20-40-60 Etiquette: Hostess had too much on her plate

20-40-60 Etiquette: How do you handle a guest who seems to be thankless to her host.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman and Callie Gordon Published: May 19, 2014
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QUESTION: My husband and I recently hosted a couple’s shower for one of his work colleagues. We held a brunch in our home for more than a dozen people. Of course, my husband knew everyone. I did, too, except one couple. I had spoken to the wife at great length on the phone about the upcoming wedding.

When they arrived, I was engaged in some cooking duties and not formally introduced. I am typically very outgoing and make every effort to make guests feel welcome. Time escaped and tasks called. I scrambled to serve drinks, a meal and cake. I also had kids tugging at me. The brunch ended without a hello from them or even a thank you. In fact, they never even acknowledged me.

I felt awkward at this social slight.

Should I have been assertive to seek them out or chalk it up to poor manners?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: How thoughtful of you both to host that in your home! I know that is a lot of work! It was rude of them to not say anything to you, but you could have also sought them out. I know you had a ton on your plate, but don’t let it get to you. Now you know!

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: I don’t think you have to chalk it up to anything other than you missed an introduction. They should have made a point to introduce themselves to you, especially to thank you as the host, and you could have taken a moment to seek them out in the midst of all you had going on since they were the only couple you didn’t know. For whatever reason — an accident or missed timing — you never met the couple.

The next time you see them, you could always introduce yourself and tackle the issue with a smile, telling them that you can’t believe you never got the chance to meet them at your house because things were so busy. Stress that you’re glad to meet them face to face finally, and then try not to waste any more mental energy on the slight, whether it was real or imagined.

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by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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by Callie Gordon
Freelance Writer
Callie Gordon, a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, is working at Chesapeake Energy in the Environment, Health, and Safety Department. She was previously an event coordinator for Chesapeake Energy.
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