Last time, in preparation for my Miss Abigail book launch party, I brought you some tips for the party hostess. Now, some additional excerpts from Everyday Manners, for the guests:
When you are invited, come at the time set by your host or hostess. If you are asked to come at eight, that is when you are wanted, not at nine…
Take an interested part in the entertainment provided, even though it is not the kind you would have chosen. It is very selfish and rude to withdraw to a corner with one or two others and laugh and talk with them, while you take no part in the games planned. If each one does his best to make the party a success, it will be the best kind of success for all….
Do not grow too noisy. You can have a good time without shrieking. Remember that the neighbors may be forming a poor opinion of your hostess because of the loudness of your mirth.
Do your part in giving the shy guest and the stranger a happy time. Do not imagine that such a guest is entertained by hearing you converse gaily with others on subjects that are unknown to him. You must make him feel that he is one of your number.
If entertained in the evening, do not stay too late. The time when refreshments are served gives an indication of the time your hostess expects you to depart. Usually from three-quarters of an hour to an hour after refreshments are served is an appropriate time to take your leave. When leaving, shake hands with the hostess and tell her how much you have enjoyed the evening…. Be sure to say good night to the parents of your hostess ~ telling them how greatly you have enjoyed the party.
If you are obliged to leave before the others do, it may be well to say good night quietly and slip away without attracting the attention of the other guests. If, however, you are on very friendly terms with them all, it is pleasanter just to pause in the doorway and say, “Good night, everybody.” The main point in making your exit is to impress your appreciation to every one who has had a hand in entertaining you, and at the same time to make your going inconspicuous. Remember, it is not a feauture of the evening’s entertainment.
Hmm… that no shrieking rule really puts a damper on things.