DEAR MISS MANNERS: I hosted a family party, and after lunch, my daughter, granddaughter and myself were laughing, joking and cutting up. Just having fun. My family tends to get loud, I confess.
My sister, brother and husband were in an adjoining room, and suddenly my sister turned toward us and said, in a loud and very gruff voice, “Y’all have got to quiet down in there! We can’t carry on a conversation in here.”
I apologized and took our conversation into another room. My granddaughter later drew attention to the fact that my sister should not have yelled at my guests in my home; I agreed.
Whenever I try to talk to my sister about it, she deflects from the issue and says we were the ones being rude. I have explained to her that we weren’t trying to be rude, we were just being ourselves. And that as soon as I became aware of the problem, I took care of it. Until she yelled at us, I was not aware that she was becoming irritated.
My stance is that no one should yell at guests in another person’s home. (I would never do that to her.) And that she should have come to me and let me know she had a problem, giving me a chance to handle the situation.
So, Miss Manners, who was rude? My sister, or my guests and me?
GENTLE READER: Your sister. However, Miss Manners cautions you not to use “being oneself” as an explanation for rudeness, however incorrectly it was perceived. The important difference here is that once you were made aware of the annoyance, you stopped. Perhaps your sister will now be able to follow suit.