What’s the Worst Etiquette Faux Pas You’ve Ever Experienced?

What’s the Worst Etiquette Faux Pas You’ve Ever Experienced?
Photo: Prostock-studio, Shutterstock

We all — well most of us — live by certain unspoken rules of etiquette that make life a bit more civilized and thoughtful. We offer to bring food or drink when invited to a party, we hold doors open for strangers trailing close behind us, we say “nice to meet you” after being introduced to someone new. These standard, widely-accepted mores of polite behaviour help us co-exist, and give us a script during moments of social awkwardness.

And then there are those people who seem to be operating from a different playbook. People who didn’t get the memo, who still, somehow, are immune to the epic rudeness of loudly talking on their cell phones in a confined public space, who still sneeze as full-grown adults without covering their mouths, who’ve never encountered an RSVP they didn’t blow off, and who wilfully ignore the existence of their turn signal.

The people who will invite you over to eat then…make you pay for the food? That’s what happened to actor and podcast host Amber Nelson, who tweeted: “Got invited to someone’s place for dinner and they charged me for it….this is weird, right?” Twitter agreed yes, it was weird. Replies ranged from “Can’t stop thinking about this. Please send me their phone number” and “Charge them for the conversation you brought” to “Was it takeout?” and “If you invite me to your house, offer me food and then demand I pay you for it, I’m keying your car on the way out.” (And no, it wasn’t takeout. It was homemade penne alla vodka and the “host” Venmo-requested $US20 ($28) afterwards.)

Listen, virtually anything is OK so long as it’s agreed to beforehand (and legal). If you decide with a friend to go halfsies on a night out, cool. If you say, “I’ll cook an awesome meal for you, but let’s split the cost of ingredients,” great. But if you invite them over for dinner, then ask for cash afterwards? As one Lifehacker editor put it, “that’s some psychotic shit.”

This tweet got us thinking: What’s the worst etiquette faux pas you have ever experienced? We all have some doozies. (Like, when your company’s owner brings an expensive bottle of liquor to a holiday white elephant gift exchange and steals it back from an employee.) Because, as it turns out, the etiquette rules we think everyone is following? They aren’t.

People are idiosyncratic and often do weird things they think are OK, but everyone around them knows is bonkers. Tell us the biggest etiquette faux pas you’ve witnessed — or been on the receiving end of — and we’ll round up the funniest and most egregious in a future post.

  

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