Guests are wonderful, entertaining, enriching, and rewarding when they join you for a meal at your table. HOWEVER . . . some guests are hapless souls who truly are their own worst enemies.
There were many, many things said by a recent guest of ours (whom we'd never met before) that were . . . off. That pointed to a high level of social ineptitude. Most related to dating foibles that did not need to be shared, certainly not with virtual strangers.
When I don't know someone very well yet, there is a delicate balance between disclosing my own thoughts and opinions while learning about this other person. In this interplay, I try to come to an estimation of how to talk to this person, what to ask and what to share. It is not merely unwise to state everything you think in a proclamatory, absolute way. It can also be hurtful.
Had "Foot in Mouth" known that both my husband and another of my guests lost a parent at a young age, he may not have quipped that it is better to marry an orphan (!!?!) because they don't come with a set of in-laws (?!). Or gone on to say that even with an orphan, there's the chance of an uncle who is particularly close to her, or a cousin, or something.
While it can be useful to share your dating preferences with people who may be able to set you up, "Foot in Mouth" informed us that he is only interested in women who are ready to return to work soon after having a child. "There are no free rides with me. No sitting on the couch eating bon-bons!" (This is verbatim). Well. Clearly FIM did not realize that, in fact, his hostess is a stay-at-home-mother, I mean, bon-bon inhaler. Likely because FIM did not ask too much about us. Did he not know how offensive this would sound to all moms, regardless of one's taxable employment status? Or how socio-culturally loaded the bon-bons comment was?
I have not included in this post some very strange, embarassing, and awkward details that FIM related - only the ones that irked me on a personal level. I was torn between wishing RaggedyDad would have put him in his place, deciding whether I wanted to tell him off myself, and just wanting to end things as quickly as possible without a debate so I could put my kids to bed and forget the whole episode. Which clearly I haven't :)
I enjoy hosting guests at my table. It usually adds to the discussion and to our chinuch (education) of the kids on a social level. I try to accept guests for who they are and not for who I wish they'd be. I only hope to be similarly accepted and respected by my guests.