My Journey Home

My Life. Beautiful, Ugly, Unfiltered.

playing hide and seek with etiquette

I’m not quite sure that many of us know the rules of etiquette anymore, or if the rules have become so flexible that they just no longer exist- but it seems that everywhere I go I see the rules of what I was always taught as “common courtesy” being broken.

That being said, I have recently developed a few of my own rules to apply on certain occasions.

#1 When hosting a dinner or party, never ask guests to bring anything.  If I can’t afford to host the entire meal, then you won’t be invited.   The exception to this rule only applies when having  close friends over, and we have all previously decided to throw a meal together and my house is the chosen location.

#2 Never go to a dinner or party empty handed.  A small gift, or dessert is always a nice way to say thank you, even if the hostess has the meal covered as stated in rule #1.

#3 Facebook is not an appropriate way to invite people to formal events.   This applies to anything where people are expected to bring a gift.  The post office is still in business, and you can bet that if I am not worth the 42cent stamp and invitation…I will assume I am not invited.

#4 You should never expect a gift just because you invite someone to your event. You should never say “No Gifts” or “Cash Gifts only” on an invitation as it assumes people will be giving you a gift.

#5 If you receive an invitation in the mail with an RSVP- you are expected to respond either way, and it is polite to send a gift even if you cannot attend.

#6 If you are the host/hostess of an event where someone will be receiving gifts, it is impolite to ask guests to help contribute to the hosting of the event.  Guests should be guests. Period.

#7 Thank you cards are not a thing of the past. Buy them in bulk, learn to write them and do it often.

#8 It is rude to discuss private plans or inside jokes in front of a group of people who do not know what you are talking about, or who are not invited to the party.

What other rules of etiquette do you use?

Just remember, at every party we throw and in our every day life, there is a young lady somewhere looking up to you– what is she learning?


4 responses to “playing hide and seek with etiquette

  1. melissa April 12, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I try to always send thankyou notes after we’ve received gifts. After my girls’ birthday party I sent thankyou notes to all the kids who attended & had my oldest daughter sign her friends’ cards. We received no thankyou notes from any parties we’ve attended! My mother made me fill them out when I was little & now it seems like its the right thing to do but hardly anyone does it!

    • Tayla April 12, 2011 at 10:14 pm

      I think that is a great thing to pass on to your kids Melissa! I will admit that I have failed myself at this in the past when I knew better! I am putting my best foot forward from now on though- I have a huge box of thankyou’s and I intend to put them to good use!

  2. Cynthia April 14, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    I am known as the etiquette queen among my close friends… if they aren’t sure what ought to be done, they call and ask me as I was raised by an etiquette guru and her mother was the etiquette monster! There was a 20 question etiquette quiz in the Charlotte Observer several years ago in the Saturday “Living” section – really obscure rules referred to in the answers, like forks and napkins and salutations, etc. When I got to church the next morning at least 10 people approached me with, “I thought of you while reading the paper yesterday… how many did you miss?” The answer? ZERO!

    I agree with all of your rules, but I have a modification to Rule #1 – If it’s an outdoor cook-out and someone has the BEST baked bean recipe, etc, absolutely ask them to bring it. In these types of settings, people like to show off their specialty and it’s acceptable because it’s more casual.

    With regard to rules 3, 4, & 5 I have this to add – A wedding invitation implies a gift will be given. Because that is the expectation of both the inviter and the invitee, the happy couple should NEVER invite people to the ceremony and not also invite them to the reception. If you can only afford to feed 50 guests, then you should only invite 50 people to the wedding. Under no circumstances is it acceptable to invite someone to the ceremony, thereby essentially obligating them to send/bring a gift, and then not feed them! I am seeing this done more and more in the past few years and it’s really not good form at all… you may not know it, but you are breeding resentment among those left hungry. If you really want 200 people to witness your nuptials, then forego the sit down dinner for 50 and feed all 200 fruit and finger foods!

    I also have one to add that many younger people are not aware of: When referring to a widow, she is “Mrs. John Smith” or “Sue Smith” NOT “Mrs. Sue Smith.” The title “Mrs.” used with a woman’s own first name indicates a divorcee, not a widow. I used to be Cynthia Kendall OR Mrs. William Kendall. I am now Cynthia Kendall or Mrs. Cynthia Kendall… his new wife is Mrs. William Kendall. On the other hand my mother, who is widowed, is Mrs. James H. Phillips. I can’t tell you how offended she was when she received condolences addressed to “Mrs. Marsha Phillips” following his death. Lastly, if you are still married and your husband is living, if you’re going to use the “Mrs.” use his name, otherwise leave the title off… or I will ask you when you got divorced!

    Too much opinion for one comment… maybe I should start a blog! =D

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