UPDATE: It seems that some people arriving at this post think I am an advice columnist. I am not. Please do not leave comments or send e-mail seeking etiquette advice, unless you just want any old opinion, and in that case, why not stop some people on the street? I really don’t have time. Anyway, this is a personal blog. This entry took the form of a letter to a “Mrs.” Manners — the real one is Miss — as a joke. Regular readers got it. If you were sent here by Google, that’s because Google is just a search engine, not a human being. OK? OK.
I have an etiquette question I’d like your opinion on. My husband, daughter and two of our friends are staying in one of those low- to moderate-priced hotels you see all over these United States, where you can get a clean, pleasant room close to your business and, of course, a free breakfast.
My question is: What is appropriate attire for the breakfast room? Having traveled with a toddler, I know that many of the little beasts wake up HONGRY and want to eat NOW and don’t necessarily feel like getting dressed and having their hair combed and otherwise made presentable for a public audience. So yes, I have taken my kid to the hotel breakfast room in her jammies.
But *I* got dressed! I didn’t put on makeup and curl my hair, but I pulled on a pair of jeans, put shoes on my feet and wore a bra. I ran a comb through my bedhead hairdo. Alas, even this minimal effort seems beyond the adult hotel guests of today.
Yesterday we were met in the breakfast room by a couple. He: Plaid flannel boxer shorts, rumpled T-shirt, untied sneakers. Her: Tank top (no bra), shorts, flip-flops. Both: Lots of visible tattoo ink, not that that’s of consequence. They had obviously gone from bed to the breakfast room with no significant stop in the bathroom in between. Which would have merely been annoying, but then he let rip with a uvula-rattling belch! My daughter, who appreciates such humor, cracked up. “Whoa,” he said. “Excuse me.”
That was yesterday. I had higher hopes for this morning, the day of Our Lord, but no. While I waited for the elevator, I saw a yawning woman leave her room in slippers, buttoning a robe over her nightgown. You AREN’T, I thought to myself. She was.
I ask you: I know the country has gotten progressively slobbier and more casual in recent years, but isn’t this going too far? Sign me: Bewildered in Beertown.
Dear Bewildered: Yes. You are right to stick to your sartorial guns, such as they are. That your fellow hotel guests aren’t only speaks to your superior breeding. Of course, you are in a state that broke, narrowly, for Kerry. It’s obviously a case of blue-state immorality and otherwise lax moral standards corrupting the rest of America. Have a nice drive home.