Dear Uncommon Courtesy,
So my dad kept getting in trouble for staying up late at my grandmother’s house and reading at night. Nana would see him, just reading and get angry and start yelling at him.
Tonight my other Nana mentioned that she hates being awake in a house that everyone’s sleeping in. That it is rude- people will think you’ve been nosing around.
So! Is this a generational thing? Are you not supposed to stay up while others are sleeping? Not even, like, staying up making noise, but just staying up in general? My parents hadn’t heard of it- but this was an apparent learned thing for my grandparents.
There is no official etiquette because this is nonsense.
Jaya: What on earth is Nana talking about?
Victoria: Made up nonsense! So basically, shes saying that its rude to stay up later than everyone else in the house even if you are just in your room and being quiet because it seems like you are being sneaky?
Jaya: Yeah, which, I don’t understand how you practically apply this if you’re not the only person in your house. Even if you’re in your room, some people like to stay up and read! Or are just not tired yet! The first searches for this on Google bring up like, hostel etiquette.
Victoria: Seriously. Although, I do find it weird when I am the only person awake and I feel like I am in some kind of post apocalyptic world where I am the last human on earth…but maybe that’s just me.
Jaya: No I totally get that.
Victoria: I do think that if you are a guest in someone’s home, you should retire to your room or couch or something when the hosts go to bed. Though you don’t necessarily have to sleep- as long as you are ready to wake up whenever you need to be awake for the next days activities. I also think, as a house guest, you should try not to sleep in toooooo much longer than the hosts- unless the host knows they get up ridiculously early and tells you to sleep til whenever.
Jaya: Yeah, and obviously that depends on your relationship to the hosts. This sort of addresses it. It is sort of awkward if I wake up way earlier than everyone and am wandering around.
Victoria: And yeah, obviously depending on your relationship. I mean, in your parents house, even if you are visiting, you are still family and can do what you want.
Jaya: But I cannot imagine freaking out if I had a guest, said I was going to bed, and they were like “ok I’m gonna stay up and read a bit.”
Victoria: Hahah yeah! For sure, that’s kind of rude. You want to make your guests comfortable!
Jaya: Also, if you as the host are asleep, how would you even know others are awake and nosing around? You’re sleeping!
Victoria: Yeah! Although, my mom claims she could tell when me and my sister were home or not when she was asleep.
Jaya: Unless you’re pretending to sleep to see if your guests also sleep and then surprise them when they don’t sleep, which is just creepy.
Victoria: Yeah, although, if you live in a small place, it’s conceivable that you can see a tiny bit of the light or sense movement, but still, who cares?
Jaya: True. And obviously you shouldn’t be up partying or watching TV loudly or whatever. Man, most etiquette things I can see where they come from, and this one I really can’t. Unless you live in a mansion and have strangers as guests all the time. It’s another case of like, weird etiquette rules when, generally, you know and like the people you have at your house. Your son is not trying to steal your silver.
Victoria: I mean, it probably comes from a time when people had more house guests or some weird derivation from the English country house party. I mean, Emily Post is full of etiquette for visiting people in the country, who you don’t really know super well. But yeah, still even there, there’s not really anything about this.