It’s a sultry summer night, and you’re on your way to an elegant dinner party given by your boss and his charming wife. You arrive at the appropriate time, impeccably dressed in casual evening wear and greet your hostess with a smile — and nothing more.
Imagine your mortification and horror when you pass a table in the hall loaded with bottles of wine, flower arrangements, gourmet coffee, and other small gifts. You search your brain… is it the hosts’ anniversary? A birthday? Did someone retire?
Although the party might be a celebration of one of those occasions, it’s far more likely that guests with better manners than you brought thoughtful tokens of appreciation for their hosts.
Like thank you notes, the giving of gifts to your hosts is becoming a lost art. When we do remember to bring a nice little something, it’s invariably a bouquet of flowers or a bottle of wine from the corner liquor store. Really, can’t we do better than that?
Gone may be the days of bringing your hostess lavish crystal or a pair of mourning doves when you arrive at the manor for a weekend stay, but we haven’t become complete savages. Your hosts have expended a great deal of time, effort, and expense to provide you with an evening (or weekend) of food, drink, and entertainment. The least you can do is thank them with an appropriate gift.
With the last of the warm weather, and the upcoming holiday season, come a bevy of seasonal social obligations: barbeques and picnics, cocktail and dinner parties, and of course weekends away. Never arrive at someone’s home without something more to contribute than your personality, as stunning as it might be. Take this opportunity to man up and accept this simple rule: no matter what the occasion, a gentleman never arrives empty-handed.
The Art of Manliness is a blog dedicated to uncovering the lost art of being a man.