Oh lord, is it embarrassing when you spill a glass of red all over your hostess’s antique persian carpet. Don’t you just cringe at the thought? Well here are the basics of what you should do when you encounter such an awkward situation.
Begin by giving a genuine profuse apology.
This is one of those “above and beyond” type situations. You should apologize at least a couple of times and show that you are genuinely upset over your blunder. No need to get emotional, cry, or become seriously embarrassed, it is a mistake after all but your hostess is expecting a remorseful apology especially if you have damaged anything of value.
Immediately offer to clean up the offending stain or broken glass.
Make it clear it’s not a half hearted offer and physically make your way to the kitchen or wherever you think cleaning supplies may be located. Your hostess will follow and show you the supplies. Before you begin cleaning, unless it’s a simple cleanup, then be sure to consult the hostess about which cleaning method she prefers as some products will deepen the stain and make matter worse for certain delicate fabrics or materials.
Offer to pay for any damages or if need be a replacement.
It may be dry-cleaning a dress or replacing crystal glassware. If the damaged item is irreplaceable or simply too expensive then show your remorse by sending a nice gift post party. A beautiful fruit basket, flowers, or a nice bottle of wine. Anything to show your sensitivity and acknowledgment of the incident. If you can’t afford a replacement and one is needed then the best course of action is to be honest saying you simply can’t afford it at the moment and that you’re truly sorry. Any gracious hostess will understand and let you off the hook.
If you’ve spilled someone else’s drink offer to buy them a new one.
If it’s an open bar ask what they were drinking and promptly go fetch another, if they paid then buy them a new glass. If it was wine from a bottle you don’t have to offer to buy a whole new bottle, but sending over a glass of champagne is always an appreciated gesture.
Now if you were the victim of a spill then try to be as gracious as possible even if you’re, quite rightly, upset.
You can decline any offered compensation for damage, but it is perfectly ok to accept it as well. Although, unless it’s something that significantly effects my budget I would thank them for their offer but decline as I prefer saving a friendship over a monetary amount. You will also emerge from the situation seemingly composed and forgiving.
When hosting an at home party keep prepared by keeping proper stain removal products close at hand.
If the worst should happen you want to be sufficiently ready to tackle any mishaps with grace and ease. Remember as a hostess the most important thing is to keep your guests feeling happy and comfortable. Imagine how mortified you would feel if you spilled on someone’s pristine white sofa.
Now after you’ve handled yourself like a poised and gracious lady, relax and drink up! It’s a mistake after all and parties are meant to be fun.
HOMEWORK: Have you ever encountered an embarrassing spilling faux pas? How did you handle it? Tell me in the comments!