Where have manners gone? 

Published 8:52 am Monday, November 27, 2023

Dear Aunty Pam,

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I’m so angry I just have to vent! My husband and I just hosted our first Thanksgiving in our new house for both sides of our family. We had a total of 12 people around the dining table and six kids around a second table. As you can imagine, buying that much food cost a fortune and I was in that kitchen, cooking with my husband, for two days before Thursday. 

After dinner, everybody went to watch football or stare at their phones. When everybody finally left, only one person helped clear the tables and offered to help with the dishes, and only three or four people thanked us. Today is Friday and so far I have received one text thanking us.

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Where have manners gone? Whenever I have been a guest for a dinner party, I always bring a hostess gift, either a good bottle of wine or nice chocolates. When I’ve been a guest for a holiday dinner, I send a bouquet of flowers the next day out of appreciation.

I am so angry I told my husband I have no intention of ever hosting another meal. He is kind of annoyed too, but it doesn’t seem to bother him as much as me.

Am I overreacting?

Rick’s Wife

 

Dear RW,

Vent away! Aunty Pam is stepping out of the room for a moment to pour a little after dinner Baileys and coffee, so won’t hear you anyway.

Alright, I’m back dear, and I do hear you. Now, spiritually, there is the thought to consider that when we give, whether it be a gift, a meal or even our time, we do it from a place that doesn’t expect a pat on the back.

That being said, it is poor manners indeed that only one person out of 18 pulled their bloated butt out of the BarcaLounger and offered to help clear what must have been a sky-high pile of dishes. That’s pretty inexcusable. And of course each and every person should have offered profuse gratitude for the meal—as well as prodding the 6 children to do likewise.

Now, there is the possibility that, just being Friday, you might still receive a nice thank-you note, or 18. And you might receive a few more texts or emails. If not, Aunty Pam would concur that it appears both you and your husband are related to louts. But here’s the good news: you never have to host a meal again. And if you are asked to, you can then decline graciously, citing you are adverse to rudeness around your table.

Remember—one can only be taken advantage of if one allows it. You now know better. And next year, I’d avoid the whole thing by booking a flight to Bermuda.

Cheers, dears!

Aunty Pam