The pithy, opinionated, and sometimes brutally frank Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke challenges average guys to live a life less ordinary and embrace classic style in the broadest sense. it's time to rise above the trite, the boring, the predictable, the mundane, the banal, and the commonplace. It's time to stop behaving like barnyard animals at the trough and leave behind the perpetually sloppy man-child aesthetic of the last two decades or so. It's time to learn once again how to present and conduct yourself like an adult with some grooming, finesse, and sophistication. And here is where you can learn how.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Avoid Being THAT House Guest!



While there are many possibilities for advice and related discussion when it comes to the subject of house guests, let's keep things short and to the point this morning.  Likewise, short and sweet is best when you have been invited to someone's house for drinks, dinner, dessert with coffee, and conversation throughout.  It's far better to leave your hosts wanting to see more, rather than less, of you.

So, be aware of the time, show some empathy, and know when to head for home.  Especially during the latter part of the evening.  It's far better to leave people wanting more of your scintillating company and witty ripostes than it is to put your hosts in the excruciating position of wondering when in the hell you might say goodnight.  

My experience as an adult, more often than not, has been that people -- even those we actually like -- tend to overstay their welcome when they have been asked to join us for dinner, an open house, a party, or some other kind of gathering.  Apparently, there are many people who just don't get out much, so they forget themselves and get all goosey loosey when in a group.  

Let's remember though that fewer things are more boring and just plain awkward, for most others, than listening to one more cute pet or (grand)child story, workplace gossip, or shoptalk on the current accepted interpretation of a particular late medieval French ballad as the evening wears on post-meal.  Except maybe talking about personal health issues on and on and on ad nauseam.  Please excuse me while I find a nearby chandelier from which to hang myself.

Here's a helpful hint to keep in mind.  If you arrived at 6pm, most other people have already said goodbye and gone home, and it's now pushing 11:30pm, you should have left an hour ago at the very least.  More to the point, if your hosts are stifling yawns and surreptitiously looking at their watches, the clock on the mantel, or they simply whip out their iPhones to check the time and incoming texts, it's time for you to go.  Three to four hours is ample time for everyone to enjoy the evening when you have been invited for a sit-down dinner without hurting anyone's feelings with a departure.  It's not sudden, but timely.

Whatever you do, don't be the kind of guest who arrives too early, dominates the conversation or the buffet table, follows a host into the kitchen to "help", or hangs around an hour (or longer) after most other guests have left.  By the same token, don't take an hour to say goodbye and leave once jackets, coats, and purses have been retrieved.  You know what I mean.  The Midwestern Goodbye.  Or as my 70-something mother might term it in less guarded moments, the dreaded Welsh Goodbye.  For the love of God, put on your coat, say thank you one last time, and walk out the front door, Lloyd!

A large part of being a good guest, the kind your hosts actually enjoy entertaining and want to invite back again, involves this type of social awareness.  Learn to read the room in other words, and don't overstay your welcome.

-- Heinz-Ulrich

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