Saturday, April 13, 2013

etiquette in childrearing

Family dinner tonight inspired Abe and I to submit a series of questions to the Miss Manners column regarding etiquette toward our "house guests".* A sampling:

Dear Miss Manners,

Recently, we had a dinner guest bypass the serving spoon and use his bare hands to help himself to the main dish on the table. We politely removed the serving dish from his vicinity, and he responded, "But I want to grab it!" We asked him to use the serving spoon instead of his hands and he simply repeated (though in an escalated tone), "Want to GRAB IT!"

What further course of action would you suggest?

Serving Up Trouble

Dear Miss Manners,

We had overnight guests last night. After retiring for the evening, the guests proceeded to call out from their quarters at regular intervals throughout the night, demanding our attention. We saw to it that their dietary and digestive needs had been thoroughly attended to, that their quarters were reasonably comfortable, and that they had appropriate attire for the night. We were puzzled as to the nature of their distress. Additionally, despite the apparent total lack of sleep during the night, our guests were eager to start the next day "with the sun" as it were.

Can you suggest techniques for assisting our guests to have a more comfortable night's rest - or perhaps an effective method of sound-proofing?

Sleepless in San Francisco

Dear Miss Manners,

We have an awkward dilemma. Two of our guests have chosen to consistently engage in forceful squabbles over the recreational items we have provided for their enjoyment while staying at our home. At what point is it appropriate to spank a guest?

At the End of My Rope

Dear Miss Manners,

Halfway through dinner last night, I looked over to see one of our dinner guests standing on his chair, completely nude, and draped in spaghetti noodles.

As hostess, what would be the appropriate response?

Lady Godiva

*We didn't actually submit any letters. Do etiquette columns still exist?


Megan said...

That is awesome. I am pretty sure that Miss Manners advice column still exist. I wonder what she would have to say about your little houseguests.

stacey said...

Jeff and I got a great laugh out of this. I should take up writing little things like this (likely they wouldn't be as great as yours!) so that I can see the funny side of things even when it doesn't seem so funny :) I hope you are doing well, despite your fun little houseguests

Sherry said...

Here's mine:

Dear Miss Manners,

One of our guests repeatedly hits and throws things at another one of our guests. He does this despite repeated requests not to do so. Oddly, the targeted guest does not seem to mind these attacks and is happy to get any attention at all from his attacker.

-Domestically Non-Violent

Anna said...

SO FUNNY! I was cracking up reading this.