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Old 04-05-2005, 10:12 AM   #1
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Is this bad manners?.... your thoughts?

On inviting the in-laws/outlaws to dinner (who live an hour away), MIL asks me what time will dinner be? I say at 7pm. They arrive at 6:57pm.

Is it just me, or do others find this sort of behaviour rude too? My Mum taught me, that when you are invited to a meal at someones house, you should arrive at least 30-40 minutes before 'sit-down time' for 2 reasons.

Firstly, to have drinks/cuppa and general chit chat. Secondly, is to ask the host if he/she needs any help in the kitchen. More often than not, the offer is declined, but its always polite to ask.

To me, the in-laws attitude smacks of we're-here-to-eat-not-socialize. Good manners go a long way and cost nothing.

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Old 04-05-2005, 10:17 AM   #2
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RUDE.

If I invite someone for a meal, I say 'seven for 7.30 pm', or 'eight for 8.30 pm'..... which allows time for the social niceties, having a drink etc before sitting at the dining table.

The idea of dashing into someone's home and just wolfing down the food which has almost certainly been dished up and ready to go three minutes before the time you gave is outrageous!
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:51 AM   #3
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Thanks Ishbel. The night in question, I cooked a roast (MIL knew of this), and as such everything was timed for 7pm. Once the meat, vegies and gravy are ready, they spoil if held over too long. It was my Dads 70th birthday, and he just wanted a roast.

I held off serving, thinking they may have had car trouble, but no excuses, explaination or apology was forthcoming - this is normal behaviour for them. Sorry, now I'm venting.
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Old 04-05-2005, 10:56 AM   #4
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I agree it's rude. My impression is they didn't want to come but felt an obligation to do so. This way they can say they came but don't have to socialize.

Did they dash off right after dinner or did they stay for a while?

Of course, I suppose they could have had another engagement for earlier and just got there as fast as they could. Your on-going relationship with the in-laws will help you judge which it was.
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Old 04-05-2005, 11:38 AM   #5
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I have to go along, this is not exceptable. I always heard unless an agreement on other plans were made, That 1 hour ahead is right, and you ask if any help is required twice, #1 to be polite and be ready if they say yes , #2-15 minutes later in case they really do want help and are afraid to ask or then decide they do need some help. Also someone should have asked when you made plans to start with if they could bring anything or if you would like some help. But I was born way back when, and maybe they don't do that anymore LOL .
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Old 04-05-2005, 12:18 PM   #6
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oh that's very rude. if we're invited somewhere (say to my dad's) we'll arrive several hours early so we can talk before hand. anywhere else we'll arrive about 30-40 minutes early.
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Old 04-05-2005, 02:28 PM   #7
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I don't think it was rude really. You said dinner is at seven. It might have been best to say dinner is at seven but come early so we can have a drink and relax before dinner. I guess I would be uncertain if someone told me dinner is at a certain time, whether or not they would welcome an early arrival.
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:49 PM   #8
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Golly folks, I have a different take on this.

Where I was raised if you said seven, you expected the people to arrive there at that time, even family, unless you asked them to show up earlier.

Yeah Mom, the party is starting at eight, but we would love to see you earlier, is just fine.

But normally if we said, oh, seven o'clock, we had already factored in time for cocktails and appetizers before we sit down for dinner.

Or we might tell the guests to arrive at six for cocktails and chat, and we will eat at seven.

When I grew up showing up early was considered impolite.

Different places, different times, different norms.
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Old 04-05-2005, 04:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by auntdot
Golly folks, I have a different take on this.

Where I was raised if you said seven, you expected the people to arrive there at that time, even family, unless you asked them to show up earlier.

Yeah Mom, the party is starting at eight, but we would love to see you earlier, is just fine.

But normally if we said, oh, seven o'clock, we had already factored in time for cocktails and appetizers before we sit down for dinner.

Or we might tell the guests to arrive at six for cocktails and chat, and we will eat at seven.

When I grew up showing up early was considered impolite.

Different places, different times, different norms.

I have to agree with you. If we are invited somewhere we show up at the time mentioned not early. It's up to the hosts to tell people when to come not assume that they'll come early. When inviting people to our home we always say "come at 7:00" and then we plan dinner for later than that... so that's there time to chat and have drinks.
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Old 04-05-2005, 05:00 PM   #10
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Ditto w/ Dot and Amber. When I invite MY family over we usually tell them two times. At what point I will be ready for them to start coming over, then what time we eat. I usually do this because the earlier time means that I have done most of my cooking and my guests won't get in the way, but they can hang out with me and chat while I finish things up, or they can help do minor things.Though, when my in-laws come over, they just come at the designated time, they don't ever come over early and offer to help or hang out, they only hang out AFTER dinner. Not sure why this is...but it doesn't bother me too much since I have a small apartment.
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