Lately, I've been in the process of doing grad-school-related things, including making audition CD's (I already sent one to McGill, so everyone cross your fingers for me, okay?) Anyway, upon my mother's request, I burned an extra copy of the CD to send home to my parents, because they'd mentioned that they miss hearing me play when I'm not at home, and they might not be able to make it to my recital in March, because of their amorphously-scheduled court hearing.
But anyway, on to my main point. I just got an e-mail from my mom saying that she and my dad had met up with some old friends at the movies last night, and invited them back to the house for wine. Fine, right? Well, sure, but she then went on to mention that my dad had played the CD for them. She didn't say whether they'd asked to hear it or not, so I wrote back, and just casually said "Oh, I'm glad Mr. and Mrs. Friend liked the CD, it's flattering that they'd ask to hear it, since I know that you two would never have played it for them unsolicited." I actually *don't* know that, but I really hope they didn't, because it's really not appropriate for a musician (or any other kind of performing artist, for that matter) to force a performance upon a captive audience that didn't specifically request it, whether said performance happens to be live or recorded.
But then, since the CD could sort of be considered a gift (although they requested it, because I wouldn't have sent it otherwise, because in my circle, audition CD's are not to be given as gifts unless the other party specifically requests it), then maybe I'm being rude by placing stipulations on how it can be used, although they understand by now that the public playing of an audition CD without being asked to do so is considered narcissistic and impolite among musicians. I guess I should have probably expected this kind of thing to happen when I sent it home, since my parents do the "impromptu entertaining" thing a lot more than they used to, but nevertheless, this whole scenario has created a "grey area" where I'm not really sure of the rules. I'm sure they didn't mean to be rude (or, by extension, make me look rude), it was probably just a matter of the "proud parent syndrome" getting the better of them.
Nevertheless, I know I have a disadvantage as a musician, since I only started playing when I was fourteen, so the only way I'll ever be taken seriously is if I follow the correct protocol to the letter--arriving on time and prepared for all my musical commitments (lessons, rehearsals, recordings, and performances), dressing nicely for performances, acknowledging my accompanist and my page-turner after I finish performing, and absolutely NOT forcing my music on anyone who doesn't want to hear it, even vicariously.