I thought I would take a little break from my kitchen flipping to write a bit about bad Shabbos/Yontiff guests. I was actually inspired by a post I recently saw on another blog about bad Shabbos guests. I have some of my own experiences about guests as both a hostess and a guest who sees other guests doing something.
1. Show up. Why do I even have to say this? I have had people that I invited over and they just didn’t show up. You can’t call on Shabbos, so unless something major comes up, you should show up. “I decided to stay home and eat with my grandmother,” is not a good excuse. If you wanted to eat with your grandmother, you shouldn’t have booked a meal with me. I’m waiting for you, even if you told me not to.
2. Be on time. Not as bad as “show up” but, still, if you show up and the meal has already started, chances are, we waited for you and you are REALLY late. A word about when on time is… On Friday night if, a time is not specified, figure 45 minutes to an hour after candle lighting. For lunch, you should daven where the host davens and come straight from shul or at least come straight from your shul. I’ve heard of people going home after shul to take a nap before showing up at the meal. Come on people!
3. Don’t bring food into the host’s bedroom or living room. Some people don’t eat in their bedrooms or living rooms-respect that. I had a girl bring cookies into my bedroom about a month or two before Pesach one year. Even if Pesach wasn’t coming, it’s rude.
4. Table manners: eat with your mouth closed, don’t smack your food or drink or don’t blow your nose at the table.
5. The Jewish religion, while it does encourage hospitality, is not a religion of pity. A BT told me one time that people should invite her because it’s a religion.
6. Don’t harass the other guests. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been a guest and someone else who is a guest crosses a line. This past fall, I had a woman who asked me why I wasn’t at the home of my own family, why was I there.
7. If you can’t remember the hosts name, ask or don’t use it. You’ll look like an idiot if you keep calling her by a different name every time you address her-all of which are not her name. The woman who inspires #6 is the one that did this.
The above actions will cause someone to not be invited again at my house and others would probably not invite someone back.