Field of Science

Open house etiquette

It was a busy weekend socially and the internet connection was flaky, even more than usual so no blogs. Since the Martha Stewart fairy dusted our home with decorations, some one volunteered to host a church open house. This can present several questions of etiquette. Do you serve a jar of home canned sweet pickles that were dated 1999?  OK, that's pretty easy. No, and they weren't that good even when young. Do you serve a bottle of wine that you don't like to get rid of it? Rieslings are just too sweet, but yes, you can serve it because some of you guests may like that type of wine and it wasn't 15 years old like the pickles. Is is ethical to serve a smoked salmon dip that you adore even though most of the guests might be vegetarian? As a note, all of the other snacks and dishes to share were non-meat. Well, of course it's OK, and all the more for yourself! People have to keep an open mind. Do you serve the pickled Brussel's sprouts just because your boss made them? Heck yes, but not because of the boss, but because otherwise they might be left for you. Do you have to worry about wishing people Happy Holidays vs. Merry Christmas? No, they're Unitarians and very accepting of holidays in general. Our dinner group is trickier because of a large contingent from the Temple not to mention Buddism, Hinduism, and Pastafarianism. Growing up in NY you kept your options open and took off all the religious holidays. Do you discuss politics or current events, or steer conversations to the football playoffs? Around here people take their football seriously so you are better off sticking to current events and politics. The concensus is that SONY was foolish to make even a stupid movie about a real head of state. Did anyone doubt who Charlie Chaplin was mocking in the Great Dictator? It would seem there were no major faux pas or other breaches of etiquette or protocol. The offending wine was consumed and enjoyed. Pickled Brussel's sprouts by comparison made the ancient pickles sound good. Actually, they were edible, but not actually in the good category, but if enough people come, they each only need make the mistake once to accomplish our goal of consuming them. Many people enjoyed the salmon, and TPP still had some left over for himself. All in all a fine open house.

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