Notable Etiquette: Closing Time

If you’ve ever been at a Cafe and have been offered to take home a sandwich or baked goods because they aren’t serving them tomorrow, or have been at a wedding after the band has  packed up and left for the night, chances are you have done your fair share of overstaying your welcome. With all these upcoming summer parties, get-togethers and events, it’s important to know  – as the Clash put it ever-so-eloquently – should I stay or should I go?

It’s bad manners to eat and run, but it’s even less polite to eat and over-stay your welcome. Here are our tips on how and when to leave the most common of situations this time of year, to ensure you get an invite next year.

Dinner Parties
You’re invited to a dinner party. You drink, you eat and since it’s bad manners to eat and run, you sit, chat, and maybe drink some more. But becoming so worried about showing your appreciation (and not really being in the mood to go home and call it a night) may cause you to fall prey to overstaying your welcome. The poor hostess-with-the-mostest doesn’t want to make herself unpopular, so she doesn’t say a word. She just sits, and nods and prays for the love of god that you get up and go.

Tips for not overstaying your welcome at a dinner party: Think of swimming. When you were a kid you heard the old wives tale of waiting half hour after eating for your food to digest before you hop into the pool. Apply the same wisdom to dinner parties. Wait a half hour after dessert, and then you can make your exit without offending your host, and without staying too long. Even if you have nowhere to go say thank you, do the double-sided kiss, and head out.

Public Places (ie: Restaurants, lounges, banquet halls)
When going to an event or get together in a public place, we often don’t realize the imposition we can make at the end of an evening. Since it’s in someone’s living room, it isn’t the same, right? Well, that’s not really the case. We want to make you just a little more aware of your surroundings and telltale signs it’s time to call it a night.

When it’s time to go home:
1) All the chairs are stacked around you.

2) The lights are completely on (and they were dim the whole time you were at said place).

3) The music has stopped.

4) The doors of the place you are at have been locked, and the cashier/waitress/owner/worker there tells you to let them know when you want to leave so they can unlock the door for you.

5) You see the people who work at the establishment that you are at counting the til (a sure sign that they are very, very much so closed.)

6) The host of the party has already left. We don’t care if you are encouraged to stay by the host, servers or anyone else who says, ‘Oh no, it’s not a problem, take your time’. It is a problem. Don’t take your time. You are overstaying your welcome. But we do hope to see you soon.