Correct Behavior for Guests, 13 Don'ts | 100 Years Ago

in #history7 years ago (edited)


100 Years ago Dorothy Dix was the world's highest paid writer. On July 11, 1917 she gave advice on correct behavior for guests, published in the "Honolulu Star-Bulletin", a newspaper from Hawaii.

For summer guests she had figured out 13 important "Don'ts" and explained all of them. These are some helpful tips that can still be helpful today. Here's the full article:

First Don't

Never go anywhere without your having a specific, definite invitation for a certain time, and never invite yourself. If you have met a woman during the winter who casually remarked that she wanted you to come over to her summer place sometime, don't write and remind her of it, and ask if it will be convenient for you to come next week. Such invitations are merely the small change of conversation that no one expects to have to pay over the counter. If anyone wants you to come to visit her she will have no hesitation in letting you know the fact, and to offer yourself as an unsolicited guest is nothing short of highway robbery.

Second Don't

Never surprise anybody by going unexpectedly to see them unless you sre desirous of aquiring enemies. A surprise visit Is a boomerang that invariably destroys the Individual who hurls it at her defenseless friends. There are circumstances continually arising In every household that make It afflicting to have the most agreeable person on earth, or the best beloved drop to suddenly and unexpectedly.

Third Don't

Bear in mind that invitations are not transferable, not subject to inflation, When a hostess invites yon she doesn't mean your sister or your grandmother, and the invitation is not a family ticket, though there are people who seem to think so.

Fourth Don't

Remember that every invitation has a strict time limit, and you extend It at your peril. Of course when the time comes for you to leave, your hostess will express a polite regret that you cannot stay longer. Never do It, There Is nothing so easy than to wear out a welcome, and it Is better to have people weep because you are leaving than to have them moan because they cant get rid of you. A postscript to a visit Is like a second plate of Ice cream - It cloys the palate and never has the flavor that the first helping did. '

Fifth Don't.

Dont upset the household you visit by Indulging In personal Idiosyncrasies. If you are not willing to confirm to the ways and habits of the family, go to a hotel where you can pay for the trouble you make.

Sixth Don't

Don't be one of the dilatory guests who are never on time for a single meal. In novels breakfast is always a movable feast, and dinner appears as if by magic, always perfectly cooked at any old hour, but in real life it takes time and trouble and forethought to get meals together, and if you can't come down to breakfast until a couple of hours after the ordinary time, and if you keep dinner waiting until the soup is burned and the roast is dried out, and the hostels husband is saying things, you may be very certain that it's a sure sign you will never visit at that house again.

Seventh Don't

Don't be a wet blanket. As a general thing you know before hand pretty well what you are letting yourself In for when you go to a place, and so, If your hostess is a golf fiend, don't go unless you mean to play golf; if she's keen on cards, keep away unless you play a good game of bridge; if she's adicted to picnics, stay at home, unless you have a fondness for eating mushy pies and have bugs crawl over you out in the woods; If she Is automobile mad say, "no" if motoring gives you the neuralgia. When you accept an invitation, you are in honor bound to do whatever you are asked to do, and do It joyously and look pleasant. No one has a right to pose as the skeleton at the feast.

Eighth Don't

And for pity's sake. don't draw invidious comparisons. It you are Invited to sail on a cat boat dont discourse upon what a perfectly grand yacht the Croesus' have. If a hay ride Is - arranged, dont beguile the moments by recalling a drive you once took on the box seat of a four In hand. If a beer and sandwich supper Is offered yon, don't speak of your preference for terrapin and champagne. Make the people who are trying to entertain and amuse yon feel that you are having the time of your life. That's how yon pay your way.

Ninth Don't

Be sure not to give your hostess too much of your society. The conversation of any human being alive is best when put In small packages. Go to your room and take a nap. Read. Take solitary rambles. Do anything that takes you out of sight of those whom you are visiting.

Tenth Dont

Dont sponge. Provide yourself with the things you are liable to need before you leave home. There are no other guests in the world so afflicting as the borrowers. Take along your own stationery and stamps, your own toilet articles and sewing things. There Isnt a hostess who hasn't been driven wild by the insatiable demands of girl guests who had forgotten to bring along needles and thread, and scissors and writing paper, and stamps, and curling irons, and who could have kept a relay of servants on the run supplying them with the things they had to borrow. Nobody loves a dead beat.

Eleventh Don't

Dont flirt with your hostess' husband, nor with her sons, nor her brothers. It's a peculiarity of woman that even the most heroic of them can't endure to see the men they love making love to an other woman. Wait until you get a man out of his home and from under the eyes of His female relatives before you get sentimental with him.

Twelfth Don't

Don't make any unnecessary trouble for the servants, and don't withhold the tip from the maid to whose burdens you are adding. Keep your own room tidy. Hang up your clothes. Straighten up your dresser, and be not sparing of small change to faithful Mary who hooks you up, and obliging Eliza who presses out your chiffons. Chief among those who are never asked a second time are those nickel nursing guests who keep the maids on a trot doing chores for them and who think they have sufficiently rewarded such service by handing out a few words of thanks and a dinky pocket handkerchief upon their departure. The servants determine the invitation list oftener than you think, so if you want to be a popular 'guest who is much sought after, be not one of those whose coming makes Hilda and Dinah threaten to give notice.

Thirteenth Don't

Don't visit if you are on a diet. If you cannot eat any thing from caviar to fried turnpike rocks, stay at home. No hospitality, no affection, no personal charm can stand the strain of having to cook up separate messes for a food faddist A guilty conscience and an upset stomach are two things that decency requires we should deal with only in strict privacy, and so unless you can follow the biblical Injunction and eat what is set before you and ask no questions, either remain in your own house or else go to a hotel where you can pay for the trouble you give.

Fourteenth Don't

And this Is the most important, of all. After you have visited in a house, never forget that mum's the word. Never repeat what yon have heard. Never reveal what you saw when the family skeleton cupboard door was left ajar. You have eaten your host's bread and salt and that makes them sacred to you. Even the savages do that and it's a savage virtue we civilized people might imitate oftener. Follow these rules, and it's "good by - come again!"


Preview Image: Pixabay | Article source: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014682/1917-07-11/ed-2/seq-12/ | In the USA, anything published in and before 1922 is not protected under copyright. No permission is needed to use it.

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