Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


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House guests, party guests, Ignorant hosts

2000 Archive

2001-2002 Archive

My best friend "Andrew" married an absolute neat freak. Andrew, my husband and I were close friends for many years before "Greta" came along.

During our first post-marriage visit, Greta burst into tears and ran upstairs to shut herself in her room when my husband and I failed to "put the throw pillows back on the couch at a 90 degree angle." Her words.

A few years later, I flew in for their son's christening. Greta opened my gift , made a face, and said (in front of the other guests) that maybe the baby could wear it when he played on the floor. Before I left I carefully cleaned my bedroom and bathroom only to have Greta come in and clean it again (in front of me).

Last (and yes, this one is the LAST) visit, Greta insisted I choose which movie we see. I suggested a Best Picture nominee but they'd already seen it. I told her I'd be glad to see anything they'd like but she insisted it be my choice. Needless to say, she didn't like my choice. She started yelling at me as soon as we left the theater and continued to ream me during the drive back to their house (where I was staying). Andrew tried to intervene but Greta was beyond reasoning with anyone. I'd sunk money, time and effort into this brief visit but found myself at the mercy of this maniac's version of hospitality. I re-entered the house only long enough to get my suitcase and call a hotel! I love my friend but there will be no more visits. Guest0128-03

A family member whom I have prepared many a fine feast invited my husband and I to the small birthday dinner she was having for her teenage daughter. She had specifically said that it was going to be a special meal of barbecued ribs because that is her daughter's favorite food. There were five of us present at the meal. When it was time to eat, there was a plate of five racks of ribs and also a plate of grilled chicken. I was told that there were not enough ribs (because they are so expensive) so please eat chicken while the birthday girl, her sister and my husband were each given a rack of ribs. This would not have been absolutely unbelievable if she had not wrapped the other two racks to take to her boyfriend (who was not even there) later.

As I am a white meat eater anyway, I happily ate my chicken. Later, when those with ribs could not finish their whole racks, I was offered their leftovers. Guest0205-03

Don't get me wrong, I rather like my SIL - she just couldn't catch a clue if you dipped it in super glue…..I'll call her "Cherie".

I was the guest of honor at a dinner in my sister's home. I hadn't seen a cousin of ours who lives near her for a number of years nor met his family. She had some co-workers whom I had met in the past. My brother, Cherie, their two kids, and Cherie's sister - call her Diane.

Dinner was over and we were setting up to play a trivia game - at my special request as I adore this game in large groups. The kids were being set up with a video in another room.

Cher and Diane dragged me (guest of honor) off to the living room on the excuse of pulling out the board and question cards - where they try to talk me into sneaking off to a bar with them "just the three of us" out of a party of about twelve adults…..

I stare at them in astonishment and stammer that I have to get up very early in the morning to make my flight home and can't possibly go out for drinks and be back in time to get any sleep! I had figured out very quickly that saying that I was the GOH and couldn't leave the party was going to be met with incomprehension - but that getting up early MIGHT be understandable.

Talk about "clueless"! guest0205-03

It was Thanksgiving, my first in our new house with my fiancé and we invited his sister, whom I'd never met before and her two kids to dinner. My ex-husband (we're still very good friends) would also be attending. 

As I was setting the tables (adults and kids) she started serving her children and they started eating before I could even sit down or grace could be said. I let this go. After dinner she kept telling me how good looking my ex was. I just smiled and said nothing. Well, two bottles of wine later I suggested my ex spend the night on the couch and my future SIL would sleep in the spare room with her kids bunked up with mine. 

Around midnight my fiancé wakes me up and tells me to listen. We could hear my future SIL and my ex doing the funky monkey in the living room. OUR kids were in the room closer to the living room where these shenanigans were going on!!!! I had no idea what to do. I crept out to the kids' room to ensure they were still sleeping then dashed back to our room and tried to get back to sleep with pillows over our heads for the next three hours. I couldn't look either of them in the face the next day. 

Then she shows up at my bachelorette party dirty clothes, no shoes, with her mother and kids in the car. So I spent the better part of my bachelorette party calling hotels to find her a room because she never confirmed the reservations I made for her and they were canceled. I didn't have the room for her at our house because it was full from other out of town guests and I wasn't thrilled to have her after the last visit. Of course all the hotels were all full so we had to squeeze her in. I was so embarrassed and my poor husband just kept apologizing. It's not his fault his sister has no class. I won't even go into what she did at the wedding and reception. Guest0210-03

My husband and I have a friend from high school, "Mike," who lives in another state. For years he had been dealing with serious emotional and mental issues, and we were trying to be supportive. So when he asked to stay a week at our house so he could go on job interviews, we agreed happily. The problem was, Mike spent the whole week sitting on our couch, eating our food, farting and making rude comments about everything he saw on TV, and hardly lifting a finger to call a job prospect, much less leave our house to go to these places for interviews! The worst part is Mike has a huge porn addiction problem. One day when I had to go into the spare bedroom that he was using to get something out of the closet, I found porn mags, porn videos, and dirty balled up tissues all over the bed and the floor! I will think twice before allowing him to stay with us again! Guest0215-03

I was living in a small house ( one bathroom) and having a dinner party for 8 people. After dinner while we were all talking in the den, it became apparent that two of the guests were missing. I assumed they had hit it off and were talking in the kitchen. When I went to use the bath room I found the door locked and love making noises coming from behind the door. I knocked, reminded them that we only had one bath room and it was needed RIGHT NOW. A few minutes later they sheepishly emerged, went into the bed room next door and locked the door behind them. I rejoined my guests and announced that X and Y were not going to be joining us for a while because they were in a spare bedroom having sex. Everyone spontaneously looked at their watches. guest0216-03


Being a good host(ess) does not mean we become doormats for our guests to abuse our hospitality and use of our homes in any manner they wish.    It's your home and your party and you CAN and SHOULD control wayward guests.  Upon them heading to the bedroom, I would have stopped them with, "Excuse me? Where are you two going?  The party is not in the bedroom, it is in the den where the other guests are waiting."   Any objections would have been met with a firm reply, "Oh, dear, I am so sorry my dinner party has interrupted your romantic evening.  Please do not stay any longer on my account but please go home and enjoy yourselves.  I insist."   

And then cross off these two sexually obsessed, rutting hamsters off your future guest lists.

I have recently moved to California and was invited to a barbecue by some people who I considered to be well-mannered and good friends. The invitation, which arrived by mail stated that one should bring whatever one wished to put on the grill to eat. I was confused and called to ask exactly what that meant. I was advised that they would supply all side dishes, salads, bread, condiments and drinks. I, however, should bring my own hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken or whatever I wished to eat - raw- and I would be allowed to cook it on the grill for my meal. Still confused, I asked, "So I should just bring a piece of raw meat with me?" "If that's what you want to eat," they replied. They then expressed their own surprise that I was confused as that was the way barbecues are "done" in California. My friends in the South find this particularly ridiculous. Guest0220-03

I have an aunt that lives out of state but who visits at least once a year. She always stays with my mom when she visits. For the last visit my mom prepared her guest bedroom (complete with it's own private bathroom) for her to use. My mom put some of those miniature shampoo bottles and misc. toiletry items in the bathroom for her to use in case she forgot her own. She ended up not needing any of them. But instead of leaving them in the bathroom (for my mom's future guests), she proceeded to pack them all up in her suitcase like she was staying at a hotel. My mom saw her suitcase with all those little bottles inside and was speechless. 

The topper was that my mom also saw a stack of gourmet chocolate bars in her suitcase. They were the kind that school kids sell for fundraisers and are at least $1 a piece. They were from my sister's school fundraiser that she left in the kitchen and that my aunt had definitely not paid for. Who did she think was going to have to pay for them? My mom was livid and nothing my aunt does shocks my mom anymore since that visit. Guest0225-03

I live in England and, thank God, wedding showers and baby showers are not de rigor here. Unfortunately, however, we do have our share of "Guests from Hell". Reading your site reminded me of an incident which happened about eight or nine years ago. 

My group of friends and I were all in our late teens/early twenties and mostly still living with our parents, so we didn't get much opportunity to host parties. One friend, "Martha", decided to hold a dinner party while her parents were away, so she invited some guests a couple of weeks in advance and they all accepted. She asked whether anyone was vegetarian or had a particular dislike for any kind of food but no-one specified anything. I think there were about twelve of us due to attend the dinner. Without having had much experience of entertaining before, it was quite daunting for her to cook for this many people, but when we arrived on the evening, we found everything to be under control and a lovely smell of food issuing from the kitchen. Soon everyone was there with the exception of one person, a guy we shall call "Jerry". (As it happened, I had at one point dated Jerry for a couple of months, but finished with him when he became rather clingy and obsessive. This, however, has no bearing on the story).

Martha had put a lot of effort into timing everything right, so she was a bit worried that he wasn't there yet. We continued chatting and, after a short wait, heard Jerry's truck pull up in the drive. He came in, she offered him a drink and everything seemed OK. A few of us went into the kitchen to help her bring out the starters, while the rest sat down at the table.

It was at this point that Jerry announced to Martha, "I won't have any, thanks - I picked up a McDonald's on the way here".

Martha was absolutely stunned. I think she thought it was a joke, but after a few seconds realized that he meant it. Speechless, she went back to the kitchen and it rapidly dawned on her just how much of an affront to her culinary abilities this was. Jerry sat at the table all evening, not eating anything while the rest of us enjoyed the carefully prepared and delicious meal. In the end, Martha served his meal into a polythene bag and put it on the table in front of him, telling him he could take it home and eat it when he WAS hungry seeing as how she had gone to the trouble of cooking it for him. Guest0226-03

This past Christmas 2002, My live-in boyfriend invited his half-brother to stay for a week (from the 27th to the 2nd). We'll call him "Curtis." I was not happy about this week-long stay. We had visited Curtis before and he is in his late 30s, unmarried, unemployed and living like he is still in high school partying. 

Well, Curtis arrived on a Saturday afternoon hung over from the night before. We hung out the majority of the day, and everything seemed to be going OK, until Curtis decided he wants to open up his X-Mas presents. My boyfriend and I gave him his presents, a pocket knife (which he called to tell us he wanted, nothing fancy) and a set of coasters shaped like beach t-shirts because Curtis lives in a seashore community. Curtis proceeds to open up his box and looks at his stuff expecting us to have bought him a very expensive knife. It was amazing, his face went from excitement to disappointment. My boyfriend said to him, "That's what you asked for, isn't it?" Curtis just grunted and promptly put it back in the box. He said nothing about the coasters. As for our presents, what a joke. He has an artist friend who makes junk jewelry and such and gives him this stuff at an extremely reduced rate. We got an ornament that was bent to hell (metal & beads) and cheesy wine glass IDs. But nonetheless, at least he brought us something, we weren't expecting much at all.

On Sunday, my boyfriend's parents, Curtis and my boyfriend were all going to have dinner together at our house. My boyfriend and I had cooked a large turkey dinner. Curtis did nothing to help, in fact, he sat in the living room watching football. I went in to join them one time, but Curtis drove me out of the room by telling my future mother-in-law about the time I got so drunk at the beach I put my head down on a table in a sushi restaurant during dinner, WHICH NEVER HAPPENED! Dinner went well and the parents left. After the parentals went and there were dishes to be done, Curtis announced he would be going out for the evening. I was glad to see him leave, but also miffed that he did not offer to help clean up.

The next day, Curtis was hinting around that his "friend" in the area was having a New Year's Eve party. Now, one of the main reasons to have Curtis out for a visit was so we could all spend New Year's together. He isn't so unbearable when you've had a few. Curtis told me to invite over to our house some of my friends from college who live in the area and we would all have a great time. However when New Year's Eve came, Curtis announced that he was actually going to spend New Year's Eve with this woman and her friends. Luckily my friends came over and we all had a good time without Curtis, but he hurt his half-brother's feelings by doing that, and made me even more angrier with him. To top it all off, on his way out he announced that he would be bringing this woman over for dinner New Year's Day dinner. My boyfriend and I had gotten a prime rib roast for us three, and had made a point of telling Curtis (indirectly) that the roast was for us three. Either Curtis didn't care or is too dumb to see we wanted no more guests (I had been his maid and hotel service for several days now). But he had to have his way.

New Year's day, I refused to cook a damn thing and stayed in my room all day. Curtis showed up at the house around 2PM and did nothing to help my boyfriend who was stuck with cooking dinner. Need I mention what effect this visit was having on relations between myself and my boyfriend? Anyway, The day went on and this woman showed up at the house just in time for dinner. I was a sport and set the table while Curtis entertained his guest in the living room. Dinner was tough. I sat across from Curtis at the table and had to restrain myself from throwing my plate in his face, especially when he asked me if I was upset about him inviting another person over for dinner. I did my best s***-eater grin and said, of course not. I think he got the message, but alas no. He then proceeded to tell me that he would be more than happy to come back up for a visit in the next month or two and take off our hands our chest freezer (we were in the process of buying a stand-up freezer). What nerve! Later my boyfriend mentioned how tacky that was, and he wished he had never said anything.

However, the big faux-pas was yet to come. Curtis offered to do the dishes. I was shocked, but happily granted him his wish. My boyfriend and I had plans that evening to visit his best friend and his new-born baby. My boyfriend knew I had to get out of the house. The break from Curtis and his woman was a breath of fresh air. However, the air turned rancid when we got back home. It turns out Curtis' woman stayed for more than dinner. I walked in the door and saw no dishes were done, instead the two were upstairs in the guest room having a grand old time. I just went to bed and prayed I would get some decent sleep, because I had to return to work the next day after a week's "vacation."

Curtis left two days later, but tried to leave sooner. He finally sensed that he went too far with me, and wanted out of the house. I wonder what made him see the light, was it the fact I stopped talking to him, or was it that I asked him to strip the sheets off his bed when he was leaving? Who knows, but he sure left in a hurry when he did, he left his x-mas presents we gave him along with some of his clothes and shoes. To this day, we have not heard from him. No thank you or a "how's it going" phone call to his brother. Needless to say, if he wants to visit again, he can stay in a motel. Thanks for your site, I've had many laughs reading it!  Guest0227-03

We have a lovely vacation home and last year we had some friends (not teenagers, these people were middle aged) visit us from the West Coast. They arrived empty handed, and settled in their room. We tried to give them a little quiet time for them to relax, but the next thing I knew they were on our phone, calling their friends who live in our area. They invited their friends over to our house (THEY NEVER EVEN ASKED US) and then proceeded to get food from our refrigerator to feed their friends and also used our liquor. They left all the dishes in the sink, and on the table. (At this point we should have shown them to the door.) We are annoyed but stayed the course and were pleasant to all. 

The next day, we had a picnic, they called yet another set of friends and told them to come on over for the Bar B Que. I was furious. The next day was their last day (Thank goodness). They stayed for 3 days, did not buy any food, fed our food to their friends and invited their friends to our house. The last day was the clincher-they informed us they were going to go out to dinner with their friends and left us alone. (They never asked us to join them, nor took us out to dinner once during their 3 day stay, nor brought a house gift). They will never be invited back and next time will be told we are sorry but we are not available. Guest0302-03

My husband and I had barely been married a month when my son begged for a Halloween party. We agreed, and invited his three playmates from the apartment complex we'd moved into and another child that's been my son's best buddy for years. My husband and I went all out on party favors and gift bags for the five kids, decorated, and ordered pizza. Child One arrived with two siblings in tow. Uh-oh. We ordered more pizza and scrambled to stretch the goodie bags. But our evening had only begun.

Two other invited guests arrived with their mother. I was delighted, because, although my son plays with these boys daily, I'd never met their mother before. However, their mother brought a friend and that friend brought her child along! This friend barged into our home, looked around and announced, "I don't know you people and I ain't gonna trust you with my kid!" I assured her that I certainly wouldn't expect her to feel comfortable leaving her child with strangers and invited her to have a seat on our couch.

I introduced myself and my husband, who was serving her child pizza in the kitchen. When I mentioned that we are newlyweds, she yelled, "It will never last! Men are scum!" Loudly. Within my husband's he served her child dinner.

Then this unexpected gem of a woman asked if we had anything to drink. I offered her one of the sodas we are serving the kids, and she said, no, she wants a REAL DRINK. Don't we "got any gin or whiskey or something"? My husband led her to our liquor cabinet and she started approving of our liquor supply in a big way. He mixed her a drink, and after a few sips, she announced, "You guys are okay. Can I get this to go?" I gave her a Styrofoam cup, and after she lectured me on how environmentally incorrect Styrofoam is, she decanted her drink and left.

Forward to the end of the party. Despite the increase in attendance that stretched our resources to their limit, the children had a wonderful time. As the parents arrived to pick up their children, we heard a loud commotion outside. It was She. Apparently, she'd forgotten where we lived and had been knocking on doors all over the complex looking for our apartment. She collected her child, asked for a refill of her drink "for the road", and headed out into the night. We were relieved on two counts: 1. That she was on foot and wouldn't be endangering lives on the roadways, and 2. In her condition, would probably never be able to locate us again. Guest0307-03

Recently, one of my best friends, Lauren, decided to come visit me and my husband for a week in our tiny one bedroom apartment. Now, I care very much about my friend and deep down she is a wonderful person- however, sometimes a little of her goes a long way. My husband and I live in a city known for its nightlife and I informed my friend before she made arrangements to come visit that my husband and I, and all of our friends had just spent a week celebrating during one of the festivals in our city and we had all physically and financially exhausted ourselves. But she insisted that she didn't mind and that she wanted to come visit despite my obvious hesitancy (my sentiments were reiterated by most of our other mutual friends with whom she wanted to spend time). 

My husband and I both work from around 7:30 am until 6:00 PM but we decided to go celebrate her first night in town and we met up with other mutual friends and around 5:45 am my husband and I need to go home to shower and eat breakfast before work and our other friends were heading home too; however "Lauren" was nowhere to be found though I had seen her 15 minutes earlier. Well we wait until half an hour and I call her cell phone repeatedly until we finally decide that knowing her she must have gone home with the guy she had latched onto earlier in the evening. 

Well around 11:00 am while my husband and I are at work she starts call us repeatedly at work saying that she is across town and needs to be picked up (I had given her a house key and the cab ride would've cost $7) but she insists that someone pick her up. My husband uses his lunch hour to pick her up and take her home where she proceeds to sleep the rest of the day. When we got home from work I informed her that we were very tired and had headaches and we needed a few minutes to unwind and watch a few minutes of the news but she decided to recap every conversation that she had with different men through out the evening. I was unfortunate enough to get the most mundane details of a night that I had attended and had perfect recollection of. 

Well I managed to escape the next few nights of going out due to needing sleep and having to work so she hung out with other friends. One of these friends told me later that "Lauren" proceeded to get belligerent in a bar and say mean things about another friend while that friend was standing less than 2 feet away. Then she screamed at everyone "I NEED ATTENTION!!!!!!" Well, she insists that everyone stay out with her until 7am despite the fact that everyone works no later than 9 am. Then she leaves her credit card in a bar that doesn't open until late at night and she has spent all of her cash and once again she needs to be picked up in the afternoon (my husband patiently took care of it). Then I had to drive her back later that night to get her credit card.

 Another night (once the rest of our friends were done being guilt tripped into staying out way later than they were capable of) she decided that she wanted to go out with my husband and I and another couple. Well after dinner, she demands that we take her home before we go out so that she can change (she spent 30 minutes trying on clothes and picking out her outfit prior to dinner). We go back where she decided she needs a shorter skirt (she doesn't have one so I offer mine although our body types could not be more different). She proceeds to spend an hour and 5 minutes trying on the skirt with different shoes and shirts and asking the men what they thought she should wear. The men could not care less and just wanted her to put on clothes so that we could see the band we wanted to see before the were done for the night. Well by 4:00 in the morning the rest of us were tired and wanted to go home- but not "Lauren." The other man with us had to work at 9 the next morning. "Lauren" yelled at us in public for asking her if we could leave and finally after 45 minutes she comes outside in tears and yelled at us for ruining her night and said that we needed to take her out after we dropped off the other couple. 

Now all of this was coming from a woman who had not said more than 2 sentences to any of us since we had gone to see the band because she was too busy trying to get the phone numbers of every man in the bar despite the fact that she was leaving and would never see any of them again. I apologized but said I needed rest. She proceeded to ignore me for the remainder of the trip and was blatantly rude to my husband until she needed a ride to the airport at 5:15 am. Guest0317-03

My husband comes from a conservative New England family. They are notoriously cheap. I always thought my husband was over-reacting until this happened.

His family has a "compound" in Maine of summer cottages. Each branch having a different house on a portion of the property his great-grandfather bought 100 years ago. The houses are very rustic, some don't have electricity or running water. It's really living like they did years ago, with only a few modern touches.

We saw Aunt *Mimsy* was in the upper house (we were staying in the lower house) and she invited us to dinner the next night. The next day we went out and bought a nice bottle of wine to say thank you (my mother taught me never to arrive empty handed).

We had a lovely dinner where we enjoyed the wine and had pleasant conversation. At the end of the meal I asked if I could be directed to the toilet. I was told "no". Now I understand, no running water means every few days you have to empty the toilet yourself, but still, what were my options. She then asked me, "number 1 or number 2?" I said, "excuse me?" She repeated her question. Apparently if I wanted to do #1, it was okay, but #2 I'd have to hold it. Fortunately I only had to pee so I made my way to the toilet and did my business and returned to the living room. We chatted for a few more minutes and then it was time for us to go back down the hill to our house. 

As I said goodbye Aunt Mimsy informed us that it would be $14.75 per person. I laughed. She did not. She wanted her $29.50 for the two of us. I had no cash on me (Why should I, I was invited to dinner at the house just up the hill, it's a ten minute walk through a private path). My husband fished the money out of his pocket and gave it to her. I still don't understand why she invited us. Guest0318-03

My husband's sister and sister-in-law certainly felt at home in our house. Due to a business going under - our budget was constrained. We were buying generic food items for many of the staples instead of the "name" brands. I went to get some sandwich makings out of the fridge - the first slice had apparently been unwrapped, bitten into and found to be the WRONG brand and flavor - then re-wrapped and put back up - complete with teeth marks for "Sis"........

I was baking cookies and bread from scratch to s-t-r-e-t-c-h every dollar to the maximum. Sis loves my home baked cookies. She came into the house, walked into the kitchen, opened the cookie container without looking while talking to my husband/her brother, and PLUNGED her hand three or four inches into the flour..........wrong container........

Another day, the DH was at work. Our daughter was playing in the front yard with neighbor kids. Someone opened the door, came into the kitchen behind me, opened the fridge, and popped the top off of something and THEN his SIL said "Hi!" She then told me that she'd brought her two over to play with their cousin.......while drinking something from MY fridge without so much as a by-your-leave.

The beers had been bought for a football game that weekend with DH and his brother being the planned drinkers. They got two each instead of three each........the DH drank the odd bottle after she left......if I drank beer - I would have drunk it to soothe my nerves! After someone coming in without knocking - I was expecting either my spouse or child!!!! I was raised to ASK before getting anything from someone's fridge - even when a guest in grandparent's or the homes of aunts & uncles - although a glass of water was something I was taught to offer EARLY in a visit - I grew up in the hot South and water could be a necessity! But to have someone walk in and treat my home as their own.......was like a screeching fingernail across a chalkboard.........

If Etiquette Hell seems a bit too harsh - I am perfectly willing to send them to Etiquette Purgatory instead.......after they spend a century or two copying out every etiquette book ever written - they can get out! guest0324-03

This is a story from Australia (I stumbled across your web site while bored at work one day & have been highly entertained!). I have put in a bit of extra background to make the story clearer to non-Australian readers. 

To set the scene: My boyfriend and I were at an end of year Christmas party dinner for my workplace. Many conversations were going on at the table, and at one point my boyfriend (BF) was chatting to "Fred" ("Betty", a co-worker's boyfriend), and another co-worker of mine, "Bob"*. We are all city dwellers, but "Betty" & "Fred" are originally from a more rural (dare I say culturally backward) area. 

The following conversation was later related to me, as I relate it here, by "Bob" (as I was in a separate conversation at the time). My BF is a vegetarian. Often people are curious to know the reasoning behind this (it's because he doesn't think it's right or necessary to kill things just to eat), and I guess that's why it came up in their conversation. "Fred" then felt it was appropriate to describe a kangaroo culling operation he had been part of (some farmers regard kangaroos as pests), apparently describing with glee how they had "just slaughtered hundreds of them". BF was distressed to say the least and quietly said, "Look, I don't mean to be rude but that is really distressing to me, could we talk about something else?" which "Fred" basically ignores and keeps harping on about the killing. I suppose he thought he was being *funny* trying to get a rise out of my BF... I would never discuss this with "Betty" as I think she would be extremely embarrassed at how tactless her BF was being. * Names changed to protect the innocent and the guilty!!! guest0402-03

Dear Jeanne, I happened upon your website whilst searching for some modern etiquette advice. Emily Post is a bit outdated for these times, but your site is very helpful. Thank you for all your hard work. I do have a story to tell also.

My boyfriend & I hang out with a group of friends twice a week for dinner. The group is made up of 3 other couples. One of the women, let's call her "D," is talkative and loud. She has no problem voicing her opinion if there is a problem. I normally appreciate her candidness, but at times she can get on my nerves.

A Theatrical Show was coming to town, so it was decided that we should all go to the show. Everybody wanted to sit together, but as one can only purchase tickets by phone or internet, we would have to charge all the tickets on the same credit card. Trying to be friendly and nice about it, I offered to charge all the tickets on my credit card, and then everyone could write me a check or pay me in cash later for their tickets. We all agreed. Everyone did pay me back, but they asked me to hold all the tickets at my house, until we went, so that they wouldn't get lost or misplaced.

The night of the show, we all agreed to meet at my house. The plan was that we'd leave and carpool together, and divvy the tickets at the door. The show wasn't until 9pm, but because we had a long drive to the show and parking would be difficult, we agreed to meet at my house very early. I had voiced my opinion that we could meet at 7:30pm and still make it in time, but "D" insisted we to meet at 7pm to be safe. Two of the couples, including "D" arrived promptly at 7pm. I offered to get them a drink while we waited for the 3rd couple to arrive. They declined. At about 7:10, "D" asked me to call Couple #3 and see if they were on their way yet. I called, and they said they would be at my house in 10 minutes or so. I conveyed this to the group, and "D" decided they would all stay a bit longer. While we were waiting, "D" sits on my couch and turns on the TV. Her boyfriend and Couple#2 sat down to join her. I thought it was a little rude of them not to make small talk with us while waiting, and they didn't ask us if they could use our TV. Also, although our living room area isn't very large, there is plenty of room for 3 couples to sit. However, they took up the entire seating area, without leaving a spot for myself or my boyfriend to sit down. I just stood in place for a while instead of sitting. I guess I am used to their bad manners, because it didn't really bother me until later when I looked back on the evening.

Around 7:25pm, "D" asks me pointedly, where Couple # 3 is. I explain they were supposedly on their way. Perhaps they had run into some traffic? Also, they maybe misunderstood the time, and thought 7:30pm was when we were meeting - which was still plenty of time to spare. She didn't seem to care what I said. She stood up and said "Well, could you give us our tickets? We're going to leave now." I asked "What about carpooling and parking together?" She said "Well none of us has a big enough car for 4 couples, so we'd be driving separately anyway." I was a little surprised at her persistence, but I went ahead and gave her the 4 tickets for Couple #2 and for her boyfriend and herself. I asked them to call us, if they found any good parking areas. They said they would, and then walked out the door without so much as a goodbye. Just as they were getting into their vehicle, Couple #3 drives up to our house. As Couple#3 only have a vehicle to seat 2 people, they would obviously have to ride with us. They walked straight to our car, as my boyfriend locked up the house. "D" and her posse didn't even say hello to them or wait for us all to get into our car. They just drove off. We left our house about 2 minutes later, but we did not catch sight of the other vehicle. We ended up arriving to the show nearly 1 hour earlier than we had anticipated - and with a good parking space (FREE at that) to boot! We didn't see "D" or her gang anywhere near the door. The four of us decided to walk over to a nearby pub for a drink while we were waiting. The doors to the show wouldn't open for 45 more minutes anyway. When we finally got inside the theater/tent we found "D" and her gang sitting in the best of the 8 seats. They were upset because they paid $12 for parking and had waited outside the theater in the cold for over 45 mins. They hadn't called us to convey any parking information as promised either. I just kept my mouth shut and grinned to myself, sometimes justice has a way of its own.

The part that ticked me off, was that "D" didn't wait for us to leave. She was in such a hurry to get to the show, she was rude to her own friends! Leaving without us, not calling about the parking as promised, being snippy to ME about the fact the someone else (outside my control) was late, were several "etiquette" faux pas that really hurt my feelings. I felt I had bent over backwards to make this event a smooth one (buying the tickets on my card, arranging us to meet at my house, etc), and her attitude was just terrible. Guest0424-03

On Easter Sunday, my six month old daughter was Christened. But it was not the lovely day I (the mother) had imagined. As a surprise, nearly one week before Easter Sunday, my in-laws decided to fly overseas from America to be with us on that special day. Their notice was unexpected, but not unwanted. They are of a different faith than I, but were happy that we were baptizing our daughter and wanted to be present.

Easter Mass was at midday. My guests were arriving at my flat early, so that we could walk together to the church. I was doing last minute things in preparation for a lunchtime reception to be held in our flat. Meanwhile BBC's Radio-one, a fairly mild station with various types of music, featured a Jamaican rap artist. The music was bouncy and the sound was low; it played innocuously in the background. I heard my mother-in-law yelling in the next room. She tends to communicate loudly from room to room. This is typical of people who do not respect the close proximity of other flats situated in London or the hard of hearing. She asked if we could hear what this man (the artist) was saying? As a rule, I tend to tune out people who yell from room to room in hopes that it will encourage them to lower their voices and speak (to me) in the room I am in, unless there is a reasonable explanation. However, being ignorant of this consideration or being rude is not reasonable.

Then without any warning she rushed to our door trying to open it frantically. She repeated "get me out of here, I have to get out of here, somebody open this door!" I was worried that she might have fallen ill. I motioned to my husband to help her at once. Instead, her husband followed her out of the door and into the stairwell where she remained for nearly a half-hour by herself. My father-in-law returned a few minutes later explaining that she claimed our music was offensive. She insisted that we switch it off. I was astounded by this claim, but we switched the music off immediately. Of all days! And on my daughter's Christening- that this mother of my husband would behave so badly!

I dressed without any word about it. When my guests arrived, we left for the church together as planned. I was so annoyed by her action, that I remained quiet about these events until I could no longer conceal it from a good friend who inquired about the grimace I wore as an expression for what should have been a happiest of all days. My Mother-in-law's religion, gives her the authority to look down upon my religious practices, my musical tastes, and my living habits. However, she has the authority without my consent. Up until recently, I held that her religious convictions were her own and should be respected. Now, I find it very difficult to have tolerance for anyone's religious beliefs when they have no regard for mine. I finally had to ask that they pray or whatever they liked on their own and not insist upon including that we take part. In my home, I asserted this right.

In this visit, she upset my guest with a racial comparison, she preached to us, condemned how we lived our lives, and even offered unwanted instruction as to how we should raise our daughter and vociferously disagreed with the choices I expressed about my tentative plans for education.

I suspect she is not used to being a guest; therefore, she does not know how to behave as one. I do not think that I will ever be a guest in her home or she in mine ever again. Although, I had to grin and get through it for the sake of my husband and my daughter's future relationships. The best part of me thinks I should just avoid discussing it even on this forum, but I am still incensed. Guest0507-03

This story is more sad than anything. My husband and I had a friend from high school over to visit us from Florida. At the time, we were struggling to make ends meet. She had gotten a large inheritance from her family. She was a fine guest and took us out to dinner one night at the restaurant of our choice. One day, we got to talking, and we agreed that I'd paint a picture for her, and for the fee, she would pay for my airfare to Florida to visit her. I had given her some paintings in the past out of friendship. It sounded great to me, going to Florida one day when things would be very cold here: I surely couldn't afford airfare to Florida at that time.

The painting took me months to complete. This technique, with oil glazes, is slow at best, and I am even slower at it. During that time, I asked her to bear with me, as I was doing my best while also working full-time. I mentioned this in several letters to her. If I were giving her a painting for the hell of it, I would never have apologized like I did.

I mailed the painting to her and she loved it. In ensuing conversations, the deal we had made was never mentioned. Somehow, she had conveniently forgotten it. Although I hinted at it, I couldn't bring the subject up. I know; I was stupid.

Years later, I did get the nerve to bring it up, and she said, shall I write you a check? How could I respond to that??? We will always be ex-friends. I really feel that she took advantage of a starving artist. My husband loved that painting, so I made a duplicate, sort of, that was not quite as good. I can only hope that when she looks at the original hanging on her wall she realizes what she did. Guest0511-03

I was living with my boyfriend and his cousin was in the area visiting from Europe and she was traveling with some guy whom we I had never seen, or met before. They brought us a gift of some flavored liqueur and said, "sorry, we were thirsty, but we only took a couple sips." sure enough, the bottle was opened and partially empty. Late that evening we all went to a concert and on the way home the cousin sat in the backseat and exclaimed "I'm hungry! Stop somewhere so I can eat!" it was a weeknight and I had to wake up early the next day, but we stopped somewhere. When we finally got home, she went out again to buy beer for her and her friend and then took one of my clean blankets to place on a chair outside because it had rained! When I asked her what her plans were for the next day she matter of factly told me that they planned on sleeping in until noon and then they would decide. I took my boyfriend aside and told him that I didn't want them in the house while we were not there, he told them that it would be best that they leave when we did in the morning. Luckily for me they complied, and even better, I've never had to see her again. Guest0521-03

Our first year in our new house, my wife and I decided to throw a Fourth of July Party. We put out the invitations, and as we had just joined a community theatre group, we invited everyone in the group to participate. Invitations went far and wide, and we were soon hearing from people we didn't know very well that they were looking forward to our party.

The day of the party I woke feeling kinda woozy. When I sat up in bed, I realized I had made a giant mistake. The room started spinning and I barely got to the bathroom in time. My wife heard my fumblings and found me passed out on the bathroom floor. She got me back to the bed, and I had a high fever. We were relatively poor, so I couldn't afford a trip to the doctor. Instead, she rushed to the local store and got gallons of Gatorade, which I drank for the next four hours.

Surprisingly, I felt somewhat better and managed to finish a couple of chores before the party. It was a "bring your own meat" party, so I set up the grill, but thought it would be better to let someone else handle the cooking, as I didn't want anyone else to get sick. My wife pulled my favorite chair out on our back patio, and I sat there, slightly away from the guests but not out of talking our earshot, and attempted to enjoy myself as best as I could under my sick conditions. In retrospect we should have canceled the party, but we had no idea who all was coming or how to contact them to let them know that we had to cancel.

The party seemed a huge success. About 75 people showed up, all seemed to have a good time. Nothing was broke, maimed or mangled. Everyone left happy. Then the problems started.

We got a phone call from an acquaintance that he ended up sick and in the hospital the next day. "Jim" accused us of poisoning him. Throughout the next day, more people called saying they had gotten sick at our house. Because several of them ended up in the hospital, the county health department came out to talk to us. We have two dogs, and the summer had been one of those where it had been perfect for insects. Both dogs became flew infested and our house had a flea problem, despite using both a carpet flea killer and a popular flea medication on the animals. The weekend before the party we had the house fumigated and our back yard specially treated to kill off the fleas. I was concerned that the flea treatments had made ME sick, and then had made our guests sick. The health department checked for that, and said that they could find no trace of the flea treatment, at least none in quantities high enough to get me or anyone else sick. They felt strongly that the sickness (except mine, which a blood test showed was Mono) was food poisoning. Everyone who got sick got interviewed, and after a week of looking, the health department found out exactly what happened. Mind you, during this week "Jim" called almost every day demanding to know who was going to pay for his hospital bills, the bills of the person he hired to house sit, and other issues. Lawsuits were threatened. "Jim" went so far as to call all the people who had gotten sick together for a meeting with his lawyer saying we put dangerous pesticides in the house and we caused their sickness. I get the report back from the health department, and it is with great glee that I faxed the report over to "Jim's" lawyer. Turns out that the ONLY thing that everyone who had gotten sick had in common was they all ate one dish the same. That dish was the bacon wrapped grilled corn cobs that "Jim" brought to the party. It turns out that "Jim" wrapped the corn in bacon that was at least several months old (according to the lot number on the bacon) and had gone quite bad. "Jim" had wrapped and cooked the corn himself, passing it out as the great treat of the evening. Everyone who ate an ear had gotten sick, everyone who stayed away did not.

The party, to the local Community Theatre group, became known as "The Great Poisoning." "Jim" still claims that it is all my fault, but I guess every theatre group in the country has one of THOSE type people. Our next big theatre party went off without a hitch. And without "Jim." (Although he was invited, he declined.) guest0522-03

I don’t know where this story belongs because I can’t seem to figure out what was worse, the guests (including myself!) or the host. My sister’s MIL, we will call her *Jean*, wanted to have a dinner so that she would have an excuse to "Have the Family together". Although we don’t really get along with her, my mom and I politely accepted her invitation.

We were asked to be at her house at 6pm. Knowing that I had a rough work schedule that week, I specifically asked if dinner was starting exactly at 6:00 PM and explained my situation. I was assured over and over again that it would not start promptly at 6:00 PM and to come around 6:00 to 6:30. Certainly enough time for me to get there. 

Fast forward to that day: well wouldn’t you know it, my boss tacked on every last minute thing to do before I had to leave. I was still making good time when my phone at work and cell phone wouldn’t stop ringing. When I picked it up, it was my sister giving me the rush to get over there. I got out in time, picked up my mom and made a mad dash over there. With driving the speed limit, getting through all of the signal lights with rush hour traffic, and all of the stupid million stop signs and speed bumps that are in the housing track, I still got there at 5:54 PM and there were no other guests there except my sister. We are greeted by three dogs: 1 is my sisters, 2 live there and they are all yipping, barking and jumping. No one bothered to take our coats or our purses until I spoke up about it. The husband of Jean and their youngest son say a "hello" with an insincere hug and then they just left us alone. The host, Jean, was no where to be found and makes an appearance about 10 minutes later from upstairs and is not excited to see us.

The phone rings and it is the youngest son’s wife. She is about a half an hour away. Okay, we will wait for her; I am in no rush, although I am quite hungry. Some other guests arrive. I wasn’t expecting this because we were told that this was a "Family Thing". They looked nice but they weren’t. Mom and I tried to strike up a conversation with them but all they would answer in short answers. Here is the exact conversation we had with the women and her husband: Me: Oh…so you are a long time friend of Jeans. How long have you known her?

The Women: 15 years.

Me: How nice. Do you live near by?

The Women: Yes. Across the street.

Me: Wow. How nice you’ve been friend all this time. I bet you’ve seen the two children grow up?

The Women: Yes.

Me: Do you have children?

The Women: Yes.

Me: How many?

The Women: 3

Me: What do you have? Daughters? Sons?

…and it just went on like this for a few more times until my mom gave me the signal to move on and we just politely walked away to look at pictures.

Finally the youngest son’s wife shows up with two very large dogs. If you are counting this makes a total of 5 dogs running, chasing, knocking things over, and are very excited.

So it’s finally time for dinner and they brought out each dish one by one (that was kind of weird). I just want to go on record that I certainly will eat anything and everyone will tell you that I am not a picky eater but I do choose to eat more on the healthy side. My mom is much more health conscious but won’t put up a stink if someone has gone to the trouble of inviting us to their house and cook us dinner and neither would I but this got out of hand. She served Fried Veal Chops, Roast Beef in very heavy gravy, 10 asparagus stalks (I am not lying about this. We counted this.) and fried potatoes. Now some of you would be happy not to have to eat veggies and eat more meat but this was wrong. This was wrong for several reasons: 1. Mom and I was the skinniest people there. Although they know that I just lowered and have been maintaining my cholesterol down for over 3 years, they didn’t offer any choices; 2. We discussed only 3 months prior all of the healthy methods I have used to lower my cholesterol because everyone there including my sister has high cholesterol. Her husband topped over 300 and I don’t understand how he can walk around without going into cardiac arrest (but that’s another conversation)! I know that Jean just had a younger brother just had a heart attack. 

So my polite mother finally cracked under the hunger pressure and actually started to put a fuss! She asked if there was something else. She explained that she just couldn’t eat it. That she couldn’t eat fried food and red meat in heavy gravy! So she asks my sister, who is helping bringing out the food, if there is anything else she could have. My sister ask the younger brother’s sister, who is also helping bringing out the food, and she in turn yells back to the host Jean if she has anything else to offer my mom. Jean yells out to my mom "What you do you want?" and a conversation incurs over what she’ll eat. So now all of the table has over heard this, including Jean’s husband, and with food in his mouth is making loud statements that my mom doesn’t like the food. I could just die. So they got my mom some left-over chicken. (Mind you my plate has two very small pieces of meat on it and 3 stalks of asparagus and I still refused to say anything about it even though I am starving!! Also, I won’t get into how everyone was eating because it grossed me out).

Now to make matters worse, the women who earlier spoke in short sentences is now sitting across from me with her husband and is speaking in another language. I figured out where she was from and being generally interested in that country, I started to ask her questions. Again, she gave me short answers and seemed annoyed that I was intruding. I stopped asking after the third question. I should mention that as soon as Jean would talk to her, she would get really chatty and lively.

At this point, you might think that the worse is over; but it’s not. During dinner conversation, Jean’s husband made some very rude remarks about religion and he was to the point of obnoxious when he commented on the fact that I had to work the next day (when everyone else had the day off because they are all lawyers and they can make their own schedules and he feels that "women in general" just have their "little jobs" to make extra money. Perhaps, I should let him pay my rent and bills so that I can make "extra money with my little job" URRRGGHHH). I really don’t know why I didn’t slug him. I am not a violent person but I have to tell you that my mom was clinching her fists too.

After dinner, we were asked to wait for dessert (which turned out to be some cheap cookies and pastries from the "day old" section because I saw the tag). While we were waiting for everyone to get back to the table, I started to smell a very stinking cigar. I won’t even get into the fact that I am allergic to smoke; I will just let you know that my mom has cancer and after she has treatment she is overly sensitive to smell AND definitely does not want to be near anyone who smokes. He knows of her condition but still chose to do this! I didn’t want to wait until Jean’s husband finished his cigar; I just pushed my chair out and said that I had to go. (Please note that because they took out one dish at a time, the dinner took 2 and half hours and we were all still sitting at the table when I noticed that it was 10:30 PM. I stayed long enough!) On the way, mom and I were laughing hysterically about everything and everyone. It was awful.

In the following days, I was too consumed with taking care of my mom that I didn’t have time to send a thank you note. It was pretty rude of me not too but I just was not motivated enough to do it and I will graciously bow out of any future "Family Events" with my sisters’ MIL. Guest0530-03

Well, where to start. My cousin (lets call her A) and her husband (we'll call him Z) have always sat back and expected other members of the family to give them handouts. But the time they stayed at my Mom's house really took the cake, needless to say it was also the last time they stayed.

They arrived the week before Christmas on the night my Mom had her work Christmas Party. Mom said that she wouldn't be home until later but told them to let themselves in and make themselves at home. Well, they arrived home after Mom and promptly said they were starving but hadn't eaten too much as they knew Mom would have a nice dinner waiting. Mom rustled up a light meal for them.

Over the next week Mom played host to them, did their laundry, cooked meals etc. before departing for Christmas Day with me in another town. Before she left Mom stocked up the fridge and told them not to worry about feeding my brother as he was working. Mom told A that she had left some food on the 2nd shelf in the fridge that my brother would cook for himself.

Fast forward a week when Mom returns home. A, Z and their son are out and my Mother goes in to say hi to my brother and notices a can of baked beans in his room. Mom asks why they are there and it turns out that he was worried that there wouldn't be anything left to eat as A and her husband had descended on the pantry like a pack of locusts. They had managed to empty the fridge, the freezer, all the supplies and tinned goods in the pantry. Even the sugar and flour were gone. Turns out that they had taken big bags of groceries to their daughter's house each day when they had gone over to see her. They would also bring back all her family's washing and put it through Mom's dryer to save some money.

As if that wasn't bad enough they stayed another week. Their contribution to the meals was buying takeaways for themselves one night but none for my Mom who was also home. And making their own big nosh up lunches, using the food from the now restocked cupboards but making none for Mom. I guess it would be funny if they weren't my relatives. Guest0606-03

My husband is a dentist-- recently he hired a new dentist to work in his practice with him. This man moved with his family into our community about 4 months ago from the East coast---I am in the Midwest--so far from home.

He has a wife and 3 kids. I have called his wife probably a dozen times and asked her to various places and event and she always refused. No problem, I figured she had her own friends already or was a homebody. She was not rude about it so I blew it off.

My husband got a new spit style BBQ and has been itching to roast a huge slab of meat on it (as only a man can!)-- so he asked this guy to come over and bring his family. He accepted-- so I am sure he presented it to his wife as a done deal. This may have put her off-- but we have all been in this situation with our spouses and we rise to the occasion... right?

OK-- so they were invited to arrive here at 6.30.

People eat the evening meal fairly early in the Midwest. It is just the way it is. Not to mention with 9 kids between us--- and since it was a family affair I didn't want to keep the kids up too late. She never once called me to see if she needed to bring anything-- which I would have refused---but I would have called in the same situation as her. This is common practice with a BBQ... right? This really didn't bother me. I have examined this in my mind and it really didn't. (I am open enough with myself to say so if it did!)

So.... my hubby takes the whole afternoon off and is like a boy with a new toy with that spit thing. He had previously shopped for just the right cut of meat, checked the net for meat rub recipes-- he really went all out. Spent all afternoon monkeying with the thing, roasting the meat and nagging me about the side dishes, the picnic tables, etc etc etc.

6.30 comes-- no guests.

7.00-- nothing-- no call

7.30-- we called them concerned.. no answer.

8:00-- My hubby is thinking of driving over to their house to make sure they were not in an accident on the way (they are 10 minutes from our house MAX) I call the ER and the Sheriff's office instead-- no reported accidents.

8:10-- he is backing his car out of the garage and they pull up.... NO EXCUSES....NO REASONS...NOTHING!

I finally asked them where they had been... the wife says "home-- We don't like to eat so early!" My hubby asked why they didn't answer the phone and she said "we saw who it was on the caller ID and knew we were coming anyway and were late so we ignored it!"

I was flabbergasted! I explained to her that I was not accustomed to this habit either-- but it is common in the Midwest-- not to mention we all have kids-- 9 between us and some of them are young enough that they are in bed no later than 10!

She then says, and I quote "I have always wondered with your accent where in the hell you are from anyway?"
I told her I was from France. She then asked me if I showered everyday and if I got "turned on" using the bidet! I about died! I glared at her and ignored her questions.
I was taught to be a good hostess, to be gracious and hospitable. Needless to say-- the meat was ruined. I mentioned this--and yes, I was snide about it. I told them we would have to make do with the side dishes. She then said she didn't like a lot of "foreign foods". I explained to her I had made potato salad, baked beans, coleslaw, etc and some chocolate cake. "Oh" she says and starts dishing up plates of all this for her and her kids. There was a plate of deviled eggs-- and yes, I had more in the fridge but she didn't know this and took more than half from the plate! soon everyone was eating and the men were talking-- but I was quiet. I was so mad I wanted to stab her with a pickle fork!

It took about half an hour to eat and then I cleared the table-- we ate on the patio and I carried everything in through the slider door (the kids were playing) without even an offer of help from her. I was so tempted to just go to the den and get on the net or watch TV but I didn't. I went back out there and she had the NERVE to continue with her stupidity and asked me if I have had liposuction! I said no. She then said I was probably so slim after 6 kids since I drank so much wine! (I sure wish I had a bottle or three before she came over!) I told her I exercised after the births and with 6 kids I was so busy running I never had time to eat-- I even tried to be light hearted and jokey to see if this might improve the atmosphere.

About 20 minutes later she screams from across the patio to her husband...

"DANIEL!!! YOU BETTER HAVE A TYLENOL I HAVE A REALLY BAD HEADACHE!" Well of course the man did not have a Tylenol on him--- so I went to get her one. While I was inside-- for about 3 minutes-- they loaded themselves up in the car and were getting ready to drive off!

Daniel rolls down his window and says "Next time our place!" and drives off. They came about 8.10 and it is now 9.30 and they are already gone!



I see you haven't updated in a little while, so I don't know if you're still doing your terrific can't-tear-your-eyes-away Etiquette Hell site. I've got a story, which actually happened yesterday.

Our group of friends is pretty informal and free-and-easy, but most of us have pretty good manners. "Jerry" is a friend who lives about a quarter-mile from us, and he has a reputation for being a bit too... forthright... for his own good sometimes. We all received an email from Jerry on Monday morning, inviting us to a barbecue on Wednesday. "Bring food, booze, etc." said the email --all right, most of our parties are potluck.

The afternoon of the party, Jerry called my roommate "Joe" and asked him to go to the grocery store to pick up party supplies. Joe had not been involved in the planning of the party at all, and was puzzled -- the market is pretty much exactly between Jerry's house and ours, and Jerry could easily have gone himself. Joe told me about this. I told him that Jerry's request was ludicrous, particularly since Jerry had made no offer to foot the bill for the groceries. Apparently Joe was expected to spend his own money. Still borderline, but getting weirder.

My fiancé and I showed up at the party to find that Jerry, ostensibly the host, had supplied <b>nothing</b> for the party. No plates, no cutlery, no serving implements. There weren't even enough chairs for everyone to sit on, and my fiancé and I wound up perched on an overturned recycling bin while Jerry's swarm of dogs circled ominously. The spread was pretty lopsided, as nobody had any indication of exactly what to bring, and Jerry had provided nothing in the way of food.

We ate and swatted mosquitoes. Jerry and a couple of our friends went into the living room and started playing a loud game of dominoes. I went into the kitchen and found Jerry's roommate in a rage. "Kelly" had to leave for a trip early the next morning, and Jerry had casually mentioned that Kelly was expected to clean the kitchen. It looked like a bomb had hit it, by this point it was quite late, and poor Kelly, a completely sweet-tempered person, was fuming. I wound up doing the dishes. A huge pile of them. I do not mind helping clean up, but I resented that guests and people who had no part in the party were expected to clean without even being asked. Another friend mentioned that he was still hungry, there not having been enough food to go around. Jerry snapped, "I'm sick of cooking!" -- his contribution had been limited to turning hot dogs (bought by someone else) on a gas grill. Fortunately the hungry friend snapped at Jerry that turning meat on a propane grill was not "cooking". We were all a little annoyed at Jerry by this point, and by the time I got through the second enormous pile of dishes I was mighty cheesed.

My fiancé points out that it's a pretty fine line between having friends over and Entertaining with a capital E, but it seemed like Jerry wanted to have the best of both worlds, getting free dinner and entertainment and ignoring how much he was inconveniencing his friends and roommate.  Guest0626-03

My mother used to like to party. She did not like having to go out and preferred that people go to her house.

She would call people and say "I'm having a party at my house Saturday night! Come over at about 7:00 and B.Y.O.B.&F." That meant "bring your own beer and food". Funny thing was that she was always disappointed by the low turn out! Guest0630-03

The first story is regarding a friend's wife. Let's call her Evilene. Evilene is a spoiled brat -- her father bought her a Mercedes, her husband gives her money (she's 25 and doesn't work) for the gym, her nails, and her hair. Her house is immaculate, which my house would be too, by the way, but I have to actually work for a living.

My husband and I stayed with the couple, and the husband asked me about my new car. I was very excited about it -- it was my first "grown-up" car, a 4 door sedan with a CD player ... quite a step up from the jalopy I was driving around before. I'm telling them about my wheeling and dealing with the dealership, when Evilene interrupts me to announce: "Well, it's ok. But it's NO Mercedes." Later that night at dinner (a nice restaurant, by the way), she announced that my husband I and should "not even think about having sex on that bed: those are Ralph Lauren sheets." I wouldn't care, but this woman hasn't earned a dime of her own in about 5 years!

The second story involves a house guest. She's a relative of my husband, and a little bit flighty, but generally a nice person. She and her boyfriend "Freeloader" stayed with us for a week. During that time, they did nothing to help out with the housework, which I wouldn't care, except that they would each use one towel per day. I was trying to keep up with the laundry, which was tough, because my husband's female relative decided to do a small load of laundry and leave it there for four days. I refused to move their underwear to the drier, and after four days, it smelled pretty bad. The guest room floor was covered with their dirty laundry, books, and empty cigarette boxes.

Freeloader, meanwhile, kept asking us if we were going to make steaks for dinner, never bothering to ask if he could go to the store and buy the steaks. My husband got up early to make everyone breakfast, and cleaned up the kitchen after himself. I walked in to put my coffee cup into the dishwasher when I noticed that Freeloader was putting his dirty dish in the sink. When I asked him to put the dish in the dishwasher, he looked at me sheepishly and said, "I was going to." To which I replied, "no you weren't. Please put the dish in the dishwasher."

The last straw was the day they were leaving. I decided to stay in our bedroom and read while they packed, to stay out of their way. My husband is a very patient man, and doesn't normally yell, but I could hear him shouting from the driveway. Apparently, our house guests had decided that using a clothes drier was environmentally unsound, so instead of using the drier, they hung their sitting-in-the-drier-too-long clothes on our front porch to dry. We live on a main road: I can only imagine what the neighbors must have thought.

I have stayed with friends in their homes and I (a) always make my bed, (b) always contribute in any way I can, and (c) never would make a guest feel uncomfortable. I guess I was raised right! Guest0707-03

A friend decided to throw her husband a surprise party. She invites all our close friends and we are the last ones to be informed, because "she wanted to make sure we do not blurt it out in front of D (friend's husband) when he is visiting our house. The day after she invites us, she (T) calls me to ask if she could come and cook at my place since she does not want to take a chance at her place. She also asks me if she can store the food in my refrigerator, and if my hubby can pick up the b'day cake before coming to the party.

Few days before the party, she sends out this elaborate email talking about everyone needs to work on keeping the surprise, and must be at her house before 6:15pm and park way down and again, how everyone must be there on time.

Day of the party, we arrive at the house at 6pm, and we see several cars already there...with people sitting in them. So, we go and knock on the door and no response. THERE IS NO ONE AT HOME!!! Time goes by, more and more cars come, people walking around while it is not raining, and then sitting huddled in the cars while it is. Everyone is trying to call T on her cell phone and her home number, no answer, and no one knows where she is. Finally at 7:15pm when we are all thinking "this is it, we are going home", someone comes around to tell us that she has been located and will be here is 10 mins. At 7:30p she comes, parks her car and rushes into the house to let all of us without any explanation or apology. The house is not set up for a party and everyone chips in to arrange the food and the snacks. The kids are hungry and so are the adults but no one can touch the food until D arrives since it is him surprise bday party. T saw my hubby handing me a tortilla chip and reminded me to keep some for her hubby!!!

Finally D shows up and the cake is cut and dinner is still not served. The kids are served snacks since T is not making an effort not letting anyone start heating up the food. So at 10:30pm, thinking we have had enough, the two of us exited the party feigning tiredness, thinking NEVER again.!!! Guest0716-03

Page Last Updated May 15, 2007