Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


Main Page/Home

The Faux Pas Archives
Wedding Etiquette

Bridesmaids and Beastmen
Bridal Showers
Bridezillas and Groomonsters
Faux Pas of the Year
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
Guests From Hell
Tacky Invitations
Wedding Rugrats
Just Plain Tacky
Tacky Toasts
Thank You Notes From Hell
Tacky Vendors
Wedding From Hell
Wicked Witches of the Wedding
Perfect Bride
Bridesmaid Dress Incinerator



Everyday Etiquette

Baby Showers
The Dating Game
Ooops! Foot in Mouth Disease
Funeral Etiquette
Gimme Hell
Holiday Hell
Just Plain Tacky
It's all Relatives
Every Day RugRats
Road Rage

Business Etiquette

Bad Business Etiquette
Merchants of Etiquette Hell
Bad Bosses

Faux Pas of the Year




Press Room/Contact



House guests, party guests, Ignorant hosts

2000 Archive
2001-2002 Archive
Jan-Jun 2003 Archive
Jul-Dec 2003 Archive
Jan-Jun 2004 Archive
Jul-Dec 2004 Archive
Jan-Jun 2005 Archive
Jul-Dec 2005 Archive
2006 Archive


This is a story about a well-meaning (well, I think so anyway) but clueless friend who I feel committed a major faux-pas this past summer when I had my first baby. This friend, let's call her Karen, is a nice girl but has always been somewhat self-centered. I've known her since middle school and even going back that far it's pretty much all about her, whatever is happening with someone else. Her wedding a few years ago was a pageant of epic proportions in which every single detail was of monumental importance, the world needed to stop while she made a decision about flowers, etc. It came off fine and she was a sweetheart on her big day but dealing with the self-absorption got exhausting. Nothing happened that would end our friendship or anything, though. We keep in touch and talk on the phone or exchange lengthy e-mails about once a month or a little less often, and I did consider her to be one of my oldest and best friends. 

This past summer I was due to give birth to my first child, a baby boy. Everything went swimmingly with the pregnancy until right at the end. At my 37 week checkup my OB became concerned about the baby's position and sent me for an ultrasound. We found out that my son was partially transverse in my uterus and also had the umbilical cord wrapped twice around his neck. He nearly failed a "biophysical profile" and the ultrasound tech thought he was getting maybe 65 percent of the blood flow he needed through his cord. I went back to my OB, who wanted to try to shift my son's position in hopes that he would settle into a better birthing position and also relieve some of the pressure on his cord. He strapped on some monitors so we could make sure the baby wasn't unduly stressed during the procedure. When he tried to manipulate my son into position, he immediately went into distress. Alarms going off, etc. My OB stopped what he was doing, my son went back to the position he was in, and everything calmed down. 

My OB then informed me that, A. a vaginal birth wasn't possible, since he was basically lying sideways across the top of my uterus, and couldn't tolerate being moved and ,B. he was obviously having some trouble. My OB recommended I have a c-section before I went into labor, to prevent any further problems. He wanted to do the section that evening, but because it wasn't considered a "true" emergency (since my baby was fine as long as he was left where he was lying), we couldn't get permission to do the c-section that day, but had to wait until Monday, three days in the future. 

I tell you all this to give the situation some context - it was stressful for all involved. This was a much-loved baby; it took us 2 years to conceive him. Now we were faced with the knowledge that he was in trouble and there was nothing we could do about it except get him out as soon as possible, which wasn't as possible as my OB and the hospital perinatologist would have liked. Babies do die late in pregnancy from being strangled by nuchal cords and our baby was already having some difficulty; it wouldn't take much more for a troublesome situation to become a nightmare. It was also hard for me because we had been planning on a natural vaginal birth, had been taking childbirth classes, practicing at home, etc. Now all our preparation for a beautiful family birth where my husband would catch the baby, cut the cord, etc. were out the window as our son would have to be born surgically. We were also concerned because there was a possibility the reduced blood flow and malpositioning would cause health problems with our baby, but no one could tell us for sure what kind of problems to expect. My OB just told me they were planning to have one of the top neonatologists in the area come to the birth to check the baby out after the c-section.

We sent out an e-mail informing friends and family of current events (downplaying the severity of the situation, as we didn't want people to worry) and informing everyone that the baby would be born on Monday. We tried to be as upbeat as we could. Karen had informed me that she would be in the area with family around the end of the following week and at her insistence, we had made plans to get together, as firm as plans can be when you're going to be 38 weeks pregnant. It was July and I was hot and got tired very easily, but she "really, really" wanted to see me and could fit a visit with me into her vacation schedule, so I acquiesced. Well, now, instead of waddling around miserable and uncomfortable, I would be a new mommy, fresh out of the hospital, when Karen and her family came to town. Despite that, in response to my announcement e-mail I got this e-mail back.

"HEY!! I am SO EXCITED!! I want to come by next week so I can hold that sweet baby!! I can't wait!! See you soon, I'll call you and find out when is a good time to come by!!" 

She then left me TWO voice mails over the next two days asking when they could schedule time to come over, because they needed to block out time that wouldn't interfere with the rest of their vacation plans. Um. There's really not going to be a good time. First off, they had no idea how long I or the baby would have to be in the hospital. I was assured that if the baby did have difficulties after the birth it might be a week or more before he came home, and he might have to be in the NICU. Plus, the standard hospital stay for c-sections is 72 hours - so I might have still been in the hospital when they had time to visit. Secondly, even if we were able to leave early I was going to be home for maybe a day, recovering from a c-section, with a brand-new baby, on painkillers, breastfeeding, no sleep, etc. when Karen and her family were available to visit. Not really optimal conditions for receiving visitors. But Karen and her family were going to be in town, and since their vacation was going to coincide nicely with the birth of our son, I guess she figured hey, let's go ahead and drop by, even if that's not convenient for the new family. I felt like our baby was more like an additional convenient sightseeing stop on their vacation rather than a special person they really wanted to see, as she kept emphasizing the need to set up the visit to accommodate their schedule.

At that point I was overwhelmed with the whole situation and I e-mailed Karen, as nicely as I could, and told her I just didn't think it was going to be possible to make plans for her to visit. I didn't hear anything back. We had the c-section as early as possible that Monday and the baby, thankfully, was just fine. His initial APGAR score caused some concern but he pinked up and started moving/yelling etc. and his second score was 9/9, so no problem. We went home after two nights in the hospital due to a fast recovery on my part. Baby is adorable, everything is fine. He does have congenital torticollis from the uterine malpositioning, but is getting physical therapy and there shouldn't be any long-term problems. I heard from Karen a few times over the next few months but we never mention anything about the whole "visit" situation.

A month ago I was visited by a mutual friend of Karen and I, going back to high school days. He loved visiting with my son and was so happy to see him. We were talking about our mutual friends, and I mentioned that of all of our friends from high school (a group of about 6 of us), he and his brother were the only ones who had gotten to see the baby. "Well, Karen could have seen him but she said she got 'unceremoniously' turned away because she didn't give you enough notice that she was coming."  I was pretty aghast. "That wasn't the issue at all. She wanted to come see him the day after we came home from the hospital. I was in no shape to have visitors at that point."  My friend was embarrassed for having said anything. He said that on a recent visit with Karen, she had said she was "boycotting" seeing the baby now over being "turned away" right after the birth, and went on at some length about how hurt her feelings were. He told me I needed to chalk it up to Karen not knowing how it is when you have a new baby, that she was kind of clueless about that kind of thing, etc. Riiiight. I think I will chalk it up instead to Karen's incredible self-absorption. It's one thing to be miffed over something like this (although I don't think she has a right to be, myself) and something else entirely to whine to other people about how maligned you are because you were "turned away" from seeing a baby not 24 hours after he left the hospital. None of our other friends demanded to see the baby until we were ready to have people see him - from everyone else it was "let us know when you're ready for visitors, we'd love to see the baby." No one else treated our son like he was just another attraction on a whirlwind sightseeing tour. And no one else whined and carried on when they weren't allowed to see the baby exactly when it suited them. 

I like to think of myself as an open-minded and forgiving person but I think I might start forgetting to return Karen's messages. Who needs friends like that, eh?



I have a well-traveled and spontaneous -- but a bit flaky -- friend. Let's call her 'Sally'. I have been a good friend to her over the past four years, which have been difficult for her, and contained, among other adventures, a return to adult college, a fire, a lost friend, a stalker, several dating disasters and a squirrel (which is a tale for another time). 

Sally just got engaged, to a man my husband and I have met a only couple of times. Two weekends ago Sally and 'Gus' came up to our trailer camp with her 6 year old daughter, his twelve year old son (who cannot swim), and their neighbor, a retired and recently-widowed Alice type who looks after the little girl after school, etc. & whom we also do not know very well. After a fairly pleasant day trip, they went off home. During the goodbyes, I extended an invitation for them to visit us during our week-long vacation. I told them that our campground has a tenting area for visitors in the park at the bottom of the hill in the woods, and if they get their camping equipment sorted out, they could camp over a night or so, if they chose.

Well, she phoned the following Friday (my vacation had just begun) to tell me that they had indeed sorted their camping gear and would join us... "for Sunday night, Monday night, and we'll leave the kids with 'Alice' in the tent for Tuesday and Wednesday while we work back in town, and we will return Thursday to spend that night, Friday night, Saturday night, and follow you guys home on Sunday!" While I sputtered for air on the phone, it went on. Could I share the fridge with them? Will we do the suppers together and wouldn't that be FUN? Were there hookups at the tent? No? Oh, that could be a problem for the giant air mattress... was my husband's son going to be there the WHOLE week? And if so, could he and my husband sleep in the tent with this other boy if the girls got scared? Apparently, Alice and I would bunk in my bed... yikes.

I recovered my composure enough to tell here that MY vacation includes sleeping in a bed with MY husband, but did not know what to say after that. I made an excuse to get off the phone. I told my husband, and of course, this turkey started to spiral down. We called her back Saturday afternoon, and I told her as gently as I could that while we were looking forward to seeing them, I had some concerns about this whole thing. With the intent of getting her to scale back on some of these out-of-control plans, I told her that, since we had never had tent guests before, and I couldn't verify the comfort of the area, we would prefer if they took the children back with them when they left for town during the week. She protested even this, saying it was just for a couple of extra days, as after all, she would be back Thursday, for God's sake -- which is when my husband got on the phone.  "Look, Sally, this just isn't going to work. We want to be able to get in the car and drive our family around, and we can't squeeze in extra kids if you're not there with your car. We want the parents to stay with the kids." At this, she said coldly, "Well, then. I'll talk to you LATER." And hung up on us. She called back a little later, and we did not pick up. She did not leave a message. 

Some time later, when we could close our jaws again, we came to the conclusion that Sally and her new fiancé were thoughtless Alpha-dog jackasses who first tried to take over the plans of our entire vacation, then escape their own children to have some play time of their own, then were petulant jerks when they were thwarted by us finally saying no.  No one showed up at our camp site, thank God.



Once, when I went on a band trip in high school, I was rooming with three other girls, as was standard practice. Every student was paired or "buddied" up with another student, and then two sets of "buddies" were assigned to each hotel room. My "buddy" ended up being someone that I chose by default, as she was really the only other person I knew, as I had just transferred to the school that year, and didn't know many people.

She had a lot of annoying habits, including hogging the shower because she just NEEDED to wash her hair after going swimming, or else the chlorine would wreck it (as if the rest of us didn't have that same problem). Her religion required her to wear pants or ankle-length skirts (can't show any leg--don't know how a bathing suit was okay, but whatever), and yet, for some reason, once in our room, she was comfortable with going topless to put lotion on herself. Okay, we were all girls in the room, but still, there are limits, and I really don't like the idea of someone else going topless in front of me. She would stick her toiletries right in the way of the bathroom door hinge, so that opening or closing the door often became impossible. Repeated requests for her to please put her lotions, shower gels, etc on the counter or in the bathroom where they belonged were ignored.

The kicker, though, was that she had her period, and when we decided to go for a swim, she changed her pad, and left the used one on the bed! And not even on her bed, but on one of the roommate's beds! When we confronted her about it, she said, "Well that's what maids are for!" Maids are for emptying the trash and vacuuming the floor, not dealing with your nasty dirty USED sanitary napkins, not unless they're already in the garbage can! It was just so gross! And she wondered why, on the next band trip, I declined to be her "buddy".



My son met a girl on the Internet (ugh). She was from Iowa, rather unstable background and we are in DC with my son of 28 a college graduate, had his own home and a very good job. We are a military family, so he grew up with manners.

This girl had issues and decided his mother was competition. When she came to town to visit the first time my son purchased tickets to a concert. We met them at a steak house for dinner prior to the concert and sat in a booth. The girlfriend sat directly across from me, but refused to look at me through out the entire dinner. When I tried to chat with her she refused to acknowledge me or speak to me, she just looked the other direction. This left my husband and son confused and a bit dumb founded. It gets worse...

During the concert my husband and son left at intermission. I tried to make light chat with her as etiquette dictates...she turned in her seat and put her back to me. It gets worse...

On her next visit my son and "the girlfriend" drove to our weekend home for the day to visit us. Horror of horrors, we got snowed in for three days. During the entire time she refused to look at me, turned her back on me even when we were all sitting in the living room, and when we were eating she refused to look at me or respond to casual chat. Once while my son was in the kitchen and my husband upstairs, I found the two of us once again alone, I sat on the sofa with her and tried to engage her in conversation about her chosen profession (she was studying to be an elementary teacher, yipes!), she turned her back on me. I kept chatting away trying to be polite and a good host (interpret - a saint). She refused to talk to me. My son came in from the kitchen and asked who I was talking to...not realizing who until he got fully into the room and saw her with her back to me. I finally lost it (and my sainthood) and said, "I guess I'm talking to a f_@_#$ing brick wall" and got up and went upstairs to our bedroom.

Just so you know it was not just my imagination, neighbors stopped by during that weekend to visit, not knowing the situation...and all commented later on her rudeness.

After that weekend, my husband asked our son to not bring her back again explaining that our son had his life to live as he chose and that he would not choose a grown son and a rude girlfriend over the rest of his life with his wife. After that my son came alone. After a two year relationship from hell…they broke up and my son now sees it as it was.

10 years later I am still wrestling with who had worse manners. Her for being a b_ _ _ ch, or me for cursing about it (and losing my sainthood).



I was a new immigrant from the Middle East, arriving in Canada for the first time. I had no family there. Fortunately (or so I thought) an old friend of my mother's lived in Toronto. We'll call her Melly. I had been in touch with her off and on for the past few years, so I'd asked her if I could stay with her for a little while until I found an apartment. She said that would be all right - she had a townhouse and plenty of room - provided I obeyed her rules. Here are some of those rules.

1. No touching the walls. 
2. No spilling a drop of anything, even water, on the kitchen counters or floor. 
3. No using the toaster when Melly isn't at home, in case I burned the house down. 
4. No ironing clothes, because that consumes electricity. 
5. No flushing feminine protection down the toilet. This rule was repeated to me three times. We do have flushing toilets in the Middle East, and I knew what not to put down them.

Since it was Melly's house and I was her guest, I obeyed all the rules and said nothing, but I seemed to keep making mistakes. For instance, while I was in the shower, I put a bottle of shampoo on the edge of the bathtub. The bottle fell off into the bathtub with a little thump. Next thing I know, Melly was at the bathroom door. "What happened?" she said. "I just dropped a bottle of shampoo," I said. "Oh, my god," she said, as if I'd cracked the bathtub in two.

On the first day that I arrived in Toronto, I reached her house late at night, exhausted from running to catch planes (thanks to problems with a flight). The next day, she insisted that I go to the Service Canada center and get all my paperwork sorted out, so I did, but since it was a thirty-minute walk to the place, I was tired. I went to the room she'd given me and had a nap, for which she called me a "weakling". By the time I'd lived with her a week, I was quiet and cowed. Luckily I found an apartment through one of Melly's friends and ordered furniture for it. Melly wanted me to move in there even before the mattress and bed frame were delivered from the furniture store; where I was supposed to sleep is anyone's guess. I'd made an acquaintance in Toronto, so I asked him to help me move the mattress, so I'd have somewhere to sleep.

Melly was furious when she found out. "If you have so many friends here, why didn't you go and stay with them?" she said. "Why should I put up with this? This is my bloody house! You think just because you have an education, you can behave like this? What kind of a woman are you?" In other words, she threw me out of her house when I had been in Canada for exactly nine days. Also, it was eight p.m. at the time. Feeling shell-shocked, I packed the only bag I could carry and took the subway to the new apartment, then returned the next day with my friend to take the rest of my things. Melly didn't even allow me into what my friend and I called "the Bates Motel"; we stood on the porch while she handed me my stuff.

The happy ending is that my new landlady is a wonderful, kind and decent person who treats me like one of the family. Melly is ancient history, and I hope no other unsuspecting people fall into her clutches.



I'm really not sure who was in the wrong here, myself or my host.   I went to college with Alicia and we became good friends. After graduation, I moved to California and she remained in Connecticut, near the school we attended. We kept in touch on a regular basis, calling each other about once a week or so. She even visited me twice and we had a great time.   

About a year after her last visit, I had was given a career opportunity back in Connecticut. I called Alicia to tell her I'd be in the area in about two months and I'd love to stop by and see her. She immediately asked where I'd be staying and I answered that I wasn't really sure, probably in a hotel nearby. She asked why I didn't want to stay at her apartment and I replied that with business (it was a company affiliated with mine, so I'd be attending meetings, along with interviews for a good portion of the trip) I wouldn't be around very often and didn't want to be a bad houseguest. She insisted that I stay with her, that it didn't matter how much I was with her, she just didn't want me staying in a hotel when her home was right there and she had an extra room. I agreed.   

I arrived two months later, rented a car and drove the hour to Alicia's apartment. She seemed ecstatic to see me and we spent the afternoon making dinner, as she invited some old college friends over who were still living in the area, including Carly and Grace. We spent the night reminiscing and overall, had a wonderful time. I went to bed rather early, around 11 PM, because I had a meeting at 8 am the next morning. Carly, Grace and the others were there, talking. I said goodnight and that I hoped I'd be able to see them before I left in two weeks.   For the next week or so, I had business plans nearly every day, usually for a good portion of the day. I made every effort I could to see Alicia. We cooked dinner together often, and I chipped in for groceries. We went out over the weekend to dinner and a bar and had a great time.   The Monday of the second week, however, Alicia became rather cold and ignored my efforts to see her later in the evenings. 

One night, we had made plans to see a movie, and instead she went out with Grace and Carly. Whatever, she obviously has the right to. But no call, no note, no apology for simply ditching me. I figured, it was one night, she forgot.   Everything hit the fan, though, that Saturday. I was to leave Sunday and I was in her guest room, packing. She comes stomping into the room, demanding to know why I would ASK to stay at her house if I was just going to ignore her the whole time. I was baffled and I told her so much. She said that she would have never let me stay if she knew I was just using her for "free room and board". Now I admit, although I made as much time for her as I could, the large majority of my trip was made up of business. But I was confused as to why she was yelling. Didn't I tell her this in the beginning? She continued screaming, saying my business meetings were FAKE (of all things) and that I was really going out with old friends all of the time and I was just using her. I really didn't understand. Then she started yelling that Carly and Grace thought I was a total bitch for not going out of my way to see them. I tried! The only non-business outing I made without Alicia was when I went to visit my aunt, who lived about an hour away. And she knew this. 

She demanded money from me ($500) for letting me stay there. I wrote her a $100 dollar check and said that I believed that covered what I hadn't already covered. (Remember, I was helping pay for groceries and I normally treated when we went out, out of gratitude for letting me stay. Not only that, but I was INVITED.)   She and I no longer speak. I also decided to keep my job back in Cali.   But I wasn't sure who was in the wrong here. I admit I wasn't the best of houseguests, coming and going as I needed to, but I truly tried. I could understand her anger if I hadn't told her this is what I would be doing, but she knew, and she agreed. In fact, demanded I stay with her. I feel slightly guilty, but I think I'm right here.


My grandmother and mother have always given etiquette a great deal of importance.  Proper table manners, proper introductions... these were hammered into my brain from a very young age.    

Kimberley C. (a co-worker of mine) visited my home one Saturday afternoon.  I was in the kitchen cooking, and my mother, who was also visiting, was seated at the kitchen counter, thumbing through a catalog.    Thinking it would be funny, Kimberley strained herself and deliberately passed gas (loudly) right in front of my mother, who was horrified.  I was ashamed to have invited this person into my home, and I could tell by the look on my mother's face that she was offended.  Kimberley, however, stood there giggling.  My mother made some inane excuse, picked up her pocketbook, and promptly left my home.  I was humiliated and speechless.   

Another story involving Kimberley is even worse (I don't know why I continue to associate with this woman). involves being humiliated by her in public.  I have a BFA Theater, and was directing a play at a local playhouse.  I arranged to get Kimberley a complimentary ticket to attend the show, hoping that a little culture would "rub off" on her.   At intermission, I invited Kimberley backstage to meet the cast and crew in the green room.  I got her a cup of coffee and excused myself to use the ladies room.  When the stage manager came backstage looking for me, Kimberley loudly announced (in front of my entire cast and crew) that, "She's in the bathroom taking a s***".  I have not invited her to another show, and have gradually been distancing myself from her ever since.   I should also mention that Kimberley is 35 years old, married, and the mother of a four year old boy who is rapidly developing the same, appalling behaviors as his dear mother.  Lovely behavior in a woman her age, don't you think?


This is a segment from the sordid stories of Crazy Casey.  Let me start off by explaining that she was the college suitemate of a good friend of mine who is a part of a small group of friends who all hang out together.  Being our friends roommate she would often get involved with our group as well.  Periodically we would all travel out of town on “mini-trips” to new locations.  Usually we would stay at a cheap hotel and split the bill.  

On this particular trip we were heading close to Casey’s parents home so Casey piped up that we could save some money and stay at her parents.  Being college students with limited money we agreed that this would be a great idea so long as her parents were okay with us being there.  She said her parents were okay with us and so we set off.

Had her dorm room been any indication we should have known better and booked a hotel room.  First of all Casey’s house was pure squalor.  The kitchen had dirty dishes everywhere and between 8-10 full bags of garbage sitting on the floor.  No one seemed to care that they were there; no one seemed to want to take them to the curb.  The place smelled like they had been sitting there for months.  The whole house was covered in dirt and grime.  Not just the dust that settles in most peoples home, but a greasy dirt that gets into your skin if you touch anything.  Every room was packed to the gills with junk and debris.  I would guess her parents were hoarders (who, by the way, grunted a hello and then disappeared for the rest of the time). 

To top it all off we were to stay in Casey’s room which was equally a mess, had dead spiders and insects in old webs among the litter, and had a large dirty cage with two big iguanas living in it.  Mind you, I have nothing against reptiles.  In fact I quite like them, but these poor creatures were living in a very disgusting environment within a cage that must not have been cleaned in ages!  We had to smell them all night long and hear them rustling about right next to the bed.  None of us slept very well.         

We couldn’t get out of the house soon enough the next day!  Crazy Casey was pleased as punch to have “shown off” her parent’s house and all we could do was thank her for the hospitality and quietly say to ourselves “never again”!  


She asked if they could bring their daughter for a birthday party…the child was turning 1.  She wanted her daughter to have a birthday party with my young daughters.  They would be spending the night.

I bought the cake and all the trimmings….and gifts.

They arrived with tubs of photos.  They insisted my husband and I view them.  Many were photos of nude mom in a bathtub.

So we had the party…she didn’t want my children in any of the photos she was taking………in fact she didn’t want my children to be close to her daughter.  After “the party” she showed us a picture of her daughter with a larger gift…….given weeks before.  This wasn’t the child’s birthday……It wasn’t even the 2nd party!!!!

To top things off…when mom heard from her husband that we had a whirlpool bath she said to me, “I know where I am taking a bath tonight…and you can take my picture.”  I went to bed.


My sister M and I are friends with a girl, K, whose 29th birthday was on Boxing Day. She invited us over on the day for drinks in the wading pool, and we both accepted.

On Boxing Day morning, prior to leaving for K's house, I phoned and asked if we should have lunch before we came. K assured us that there was plenty of food left over from Christmas Day, and she would be glad to have us help her finish it all off.

When we arrived, she had laid out several different dishes and encouraged us to "dig in". My sister has a healthy appetite, and we were both starving as we'd missed breakfast. As such, we had a good-sized plate each. While we were eating, K's mother (who does not live with her) arrived, and began to mock my sister about the amount of food she was eating. My sister felt very uncomfortable, and did not finish her plate (which was really not a huge plate at all).

We enjoyed the afternoon despite this. Several days later, K called me up and laughingly told me that her mother had gone on and on about how she'd never seen a girl eat so much as my sister did, and that she was surprised M wasn't the size of a house. K had called my sister before she called me to let her know what her mother had said as well.

I find this to be unbelievably rude. We had offered to eat before coming, and were assured that there was plenty of food. This food was laid out for us, and we were encouraged to eat as much as we could. For her mother to then mock us for eating too much (and honestly, I reiterate that my sister did NOT eat a huge amount) in front of us and then talk to her daughter about it afterwards is very impolite, especially as it wasn't her house or food, and really none of her business in general. For K to call us up afterwards to repeat her mother's words is even more rude.

We are still good friends with K, but we don't visit her house if her mother will be there. We don't feel welcome.



It had started rather nice: I'd met Jill and Jane on a blog site because of having some interests in common. We'd chatted a few times and it had always been nice and funny. Both were – so it seemed to me at this time – cultivated, well-mannered, nice and interesting people and so one day as Jill told me, she'd spend her next summer in Europe, I invited her to be me guest for a week or two. The next day I learned Jane was to spend her summer in Europe too and even in my country, so I invited her too. The three of us looked very much forward to our time together and so, one nice Saturday, after a lot of shopping, cleaning up my flat (well, okay, I have to admit: I'm not a super housekeeper, but both girls knew that beforehand) and my car, I drove two hours to the town where I was supposed to pick Jill and Jane up at the main station.

Jane was already there as I came and though we'd never seen each other before, we found each other and started to talk. Only after 10 minutes I knew already that I was in a spot of trouble – she didn't look back in my eyes, didn't return my smiles and didn't seem very interested in what I said. On the other hand I wasn't much interested in what she told because she mostly talked about the friends – people I didn't know – she'd just left and how often and how much beer she'd drunken with them.

Now, I'm someone who rarely ever drinks alcohol beverages and never beer. However, I'd known already that she likes the stuff, therefore I'd bought a few cans for her which were in my car.

Approximately half one hour after Jane, Jill arrived and though we hadn't known each other beforehand either, we got along like a house on fire. The three of us went to my car and started the tour to my home town – with Jane grabbing the first can of beer and drinking it. Inspired by the beer, she turned around to Jill who was sitting behind me, showing me her back and talking to Jill in a rather broad, American accent. Now, English isn't my native language. I learned it while living in England and therefore I'm not too good with American accents. So I told Jane – very politely – that I wouldn't understand her as long as she speaks so quickly. Jill didn't mind much. She loudly and quickly chattered away while drinking her second beer and ignoring Jill's attempt to include me into the conversation.  

I felt rather irritated, but didn't show it. Instead I asked – around half one hour later – for a second time if she couldn't speak a bit slower. This time I got an answer: "I'm not talking to you, I'm talking with Jill."

After two hours we arrived at my home town. Jill, obviously feeling embarrassed by the behavior of her fellow compatriot, suggested having dinner at a restaurant and said: "Jane, what do you think? Shouldn't we invite our host for her driving?" Jane only grumbled something because she was busy with searching for the third can of beer – and I needed to tell her, that bringing a can of beer into a restaurant really is not done in my country (actually I don't think it's done in USA either). Besides she could order beer there. So she did and besides she had a plate of food. Only she didn't like the food much. While Jill and I enjoyed ours, Jane was telling us (or better said: Jill. She obviously thought it too tiresome to speak clear and slower to me) that the Chinese restaurant she'd eaten in the day before with her friends was so much better. Afterwards she didn't mind Jill and me paying the bill (Jill is a student too and living on a rather modest budget and I'm a free lancing writer what means I'm not rolling in the stuff either).

After the dinner we went home – and there Jane got rather irritated because we ran out of beer. I hadn't counted on her drinking four cans at one evening. So I went down to my parents' flat (they live in the same house as I) and lent two bottles from my father. While drinking them, Jane asked if she could use my computer for checking her mail. Obviously she got something interesting because the next two hours she sat in front of my computer, reading mails and surfing the net while Jill and I sat on the sofa chatting. Actually I'd have liked to check my mail too – but I didn't get a chance because Jane was occupying my computer.

The next morning it became even better. First we went to a shopping mall. While Jill and I looked for what we'd like to eat the next days, Jane was only interested in beer and put around 20 bottles of different brands in our shopping car, telling cheerfully that she'd like to try the local brands for deciding which she'd like to drink for the rest of her time at my place. Of course, she let it to me to pay for her beer and well – first I didn't mind too much. I was the host, so I actually was prepared to pay for her drinks.

The next place we went to were the stables where my horse lives. Both of the girls knew before their visit that I'm the proud owner of a wonderful horse and that said horse needs to be trained and looked after every morning. And both had told me they'd love horses and look forward to meet my boy.

Jill, sweet girl that she is, was delighted by my black boy. Jane – well, let's give her credit: I think she was a bit afraid of him (he's really big and strong). So she kept distance to him – and I understood and even tried to introduce her to our stable maid who's an American too and besides someone who's interested in music too (Jane is a student of music science, Jill is an opera singer, I was once a professional bassoonist and our stable maid hasn't only studied music herself, but is married to a conductor at the opera in my town). Jane wasn't much interested. Instead she wanted to have a beer – at 11:00 h in the morning! And of course she couldn't have one from the car because they were too warm. So I gave her a few coins for getting one from the cooled automat in our stables. At least the beer kept her occupied for the next 15 minutes, then she started to show that she was bored and asked how long we'd need with the horse (I'd told her before that I need at least around one hour with him every day!) and what we'd do in the afternoon. She wanted to do some sight seeing which was fine with Jill and me – I'd planned already a trip to the beautiful monastery where I went to school once.

We went there and got our next lesson in rudeness by Jane. Although she knew that I really love the place she ran around, looking very critical and always telling Jane and me that the churches and monasteries she'd seen before she came to my place had been more interesting and more beautiful (well, the one I was showing them is part of the UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage Program, but this obviously wasn't good enough for Jane).

At home again I was cooking – with Jill's help while Jane was once more occupying my computer. At dinner then … okay, okay, I know: table manners are different in our countries. Yet I didn't have a problem with Jill's while Jane … I really couldn't look at her. She hung over her plate and shoved the food in her mouth as if she were afraid of not getting enough (it was plenty!), all the time speaking with her mouth full and telling us what great places and churches and monasteries she'd seen before she came to my place and she blabbered about their history and such stuff. Only in a few cases she was wrong and once I tried – politely – to correct her. She ignored me once more and I thought: "Okay – how could I believe I'd know something about the history of my country and about a church I've known since I was a small child? Jane knows better!"

After dinner it became even better: Jane was once more occupying my computer and I had to tell her three times that I would need to look at my mail too (I'm self-employed and it was a business day I'd taken off for my guests!). Then she stood behind me while I did so, waiting impatiently until she could go back to her stuff.

While I was at my computer Jill had looked at my CD collection and found something she wanted to listen to. I sat with her on the sofa, the CD was running, Jane was at the computer (drinking beer of course). Jill and I liked what we heard, but Jane didn't. She told us clearly that the singer we were listening to couldn't sing her way out of a wet paper bag, that the conductor was doing it all wrong and the entire production would have been "sh**". I didn't say much to that – I was too busy with rolling my eyes, yet Jill was stupid enough to defend the singer – only for getting told that she wouldn't have a glue (remember the above? Jill's an opera singer herself!).

The next day, the same game: Jane became impatient in the stables and complained about the manners of my horse (he didn't do anything to her, but he'd become a bit nervous because she was so impatient around him) and that she wouldn't want to hang around "all day" in the stables, but rather do some sight seeing again. Besides she needed another beer or better two of them while waiting for Jill and me becoming ready with the horse. And on our way to our next destination – a wonderful old city with three great old churches (one of them part of the UNESCO WCH program too) – we needed to stop at a service station for getting dear Jane more beer (don't ask who was paying. It wasn't Jane). The churches then – well, we already didn't wonder anymore as we learned from Jane that they weren't as great as the churches she'd seen before. We even didn't wonder about the ice cream parlor I invited her in not being so great like the one she'd been with her other.

In the evening of this day my patience was running so thin I really would have liked to struggle her – and I'm sure Jill would have kept my coat in the meantime. Yet we got lucky: Jane told us she'd decided to go back to her other friends earlier and if I couldn't help her to get a trip back? Happily I ran to my computer, found a ride for her and no, I really didn't mind that I had to do some international phone calls for fixing it. I was already so fed up with her I would have paid a train ticket for getting rid off her.

The next morning then Jill and I drove Jane to the place where she had to meet the guy who gave her the ride. Jane jumped out of my car and into the one of the guy, called "bye" and off she went – without even saying "thanks". Actually Jill and I didn't mind much – we were so glad to be without her, we felt like celebrating.

Even now, one year afterwards, I didn't get a "thank you" from Jane. In the first months after her visit she didn't talk to me on our blog site, now she's started again without ever mentioning her visit. Probably she thinks I'm a bad host because I didn't have enough beer in the house or because I didn't spend all the time she was around with sight seeing.


 I just got an invitation to home decor party.  At the bottom of the invitation read the following:  "Snacks welcome."   Gosh, you mean I get to travel to the host's home, buy some cheap looking crap, pay the exorbitant  shipping/handling fee, 8 percent tax on said crap, and I GET TO BRING MY OWN REFRESHMENTS? 

Sign me up to host one of these babies.  With all of the money I could save by asking my guests to supply their own Little Smokies and Cheez Whiz, I could buy all sorts of wicker butterflies and plastic picture frames. 


I invited about 30 of my closest co-workers to a restaurant to celebrate my birthday. Since I invited, I paid the bill.  Someone - I'm not sure who - decided to invite 2 friends of their own. I didn't want to make a scene, since I knew these 2 people as well (but not well enough to pay for their breakfast). I will never invite coworkers to breakfast again!!!


Page Last Updated September 18, 2008