Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I'm thinking I should start an advice column.

Thanks to all who commented on the bratty kid down the street...

So, a friend of mine, once she found out I had asked your opinion about that situation, wanted me to ask my blog readers how they would handle a situation she found herself in. When I say friend, I mean an actual friend, not a "friend" who is really me. Believe me, if it were me, I would tell you. It's too good not to share.

Apologies in advance to my male readers, although of course, they too should weigh in on the subject.

Said friend is in peri menopause. Apparently this means you can have irregular and sometimes heavy bleeding during your cycle. Unfortunately her cycle fell during the week of her book club. But, the book club has both snacks and wine. So, she went (walked there).

3 or 4 glasses of wine later, she makes a trip to the restroom, only to find out that she has bled through everything. Not good. She then goes back to the living room to check out the chair she was sitting in to see if it too, got, well, adulterated.

Here is the problem. The book club was still in full swing. It was dimly lit with candles, which made a thorough chair assesment impossible. She also was a tad tipsy. She excused herself and went home.

Here is the question: What would you do the next morning? Would you call the host of the book club that you don't know super well and ask about the chair? Or, would you leave well enough alone and hope for the best? Or, is there another solution?

Weigh in folks. Oh, and if you are currently experiencing your Aunt Flo right now, let me be the first to wish you "a happy period."


jill jill bo bill said...

I am thinking she should pray someone else sat in that chair AFTER she did, just in case. If the hostess is a blabbermouth gossip or has a blog, I would go over there and check it out. (You know you and I would blog about it...)

The Dental Maven said...

I would have to call the hostess and offer to pay to have it cleaned. I'd feel awful and be guilt ridden if I just let it go.

Tenakim said...

My mom had peri menopause at my age and insists that's part of my problem.

I would definitely have to talk about it with the home owner- as embarassing as it may be!

3carnations said...

Oh man. How well did she know the hostess? I probably wouldn't be able to bring it up unless I really knew the person...

♥georgie♥ said...

I would find a new book club...I'm just saying I would be mortified LOL

Miz Q said...

Definitely call her up. Start out with apologizing for having to leave early, explain why, explain how mortified you are and express hope there was no 'leakage' and offer to pay for cleaning.

This is all of our nightmare. Chances are it's the hostess's nightmare too, she will commiserate and totally understand and thank you for the call. And send you a bill or not.

But it's sure better than avoiding her at every turn, WONDERING whether or not she's thinking bad thoughts about you or worse yet telling everyone ELSE.

Sometime the hostess might be perimenopausal too! lol

David D. said...

First of all, on behalf of your male readers, apology accepted. Yuck.

Normally, my advice is practically always to screw up your courage, and take responsibility for your mistakes. It's never as bad as you think it will be, and people really respect you for it, and almost always end up liking you better and trusting you more afterward.

But this case is definitely an exception.

Maybe it is my male bias here, but I don't think she should call the hostess.

First of all, she doesn't even know for certain that there's even anything to talk about. She might have damaged the chair, sure. But that's always true. It's always true that, for all you know, you might have damaged something at a party without realizing it. You don't call to check on that. That is not the social convention. Things get dirty at parties, and the host or hostess bears that risk.

Second, even if your friend did damage the chair, what is her moral culpability? She simply has no control over what comes out of her body in this way. She took reasonable precautions, and that's all that she can do. She didn't do anything wrong. She doesn't have anything to apologize for.

Finally, I just don't think the hostess wants to hear about it. Do you? Here is my male bias shining through the most strongly, but if there is a stain, then I have to assume that the hostess is going to find it distasteful. The less she has to think about it or talk about it, the better. Apologizing forces the hostess to put a face to the stain, and personalize it in a way that will only make the hostess even more uncomfortable. Probably, she's thinking to herself, "Is that blood? Maybe it's wine. Maybe it's salsa. Maybe it is blood, but I hope not." Better for the hostess that she never know for sure. Telling her is not doing her a favor. It's hurting the hostess a second time, by forcing her to deal with an awkward, uncomfortable social situation that she shouldn't have to deal with.

This hostess threw a party, and she knew perfectly well that she would almost certainly have to clean up some stains afterward. That's just part of throwing a party. She's probably not even upset about it, but she will be if she has to deal with your friend talking about her extra-bloody period dripping through her clothes. That is not going to strengthen their friendship. It's going to put a tremendous strain on their friendship every time they see each other, because they will both always feel uncomfortable around each other.

I can't imagine that the hostess will allow your friend to pay the cleaning bill, because that would be very rude of the hostess. But what if she does? Ugh. Now you're dealing with this over the course of several more interactions, where they interact to get the price, and they interact to exchange the cash. Or maybe she says she'll accept money for the cleaning bill, but then never follows up. What do you do then? Keep bringing it up all the time to remind her to send you the bill? There's no good end to this story.

The bottom line is that there are two conflicting social rules here. 1) You should take responsibility for your actions; and 2) You should not discuss your bodily functions in polite company. When rules conflict it is sometimes a difficult job to sort out which rule should prevail, and it is sometimes easy. This is an easy case.

Don't do it. No good can possibly come of it. Not discussing this with the hostess is the right thing to do.

- David

Rachel said...

Oh, man. This is a tough one. I think I would have 'accidentally' spilled some red wine or chocolate on myself and the chair before offering to have it cleaned and going home! That way, I'd still be taking responsibility, but wouldn't have to be embarrassed by explaining the real situation???

Let us know what your "friend" does... ;)

Megan said...

I wouldn't have had any wine. *wink*

Who ever heard of a "happy period"? That, seriously, was invented by a man... who should be fired... and shot.

Robin said...

this is weird. none of your commentors mentioned the fact the hostess may have already found the stain, realized who had been sitting there and is forming her own conclusions regarding your friend.

i think your friend should call the hostess asap and explain the situation. if there was a stain, offer to pay to have the chair cleaned. i doubt the hostess would be offended or repulsed, this stuff happens to the best of us.

not owning up to it? that's a whole different story.

but in the future, they may make her sit on the floor. :-)

Roadchick said...

I think she is going to have to make the call and offer to pay for a professional cleaning if there was any damage because someone will remember that she was sitting there.

This is really one of my worst nightmares (and I haven't hit peri-menopause yet).

Beth said...

I would totally blame any possible stains on someone else. Or the family pet. There is a family pet, right?

bernthis said...

oh boy, I'm not sure on this one. I have to go with Dental Maven. You gotta call.

Miz Q said...

Can we come up with some more of these uncomfortable questions to ask David?? I haven't laughed that hard in a while!! lol too funny

Mariah said...

I would have called and explained, for sure