Because You Are Polite

by Ginger Philbrick

A faithful reader has messaged me after seeing last week’s column on people who are habitually late. He said I had not thoroughly covered the topic of erroneous arrivals, that I didn’t address his particular faux pas of arriving early.

In fact, he and his wife had arrived 24 hours early, food in hand, to the door of a very surprised woman who was expecting them for dinner the following evening. Apparently, everyone was a bit unnerved for a while, their hostess fearing that she had the wrong date and that other guests would soon be coming.

I am happy to reply to my dear reader that babies arrive early, occasionally wintry weather arrives early and at times even planes arrive early. In every instance we adjust.

In this case, your preemptive arrival showed only that you were looking forward to the event, whenever it was, and perhaps that the pages of your planner stuck together. No great harm was done. 

So, tuck the memory of your 24 hour error away and bring it out from time to time to laugh about with others—especially with your once-upon-a-time-soon-to-be hostess!

Ginger Philbrick is the owner of Because You Are Polite LLC. You are invited to email your manners questions to her and she will respond as time and space allow. You may contact her at