DEAR ABBY: What is a guest supposed to do when entering another person's car or home when the radio or television is playing so loud one can hardly talk or listen?
I have found on many occasions upon entering the home of a friend or relative, the television is blaring. The host makes no effort to turn it down, even to welcome a visitor into the house. The TV has priority in so many cases. Or when entering someone's car, the radio is so loud, again one cannot carry on a conversation.
I realize I am the "guest" in these instances, but aren't there some rules of etiquette in this situation? At times like these, I feel the host would rather not talk with me even when I have been invited, and would prefer to listen to the radio or watch television. If this is true, why was I invited?
I feel this practice is very rude. Possibly the host has no idea that I'm not interested in visiting with the radio or television on. On only one occasion have I had the nerve to ask the host to turn down the volume. I felt very uncomfortable doing it, but my wish was granted. I did not feel I should have been put in that position.
Please comment. Maybe it would help in the department of communications in our society. -- TUNED OUT IN INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, MINN.
DEAR TUNED OUT: A person would have to have the hide of a rhino not to know that when a guest is invited in, conversation with that person supersedes whatever's on the radio or television. However, sometimes the driver or host would like to hear the end of a song or a news bulletin before commencing to chat. And the same goes for a television program they might be in the middle of.
Is it rude? Yes, if the blaring noise continues and prevents the individuals from conversing. But in such cases, you should have no hesitation about asking for the volume to be lowered.