food was still on the table), can't you find somewhere else to do that?!" Everyone else was stunned (I had nursed in front of most of them before). I calmly told Nora that it was my son's home and that he should be able to eat as well. I wasn't nursing at the table, but at a loveseat in the corner of the room (the tables were set up in my living room to accomdate a large group) and its not as if I was sitting right next to Nora, I was across the room.
4) When dinner was over, as we started clearing off the table, Nora brought out tupperware she had brought and started packing up left-overs without asking. I had intended to share (and I did), but it was a little off-putting to have her do it before I offered.

And this is the one that upset me the most

5) I complimented Nora on her engagement ring and commented that it reminded me of my mother's wedding ring (a family heirloom) in design. Nora made a face and said "I don't know if I want anything similar to her, she's not a very nice person". I was stunned at this comment. First of all, my mother is a very nice person. Now my mom can be a little over-bearing and at times was definitely over-involved in my life, but she is also a woman who would bend over backwards for just about anyone and has done so much for my husband and I. Secondly, Nora has only met my mother twice, both briefly (once at my wedding) and certainly isn't in a position to judge her personality. I was very upset and called Nora on the comment, as did another friend Cara, and Nora commented "well she was mean to Nick that time", and yes there is a story of my mother being cold to Nick, but the personal back-story of that is that Nick and I had a brief fling under less than ideal circumstances and my mother, being aware of the details, is not a fan of Nick. I made it clear that Nora did not know my mother and had no right making such judgments and she did apologize, but I was still stunned that she would make the comment at all.

As I said, individually, nothing she did is that bad, but together they definitely rubbed me the wrong way. I admit, I haven't hosted Nick and Nora since, partially because we've cut down on entertaining and partially because I just don't want to deal with her.


shygirl

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2013, 12:23:37 PM »
I'd say, individually, based on either 3 or 5, I'd never speak to Nora again.

LeveeWoman

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 12:26:26 PM »
I would have kicked her out of my house after I finished feeding my baby.

siamesecat2965

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 12:29:06 PM »
Oh my. she sounds like a lovely guest! (snerk) I don't blame you for not wanting to host them again.  She was not only rude, but entitled.

1. for not only arriving late, but assuming you'd be perfectly ok with her prepping a soup, from scratch, at a holiday dinner.

2. For bringing up her birthday party when she had no intentions of including everyone who was there.

3. This just boggles my mind. I will admit I am a tad uncomfy when friends have BS their baby, but its MY issue, and I usually just try and look somewhere else. Esp if its their house!

4. Just plain rude

5. the ring comment was way out of line as well. Even if she felt that way, she should have kept that comment about your mother to herself. 

WillyNilly

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2013, 12:29:28 PM »
Yeah I think 3 and 5 are actually each pretty awful.  I would think based on either of those she should be cut from any future guest lists, but certainly both together bespeak a pretty awful person, especially once you include the rest of the faux pas.

Lynn2000

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2013, 12:41:16 PM »
I actually think several of them are quite bad. As others have said, calling me breastfeeding my son in my own home "disgusting" and insulting my mother (honestly, whether or not my mother deserved it) would get her crossed off my guest list permanently. I consider those to be serious, unwarranted personal insults that I wouldn't tolerate from anyone, as opposed to awkward/clueless/slightly presumptuous or greedy behavior like the other points. But, that's just me, and you of course have to decide for yourself.
~Lynn2000

snowdragon

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2013, 12:57:17 PM »
She would never be invited to my home again, even if I were only another guest. This is not an "awkward guest" this is rude guest and an intentionally rude one at that ( 3 and 5).  I am not a fan of seeing someone breastfeed,,,but that is that child's home and he has every right to be anywhere in that home, doing what ever his parents want him to do but especially being fed!
  This girl is not awkward, she's a disaster.

Twik

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2013, 01:01:28 PM »
How could you consider someone feeding a baby "disgusting"? Goodness knows, if you look at where your own food comes from, it's probably worse.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

Deetee

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2013, 01:08:45 PM »
I agree with previous posters. I would simply never invite the person to my house ever again. 1,2 and 4 would have me cut her off unless Nick was super awesome or one of them had saved my life at some point.

3) would have her turfed right about then. Actually, I would love to be able to say "I'm so sorry you are uncomfortable. Your jacket is in the foyer. Husband, would you be so kind as to pack up some pie for Nora and Nick. It looks like she needs to leave now.". What would likely come out is some sputtering and blinking followed by "You can sit in the living room if you like. There are some books to read" or "The door is right there. good-bye".

I think the BF is a bit of red herring. If you think your host is doing anything that would make you use the word "disgusting" out loud, it is time for you to leave.

CrochetFanatic

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2013, 01:27:18 PM »
Wow.  Just...wow.  Any one of these would make me reconsider ever speaking to her again, unless she was family.  And even then, that would just mean that there might be more chances.

1.  This isn't super horrible, I don't think, but is definitely presumptuous.  I've made sweet potato soup, and many other kinds, and they can easily be prepared the night before and stored in a Tupperware container.  I think you mentioned she even brought some of those.  Now, I wouldn't call it unreasonable if she asked to re-heat pre-made soup, but it would still be nice to get a heads-up first.

2.  Again, not super horrible, but anyone who isn't invited would feel left out.  It's rude to discuss that in front of them at a holiday gathering, and it's rude not to take the hint and drop the subject when people show discomfort.

3.  Now, this is a big one.  It's your house, your son, and you showed a measure of discreetness by going to a semi-private corner to feed him.  Anyone who is uncomfortable is free to look the other way.  I have a relative with small children, and when she was going to breastfeed when we were over, she would simply say, "I'm going to feed the baby" and move off a bit.  The men (or anyone who didn't want to see) knew that this was their cue to look away.  This was the norm for their house, and wasn't offensive to us, but the point is it was their house.  It's your house.  And Nora was unspeakably rude.

4.  Another thing that is not okay; taking things without being given permission first.  We share food with guests who come over to eat, but we offer first, and they either graciously decline or happily accept.  Once or twice we forgot because it had been an exhausting day, one relative was a little offended and thought we were "punishing" them for something, and we smoothed things over by taking them out for breakfast and explaining the accident.  We laughed about it later.  But boxing up food without the green light is rude.

5.  This would be the deal breaker for me.  I have nothing to add here.

All in all, who could blame you for being uncomfortable and annoyed?  Not me!
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 01:28:49 PM by CrochetFanatic »

snowdragon

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2013, 01:32:26 PM »


4.  Another thing that is not okay; taking things without being given permission first.  We share food with guests who come over to eat, but we offer first, and they either graciously decline or happily accept.  Once or twice we forgot because it had been an exhausting day, one relative was a little offended and thought we were "punishing" them for something, and we smoothed things over by taking them out for breakfast and explaining the accident.  We laughed about it later.  But boxing up food without the green light is rude.




I would even call it theft and I would have taken her containers and emptied them and kicked her out there and then

weeblewobble

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2013, 01:34:11 PM »
No, I think several of these items taken as single incidents are pretty awful.  I think you should have invited Nora to leave when she screeched at you about your "disgusting" breastfeeding.  Honestly, she would be deleted from all future invitations at my house, too, whether my other friends expected her to be there or not.   This is a case where the cost of a friendship (being inconvenienced in terms of time/transportation, her presumptions about your kitchen, insulting your mother, yelling at you) FAR outweigh the benefits of maintaining it. 

Even if Nick is a super-awesome person and you're afraid of losing contact with him, it's not worth the costs.  He chose an awful partner in life and there are natural consequences to that.  Maybe you and DH can finds ways to continue your friendship with Nick alone. 

Screeching at me in my own home + calling me disgusting while your feet are planted under my table = No more friendship for you.

Twik

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2013, 02:47:57 PM »
If you think your host is doing anything that would make you use the word "disgusting" out loud, it is time for you to leave.

Expresses it perfectly.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

gramma dishes

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2013, 02:56:21 PM »
Nora sounds like a pill.   I wouldn't want her in my home under any circumstances.  Either the breastfeeding comment or the remark about your Mom would have had me motioning to my husband to escort them out the door right then and there.

I would imagine your other guests were quite uncomfortable with this too.  I would have been!   >:(

Just curious though, how did the other couple(s?) who actually WERE going to be invited to her upcoming birthday party react to her talking about it at your house?


bloo

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Re: The Awkward Guest
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2013, 03:01:18 PM »
I think individually it's really bad! Nora is a rude, entitled snowflake.

Put together she's a molotov cocktail of fauxpas. I'm with Twik, that DeeTee expressed it perfectly:
If you think your host is doing anything that would make you use the word "disgusting" out loud, it is time for you to leave.

Expresses it perfectly.

And I think Lynn2000 and Weeblewobble sum up my thoughts perfectly.