Feel Right at Home?

Last week I got to visit Mom and take her on her doctor rounds (she’s doing great, by the way). Along with a day-trip to visit a friend and watching a couple of movies she’d been wanting to see, I read her my work in progress, Southern Challenge.

In this light-hearted romance, I transplant a Georgia girl (Kayla) to Texas and send her after a rancher’s son. Her best friend in the story, Meagan, is Texan through and through. In one scene, I have Meagan helping herself to a glass of tea in Kayla’s home. That’s where Mom had me stop reading.

“You’re kidding!”


“Nobody would ever just make themselves at home in someone else’s house like that!”

“Uh, I do.”

“Oh, surely not. I raised you better than that.”

“Mom, everyone does it.”

“No they don’t!”

“Well, yeah–everyone I know does.” From there, I went on to explain how close friends do exactly that. “I wouldn’t go through her office drawers or help myself to her jewelry box, but yeah, I’d make myself a glass of tea. Iced tea–not t-bone. I’m not talking about making myself a four-course meal here, just a glass of tea.”

“You’re kidding.” She had a bit of trouble accepting the fact that I was the rudest woman on the planet. Maybe the better description is that she was mortified. “I never did that. Ever.”

“Well, your generation was different.”

She didn’t believe me. She just figured she’d failed as a parent and Emily Post would be shaking an accusatory finger at her in her dreams for rest of her natural days.

We decided to put the issue to a vote on Facebook: “When you go to visit a good friend, do you know where her glasses are? Do you ever fix your own iced tea?”

Yep, just like I figured, it’s generational–and regional. One lady even mentioned Emily Post. Problem is, Emily Post didn’t tell you what to do if your hostess doesn’t offer you anything, and you’re just ’bout dyin’ of thirst. I figure if your hostess doesn’t play by the rules, you don’t have to either. So there.

Anyway, lucky me, one woman who responded was from Georgia, and gave me the Well, I nehvah! response I was expecting from a Southern Belle, meaning the depiction of my MC is spot on (yea!). Two Kentucky ladies agreed with her. Almost all my Texas friends as well as one of my Arizona buddies gave “heck yeah” responses, except for one Texas gal pal who’s a tad older than me. She sided with the southerners. The stinker. (You know who you are!)

One lady–who is now my new best friend–says she’d do it anywhere. She doesn’t want to be waited on. “If I’m new in the house, I’ll ask, then I’ll help myself.” She has lived in Delaware and New Mexico, and now she’s in North Dakota. Great folks in those states.

The score was tied, but I ask you, what’s the fun of having an outrageous character if she doesn’t shock the sensibilities now and then?

Mom, I love ya, but in this argument–you lose. 😀

About Linda W. Yezak

Author/Freelance Editor/Speaker (writing and editing topics).
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16 Responses to Feel Right at Home?

  1. I love outrageous characters, too altho this is only borderline outrageous.

    I’d never make myself tea unless the makins’ are all out on the counter. However–I always make sure to have the makins out on the counter for folks who come over to my house. And I expect them to serve themselves. If they don’t I force them.

    Not sure what that says about my hostessing…

    So glad your mom is doing better. I get to visit my 90-year old mom Wednesday with my brother–we’re going to celebrate our joint April birthdays. Mom has “rented” out the dining room at the “home” and invited 6 folks we don’t know to join the fun. She knows about hostessing…


  2. joannesher says:

    If it’s a VERY dear friend, I’ll do it after asking. But I also grew up in California – so it might be different. I would not be IN THE LEAST insulted if someone did it for me.


    • Linda Yezak says:

      Someone on the FB thread said you would know which friends would be insulted and which would rather you serve yourself. I think that’s true. Very dear friends generally wouldn’t mind . . . would they?


  3. The Phantom Yankee says:

    Yes . . . I know who I am. TeeHee! It might make you feel better to know I wasn’t born in Texas. (I don’t tell that to just anyone.) That could be the deciding factor for why I broke the “perfect Texas record”. I’m a (gasp) Yankee, transplanted to Texas on my 17th birthday. I cried all the way down, and swore that on my 18th birthday I was going “home”. Twelve short months later on my 18th birthday, wild horses could not have dragged me out of Texas!


    • Linda Yezak says:

      Texas does get under your skin, doesn’t it? It’s a terrific state. You’ve been here long enough to pick up our ways. But it’s true. Not everyone in Texas is as casual as I am.


  4. This reminds me of conversations I’ve had with *my* mother. I always help myself when at a friend’s house. I like it when they make themselves at home in my house, and I do the same with them. But my mom would definitely side with yours!


  5. Sharon Srock says:

    I have a thing with my friends that visit my house. The first time you’re there, you’re company. After that, you’re family. You want a soda, a cookie, even a sandwich…you know where the kitchen is. I don’t always act that way in their homes. I wonder why that is?


  6. lynnmosher says:

    LOL Too fun! For an outrageous character, I say go for it! I’m so glad your mom is doing so well!


  7. Well, I am glad you announced the result of your poll. What fun to read all the different responses. Amazing how different age groups and regional norms vary.


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