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Original post made by Curious, Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 17, 2008

It used to be when people came to visit me, either for a pre-arranged meal or just visiting, that I would offer them tea, coffee, lemonade, or something stronger, etc. Nowadays, people come carrying their own Starbucks. Am I the only one who thinks this is odd?

Comments (6)

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Posted by also wondering
a resident of College Terrace
on Apr 17, 2008 at 8:32 pm

I wonder. Coffee is a real drug with real addictive properties. Perhaps there's too much risk of missing it?

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Posted by Me too
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 17, 2008 at 11:25 pm

I have somewhat similar experiences. (Younger) people critique the food, they don't just say no, thanks. Sometimes they have special preferences that I could not have predicted and they feel free to express them.
Makes entertaining much less satisfying. They seem to think they are at a restaurant, they want to tell you what they want.
And oh yes, some bring their cell phones along.

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Posted by Generation gap
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2008 at 6:53 am

Well, I have somewhat of a different take on this. When I emigrated from Europe; I noticed that if I dropped by an American neighbor they seemed compelled to offer me food or drink.

This, I found, made casually dropping in on your neighbors for a chat (no food or drink) almost non-existent, and American neighborhoods a lot less close and friendly. Different cultures do it differently.

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Posted by Perplexed
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 18, 2008 at 10:13 am

When they show up with Starbucks, do they bring one for you? Or do manners dictate that you just watch them drink their latte? Or do you make yourself a pot of coffee and join them?
And when they interrupt the conversation to take a cell phone call, do manners dictate that you descreetly busy yourself with something so that you don't appear to be eavesdropping? Should you leave the room and sweep the kitchen floor while they talk on their phone? Or sit quietly and mentally practice your multiplication tables?
Perhaps those who show up for a visit with Starbucks and a cell phone can clue us in about the proper etiquette when presented with this situation.

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Posted by peter
a resident of Professorville
on Apr 19, 2008 at 9:22 pm

If it's a prearranged visit maybe you can say you will be serving (whatever you have chosen) and you would appreciate it if they would let you know if they have a problem with it.

If it's a drop in, don't provide anything. You are not a restaurant with drop in customers. Just express your delight in seeing them if that is what you feel.

Also let them know that your home is a cell phone free zone. If they show up and still use the cell phone, maybe you can quietly drop them from your list.

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Posted by Safeway Shopper
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 27, 2008 at 4:28 pm

How about when you are in a parking lot waiting for someone to come out of their space, you are holding up all the other traffic and signaling, and someone comes the other way and gets into your spot. There should definitely be a code of parking lot etiquette.

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