Robert Hayes Kee,
Department of Polite Aesthetic Praxis
I have just recently alit in my domicile after an extraordinary esthetic conflagration. This was the second of the twin peaks of the summer calendar for the staff of this magazine. At our latest assembly, we retreated to a bucolic mountaintop and reveled in our rare time together. Summer is the season of travel and a low ebb of the academic calendar. My travels will end soon, but their tumultuousness has forced an abbreviated missive onto you, my dear readers. I will soon have much more time not just away from the university’s library but to luxuriate in the one at my home.
I hope that the vagaries of capitalism have receded to such a degree that you, dear readers, are enjoying similar pleasures at the moment.
Robert Hayes Kee
I frequently prepare myself for my day with a mélange of chemical enhancements. I have done so for some time and is not apparent to most my interlocutors. However, while staying at the domicile of an acquaintance during a recent sojourn, a resident of the home walked in while I was administering a daily ration. This resident became enraged that I would violate both decorum and statute in their home. I was removed from the premise shortly afterwards. Did I violate etiquette as a guest or did my host’s disruption of my stay? One of us must be at fault.
I find that it is rarely judicious to make a start binary as you have here, dear reader. However, they seem to be few other ways to address this situation. One could argue that you, as a guest, violated the code of your host, Implicit or explicit. The alternate view would be that a host disrupting a guest without sufficient cause is one of the greatest violations of etiquette.
Heracles, ever the oaf, set the high bar in this regard while staying with a mourning Admetus. A guest’s error can indebt them to their host, as Heracles was until he rescued Alcestis. Euripides tells this tale to remind his audience of its social duties. Part of Heracles sin is his drunkenness in a house of mourning. Were you in a house of mourning, dear reader? If you were, your sin here is not to share this precious resource of yours. Few things dull the pain of loss like those things designed to kill it.
During recent travel, I was offered accommodation at the residence of an interlocutor. I know more of this interlocutor by reputation than interaction, but part of this reputation is the unfortunateness of their habitation. I declined this interlocutors offer four habitation but settled for a sylvan canopy as a roof. Was this a breach of etiquette?
Declining the offer of an interlocutor on its face is rarely rude. I see where you, dear reader, have pushed this boundary. Comparing another’s domicile unfavorably to the forest floor will frequently be read as insulting. You should mollify your offended interlocutor by proving this to be so. I suggest removing the walls and floor from their residence, however forcefully is necessary, that way the truth of statement will stand, even if their domicile does not.