Monday, May 3, 2010

When the guest gets wasted (and pukes)

Hey Etiquette Bitch,

I’ve been absolutely beside myself about a situation that happened in my home a few days ago.

My husband’s nephew and his girlfriend (both supposedly responsible, 22-yr old university students) invited themselves to stay overnight as they were driving through our city. We made dinner, I set the formal dining room table for our family of 5 and our 2 guests. Apparently my husband was over-pouring the wine and I wasn’t paying enough attention, because after dinner the girlfriend proceeded to vomit all over my dining room table and brand new rug.

I was absolutely horrified!

She apologized, retreated to our guest room for the night, and we cleaned the mess up. (I’ll give the nephew some credit – he did help clean up). It was disgusting and I am still in a state of shock about it.

My question is, how does one properly respond to an apology for a totally egregious incident? I said “it’s alright”, but really, it is NOT alright! I feel like I want to burn my beautiful dining room table and new rug. And every time I serve dinner in my dining room in the future I will remember this incident. It’s like she has ruined my dining room which I put so much effort and expense into decorating 2 years ago. What would you have said?

Should try to follow up, or just try my best to forget it ever happened? The next morning she made a lame attempt at an excuse, saying she hadn’t been feeling well for a few days. I didn’t call her on it, but maybe I should have, because then they sat around drinking coffee and chatting for a few hours as if nothing had happened, so obviously my “it’s alright” response made her feel that I bought her excuse and everything was A-OK. (Personally, I would have been so ashamed of myself I would have written a profuse apology and bolted in the middle of the night.)

The nephew’s parents (my husband’s sister, with whom I do not get along with) have invited themselves to our house to stay next weekend. Should this be our dirty little secret or do we let them know what happened during their son’s recent visit? Yes, they are adults legally, and should be responsible for their own actions, but they are students living at home and I assume are still partially supported by their parents. If my 20-yr old son or his girlfriend did something like this I would certainly want to know about it so I could sit them down for a serious talk about unacceptable behavior, consequences and attempting to mitigate the damage.

Thank you in advance for your sage advice.


What do I tell S? Click the title to find out. Running time: 7 m 30 s.

Make it a drinking game: take a chug every time I say "mad props." :) (Yes, my hipness stopped around 1996.)

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