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by Abigail Van Buren

Party Hosts Are Irritated by Wife's Habit of Showing Up Early

DEAR ABBY: My wife has a terrible habit of always being early -- whether it's for a party, football game, picnic, reunion, etc. It has reached a point where friends and family no longer tell her the correct time they want us to arrive because they don't want her there early. Her family started it, and friends are following suit. Now she's upset because when she arrives she isn't the first, but everybody else is happy because she's arriving when she is supposed to.

Abby, most hosts don't want guests showing up early because they're still preparing, and early arrivals get in the way. Please advise my wife to respect that! -- EARLY BIRD GETS THE SCORN

DEAR BIRD: If, having been given the wrong time to arrive by multiple hosts, it hasn't dawned on your wife that what she's doing hasn't been appreciated, she isn't going to heed anything that I could write. Polite people show up on time. If they arrive at the location early, they do what they need to do to "waste" time until the appointed hour. In her zeal to make an entrance, she is being rude and intrusive, and if she shows up early, the host should put her to work.

Read more in: Etiquette & Ethics | Holidays & Celebrations