Both Agree -- Hostess Provides Towels


While researching a while back I came across a 1918 Lethbridge Herald article titled "How to Be a Model Guest" that outlined rules for houseguests. Out of curiosity, I then looked up some modern articles that provided rules for house guests in 2011. About the only similarity I found was that both agreed that the hostess should provide towels (but that the guest needed to bring along everything else they required).

The 1918 version is in black and then I have tossed in a few things I picked up related to 2011.


Here are a few important do’s and don’ts for all who strive to be model guests, the kind who are always urged to “come again.”

Do arrive at the time agreed upon as far as the matter lies within your power. In these days of late trains and annoying storms, hostesses are growing very lenient, but beware lest your tardiness be due to your own carelessness.

Do bring all the necessary clothes and small accessories for which you will use (washcloths and towels do not come in this list, as they are provided to you by your hostess). Also be sure to pay for your own laundry, telephone calls, and other small things and to supply your own postage.

Don’t accept Invitations, however informal, without consulting the friend whom you are visiting; and await a confirmation of an invitation (if you are one of the fair sex) by your hostess before accepting one given by a male member of the family.

Most of the modern articles firmly suggested making plans on your own for some of the time (though also doing things with the host). One article actually suggested that you ensure you get out of the host's hair at least some of the time.

Don’t stay so long that you “wear out your welcome,” nor so short a time that you seem cold and unappreciative. Enjoy everything that is planned for you and be careful to let those about you know you are having a good time. Nothing so warms the cockles of a host’s heart as to know his efforts are recognized and liked.

Most modern articles suggested that a 3-day visit should be your limit.

Do not expect the maids to do “odd jobs” for you. Your hostess will doubtless offer their services when she knows they are needed but even then do not ask too much. Unless requested not to tip the servants, leave a small sum of money with each one who has served you.

Nothing about maids was mentioned in any of the new articles. But that's not really surprising.

Do send “pp.c’s” to all the friends of your hostess who have entertained you or called on you. These are your calling cards with “p.p.c.” written in either of the lower corners. These letters stand for the French words “to take leave.” The cards should be mailed the day you leave town. Do send a bread and butter letter immediately after your departure.

Modern articles suggested leaving a gift -- probably because no one even knows what a calling card is anymore and certainly don't have any to leave behind.