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Author Topic: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?  (Read 9743 times)

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mime

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Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« on: March 25, 2014, 12:31:52 PM »
Suppose someone is hosting people in her home (say, 20-30 people), for a day-long event.

Suppose her home does not include some convenience that is common to most people. This is not a faith-based observation or an issue of conscience or health.

Should she try to provide the convenience for that day, for the sake of the guests?

I suppose it is hard to wrap your head around this without an example, so consider these (two are real in my personal experience, the rest are exaggerations of cases I've seen):
What if the host only uses daylight, and has no lamps to provide light as it gets dark outside?
What if the host doesn't run heat or AC (assume uncomfortable but non-life-threatening temps)?
What if there are no wastebaskets or garbage bins in the home?
What if seating is entirely composed of pillows on the floor? (assume no guests would have a physical-ability problem with this)
What if there are no roads near to her home, so you need to park and walk or bike the last 1/2 mile to the house?

So I'm not talking about a safety issue, but rather comfort and convenience. I know that a host makes an invitation and a guest accepts or declines, but is there an expected level of what-is-to-be-offered?

auntmeegs

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2014, 12:37:25 PM »
I think itís OK if all the invitees are fully aware of all the circumstances.  Personally there are a few of those that would mean me turning down the invite. 

TootsNYC

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2014, 12:48:42 PM »
I think some of it depends on what is under her control and what isn't. I think it also depends on how easy it would be to provide the more comfortable option.

In general, I think hosts are completely entitled to offer what they offer. Hospitality is a gift, and no one is required to meet the recipient's every wish.


So in general, I think no one is considered rude or "outside the boundaries of good form" to offer what they have.

Specific observations:

What if the host only uses daylight, and has no lamps to provide light as it gets dark outside?

not rude, but the event will be over at dusk.
I think it might be rude to insist that people stay beyond the point where they can see.

Quote

What if the host doesn't run heat or AC (assume uncomfortable but non-life-threatening temps)?

To a large degree, fine; but if that particular day is extra cold, I think people will leave, or will decline the invite. And I think it might be rude to invite people in extreme weather without alerting them that they need to wear long underwear and their winter coat the entire day.

Quote
What if there are no wastebaskets or garbage bins in the home?

Not rude--they simply tell guests what to do with any refuse. Guests who don't get the instructions can simply set their debris in the corner of the room. This really has nothing to do w/ the guests' comfort and everything to do w/ the host's chores.

Quote
What if seating is entirely composed of pillows on the floor? (assume no guests would have a physical-ability problem with this)
Those are their chairs. People can sit on the floor.

Quote
What if there are no roads near to her home, so you need to park and walk or bike the last 1/2 mile to the house?

Completely out of her control--she's supposed to never have guests, or go pave the road on her own?

Quote
So I'm not talking about a safety issue, but rather comfort and convenience. I know that a host makes an invitation and a guest accepts or declines, but is there an expected level of what-is-to-be-offered?

Well, there needs to be a bathroom of some sorts with some privacy. Outhouse is acceptable, actually.

There should always be liquids, even if it's only water.

There should be some level of food if it's at a dinnertime.

Otherwise, this isn't a business. It's hospitality.

Harriet Jones

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2014, 01:06:47 PM »
None of the things in the OP would be deal breakers for me, especially if the situation was known ahead of time.

Toots' list is pretty good.



Well, there needs to be a bathroom of some sorts with some privacy. Outhouse is acceptable, actually.

There should always be liquids, even if it's only water.

There should be some level of food if it's at a dinnertime.

Otherwise, this isn't a business. It's hospitality.

Vall

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2014, 01:10:50 PM »
Most of those things would cause me to only accept a very short visit but I don't necessarily think they'd be rude as long as I knew before accepting/declining what the conditions are.

When reading your examples, I also thought of an outhouse.  I remember visiting my grandmother when I was a teen and they only had an outhouse.  I don't think they were rude but now I would never accept an invitation from someone that was longer than an hour if that's all they could provide.  It used to scare me so badly to have to walk outside in the dark (in a rural area where poisonous snakes could be) to have to sit in a stinky, dark wooden shack.  Thankfully, my grandmother lived so far away that our visits were longer stays and my parents would take their camper.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2014, 01:16:45 PM »
None of the things in the OP would be deal breakers for me, especially if the situation was known ahead of time.

Toots' list is pretty good.



Well, there needs to be a bathroom of some sorts with some privacy. Outhouse is acceptable, actually.

There should always be liquids, even if it's only water.

There should be some level of food if it's at a dinnertime.

Otherwise, this isn't a business. It's hospitality.

I would add just one thing to this list.  I would say that there should be some means of sanitation, be that hand sanitizer or hand wipes or soap to use with the water.  That might have been included by default in "liquids", though.

Otherwise I agree, it's not rude, as long as everyone knows in advance what the deal is.

Kaypeep

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2014, 01:21:33 PM »
I think there IS an accepted level of comfort and convenience, and for an all-day event, most of these would be deal breakers for me.  Sitting on a floor all day?  Nope.  Not gonna happen.  Having to walk a portion of the way there (hike?) on unpaved roads, not very appealing.  No temperature controls for an all-day event?  Sorry, not acceptable, especially if I've just walked half a mile on a dirt road and now I must either sit on a floor and be too cold/too hot.    Too many discomforts for too many people (20-30, you say?)  I don't think this is good hosting at all.  If this is an outdoor camping wedding, I say try to make some accomodations (rent some chairs), or at the very least don't be surprised if the RSVP's lean more towards no.  You are welcome to have the event you want, but I think if you are inviting that many people for that long a period of time, you have to be a bit more accomodating.

TootsNYC

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2014, 01:30:43 PM »
None of the things in the OP would be deal breakers for me, especially if the situation was known ahead of time.

Toots' list is pretty good.



Well, there needs to be a bathroom of some sorts with some privacy. Outhouse is acceptable, actually.

There should always be liquids, even if it's only water.

There should be some level of food if it's at a dinnertime.

Otherwise, this isn't a business. It's hospitality.

I would add just one thing to this list.  I would say that there should be some means of sanitation, be that hand sanitizer or hand wipes or soap to use with the water.  That might have been included by default in "liquids", though.


I guess I was thinking of it as a default under "bathroom"--because toilet paper and a way to wash your hands are necessary.

ladyknight1

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2014, 01:30:52 PM »
I have an off road vehicle and keep camp chairs in my car all the time, so some of these wouldn't be a problem.

I would find it odd to come to someone's home invited and find no lighting, garbage cans or chairs though.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

whatsanenigma

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2014, 01:36:03 PM »
None of the things in the OP would be deal breakers for me, especially if the situation was known ahead of time.

Toots' list is pretty good.



Well, there needs to be a bathroom of some sorts with some privacy. Outhouse is acceptable, actually.

There should always be liquids, even if it's only water.

There should be some level of food if it's at a dinnertime.

Otherwise, this isn't a business. It's hospitality.

I would add just one thing to this list.  I would say that there should be some means of sanitation, be that hand sanitizer or hand wipes or soap to use with the water.  That might have been included by default in "liquids", though.


I guess I was thinking of it as a default under "bathroom"--because toilet paper and a way to wash your hands are necessary.

That makes sense, I see!

siamesecat2965

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2014, 01:48:41 PM »
I think there IS an accepted level of comfort and convenience, and for an all-day event, most of these would be deal breakers for me.  Sitting on a floor all day?  Nope.  Not gonna happen.  Having to walk a portion of the way there (hike?) on unpaved roads, not very appealing.  No temperature controls for an all-day event?  Sorry, not acceptable, especially if I've just walked half a mile on a dirt road and now I must either sit on a floor and be too cold/too hot.    Too many discomforts for too many people (20-30, you say?)  I don't think this is good hosting at all.  If this is an outdoor camping wedding, I say try to make some accomodations (rent some chairs), or at the very least don't be surprised if the RSVP's lean more towards no.  You are welcome to have the event you want, but I think if you are inviting that many people for that long a period of time, you have to be a bit more accomodating.

POD. While they may all be "comfort" things, they, or the lack thereof, still affects one's enjoyment of the event.

I have a friend who's cousin hosts a huge family party every summer. In their backyard, and they rent a port a potty rather than have everyone in and out using their own potty. But its NICE - clean and air conditioned.

Deetee

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2014, 01:54:49 PM »
None of those are rude in my mind. For some it may be good to warn people ahead of time. But I'm pretty sure I have visited people with almost all those types of restrictions and it's not been any type of issue.

whatsanenigma

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2014, 02:13:16 PM »
I think there IS an accepted level of comfort and convenience, and for an all-day event, most of these would be deal breakers for me.  Sitting on a floor all day?  Nope.  Not gonna happen.  Having to walk a portion of the way there (hike?) on unpaved roads, not very appealing.  No temperature controls for an all-day event?  Sorry, not acceptable, especially if I've just walked half a mile on a dirt road and now I must either sit on a floor and be too cold/too hot.    Too many discomforts for too many people (20-30, you say?)  I don't think this is good hosting at all.  If this is an outdoor camping wedding, I say try to make some accomodations (rent some chairs), or at the very least don't be surprised if the RSVP's lean more towards no.  You are welcome to have the event you want, but I think if you are inviting that many people for that long a period of time, you have to be a bit more accomodating.

POD. While they may all be "comfort" things, they, or the lack thereof, still affects one's enjoyment of the event.

I have a friend who's cousin hosts a huge family party every summer. In their backyard, and they rent a port a potty rather than have everyone in and out using their own potty. But its NICE - clean and air conditioned.

I POD also.  If a person is going to host under such limited conditions, that person should try not to take it personally when people politely decline the hospitality. 

wolfie

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2014, 02:18:54 PM »
What kind of event are we talking about? Are we saying a birthday bbq? or a gathering of the book club? Or hosting of the society for balloon animal creators annual meeting? I will put up with more at a birthday bbq then I would be willing to put up with at an annual meeting for a club/society.

Lynn2000

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Re: Hosting without the modern conveniences -- rude?
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2014, 04:23:33 PM »
Suppose someone is hosting people in her home (say, 20-30 people), for a day-long event.
Should she try to provide the convenience for that day, for the sake of the guests?
I know that a host makes an invitation and a guest accepts or declines, but is there an expected level of what-is-to-be-offered?

I think it matters what the event is. Suppose this is someone's wedding. That's an event of major significance to many people that those invited will probably be very keen to attend. If the host makes the conditions of the site known but does nothing to change them, she may end up with supposed loved ones who are miserable, but have chosen to grit their teeth and put up with it so they can see their granddaughter get married. I don't think that's very nice, and it could damage family relationships, especially as most of those things could be temporarily alleviated with some ease.

No, she can't get the road paved, but she could have someone meet guests at the end of the paved road in a 4-wheeler and ferry them to the house--that's what a friend of mine did when she chose to get married at a state park, at a location that was beyond the end of the road. She could rent chairs or lights, or turn almost anything into a garbage can. She could also do things to make the space warmer or cooler. They could also just plain hold the wedding somewhere else.

I guess I don't know if I could call it rude, because people could still just decline the invitation, but for a milestone event that's a hard position to put people in. If it's a more casual party, I think there's less pressure on people to attend, so there's less need to make things convenient/comfortable for the guests.

What would be rude is for the host to pressure people to attend or make them feel guilty for declining. It would also be rude for people to insult the host about their choice of living conditions. I think the host also needs to be upfront about what the conditions will be like, so people can make an informed decision about attending, although I grant that sometimes if a condition is "normal" to you it can be hard to remember that it's "abnormal" for a lot of other people.

So, I guess I do think that "people in general" will expect a certain level of modern convenience, and should be warned if it won't be there. Depending on the exact scenario, some people might still be totally fine with it, and other people won't be. However, even if I was fine with sitting on pillows on the floor, I would still be surprised that that was all there was, I would have expected there to be chairs. But if the host was otherwise pleasant I would probably assume no chairs was just their thing, and not think them rude.
~Lynn2000