Host + Guest Etiquette: Parents Visit

by Modern Miss Manners

Host: I don’t know what to tell you, really. This is the worst. Your apartment will never be clean enough for your mother. If you have a couch, you’re sleeping on it. If not, enjoy the floor. Your parents will hate everything about staying in your shitty apartment in your shitty neighborhood (and if they’re like my parents, they’ll believe your now-overly-gentrified 21st century hood is still the site of burned-out cop cars and heroin dens) – there’s no way to win. They’d be happier at a hotel. You don’t live in a hotel.

Guest: Parents, unless you’re visiting to stage an intervention, it’d be swell if you could make your children feel as though they’re doing decently well for themselves simply for surviving in New York. Buy them a nice dinner, get them tipsy, tell them everything is gonna be ok. That’s about all it takes. Reservation of judgment is the greatest gift a parent can give their semi-adult child. Amen.

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