Friday, July 3, 2009

Social Graces - Friend or Foe?

Today I was having a lengthy (in a good way) conversation with a friend. We speak several times a week and never seem to run out of things to say. Today the topic of guests in the home and hospitality came up. Her stepdaughter and the grandchildren were on their way here from out of state and they were driving through the night and her stepdaughter does not do well with coming in to their home after a long drive and have people she does not know there.

While we were talking, another friend called (beeped in) and informed my friend that she was stopping by. At that time, she very nicely but sternly informed her that it was not a good time and told her about the stepdaughter's imminent arrival. Well, the friend did not seem to listen and was coming over anyway - but she said that she was coming over "right now" and would be out of her hair quickly.

I'm sorry, but what part of "now is not a good time" is hard to understand? This person had something that she wanted to drop off at my friends house BUT they were going to see each other later on in the day and it just would have been the polite thing to do to WAIT. Now,we talked for another twenty minutes after their (beeped in) phone conversation and they only live five minutes away and they never appeared. So what defines coming over "right now"?

Is my friend inhospitable? No. Far from it. I am an extremely hospitable person. I LOVE having people over. When it is convenient!! I've had people show up at my door and while I always let them in, I find it rude that they don't bother to call first. What's worse is that they stay for extended periods of time without bothering to ask if I am busy or if they were interrupting something! Yes, I am partially to blame because I should speak up more but again, I am hospitable and it is just natural for me to invite people in.

How long do you stay? Were you invited? Can you clearly see that someone is busy ? I mean, we all have to be aware of what's going on around us. Every home is different. My sister's home should have a revolving door on it - people come and go all the time. I, personally, am not comfortable with that. So when I stay with her, I have to deal with that because it is her home. If I made a stink about it, would she change it? Probably not and I think it would be kind of nervy of me to expect that. But some people are more considerate of their guests feelings (like my friend was of her stepdaughter's) and her decision should have been respected. We were conversing with the understanding that we needed to be done by a certain time.

I don't know. Some people are just clueless. I love having people over but not for the ENTIRE day when I wasn't expecting it and not ...again, I don't know... I would NEVER just show up at someone's home just because their car was in the driveway. You have no idea what is going on inside or what kind of day they've had! In a cell phone society, CALL FIRST! And for the love of it, show some consideration of someone does say that now is NOT a good time.

This all reminds me of a line from the TV show "The Odd Couple" where Felix says "Never overstay your welcome or you will never be welcome to stay".

Wise words, Felix. Wise words...


A Lil Enchanted said...

I agree Stace... I always try to call before I go to someones house... first off to make sure they are home and up for a visit... second off I don't want to waste my gas if they are not.

But my house is somewhat of a revolving door... my daughter's friends are in and out constantly... which I can deal with pretty well... except when they show up knocking on my door at 2:00a.m. ... I find this very rude! What kind of parents raised these kids???

I don't get many visitors myself... so most of the time I'm happy to have a friend drop by. It just seems that everything happens all at once though... someone stops by... her friends barge in... the phone rings non-stop... the dog poops in the floor... Steffie wants to eat... you get the picture...

Have a great weekend!

~A Lil Enchanted~

Petula said...

There are a couple of friends that I have that open door policy for and vice versa. You know for people who don't need to be entertained or whatever. But, for the most part, it's a call to make sure situation. And if someone has indicated to me that now isn't a good time or I indicate that then I respect their wishes and they mine. I don't like pushy people who only concern themselves with what they have going on. Tsk, tsk!

PJ said...

i used to have an invisible sign in my yard that said homeless wanted. i swear! i could never turn anyone away. but if i was busy doing something, i wouldn't stop to chat. if they wanted to hang out still, i didn't mind.

Nani said...

i hate when people stop by w/out calling! I MEAN HATE IT! A neighbor did this 3x 2 weeks ago - all during the late afternoon when I was going to be starting dinner-

Dont get me wrong I love company - but thats when I am prepared for the visit-

Den Relojo said...

I think social graces are unnecessary. We are just doing those acts for the sake of conformity. People feel comfortable in a situation wherein they are doing what everyone else is doing.