Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Negative Additions

What do you do about the unexpected guest or the last-minute addition? If you can accommodate the extra person without undue disruption, do so gracefully and as cheerfully as possible.
However, there are situations in which you should refuse to accept the added guest. It may be that adding a seemingly discordant plate or flatware to your perfectly set table would just make you crazy. And you can’t just fabricate a seventh Cornish hen when you have planned a party for six.
The refusal should be accomplished with as much grace and good humor as possible to avoid bad feelings. One reputedly excellent hostess used to call on me regularly to attend her seated dinner parties. One day she called to invite me to dinner, and I told her that I had gotten married the month before. “That’s terrible,” she said. “What will I do? You can’t bring your husband. It will ruin my seating arrangement.” Happily, I never heard from her again.

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