Let’s play a game of pretend. Let’s pretend we’re reading this after we’ve all gone to Heaven and there’s been a resurrection of the dead and everyone’s happy and all that.

At that point, I think it’ll be pretty normal to socialize with angels, assuming for the moment that angels are social beings who like to hang out with one another.  And eternity is a long time, so it’s also not a far bet that at some point, any one of us will find ourselves at a gathering and be the only human in attendance.

So there you are: you’ve been invited to your guardian angel’s house for games or to watch a movie or to go out horseback riding or a violin lesson or knitting. Or all of the above. You arrive and the house is full of angels tuning up or setting up or whatever.

First: what do you bring as a “hostess” gift to an angel? One assumes food products wouldn’t be required (angels don’t eat, even if I bake them a cake sometimes) and similarly I assume they wouldn’t drink a bottle of wine. Maybe a house plant?

Second: after you’ve been hanging around for two or three hours, your guardian angel will (wisely) remember that since you’re human, and human gatherings usually involve some element of food, that it would be nice to provide a meal for you. So everyone gathers in the dining room…

…where they watch you eat?


Even more awkward if you brought a plate of brownies as a hosting gift and the angel then says, “Oh, go ahead, have all you like.” Yeah. Awkward.

My Patient Husband assured me that one of the rules for super heroes (per Ambush Bug) is “Eat, even if you don’t have to,” and that quite probably the angelic members of the gathering would eat something just to make you feel at home. But that gets into the whole area of whether a good guest would make her host feel  uncomfortable in order to accommodate the guest, or whether the guest should suck it up and abide by the general standards of the host and the majority of the other guests.

I have trouble enough understanding the rules of human socialization. Is there an angelic Miss Manners out there who can clarify the rules for interspecies socialization for those of us who plan to hang out with angels someday.


  1. Ivy

    I doubt it would be all that embarrassing. It’s often that one person in a room is the only one doing something like that. Someone drops by in August, and you offer them a soda or something, even if you aren’t drinking.

    If it would be embarrassing and required, the human ought to do it in private–similar to fulfilling any other embarrassing biological function.

    If it would be embarrassing and unnecessary, it’s probably best to forgo it.

    Miss Manners rarely has any idea what she’s talking about, but Emily Post advises considering the comfort of all the guests and arranging activities that are mutually agreeable. I would guess the host angel would quietly put out small finger sandwiches or other snacks, which the human might or might not partake of, without anyone feeling awkward.

    Of course you could get the Emily Post school competing with the Debrett school, which would be far too confusing.

    1. philangelus

      I would feel awkward if you gave me a soda and none of the other ten people in the room were drinking anything, personally. I wouldn’t want you to go out of your way.

      I like Miss Manners a lot. I’ve never read Emily Post.

  2. cricketB

    Angels have a choice whether they eat. I’m sure they find some foods quite yummy, and would enjoy whatever you bring. And, as good hosts, they would make you comfortable — probably by providing several different yummy but easy-to-eat-neatly foods (all freezable so you don’t feel bad about them making too much) so all of their guests, even the other angels, will enjoy.

    We eat at parties for many reasons. It resets our ultra-dian rhythms. We’re more likely to synergize rather than fight after eating. It’s something to do with our hands and mouths. It’s a reason to leave a conversation or to go from one are of the room to another.

    If cooking isn’t that angel’s strong point, one of their friends will help out.

    1. philangelus

      The cooking part didn’t occur to me. I thought about them beaming it in or something. LOL!

      Angels wouldn’t need to eat, even if they decide to do so for social reasons. So it would feel a bit uncomfortable. (OTOH, I think they like feeding us. The whole food thing must be something of a curiosity to them. Did I ever send you that passage from Seven Archangels: Arrow where Gabriel talks about food and just how odd it seems to him?)

      1. Kaci

        Hehe. So, what, they feed us just to watch us eat? 0=)

        1. philangelus

          “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” That kind of thing.

  3. TDJ

    If my angel is anything like me – and there’s some scriptural basis for this assumption – then I have nothing to worry about. No parties, minimal etiquette – angels, afterall, aren’t my peers – and lots of conversation while roaming the galaxies.

    1. philangelus

      Actually, etiquette is at its most useful when dealing with those who aren’t your peers. It tells us how to behave when we’re with people way higher than us on the social scale. 🙂

      Besides, when you’re roaming the galaxies, you’ll still need to know what fork to use on Carinae 3. 😉

      1. Kaci

        Easy, start on the outside, work your way in. Dessert and coffee utensils are at 12 o’clock. Appetizer plate on the left, glass on the right.

        And always pass salt & pepper together. 0=)

      2. cricketB

        I was bored enough to watch an ep of Hilton Sr.’s reality show, where she taught people how to behave.

        One team member went to a dinner at a hotel with Hostess and her social group. First the guest had to present a gift. She pulled no stops when being gracious while accepting it, no matter how inappropriate. Then she made the guest eat the unusual appetizer first. “I’ll just wait and see how everyone else eats it, then do the same.” “No, you pick a utensil and eat. We’ll watch.”

        For all the good manners she claimed to be teaching them, she’s demonstrated something totally different.

  4. jaed

    Hmmm… eating together at a celebration has symbolic significance: we share essential things together. (It’s not physically necessary to eat during the party, after all – we can always make like Scarlett O’Hara and fill up beforehand.) It’s kind of the point of food at a party, and having one guest eat in isolation misses that point completely.

    So if I were advising an angel host on how to throw a party that includes both humans and angels, I’d advise either having everyone nibble something, or finding some substitute for eating that serves a similar purpose. Not making an incident of separation out of it.

    As for the hostess gift… how about a new story, that the host could read out loud to the guests sometime during the party? Sounds better than a houseplant. (Unless the guest is a gardener, in which case a houseplant would be a great gift.) The best gifts are things you’ve made yourself, after all, and since you’ve posited that this is all happening in Heaven…

    1. philangelus

      I like the idea of having it kind of mixed in with the rest of everything. Takes the focus off the eating part.

      Since it’s Heaven, actually, how about a plant? You can never have too many plants, and even if they did, I’m sure they’d be able to find a nice place in the outdoors to plant it.

  5. knit_tgz

    Maybe Christ could show up and eat too (with Him being God and omnipresent, that should be easy) 🙂

    1. philangelus

      Angel host: Oh, great, now I have to get out the good china.
      Jesus: No, really, paper plates are fine.


  6. Mary Nicewarner

    “Oh great, now I have to get out the good china.”