DEAR MISS MANNERS: When my husband and I attended a housewarming party at a friend’s new condo, we weren’t surprised when we were asked to remove our shoes at the door. But we were surprised when told that we could not open the bottle of red wine that we had brought to share with others.
When asked why, the host replied that new carpet had just been installed. We were even more surprised to find a sign in the restroom telling male guests to sit, not stand, when using the facilities. Would you have been surprised?
GENTLE READER: Little surprises Miss Manners these days.
Dispensing etiquette lessons to your friends is rude -- and doubly so if the infraction has not yet occurred.
It sounds as if your friend has patronized one too many theaters or restaurants, most of which now routinely post etiquette injunctions such as, “Silence your cellphones during the show” or “Throw discarded paper towels in the trash can.” They do this in the vain hope that the patrons will refrain from antagonizing one another, at least on the premises.
Your friend has no such justification, and you are right to be surprised -- unpleasantly so -- at being admonished not to soil the carpet.