General Question

kimchi's avatar

Which side would you be on in this argument?

Asked by kimchi (1440points) August 28th, 2015

There is a guest who visited my house who smokes, while he is in my house. The whole house smells like smoke. As a result, worrying about second-hand smoking, I open the front door (the guest is in front of the door) and the backyard door, attempting to get the smell out by waving my hands. My dad argues that this was a rude gesture because I was doing it in front of the guest. He suggested that I go inside my room instead. I argued that I care deeply about my brother’s health, and do not like the entire house smelling like smoke. Who’s “right?” Why?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

35 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Is it your house or you father’s house?

If it is your father’s, then despite how awful it is, he sets the rules for his guest. And you will have to retreat to your room.

If it is your house, you get to say, ” no smoking in the house.”

kimchi's avatar

@zenvelo It is my father’s.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@kimchi How old are you?

I don’t think your behavior was rude at all. Everyone knows what smoking can do to people and there’s nothing rude about caring about your and your brother’s health. I’d have done the same thing.

Kardamom's avatar

I can’t imagine allowing anyone to smoke inside anyone’s house in this day and age. Your father should have discreetly let the man know ahead of time that he needed to go outside if he was going to smoke.

I also can’t imagine anyone who does smoke, to even consider smoking inside of somebody else’s home (unless everybody in that home is a smoker). I only have 2 relatives who smoke, and they always excuse themselves to go outside to smoke.

There are some people who will say you were rude. Maybe, but you were right, anyway. Your brother’s (and your own) health is of more importance than if you have to tell someone to step outside to smoke.

kimchi's avatar

My father did not let him smoke inside the house.
The guest did smoke outside with the windows shut. However, the “trail of smoke” followed him inside the house, resulting in a bad smell.

Buttonstc's avatar

He must be a really heavy smoker and you were likely smelling the smoke embedded in his clothes, hair, skin etc. Even if he trailed a little smoke in with him, getting rid of that still leaves a strong smell of smoke from him and there’s not much that can be done until he leaves.

Most heavy smokers are oblivious to the fact that everyone they encounter can smell that they’re a smoker just from how much they’re constantly marinated in it. It’s surprisingly strong.

But since it is your Father’s house, then it’s his call. Next time just go to your own room, shut the door and open the windows until this guy leaves the house.

Then air out the rest of the house if it’s OK with your Father.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it was rude what you did. Did the guest ask if it would bother anyone if he smoked in the house? If not he is inconsiderate. Did you tell your father the smoke was bothering you? If so and he ignored you then that is inconsiderate too.

I would not worry about the health affects of the smoke for one second, unless you already have asthma or a bad allergy to smoke. It’s just a guest right? There for a few days? A week? If the guest will be there longer then I suggest you apologize to your father that you were rude, ask if you should apologize to the guests, and then ask your father to please have the guest smoke outside.

Edit: I just saw that you wrote he maybe just lit the cigarette and then walked outside? 1 minute of smoke on the way outside really isn’t a big deal. The smell will go away. Was it windy out?

Cruiser's avatar

Sorry @kimchi I have to side with @zenvelo ‘s answer. When it is ‘your’ house you get to order the smokers outside. IMHO people who smoke in other peoples homes are clueless and selfish.

DoNotKnow's avatar

I do not support @zenvelo‘s argument here. While you may be a minor living in a house owned by your father, that doesn’t mean you should accept everything that happens there. You may be a minor, but you are a full person, and would not be expected to put up with abuse. Someone smoking in the house you live in affects your health and will make you and your belongings smell.

If your father is unable to protect you from this, the issue isn’t just the guy filling your lungs with smoke – it’s your father as well. And since he seems unwilling to protect you, I don’t see anything wrong with confronting the smoker directly. “Please don’t smoke in the house.”

chyna's avatar

With more information from @kimchi saying that the guest was not smoking in the house, that the smell of smoke came in with him, perhaps on his clothing and in his hair, I do think you were rude. In opening the doors and waving your hands, you are conveying to the guest that he smelled bad, that his body stinks. Would you have done that if the smell was body odor or sweat?

elbanditoroso's avatar

We have a cultural difference here.

In the US, it would be rude for the guest to light a cigarette in the house unless the host said it was OK, and in the last several years, it has become LESS socially acceptable for people to smoke. The owner of the house (in your case, your father), at least in the US, could have said “Please no smoking” and he would have been within social norms in the US.

But clearly you live in a culture where smoking is more accepted, and specifically where a host is supposed to be more solicitous of the guest. I don’t live in your culture, so I don’t have the ability to comment on what is acceptable.

But from my point of view, the guest was rude and your father was overly open to the rudeness.

jca's avatar

In some cultures, you were rude. In others, you were not. In the US, smoking is not acceptable in many places, but around people who smoke, it’s different. I think you are not in the US and the answers given by many here do not apply, as there is a cultural difference.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

According to the OP’s later post, The guest is not smoking inside of the house. (The original post was misleading. Thanks @Kardamom for asking the right question in order to solicit this fact.)

Let’s look at all of the facts:
1. It is not your house.
2. This is a guest who has been invited into your father’s home.
3. The guest was smoking outside. When he re-entered the house, the smell wafted in with him and lingered on his person.
4. This type of secondary smoke will not cause long-term effects. It might generate a reaction for someone with allergies or health issues. If this is the case, then it should be discussed by your father with the guest.
5. Opening doors and flapping arms around in an attempt to air out the house, especially in front of the guest, is passive-aggressive behavior, no matter what culture you are from.

@kimchi, it is obvious that your heart is in the right place as there is concern for your family’s health, especially your brother’s. It’s just a matter of communicating effectively without insult.

Put yourself in the guest’s shoes. If you were alerted that some habit you have was causing a problem for your hosts, how would you want it handled?

DoNotKnow's avatar

I missed this…

@kimchi: “There is a guest who visited my house who smokes, while he is in my house.”

@kimchi: “My father did not let him smoke inside the house.”

Ignore my previous comment on the issue. I’m still not clear what is going on here due to this plot twist. Is there even a visitor?

jca's avatar

Good point by @DoNotKnow: The next line is “The whole house smells like smoke.” The whole house smells like smoke from him smoking outside? Maybe he’s too close to the windows and it’s coming in? Regardless, can the whole house really smell like smoke from that?

LuckyGuy's avatar

You wrote:
“There is a guest who visited my house who smokes, while he is in my house. The whole house smells like smoke.” Is it possible you meant to write:
“There is a guest who visited my house who smokes. While he is in my house, the whole house smells like smoke.”

There is a big difference.

josie's avatar

Your actions accomplish nothing. You are simply “acting out” what is on your mind (which is bewildering to some, since the message can be ambiguous), instead of being up front and politely saying it.

“Acting out” in my opinion, is usually sort of rude, and pretty much always immature.

kimchi's avatar

Thank you all, did not realize how rude my actions were. I’ll just stay in my room next time, haha.

kimchi's avatar

By the way, I am in the US!

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

The whole “caring about the brother’s health” thing is a ruse. Dad’s house – dad’s rules in my humble opinion.

talljasperman's avatar

On the father’s side. Also I would move out as soon as possible.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@kimchi Bullshit, you did nothing wrong. A smoker should go at least 50 feet from the house to smoke. If they don’t like that rule they can pass on smoking. It’s a filthy disgusting habit.

chyna's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe It hasn’t been established how far away the guest was smoking from her home. It is a bad habit, but some of the most wonderful people in my life smoke, but not in my home. I have a designated area of my deck for them to smoke at. The fact that they smoke make them no less my friends.

kimchi's avatar

The guest was a foot away from the backyard door.

Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One's avatar

Hating smokers is just as caustic and disgusting a habit as smoking itself. It won’t rot your lungs… just your heart.

I used to smoke and there’s not many places left where people can just relax and light up. Your dad seems to have made one such rare haven.. but it’s apparently being taken over as well.

It’s nothing against you. Smoking is clearly bad. And it clearly stinks. But let’s think of it a different way: Let’s suppose you ate some garlic popcorn and someone told you to go 50 feet away from the house to eat it.. then they waved their hands, snubbed their noses, and complained about second hand garlic smells. Then they were backed up by their other friends who also looked down their pompous noses at you. Then they made laws that you can’t eat your garlic popcorn near anyone who might get offended. Of course the parallels are not exactly equal but you get my point I hope.

It all just seems uber-sensitive to me. One of my pet peeves is uber-sensitivity. There’s always someone, somewhere being offended by something trivial.

jca's avatar

The guest was leaning on the house when he smoked? To be a foot away from the door, he’d practically have to be leaning on the house itself. This sounds like a slight exaggeration.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@chyna I said the habit was disgusting. I didn’t say it made the people disgusting. One of my good friends was a really heavy smoker. Now his widow and three kids have to cope without him. He was 38.

zenvelo's avatar

@Apparently_Im_The_Grumpy_One Boy, are you sensitive about people wanting to protect their health!

Garlic popcorn garlic fries, garlic anything that is overdone, can stink. But it isn’t going to affect my health. Cigarette smoke, including second hand smoke, does disrupt my health. According to the CDC, “There is no risk-free level of secondhand smoke exposure; even brief exposure can be harmful to health”.

And, it does make people disgusting. There is a woman who gets on my commuter train at the stop after me, her clothes reek so bad from tobacco smoke that people have to give her distance to keep from gagging. Smelling her off-gassing is gross.

kimchi's avatar

There’s just one problem: It was not garlic fries. It was smoking. There’s a big difference.

Zaku's avatar

There isn’t just one argument.

You’re right that you don’t like smoke, that you care about your brother and that he (and everyone) are affected by second-hand smoke, and that opening the doors would help that somewhat.

I’d also add that it’s not very considerate or wise to let people smoke in your house when there are children and people who don’t like smoke there.

Your dad is right that he’s the parent, it’s his house and his guest, he gets to make rules in his house and tell children what to do, and he can lay down his version of what’s rude or not and expect his children to try to respect that. He can also be a jerk, be self-centered, be wrong, and get his children to be very angry with him, yet act like he’s right about it. I’d say much of that is very foolish parenting and sucks for you, but from the view of a lot of our patriarchal, child-disrespecting society, it’s considered acceptable. It still sucks.

He may or may not be right that his guest would think it were rude, but whatever.

Basically I think you’re right but that it’s probably wisest to let your dad have his way because if he’s an ass about smoking in the house and upset that you’d open doors, he may be even more of an ass if you defy his ass-hole-ness in other ways, so you may be best off not trying to win the argument, but finding clever non-confrontational ways to avoid the smoke, such as going in a room with your brother, opening the window there, and trying to explain to your dad later that you are really bothered and concerned by smoke.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Zaku The house guest isn’t smoking in the house. He goes outside to smoke. This, and other information, was provided by the OP in later comments.

kimchi's avatar

@Zaku ,
You’re right.
The guest is basically a really good friend of my dad’s. The guest is not bad-in fact, he is a good hearted person (sometimes). My dad also always puts us first before anything else. We are his first priority and he loves us like no other. But I was hurt by my dad acting caring towards his friend rather than his own health and ours. Thanks for the detailed response.

Zaku's avatar

You’re welcome. I’m glad your situation seems basically really good.

It’s funny. My dad was great and had a good friend but sometimes when he visited, my dad would get into entertaining his friend and sometimes be pretty insensitive, too, not on purpose but just kind of weirdly absorbed.

Response moderated (Spam)

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther