DEAR MISS MANNERS: When I’m expecting guests, I will keep one eye out my window to watch for their arrival. When their car pulls into my driveway, I will open my door for them and greet them on the stoop, or if they have items to bring in, I will meet them at their vehicle to lend a hand.
Unfortunately, I don’t often receive the same courtesy when I visit others. Many times, I have been left standing on a front porch for what seems like long periods of time after having rung the doorbell, hearing sounds of life from inside but no urgency to let me in.
Am I expecting too much to be greeted at the door before the bell is even rung?
GENTLE READER: Yes. Yes, you are.
It is one thing to be ready for your guests near to their appointed arrival time. But quite another to cease all activity long before it -- and to be peering out the door, ready to pounce before they do. Particularly, since not all guests are as prompt as Miss Manners can only assume you must be.
If it is truly taking an inordinate amount of time for your hosts to come to their door, then you may say politely, “Oh dear. Am I early?” when they finally do. But only if you can manage to say it without an accusatory edge.