Saturday, June 29, 2013

Insubordinate and Churlish

I'm wondering about the concept of "fashionably late." Here's the story: I'm under the impression that when someone invites you to her house, you should get there about 15 minutes late. Somehow I learned that this was the polite thing to do, probably from my mother. The idea is that you shouldn't rush the host. Dan seems never to have heard of this concept. Also, we've hosted several gatherings for friends (not family - family is supposed to be on time, I'm pretty sure) in the last year, and most people are not 15 minutes late. They're less than 5 minutes late.

So, what's the story? Are we supposed to be 15 minutes late, or what?

I looked it up online because we're in a learning challenge here on this blog, and I discovered that the phrase means you're so popular that you can't arrive on time because you've been busy with other engagements. Also, I found out that it means you have dinner at a later, more sophisticated hour. It doesn't mean that out of politeness, you should arrive late. Maybe that's called something different?

What's your understanding of this pressing etiquette matter?

7 comments:

Sarah G said...

I always thought if you used the phrase fashionably late it meant you wanted to make a big entrance. If I'm meeting just one or two people or going to a party where there will be several good friends I try to be on time (or close to it). If I'm going to a gathering where most people will be acquaintances, I arrive a little later so I'm not stuck with one or two people I hardly know.

LH said...

Yeah, I thought it meant that it's kind of cool to be a little bit late, and draw attention to yourself, but there's a line where fashionably late turns into rudely late. And people need to figure that out. Or be forever banned socially. for good reason.

Great learning report today, btw.

mm said...

I agree with Sarah and LH... I thought it was a means of drawing attention to oneself... Good question!

LH said...

Remember when I had the wrong idea about what a hangnail was?

KC said...

Ok, great! I totally didn't realize that fashionably late meant showing off. But, I still have a question: If you invited me to your house for dinner, would you expect me to come right on time or slightly late? Please answer.

LH, I do remember the hangnail. See? This type of thing happens to all of us.

LH said...

I'm going with slightly late.

Anonymous said...

As the mother who was mentioned in this blog, I was taught that if you are invited to dinner, you arrive right on time or 5 minutes late, but not early which is rude. If it is a party, you arrive 5 to 15 minutes late. It is not to call attention to yourself but to give the people holding the event maximum time to be prepared. It could be that this was the tradition in my growing up family as we were always time challenged and could use the extra time to prepare to receive guests or be guests. I am enjoying reading these answers!