Mom, Manners, and The Meranova
- Arrive on time . . . meaning, either on-the-dot or a few minutes late. If you arrive early, you may create stress for your host or hostess. Empathy goes a long way here. Visualize your host making the finishing touches . . . lighting candles, placing bottles of chilled wine in ice buckets, and checking the food once more.
- When you think you’ve purchased the perfect host or hostess gift, think again. Thoughtfulness expressed in the gift communicates care. If you do not know your host or hostess well, kindly ask a friend of theirs to share some details about their personal tastes and/or what they may need. It’s not about the cost or the size of the gift. It’s about being thoughtful. As Frank said, “Think again.”
- Conversationally, be prepared to “hit the ball back over the net.” Yes, this is an exact quote from Frank, who is extremely frank. If you tend to be socially lazy, you may want to read anything by Daniel Goleman, the guru of Emotional Intelligence (a Dr. Jane tip). Engage with others. Be curious. Care. Listen. Bring your A-game to the party. And, as David added, “Bring some joy to the festive occasion. It is a party, after all.” My mom used to say, “If you’re bored, then you’re boring.” She was so very right. If you don’t possess the art of mining the gold out of others’ souls, it’s time to learn. If you are eager to learn about people, and learn from them, you will never be bored. My mom taught me this social lesson when she gave me pots and pie pans to play with on the floor in the kitchen. I was 5, I think. Narcissists, by the way, often think others are boring, and hate to listen. Be the party you wish to attend. Thanks, Gandhi.
- Know when to offer help. Some friends help decorate the week before a party. Some friends help you dust and vacuum. Others refill ice buckets, check your candles, and pour wine when needed. Pay attention. Your host will love you!
- Express gratitude, having noticed the details. Look your host or hostess in the eye, and say, “Thank you for ______,” and fill in the blank with some particular details of their efforts. Your host will invite you back! Both sides of hospitality, hosting and being the guest, require effort.