DEAR MISS MANNERS: I believe that when one is hosting a large party, it is his or her responsibility to greet each guest. Does the guest also have a responsibility to say goodbye when leaving?
Over the years, I’ve attended many weddings, showers and graduation parties, and after I’ve had my share of polite mingling with both the host and other guests, I usually slide out inconspicuously.
However, recently I was on the flip side of this scenario, and am now questioning my etiquette. I recently hosted an open house for my daughter to celebrate her graduation. Both my daughter and I made sure to greet each guest, but a few left without saying goodbye.
I was a little sad that I didn’t have the opportunity to thank them again for coming. This left me wondering if I’ve been rude all these years by sneaking out of social events. What is the guest’s responsibility?
GENTLE READER: Funny how it requires experiencing what you call the “flip side” to make you realize how flippantly rude you have been all these years. Had you no previous empathy for those who were kind enough to entertain you?
You say that you only want the opportunity to thank your guests for attending. What about the more crucial courtesy of guests thanking the hosts?
Miss Manners hopes that as you have discovered how unpleasant it is to have one’s guests wander in and out as if in a public facility, you will now broadly apply the test of “How would I feel if ...”