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20-40-60 Etiquette---Have I done enough?

by Helen Ford Wallace Published: April 2, 2013



By Callie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace

To ask an etiquette question, email

QUESTION: Not long ago, a friend from Atlanta called to say a couple with whom she was close were moving to Oklahoma City. She asked if I could I give them the royal welcome. No problem. We had them to dinner in our home a couple of months after they arrived. I called a few times to make sure they were settling in OK. I asked the wife to lunch as I know moving to a new city can be lonely.

Since that point, we have heard nothing from the couple. Should I follow up with another invitation or assume they are making friends in their own social circle?

CALLIE’S ANSWER: That is very nice of you! If you enjoy spending time with her and would like to be friends, of course extend an invitation. That being said, I feel like you have done your duty. She can contact you if she wants to.

LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: You’ve honored your friend and made an effort to make a new one.

It’s hard to move to a new city, and how nice that they had someone like you to welcome them. It’s too bad they didn’t reciprocate your invitation or show their appreciation.

However, this is one of those situations where you can follow up if you’d like to continue to get to know them or drop your effort altogether.

If you talk to your initial friend, you can ask out of concern or curiosity how they’re doing and if they’ve settled in OK. Then you might learn what happened to them.

HELEN’S ANSWER: Maybe the newcomer is still settling in or still unpacking boxes?

It was really kind of you to have them to your home and make them feel welcome. If you are having a large party, it would be nice to include them to meet some of your friends.

If your other friend from Atlanta comes to visit, then you can all get together. That seems to be all you can do for now. It is time for them to take the next step in your friendship.

GUEST’S ANSWER: Mary McReynolds, book author: This initial answer would be from one who tolerates no rudeness: You have gone above and beyond to welcome these ingrates. Let them find their own way as it’s clear they are NOT into you and your overtures. Wipe the dust off your welcome mat as a testimony against their shocking rudeness and lack of reciprocity. I absolve you.

This secondary answer id from one with a cool head following the initial response:

You have treated others as you would like to be treated. It is too bad this couple did not reciprocate. It is safe to assume they have moved on. Time for you to do the same.

Callie Gordon is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. 

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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