Miss Manners: My future in-laws’ behavior would be considered rude in my family


DEAR MISS MANNERS: I was brought up to offer drinks and/or food to people who come over to my house. I am engaged to a man whose parents do not do this, and I am trying to manage my feelings about it.

I went to their house for a planned visit, without my fiance, when the parents intended to take me out for lunch. I brought them homemade cookies.

Nothing was offered to me during the hour before we left for lunch. When we returned, not having had coffee nor dessert at the restaurant, we spent about 45 minutes at their house before I left.

Again, nothing was offered — not even the cookies I had brought over.

They paid for lunch.

Is it unreasonable for me to have expected that they would offer me a drink? Maybe take out the cookies I brought and enjoy them while I was still there? Or was that not appropriate because they took me out for lunch? In my family, this would be considered very rude.

GENTLE READER: Certainly, a drink or light refreshment may be offered when one is visiting another’s home. But in your example, with lunch having been so soon on the horizon, Miss Manners is inclined to excuse your in-laws for the transgression. If it happens during a longer interval with no meal promised, you may rightfully consider them thoughtless.

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