Tag Archives: Manners

I’m Back: “Jaw With John” – NYC If Your Houseguest Friend Can Find Their Manners

I’ve had a dear friend for about 25 years — since we were toddlers.

We live in separate states with separate lives, and while we’re not incredibly close, we’ve managed to keep a friendship going.

I live in New York City and am lucky enough to have a spare bedroom in the apartment I share with my boyfriend.

My friend’s job allows him flight benefits, which he often uses to visit me for a few days once or twice a year. We usually have a great time hanging out and catching up.

Recently he invited himself and a new girlfriend to stay with us. I thought this was kind of rude but decided to overlook it. They stayed for four days, barely making time to see me at all, as he was showing her around the city.

We had one dinner together, which they did not offer to pay for, and drinks afterward, which they also did not offer to pay for.

They brought no host gift, didn’t clean up after themselves and left early in the morning to catch a flight home without saying goodbye. I waited a few weeks for a thank-you card or email, but never received one.

I never expected these things when he was casually visiting, but I feel like this situation is much different.

Lifelong friendship aside, the amount of money we saved them from having to spend on a hotel room in NYC for four days seems enough to warrant a small gift or round of drinks, or even a thank-you note. Do I have the right to be upset? And if so, how do I handle the situation going forward? — Offended Friend

Dear Offended:

Your friend needs to learn some manners.

It is common courtesy to ask if a second houseguest is permitted and on top of that at least offer to pay for dinner and/or drinks. Even if you were going to turn them down, simply making the gesture can be enough.

As for the “no host gift”, meh, I don’t see this as a real problem. I’ve stayed with dozens of friends in multiple cities, and even countries, and I never brought a host gift. What I did do was clean up after myself, make time to do things with my host/hostess, pay for things every once in a while, and leave a note or send a note thanking them afterwards.

You have every right to be upset. They used you as free housing in one of the premier travel destinations in the world. That just sucks. He can’t just drop in whenever he wants with whomever he wants.

Going forward, you need to tell him that his last visit left a bad taste in your mouth and see how you two can move on from there.

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“Jaw With John” – RSVPeeved

My daughter and her boyfriend got married this past weekend. The ceremony was beautiful and they worked very hard to make sure everything was just right. They also paid for the whole thing; though it was a low-key affair, there was still considerable expense.

What shocked me was the number of guests who RSVP’d that they would be attending, but then didn’t show up. This meant that a lot of money was spent on food, beverages and favors that went to waste.

I know sometimes people think, “Well, I’m just one person so it won’t make that much difference,” but if you multiply that by 10 or 20 people, it adds up! I find it incredibly rude and feel that they owe her and her husband an apology.

Outside of calling them out on Facebook or jokingly saying they’ll get a bill for their portion of the food, I know there’s nothing to be done. I just wonder if this is the “new way” and manners just don’t matter anymore. Your thoughts? — Furious

Dear Furious:

I’m sure your daughter knows who did and did not show up so they could be hearing from her if she’s so inclined to do so. But it’s not your arena. You shouldn’t do anything, no matter how rude it is – and it’s very rude. There isn’t a “new way” for manners. Rude is rude.

Sometimes there are genuine last-minute reasons why someone can’t make an event. If that’s the case with some of these then an explanation and apology is simple. But those that just blew off the wedding entirely are the ones you need to look out for and see if they are the type of people wanted at other milestone-type events.

Or, the other way you can look at it is “Hey, look! More food and booze for me!”

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