laplumeDear L. A. Plume,


This is a true story, and do not laugh. Just when you think you’ve seen all manner of bad guests, another one comes out of the woodwork.

            Hubby and I are at our beach place for the summer. After consulting me, Hubby invited his bachelor college friend, Weird Willie, to visit for a couple of nights. He was to arrive on Monday and leave on Wednesday. We emailed him explicit directions and suggested he arrive before lunch. (He lives 2.5 hours away.) Hubby then arranged with a local friend, Jonesy, to go sailing on Monday afternoon from 1-5 pm.

            Monday morning comes, I make three sandwiches at about 11:30, ready to eat before they walk over to Jonesy’s dock. Noon comes and goes. No phone call from Weird Willie, and of course, Hubby has left WW’s cell phone number on his desk. In the city. Now it is 12:55 pm.  Shouldn’t we have heard from WW by now? What do we do?


Confused by Rudeness

Dear Confused,

            1. Does this man wear a watch or does he tell time by the cell phone that is in his pocket?

            2. Did he stop for gas?

            3. Does he like to go sailing?

            4. Does he eat sandwiches? And, did you butter the bread?

            5. Is this the same guy who ate all the butter last summer?

            6. Did he ever show up?

            7. Do you really care?

            Tell the next male guest to bring two pounds of butter for the lobster and forget about the rest. Oh, and add Bourbon and Chardonnay to his list of house/hostess gifts.

L. A. Plume

Dear L. A. Plume,


I have a girlfriend who underwent some financial reverses. Prior to that time, she was always the one who did her fair share, treated on many occasions, etc. But after her situation changed she seemed to think it was payback time for everyone she had been generous to along the way. And now, for the longest time, she seems to expect everyone to take care of her without regard for their situation. Is that the way it works?



Dear Confused,

Unfortunately, once a pattern has been set, it’s difficult to break. People who get used to being taken care of get to like it, and for whatever reason, if the pattern changes they are not likely to step up to the plate to reciprocate. They are more likely to resent the change, no matter what the direction, rather than see it as a way to bolster the friendship in other ways. In a true friendship, everyone has something to offer and, monetary considerations aside, all is of equal value.

L. A. Plume

Dear Ms. Plume,


How do you respond when a neighbor comes to a party at your house for the first time and enters the door with guns blazing about their political and religious views – which, by the way, are diametrically opposed to yours? They offended us and several of our guests, yet they live next door and aren’t going away.


Confused Neighbors

Dear Confused,

I have consulted with “those in the know” about your situation. We couldn’t come up with a concrete answer, but the idea we liked best is to put a big silver bowl (silver is what it’s all about in the south) on your front hall table with a little (calligraphied) sign that says something like: “Leave your political and religious comments here for the sake of the party.” If they do not comply, offer the bowl and sign to them, as if it was brimming with mint juleps, and hope they get the hint. If not, consider a fence.

L. A. Plume