Friday, December 17, 2010

Be Our Guest, Be Our Host, Be a Grace

The following question came in yesterday from a regular reader; my guess is that she may have been in a host/guest situation in which one party did not keep his/her Grace on at all times. But of course my reader, who is a Grace, is far too Gracious to point that out. I infer this, of course, because she asked the question; if both guest and host behaved correctly, the inquiry would not be necessary. What do you think, Graces?

Dear Grace,
Do you agree with this statement: "When you go to someone's house, you accommodate them, not the other way around."?

Grace Says:

Yes and no. Graces are always considerate of other people, so whether we are hosting or guesting we are mindful of others' comfort and ease....kind of like the hospitality extended and received in "Beauty and the Beast." Wouldn't you love to have dancing, singing, serving, (mostly serving) furniture and housewares?

But to answer your question...
I have always been a proponent of "When in Rome....", meaning that when you visit someone, you try to adapt to his habits, even if they are not your cup of Darjeeling. Whether it means drinking a cloyingly sweet port with the appetizers, attending a lecture on the many species of algae inhabiting local ponds, or eating cold pizza for breakfast, good guests go with the flow....within reason.

The flipside of this, of course, is that as a Gracious host, you attempt to, well, be a Gracious host. If your guest is allergic to cats, you clean the guest room before his arrival and keep Fluffy out of there for the duration of the visit. If your guest is a strict vegetarian, don't serve steak with a side of sausage and salad topped with bacon bits for dinner. If she likes to exercise every day, make arrangements for some fitness time; this does not mean you must partake--a pass to the local gym or directions to a walking trail should suffice.

Whichever side of this equation you are on, I hope your counterpart maintains the Gracious standard.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If hosts and guests are wearing their Grace hats, everyone should be so busy being accommodating and enjoying the resulting warm glow of hospitality that such a statement isn't necessary--and that makes the statement wrong, because it's one-sided. In the absence of hospitable furniture to lighten the load, it seems to me that both host and guest should make some reasonable accommodations for the sake of an enjoyable visit.