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Mrs Bloggs 'At Home' Etiquette/Protocols

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Mrs Bloggs 'At Home' Etiquette/Protocols

Old 8th Nov 2010, 18:36
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Mrs Bloggs 'At Home' Etiquette/Protocols

Having recently moved into a new house in a deepest rural English village, the present Mrs MM and I have been invited to Mrs Bloggs (wife of retd Army officer) At Home, for drinks in a few weeknds time. Never having been schooled in these sorts of things, I wonder if any of the Officer Corps could help with etiquette/ protocols for such events?

For instance, the RSVP has been crossed out and what looks like refutts (or maybe reputts) written above. Any help with that one?

What exactly does an 'At Home' for drinks afternoon entail, and what dress would be appropriate (for me and for Mrs MM).

Does one take a bottle of wine/ flowers/ chocolates/ all of the above?

Presumably normal etiquette for arrival times and for post event Thank You notes would be appropriate?

Any other advice would be gratefully received.
Thanks in advance
MM
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 19:01
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"Regrets" rather than RSVP - ie if I don't hear from you I'll assume that you're coming - only reply if you can't attend (and then it is due to a previous engagement).

'At home' is short for drinks and nibbles (finger food). It would be appropriate to take a small gift (flowers and/or decent chocolates). As to dress - probably smart casual - chinos and a shirt for you and a dress for Mrs MM - if you're not sure then ask before hand; no shame in that.

Do write a short thank you note; this should be from Mrs MM to Mrs Bloggs; just say thank you for her hospitality and company and how nice it was to meet everyone (written in the first person).

Arrive about 15 minutes late and don't be the last to leave.
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 20:17
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"At Home" ?

Maybe she is going to give you a fairly big one-day airshow, followed by a piss-up, night-out in Doncaster/St Andrews/Cardiff and a FOD-plod on a following morning?
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Old 8th Nov 2010, 21:42
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Brian Potter -

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Old 9th Nov 2010, 05:42
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Originally Posted by Brain Potter
"At Home" ?

Maybe she is going to give you a fairly big one-day airshow, followed by a piss-up, night-out in Doncaster/St Andrews/Cardiff and a FOD-plod on a following morning?
If that's the case, take lots of piccies. It may well be the last.
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 06:33
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Hidden Agenda?

There may be a hidden agenda here.

Perhaps you're being sized up to see if you're 'socially acceptable' and before you know it, it's the parish council for you and the WI for the Mrs.

On the other hand it could be : "come along on Thursday and bring the car keys"!!

O-D
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 07:19
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All you need to know

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Old 9th Nov 2010, 08:18
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Maybe take a bit of grass to chill everyone out a bit. Later - naked Twister and baby oil.
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 09:30
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Originally Posted by Old-Duffer View Post
There may be a hidden agenda here.

Perhaps you're being sized up to see if you're 'socially acceptable' and before you know it, it's the parish council for you and the WI for the Mrs.
Car keys certainly. Being young and mobile Mrs MM will be an unpaid wheels service for the electric buggy brigade. You may be line dup as the secretary or more likely treasurer.

Gardening? Flowers? Church? Golf?

Need to do a bit of homework old boy. Was he a Col (rtd), actually Lt Col but really a Maj or Flt Lt equivalent? If he was more senior then be sure to listen to all the funny stories or which he will have a fund.
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 12:01
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If you take flowers, wrap them in paper and not cellophane, as this looks more expensive!

Don't take them after eights or quality street, but something more like Bendicks of Mayfair, as these are not too flash, but not mundane either

As per above, definitely get your partner to hand write a thank you letter to the wife of the colonel, and not him.

let the colonel and his wife know that you are both very busy, and already are members of various organisations, so cannot join any more during the chit chat. It will be better for you to join the parish council later, rather than be shoved into a post no one else wants!


Good luck, and think of it as a SERE course, but just say "Oh yes lovely" rather than "I cannot answer that question"
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 12:06
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Just remember not to monopolise their hallway mirror, MM.
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 12:40
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Originally Posted by musclemech View Post
Having recently moved into a new house in a deepest rural English village, the present Mrs MM and I have been invited to Mrs Bloggs (wife of retd Army officer) At Home, for drinks in a few weeknds time. Never having been schooled in these sorts of things, I wonder if any of the Officer Corps could help with etiquette/ protocols for such events?

For instance, the RSVP has been crossed out and what looks like refutts (or maybe reputts) written above. Any help with that one?

What exactly does an 'At Home' for drinks afternoon entail, and what dress would be appropriate (for me and for Mrs MM).

Does one take a bottle of wine/ flowers/ chocolates/ all of the above?

Presumably normal etiquette for arrival times and for post event Thank You notes would be appropriate?

Any other advice would be gratefully received.
Thanks in advance
MM
The very fact that you have to ask these questions should be ringing your "alarm bells"
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 15:09
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Reminds me of when I was a 21yr Plt Off at Changi. Shortly after our arrival the squadron held an all-ranks party in the Malcolm Club. My 18 year old bride got incredibly pissed off at being addressed as 'my dear child' by Mrs Stash; this was followed by a coffee morning invite by a flight commander's wife. After she got home she said 'never ever expect me to go to one of those awful things again; I'm fed-up with being talked down to!' We hadn't learnt the word patronise then!

So bang went my future career before I had had time to screw it up myself.

Years later, after she had started the area's art group and became the chairman and now life-president, I think she would have made a fantastic career officer's wife.I would have been the weak link!
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 17:51
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I don't think...

... pontius navigator is quite up to speed with my comment re the car keys.

It could be one of those set ups where the keys get thrown into the middle of the room - do I have to say more???!!!

O-D
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 17:54
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O-D. I was well ahead of you. Mrs PN was sucked into the WI but soon found out it was because she had a driving licence and was seen as a soft touch. They were wrong.

Last edited by Pontius Navigator; 9th Nov 2010 at 18:34.
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 18:17
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I have grisly memories of going to some cocktails do at Cranditz and while I was doing something menial for the Commandant my wife was told "The Flt Lt's wives are over there".
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 18:22
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Pontius Navigator

Who is Mrs PM you refer to?
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 19:35
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Musclemech,

Don't overlook the obvious - you and Mrs MM might simply have been invited for your quick wit and repartee. The format of the invite tells you one of two things - it's a "no civvies" do only, or it's the only way the dear chap knows to have a bash.

Either way, you and your wife are not being invited for your knowledge of Debrett's or JSP 101, so get the basics right by all means, but just go and enjoy yourselves. Mrs Willoughby-Smythe will be delighted that you came and enjoyed yourself, only the proles would be rude enough to laugh at your home knitted Thomas the Tank Engine sweater.

One tip with "mixed' functions - do wean yourself off acronyms and abbreviations before you get there. The anecdote about the Pygmy and the Gynecologist will be funnier without all the staccato alphabet soup we all tend to use these days. People who don't know what an ATTC BPS Double overhead knurled flange-bracket is may feel excluded.
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 20:49
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Originally Posted by Two's in View Post
do wean yourself off acronyms and abbreviations before you get there. .
Reminds me, as a newly commissioned and partly trained baby nav I was a civvie cocktail party. Drink was OK but other than that it was not the most scintillating event. Then I heard the words:

"Let's do a 180 and get the hell out of here."

I could not believe it. It was a couple of ladies, probably in their 40s. The clue was this was around 1962. I was too young to take advantage of the situation and a few years before Simon and Garfunkel.
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Old 9th Nov 2010, 21:13
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I am delighted to hear that deep rural villages with polite social functions still exist. I thought Blighty had been leveled with concrete and was populated solely by chavs.

Hope you have a good time.
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