Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader Worried Family Will Judge Blue-Collar Beau

DEAR HARRIETTE: This summer I was invited to so many people’s homes to visit them, kind of in an impromptu way. I spent a weekend in a beach community, and people were so generous in inviting me to come over for drinks or dinner. Some of the people I knew, and others were new to me. It was very nice. Because it all happened so quickly, I wasn’t always able to bring a gift with me, like a bottle of wine or chocolates or something. Should I follow up with a gift? I have all of their phone numbers because we were mainly texting one another. What is an appropriate way to let them know how much I enjoyed their hospitality? -- Follow-Through

DEAR FOLLOW-THROUGH: If you took photos that include the people you visited and yourself, it would be sweet to send a thank-you text expressing your gratitude for their hospitality and sharing a memory of your time together. A bottle of wine after the fact is not necessary.

It is great when you visit people’s homes to bring them something -- what used to be called a hostess gift. But this is not a requirement. In impromptu settings like what you have described, sometimes you just have to go with the flow. But calling or texting to say thank you is thoughtful and memorable. Adding a photo helps to capture the memory for later times.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)