Wednesday, 21 December 2016

"Don'ts for Wives" when Entertaining Your Husband's Friends

Copyright Janet Cameron, Family Album

Some more gems from Blanche Ebutt's little book, Don'ts for Wives, published in 1913 by A. & C. Black.

Chapter X - Entertaining

Don't refuse to entertain your husband's friends on the ground that it is a "bother." Nothing pains a man more than finding only a cold welcome when he brings home a chum.

Don't be slavishly wedded to the dinner for dinner principle in entertaining. If you are, you must, of course, refuse all invitations which you cannot return in kind. But, after all, your friends are not really starving and if some other form of entertaining suits you better why be so hide-bound? Friendship is not a matter of bargaining.

Don't worry about getting into the "very best" Society - with a big capital "S" - afforded by your town or suburb. If the aristocratic inhabitants don't call on you, or the wealthy ones think you are not rich enough, it is not a matter to trouble you. A few friends are worth a host of acquaintances, and most of the really nice people will find you out.

Don't let visitors who are saying in the house feel themselves in the way. Give them the run of the place, don't shut them up in state in the drawing room.

Don't try to "amuse" your guests every minute of the day. If they feel thoroughly at home, the amusement will come naturally. Don't forget to have books in every room.

Don't refuse to entertain at all because you can't do it on the same scale as your neighbours. The "jolly little party" is generally preferred to the starchy reception.

Don't refuse to adapt yourself to the style of entertaining which is first favourite in your locality. If you are thrown amongst a non musical set of people, it is not the lease use inviting them to be miserable at a musical evening. If on the other hand, your lot is cast amongst a set that despises cards, it is hopeless to issue invitation for a bridge party.

Don't say you can't give progressive bridge party because you can't afford to buy expensive prizes. Make up for it in the care with which you select them; let them be good of their kind and unpretentious, and you will find the lucky winner quite as pleased with your prize as an elaborate one won elsewhere, which cost as many pounds as yours cost shillings.

Don't feel worried because you can't afford to offer your friends a champagne supper. They can be just as jolly on claret-cup and will think none the less of you for keeping within your means.

Don't, in any case try to entertain in a way that is beyond your means, just because other people do it.

Source: Dont's for Wives, Blanche Ebutt, A. & C. Black, 1913 - Public Domain publication

Further Reading:

Blanche on "Jealousy" from "Don'ts for Wives"

10 More Tips from "Don'ts for Wives"

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