DEAR MISS MANNERS: What is the proper etiquette regarding tours of your house to visitors who have never been there?
For close family members and friends, it seems obvious. But more casual guests for a dinner party or the like pose a quandary. "Would you like to see the rest of the house?" seems an obvious assumption that you will get a "yes." For some reason, it seems rude not to offer, and doing so seems like an attempt to elicit compliments.
For the record, our house is not spectacular; nobody's going to be giving tours of it when we're dead. If someone doesn't ask to see the "rest of the house" should I just let it go?
GENTLE READER: Where did you get the idea that a house tour is mandatory for all guests, on request or without? Miss Manners can think of many reasons why it is a bad idea:
It smacks of showing off.
It uproots people from sitting comfortably and makes them march around, trying not to slosh their drinks on your bedspread.
It invites nosiness and pushes even polite people to comment on your style of living -- charmingly to you, but perhaps more freely to others later.
No doubt you have exquisite taste, and you may want to show your intimate friends and relatives your new house. If you lived in Monticello, you could consider yourself obliged to allow the public limited access. But to open it to everyone is to invite judgment.
The old rule against commenting on other people's possessions has been unfortunately overwhelmed by the era of posting in the hope of "likes." And you may have noticed that those who are posting don't always like what that brings in.