Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Guest Ettiquette

My brother, my SIL and her mother, 2yo B and bonny new baby S came for the weekend! Someone needs to tell baby S that he is not even 2 weeks old yet and so should not be so alert and wakeful. Although I suppose if you allow for delays in prem babies, you should allow for advances in overdue bubs too, which actually makes him almost 1 month old. But still... the boy hardly slept and his eyes were always open, arms and legs constantly moving! Absolutely gorgeous though. I was given loads of time with him, pity time I know, but still I sucked it up. I took some lovely pic's of him with his dad which I'll post when I can be bothered to find the camera.

Both of my SILs are the same, they come for the weekend and never bring any food for their children, then raid my cupboards to feed them. I know that as guests they expect to be fed and that includes their children, which I do, fine, no problem, what I find odd is that they just help themselves. There is no way I would just reach into their fridge and take food without asking first, I don't even do that at my mother' s house. I even take my own food when I go to babysit.

The stepkids stayed Friday night (a whole other story!) and Rose brought a friend. I walked into the kitchen at one point to find Rose's friend eating the olives and fancy dip that I had bought especially for my visitors.

Kids are different of course, but what is the ettiquette with guests? I guess they think that I have bought the food to feed them, so there's no need to ask if they can eat it. But my SILs will even help themselves to leftovers and will happily eat that last chocolate biscuit you've been saving without saying a word, things that clearly have not be purchased for them. I am pleased that they they obviously feel at home in my house, and they all say they love coming here because they do get looked after so well. But I am stuck at the thought that I would not behave the same way at their houses. Are they the normal ones here, is it just me being overly sensitive? Be honest. Tell me. Am I a food prude?

Edited to add: I guess my concern is linked to what they are likely to find whilst ferreting about in my fridge - my very large stash of drugs with giveaway words in large lettering, like preg.nyl and follitrop.in beta. They are very nice women but the last thing I need is people ringing me up and asking if I'm pregnant yet, thank you very much.


Wordgirl said...

Food prude! I love the term!!

You know I'm such a mouse when it comes to being in people's homes -- I always admired people who felt so at ease in a person's home that they could rattle around in their cupboards and what have you -- me? I would always ask and try to bring something, a gift if I'm staying at someone's house -- and while I don't bring food I usually go to the grocery and buy my own -- and spring for dinners out -- that sort of thing.

I always ask -- even at my mom's -- and she's always saying 'my god, Pamela of course -- I'm your MOTHER' -- but hey, it's who I am -- on the flip side though I'm fine withe people raiding my house -- unless I'm having a dinner party and its special ingredients or something -- or god forbid the last piece of dark chocolate and you eat it in front of me -- then there's TROUBLE.



Joy said...

I guess I'd rather people help themselves than wait for me to serve them. That's annoying too.

Joonie said...

I'm more like you. I don't feel comfortable going into other people's fridge or cupboards. I myself don't have many house guests that do that either. So I'm not sure how I'd feel if someone did that to me.

I remember how annoyed I would get with my college roommates if they ate my food, but that was a completely different scenario.

melbagirl said...


Well, I actually love it when people help themselves to stuff in my kitchen.

I feel a little inadequate in that room anyway and if they're helping themselves it seems to relieve me of any stress associated with having to provide something to the right standard, at the right speed, with the right presentation, in the right amount ... oh, I love it when they help themselves.

In fact, I'm the sort of person who prefers to make my own lunch, cup of tea, etc. when I'm visiting.

Eeek. What does that make me to you? He he.

I'd relax. Perhaps they think they are doing you a favour or perhaps they just think it's easier for them?