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Monday question: Uncle Smokey

Posted by Robin Abrahams  January 2, 2012 06:27 AM

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Here's a nice, juicy question to start the New Year with. What do you think? 

I have a rather odd Situation -- esp. nowadays. We have a relative (not on my side) who feels it acceptable to smoke in their home when entertaining guests. This relative has taken on the role of host for family gatherings. During the summer, no issue. However, the colder weather presents a different story. They think nothing of smoking in front of guests even when young children are present! A few other smokers take that as a green light to light up also (gratefully, most still go outside to smoke). As one of the many non-smokers, it is extremely offensive and I usually walk out of the room until the smoke clears but that can be difficult at times. If anyone notices, nothing is said. 

 I cannot say anything directly without causing a family rift, after all it is "their home."  The few we have mentioned it to are clueless -- no one wants to create issues. I find it mind boggling that anyone would subject their guests and esp. children to the dangers of second hand smoke! I end up coughing for days and wash all our clothes the next day. It may come to where I do not go and visit relatives at other times -- which could create other questions. Entertaining at our home is not an option due to distance. I am at a loss what to do, if anything.

What do you think, dear readers? I'll post my advice Friday. In the meantime, check back in for useful tips on New Years' resolutions, a Wednesday chat, and more. Happy (smoke-free!) 2012!

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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Curious if you should say "bless you" to a sneezing atheist? How to host a dinner party for carbophobes, vegans, and Atkins disciples—all at the same time? The finer points of regifting? Ask it here, or email missconduct@globe.com.

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