Fashionably Late….Or Inconsiderate?

*Just a note for my local readers: This post will be in the Sulphur Springs News Telegram in my column in the near future. However, since I’ve been asked this question multiple times now, I wanted to make sure I addressed it here, too!

Reader Question: What is the appropriate amount of time to arrive before or after an event’s designated start time?

I’m so glad you asked! Being fashionably late is often considered rude to your hosts. The variance of time in which you’re allowed to arrive will vary based on the event.

If an event is come-and-go, you are welcome any time during the designated time. You may show up 5 minutes prior to an event, but it wouldn’t be courteous to your hosts to show up after the designated end of an event.

If your event has a specific start time, such as a dinner party, you should show up no more than five minutes late. Up to 10 minutes prior to the start is appropriate, unless a specific time for drinks was allotted. In that case, you shouldn’t appear early to the event.

For weddings, you may show up to 30 minutes prior to the wedding, as the wedding time given is when the event would begin, and you wouldn’t want to accidentally walk down the aisle after the bride has made her entrance.

As a general rule, 5 minutes prior to a “recurring event” (any event other than weddings or funerals) is most appropriate. If you are going to someone’s house, it would be just as rude to show up thirty minutes before the dinner party as it would be to show up thirty minutes late.

Of course, like every rule in the world, there are exceptions to this. If you are traveling over an hour and a half, you have more leeway in your arrival time, as you must take into consideration traffic. Additionally, in the event something happens that is unavoidable (a wreck that causes traffic to stop, for example), it is perfectly appropriate to call your host and explain your situation. I would encourage you to state to not wait on you, especially if there are other guests, and that you’ll be there as soon as you possibly can.

Thank you for the question, and I appreciate your readership!

 

Traveling and Culture

Hi, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve had an opportunity to post. For 9 days my husband, kids and I were out of cell phone range, which, to be 100% honest, was actually wonderful!

“At Mother Goose’s (Mary Goose) grave in Boston”

We had the opporunity to go to New Hampshire, Boston, Cape Cod (the Mayflower Beach in Dennis was beautiful!), Plymouth, Martha’s Vineyard, Maine (another favorite), and my husband went and ran the original Spartan race in Vermont. Overall, our trip could not have been better! We spent time with family who live in New Hampshire and disconnected from the outside world for a while.

However, this trip and its lack of cell phone signal did not give me any opportunities to update, so I apologize for my absence.

I was very intrigued by some of the regional differences in New England and the South. My aunt told me that the people are very nice in New England (and they are), but they’re not as initially warm. There’s definitely a sense of formality in how they act. That same formality, though, does not extend to dress, and I was mildly surprised that most did not seem to dress up as they do in the South. In fact, at the church we visited, I was the only female (aside from my daughter) in a dress. Y’all know my tendencies to wear dresses, though.

“At a lighthouse in Maine – one of our favorite stops!”

Additionally, people did not seem to initiate conversations, but they were happy to talk once they began. We dropped off my cousin and her two friends at a middle school dance, and the parents lingered briefly, but it definitely wasn’t like some of the local dances here where the outside of the dance seems to be a social gathering for the parents.

At Martha’s Vineyard, I was doubly shocked that people didn’t seem to ever stop for pedetrians who were trying to cross in the cross walk during their turn, but they seemed to have no problem wearing white after Labor Day. A lady I met at the above mentioned dance (from Florida) said she has still not gotten accustomed to the white after Labor Day she saw there.

However, even with the differences from “normal” life, I truly loved and appreciated our time there. Culture is so unique and diverse, and it should be. Out of all the places we visited, Martha’s Vineyard was actually my least favorite. Maine and the North End of Boston were my top two. When I visit, I don’t want to feel like a tourist; I want to be submerged into the culture.

“View from Gay Head Lighthouse in Matha’s Vineyard”

Martha’s Vineyard is undeniably beautiful. However, while we were there, other than the scenery, I couldn’t find anything about it that really made it unique. The shops were very similar to one another. Ice cream has to be the top trade there.

“Sharing ice cream on vacation”

On the other hand, in the North End, I walked into a cafe to order a cappuccino, and I had to find a waitress that spoke English. Fresh pasta was in the windows of a couple of the markets. There were fish markets, produce markets, meat markets, etc. I could have stayed there for days. By the end of the day we stayed there, I felt like I truly experienced the North End – I can only imagine how much more engrossed I would have been given more time.

I am so thankful my family and I had this opportunity and this time together. Getting to experience life in a different area is something I will never taked for granted. Is there a culture you truly enjoy experiencing other than your own? I’d love to hear!