Miss Manners Addresses Hot Tub Unease

Aug 22, 16 • Entertaining, Hot TubsNo CommentsRead More »

On July 3, 2016, Miss Manners addressed a concern about hot tubbing. In this case, a hostess was “badgering” a guest to join the party. While technically both parties are not blameless, we wonder: as a hot tub owner, how would you have handled this situation? Do you expect or force your guests to partake in a hot tub soak?


Dear Miss Manners: Prior to a weekend at a friend’s vacation home with several other guests, our hostess sent word that we should plan on some time in the hot tub.

When the time came to jump in, I politely declined and said that I would sit nearby and enjoy their company from outside the hot tub.

My hostess would not leave me alone. She badgered me to join in. For other hostesses who won’t take no for an answer, I want to share some reasons people do not want to get in the hot tub.

(1) I am currently in the middle of a herpes episode and don’t want to expose everyone else.

(2) I recently had surgery and have a drainage tube in my stomach.

(3) I am a bit of a germaphobe and don’t want to sit in a swirling tepid pool of your sweat and shedding dead skin.

(4) I am incontinent and have to wear a diaper.

Hopefully, a future host or hostess will read this and will understand that when a guest says, “No thanks,’’ the proper reply is, “I understand; however, if you change your mind we would love to have you join us.’’

Just a minute, please, while Miss Manners collects herself. She has much too vivid a picture of the other guests frantically splashing their way out of the tub as you recite this list.

Not that you would do so, of course. But it is a powerful argument against the faux hospitality — actually rudeness — of badgering one’s guests.

However, you are not blameless here. The hostess told you in advance that a sojourn in the hot tub was part of her plan. That is the moment in which you should have said, “Would it be all right if I sat that out?’’

Had she begun haranguing you then, you could have said, “I don’t want to spoil the weekend, so perhaps we had better get together another time.’’

To read more, please visit http://www.missmanners.com/



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