Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Is This Discourteous?


Good day,

Sorry if this is a "no brainer" question. Since it involves my neighbors, I would like to ensure I am doing the right thing.

I was invited to a pizza party given by my neighbors to celebrate two neighbor's birthdays.

I am single. Is it okay if I invite a friend? I will ask the hosts if it's OK, of course. And I will bring a dessert. They asked for no gifts.

Thank you for your assistance.

Dear Elizabeth:
There are no "No Brainer" questions when it comes to etiquette.  If you were invited as a single to the party, then you RSVP as a single.  Every host when asked if a guest can bring someone will say "yes" because it seems mean not to. However, it reflects quite poorly on the guest asking who assumes the host wants to spend money and effort to entertain someone they hadn't planned to.

Also, unless you were asked to bring food, don't please.  The host has planned the menu and it is awkward to have additional food brought by others.  Instead, bring a hostess gift - something related to hospitality is good - candles, wine charms, music to dine by, kitchen towels that match the kitchen - honestly there are thousands of possibilities.  Check out or for ideas. Just search for hostess gifts.

Just a thought - your neighbors invited you as a single perhaps to introduce you to someone nice. You never know.  I hope you have a good time.

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

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Cynthia W. Lett


Proper manners with friends,family,colleagues,neighbors and everyone else you know.


I have been an etiquette expert teaching and consulting on the subject worldwide since 1983. I started and serve as the Executive Director of the International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals and am considered a leader in the field of etiquette and protocol training and execution. I edited "Etiquette for Dummies" and have recently written "Lett's Talk - Everyday Etiquette Dilemmas and What to Do about Them". My book, "That's So Annoying:An Etiquette Expert on the World's Most Irritating Habits And What To Do About Them" was published in 2009 and is available wherever books are sold. I taught the Business Protocol class to Master's level students at the George Washington University, Washington, DC for seven years I served as Chief of Protocol for MCI Telecommunications for three years.

International Society of Protocol & Etiquette Professionals, ASTD, PCMA, National Speakers Association

I have been quoted over 700 times in the past 5 years worldwide. Publications include Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Washington Times, NY Times, Washington Business Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, London Times, Newsweek Japan edition, Newsweek US edition and many many more.

I am a Certified Etiquette Professional (CEP) and Certified Protocol Professional (CPP) earned by examination through ISPEP. I have a Master's degree in hospitality law and undergrad degrees in Restaurant & Hotel Management and Public Relations/Interpersonal Communications from Purdue University.

Awards and Honors
Who's Who Worldwide,Who's Who of American Women, Distinguished Darden Professor (Purdue University).

Past/Present Clients
World Bank, United Nations,US Dept. of State, US. Dept. of the Army, Pentagon, Barclays Global Investors,Accenture,Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, The White House, Dept. of State, AT&T,Bank of America,American Association of Clinical Pharmacies,Ritz Carlton Hotels, Hilton Hotels, Marriott Hotels,Starwood Hotels,and many more.

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