You are here:

Social Etiquette and Good Manners/Questions Answered by Expert Cynthia W. Lett

SubjectDate Asked
Covering scars1/12/2017
  Q: I am going to attend training with my coach and other athletes. I know the coach very well not the ...
  A: Never be self conscious about your scars. They are part of who you are. Go ahead and wear your ...
Denying Invitation1/11/2017
  Q: If a supervisor ask one of his subordinates to dinner at his home, but the subordinate does not want ...
  A: While a person has the right to deny an invitation, in this case I believe it would be politically ...
physical confidence1/5/2017
  Q: I want to increase my physical confidence I have will for humanity,to do anything big I have mental ...
  A: Self confidence when meeting new people takes practice and knowing that you have something to give ...
Referring to shopper as "Mama"5/9/2016
  Q: At the supermarket my mom regularly shops at, the employees constantly refer to her (usually in the ...
  A: When someone calls a woman over the age of 40 "Mama", it is a term of endearment, not an insult and ...
sensitivity with friends4/12/2016
  Q: I have an old friend in another city who I see twice a year when he comes here on business. We ...
  A: My suggestion is that when you are on the phone making your plans with your friend to meet that you ...
head stone2/29/2016
  Q: My father-in-law just recently remarried, not quite 2 years after the death of his first wife (my ...
  A: What an interesting coincidence about your Father-in-law's first and second wives' names being the ...
wedding party1/24/2016
  Q: I am the mother of the groom and I would like to have my niece in the wedding party as a flower ...
  A: I am sorry that the process of planning your son's wedding is difficult. However, even if you are ...
Gravy boats1/16/2016
  Q: Lett, I am shopping for a sterling gravy boat. What are the best dimensions for the boat for ...
  A: I don't often receive questions about the accoutrements of fine dining so your question was most ...
Graduation Gift1/10/2016
  Q: Is it inappropriate to send a box of candy along with a graduation card to a college graduate? I ...
  A: Graduation gifts typically are items that are useful to the graduate in the future. Some ...
stop neighbors from visiting12/28/2015
  Q: It started nice, with my senior neighbors (we're in our early 30's) coming every now and then, ...
  A: You are running scared of your neighbors when you should just be up front with them. The next time ...
Tombstone inscription12/27/2015
  Q: What is the proper was to inscribe a headstone? I am divoriced, and was divorced at the time of my ...
  A: There are several issues about your situation that would like to address. Children aged 13 and 9 ...
Sending Graduation Card12/15/2015
  Q: I am thinking about sending a graduation card to a student employee that once worked with me along ...
  A: Sending a congratulations for graduation card is never a bad idea, but it depends what it says and ...
Appreciation Letter12/1/2015
  Q: I work with a student employee at a state university. She has been a very good employee kind, ...
  A: The best approach to your wanting to compliment this student for the job well done is to write a ...
Gifts addressed to spouse11/13/2015
  Q: Today my husband received flowers for the holiday addressed to him and with a greeting which read ...
  A: It is proper to give a gift for the house (and flowers are for the house, not just the personal ...
Condolences11/9/2015
  Q: A women that I work with, but not in the same office, recently lost her daughter in an automobile ...
  A: I can assure you (as a mother who lost her son 9 years ago) that hearing condolences about her ...
A Woman's Skirt And Slip7/27/2015
  Q: I love women and I love to give sincere compliments. I am a sensitive, caring man. Yesterday, I ...
  A: It sounds like you would be a nice friend for any woman, since you actually verbalize your ...
not receiving a thank-you, is it proper to send notes and stamps?7/19/2015
  Q: I ran into a woman at the market I have been acquainted with for 12 years since our sons went to the ...
  A: You are a most generous woman and you have the right to expect a thank you for your gifts to others. ...
constant throat clearing7/10/2015
  Q: my co-worker does this every 15 seconds or so. i'm pretty sure it is intentional because a) she ...
  A: People who demonstrate annoying habits around others are often not even aware they are doing it nor ...
A Parent that has invited himself and a child to a small vacation7/4/2015
  Q: I recently invited a child to come to a small family vacation with my family. When my significant ...
  A: Well, this situation is awkward. I will assume that you spoke to the invited child's parents about ...
memorial6/19/2015
  Q: My boss's brother passed away and I would like to know if I should attend the memorial. I would like ...
  A: Unless you knew your boss's brother well enough that you would have attended his memorial service ...
workplace etiquette4/17/2015
  Q: when entering your place of work who should be the first to speak, you or your co-workers
  A: If you speak first you will show the others that you care about them and are present. If you wait ...
what friend would do this ?4/5/2015
  Q: Last night my friend invited me to Easter dinner at her sisters home. They celebrate most occasions ...
  A: It sounds like your friend had an emergency with her niece at the most inopportune time and had to ...
Baby Shower invitations3/3/2015
  Q: Should you send baby shower invitations to people from out of town, knowing they will NOT come the ...
  A: Proper etiquette dictates that family members shouldn't host showers (either baby or bridal) because ...
Return Address Etiquette3/3/2015
  Q: What is ther proper way to list a return address on 50th wedding anniversary party announcement. I ...
  A: It is not clear whether you are sending the party invitation or if someone else who is giving you ...
Graduation Announcements for Non-Traditional Students2/9/2015
  Q: I am thirty-eight years old and will finally be graduating from college in May. This will be my ...
  A: Many congratulations for finishing college with a degree! That is quite an accomplishment at any ...
My father and my ex inlaws1/26/2015
  Q: Please provide me with clarity on the situation below. I was marries to my ex for 8 years. During ...
  A: 5: When two families come together through marriage, everyone in the family bonds (or doesn't) in ...
gift1/16/2015
  Q: My neighbor will soon be turning 80 and has asked me to join the rest neighborhood to an open house ...
  A: Because your neighbor is 80 years old, and at this point in her life would probably not be too keen ...
joining a private club1/16/2015
  Q: I have a friend who is a member of a private club in my city. Many members of the club are part of ...
  A: You have a nice friend who has the belief that you might be comfortable in his club and that's why ...
Co-Worker Chews Gum with Mouth Open1/7/2015
  Q: My supervisor at work chews gum with his mouth open, for most of the day almost everyday, and it's ...
  A: I suggest you meet with your supervisor behind closed doors. You might say something like, "I ...
obituary etiquette1/6/2015
  Q: My brother wrote our father's obituary. He chose to break with family tradition which is to list ...
  A: I assume that the obituary has already been printed in the newspaper so there is nothing you can do ...
What's your favourite etiquette book?12/28/2014
  Q: What's your all-time favourite eitquette book? (I did ask this before but I think it got lost in the ...
  A: My favorite etiquette book is the book I wrote, "Modern Civility" by Cynthia W. Lett. My next ...
Not observing a holiday12/27/2014
  Q: The last time I went to the dentist, the dental hygienist asked me what my plans for a certain ...
  A: It is awkward when someone asks us a question which assumes something about us that isn't true. The ...
Invitation to diner12/15/2014
  Q: I received an invitation to diner. (Via Text). Diner will be around 3 0r 4 Pm. come around 2PM. ...
  A: The invitation to dinner you received was an invitation to spend time with the host and host family, ...
rude and gruff coworker12/11/2014
  Q: I am normally a polite and cheerful person at work and also find this helps make work a pleasant ...
  A: Your co-worker is indeed lacking social skills that would allow her to get along better with those ...
Pleased to meet you12/8/2014
  Q: I've read somewhere that it is considered wrong to say, "Pleased to meet you". The "meet" is ...
  A: You pose an interesting question. In an etiquette book I have printed in 1898, the author frowns on ...
A stunning Washington Hostess in 1977 who (I think) was called Tandy...12/3/2014
  Q: Here's a really unusual one for you which perhaps I should post in the politics section of ...
  A: I was in college during the 70's so I wasn't at home in Washington, DC listening to the news at the ...
signing cards12/1/2014
  Q: (One) Christmas card to son, daughter-in-law and baby grandson. How should we sign it? Mum and Papŕ? ...
  A: Your grandchild is not the sole recipient of the card so you sign it the way your daughter-in-law ...
language10/25/2014
  Q: my wife and i are french if invited toenglish speaking friens is it polite toswich french for ...
  A: When you speak a language in front of anyone who doesn't also speak the language as fluently as you ...
headstone equite10/10/2014
  Q: My wife of 36 years passed away. She and her (divorced) 1st husband of 24 years have 3 (grown) ...
  A: I am so sorry for your loss. Since you will share a headstone and your name will be on the stone ...
family birthdays8/27/2014
  Q: Good afternoon. I would like to ask your thoughts on my husband deciding to send $60 to each of his ...
  A: There is no fast etiquette rule about gift giving to family members. Each person, couple or family ...
Pet Loss Condolence7/6/2014
  Q: My friend's older dog passed away unexpectedly at home. The next day, she talked to her ...
  A: I am sorry for your friend's loss of her pet. That is always difficult. She called her Vet for ...
Family Vacation6/30/2014
  Q: I need some advice in regards to a family situation. My husband and my three young children are ...
  A: It is rude to ask for gifts - especially inconvenient and expensive ones - and that is what your ...
Reciprocity6/22/2014
  Q: Perhaps you can provide me with some input. About 2 years ago, I accidentally ran into an old HS ...
  A: Your high school friend is lacking in the social graces. Even if he didn't intend to elongate your ...
Invite Wording - 35th Birthday at nice steak house5/18/2014
  Q: My 35th birthday is coming up in July. I want to go to a nice steak house and invite some of my ...
  A: I wish I could help you with a way to word an invitation like this but however you might want ...
death5/14/2014
  Q: My very good elderly friend died. Should I go to the house and express my condolences to the widow, ...
  A: My condolences on the loss of your friend. For most relationships a visit to the wake is sufficient ...
blanket refusal of all future gifts4/6/2014
  Q: My sister is gay. She has been living with a woman for 20 years and they are deeply committed to ...
  A: I am so sorry that your sister (who is involved with her girlfriend) hasn't grown a backbone and ...
Boss's eating habits4/3/2014
  Q: My boss often has me sit at her desk and type while she dictates, and then leans over my shoulder to ...
  A: Your dilemma is not unusual. The best way to deal with your boss's annoying habits it to make it ...
How to Say No to Houseguests When You've Hosted Them Before4/2/2014
  Q: about 1-1/2 yrs ago, we moved to a great city that attracts many visitors. For the first 8 months, ...
  A: The homeowner has the right to say "no" to someone inviting themselves to take advantage of their ...
Debutante ball3/25/2014
  Q: I am a member of a local social club. I am divorced and remarried. I am sponsoring my stepdaughter ...
  A: Wow! I haven't been asked about a Debutante Ball for a long time. I was presented when I was a ...
Baby shower2/3/2014
  Q: I am invited to a close friends daughters baby shower. Our families are close and the soon to be mom ...
  A: As much as you think the mom-to-be should have invited your daughter to the shower, the decision ...
innapropiate birthday cake1/28/2014
  Q: My wife works at a healthcare rehabilitation center in housekeeping. A female co worker baked a ...
  A: I can understand your concern about your wife receiving a "penis" cake. In most organizations, such ...
Did my Mom overreact?1/19/2014
  Q: I am 14 years old and male.Recently,my family and I went on a plane trip.This meant going through ...
  A: Your Mom loves you and is very protective. However, I believe from how you described the situation, ...
Party with Husband's Ex Wife1/17/2014
  Q: My husband's son is having a birthday party for his daughter, himself and his Mom, my husband's ex ...
  A: Your Stepson has the right to invite whomever he wishes to an event when he is the host. His Mom ...
Family overnight visits1/15/2014
  Q: What is the appropriate notice for out of town family visits? My in-laws have been planning to come ...
  A: First of all, men don't share pertinent information like you are sick and tired and it wouldn't be a ...
double celebration1/4/2014
  Q: My two daughters (ages 13 and 12 at the moment) are sharing birth month. They don't mind having ...
  A: I suggest that you focus on the educational trip for the girls - down the road in their life, it ...
How to create a new & positive impression to people?12/19/2013
  Q: As stated in the subject, may i know how to create a new & positive impression to friends and ...
  A: I am glad to see that you have an awareness of how you present yourself to the world since that's ...
Who greets whom first on entering a room?12/7/2013
  Q: I wanted to comment on your answer but it seems the site does not have that functionality. I agree ...
  A: I believe you misunderstood. I would not suggest that any guest stand at the door to greet late ...
Holiday dinners11/20/2013
  Q: Cynthia, I was wondering, when inviting people or relatives over for Thanksgiving or Christmas, when ...
  A: Invitations for special occasions should be made three or more weeks ahead of the event. However, ...
birtgday cards11/13/2013
  Q: The other day was my birthday and to make a long story short it fell flat but recovered by a few ...
  A: I am glad that your birthday celebration wasn't bad after all and you were recognized and celebrated ...
no gift birthday?11/11/2013
  Q: My birthday is approaching soon.in the years past I really don't get anything for it from my family ...
  A: First of all, Happy upcoming Birthday! It would be good to know if not celebrating birthdays is ...
holding the water glass with all fingers on the stem or not11/2/2013
  Q: myholding the water glass with all fingers on the stem or not. Of course there are different shape ...
  A: The proper way to hold a glass is pretty much the same. No matter what style. Putting your pinkies ...
50th wedding anniversary10/22/2013
  Q: My husband and I traveled 400 miles to a 50th wedding anniversary celebration. We seated ourselves ...
  A: Wilson: I am sorry that your trip to the anniversary celebration ended in a disappointing manner. ...
Singing In Office - what to do next?9/6/2013
  Q: There is a temp in our office that sings. After asking my co-workers if the singing bothers them and ...
  A: I would try one more time to ask the Singer to stop. Explain that it is disturbing and annoying and ...
Seating at funeral service7/19/2013
  Q: At my father-in-law's funeral my husband of 25 years and I sat in the front row at the funeral home ...
  A: During the stressful time of a funeral, it is difficult to have family contention. That is the ...
Is This Discourteous?7/15/2013
  Q: Good day, Sorry if this is a "no brainer" question. Since it involves my neighbors, I would like to ...
  A: There are no "No Brainer" questions when it comes to etiquette. If you were invited as a single to ...
Zipper Etiquette for winter coats7/5/2013
  Q: I am very cold natured and I tend to wear my winter jacket or parka most of the fall and winter. I ...
  A: It seems that if you want to please your girlfriend, you are going to have to understand first of ...
Wishing Well/Treasure Chest for Celebration6/29/2013
  Q: I am moving to Dubai and I will be having a farewell/30th birthday celebration. Is it proper ...
  A: Congratulations on your move! As much as we would want others to subsidize our wish list, it is ...
Daughter's Graduation6/19/2013
  Q: My daughter is graduating HS and does not want her stepfather there. But it's ok if her stepmother ...
  A: Divorces are difficult, not just at the time but especially when there are new spouses introduced ...
Vacation Costs with Friends and Adult Children6/18/2013
  Q: I am hoping you can help me out with this issue for our vacation this year. We are going with ...
  A: The best way to handle this situation since your rental plans included the son paying his share is ...
Teen at Dinner Party6/15/2013
  Q: I am just now asking about a Holiday Dinner party that took place in the middle of December because ...
  A: You did the right thing by having a kid's party to keep them occupied, interested and not bored at ...
Dutch Treat Et Al !5/30/2013
  Q: Greetings ! Hope you can kindly clarify a few potentially 'sticky' matters for me. My family and I ...
  A: You have been friends with "takers" not givers and that is extremely frustrating to you and your ...
Addressing a Retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court5/16/2013
  Q: We have to write a letter to Sandra Day O'Connor, retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of ...
  A: The envelope should read The Honorable Sandra Day O'Connor Address Letter salutation ...
bride5/13/2013
  Q: I actually have 2 (related) questions: 1) The invitation is for adults only. I am breastfeeding an ...
  A: You should word your regrets with the simplest language possible. "I am sorry but I cannot attend. I ...
Listing former Presidents in programs5/10/2013
  Q: I understand that the proper manner of listing a former president in a program is, "The Honorable ...
  A: The protocol for addressing former Presidents is to use their last elected honorific (Governor if ...
graduation celebration5/7/2013
  Q: I have a daughter who is graduating from high school soon. She has just received an invite in the ...
  A: The party being hosted in honor of your daughter's classmates is to honor them, not your daughter. ...
who to give the gift to4/29/2013
  Q: I have a gold cross for myself ($30) and now I decided I don't want it. I can't return it because I ...
  A: I would give the cross to your sister for her birthday since it sounds as if she would appreciate it ...
Dinner cancelation4/1/2013
  Q: I invited my son, his wife and two children to Easter dinner. In addition to dinner, I was planning ...
  A: I am sorry that your plans for Easter dinner and your Granddaughter's birthday party were cancelled ...
Birthday card etiquette advice3/12/2013
  Q: Should the recipient of a birthday card from a "family" member open the card on receipt of the card ...
  A: It is a common dilemma whether to open a gift in front of the giver or to wait until the giver is no ...
Obituary /Pall Bearer Etiquette3/12/2013
  Q: I recently lost my Uncle, my Mother's only brother. He was preceded in death by my Mother, to whom ...
  A: I am so sorry to hear of your loss. Obituaries have no strict etiquette attached other than they ...
Baby shower & grandmother3/4/2013
  Q: My daughter is expecting her first baby, my first grandchild. I am absolutely delighted. I live in ...
  A: Collinge: A gift from a grandmother is a special gift for a baby and should be something to be ...
When to Refuse a Gift Part II12/9/2012
  Q: I belong to a women's organization and I translated a document for an elderly member who was trying ...
  A: I suggest you donate it to a favorite charity of yours or hers and send a thank-you note to your ...
wiping nose with hand12/4/2012
  Q: I have an adult family member who is often using their hand to wipe their nose. I have repeatedly ...
  A: I understand your frustration about your family member continuing to wipe his/her nose using their ...
preparing for holiday visitors12/3/2012
  Q: My adult child will be coming home for the holidays with a friend.This friend has mental illness and ...
  A: You are right to want to get the house rules made clear to all visitors before they arrive. Some of ...
Christmas Letter/Death of a spouse11/29/2012
  Q: Each year my husband and I would send out Christmas cards and a letter to friends and family, most ...
  A: I am SO sorry for your recent loss. The holidays are a particularly difficult time when we miss our ...
Party etiquette11/11/2012
  Q: Eight friends that usually go out once a month for supper have decided to have a Christmas get ...
  A: Since you are going to be hosting the event at your home you can suggest the process by which the ...
Dividing cost of parental gift w/ married sibling & their spouse11/9/2012
  Q: There is a gift my father really wants for Christmas this year. However, it is beyond my personal ...
  A: When you split a cost for something with a couple, you treat the couple as one entity - not two. ...
Thank You Gift Refused by Coworker10/31/2012
  Q: I have a coworker who has been helping me a great deal to learn a new skill. I wanted to express my ...
  A: You can't ignore the situation and continue to accept her help. I suggest you tell her the ...
poor customer service10/31/2012
  Q: Lett I went into a store just to pay a bill granted that i was dressed poorly because I was in a ...
  A: B.: How odd that she looked at the bills you used up to the light to confirm that you were or were ...
nosy neighbors10/29/2012
  Q: I have nosy neighbors. Due to the economic volatility of recent years, I have been out of work for a ...
  A: Your neighbors are definitely more interested in your life and circumstances than necessary to be ...
business etiquette10/29/2012
  Q: I resigned from a contract position that I had been at for 6 months. A person that I had been ...
  A: It is always difficult leaving a contracted position that has been long term because of the ...
neighbors etiquette10/28/2012
  Q: I have a neighbor (A) that I am friendly with. A mutual neighbor (E) in our complex was moving out ...
  A: It's hard to know the reason why "Neighbor A" asked you for "Neighbor E"'s address rather than ask ...
kindness10/22/2012
  Q: I am wondering what book can you recommend on how tb genuinely kind and thoughtfull? Thanks.
  A: If I were giving prizes for the best question I have been asked, you would win. What a lovely ...
Future relative10/21/2012
  Q: Our daughter is engaged to be married in 2013. Our future son-in-laws birthday is this week. How ...
  A: Congratulations on your good news! You should sign your future son-in-law's card the way he refers ...
staying at other people's houses10/21/2012
  Q: We stay with "friends" once a year on our anniversary trip. The husband (more a fiend of my ...
  A: I suggest you invest in a pair of noise canceling headphones or ear plugs since it sounds as if you ...
Ex-mother in-law's funeral10/10/2012
  Q: I loved my ex-mother-in-law,an Italian immigrant, who recently passed.She did everything for me and ...
  A: I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you were very lucky to know and love a remarkable woman ...
Paternal Grandmother to be10/9/2012
  Q: my son is expecting my first grandchild. I received a text from his girlfriend informing me that ...
  A: I am so sorry that your grandchild will have such an immature and uneducated mother and that your ...
wishing to visit a relative10/2/2012
  Q: Lett, I just began communicating with a cousin that is one of my strong support systems right now. ...
  A: I am sorry for what you are going through. The only way you can graciously do what you want to do is ...
Family Related.9/24/2012
  Q: I heard from an aunt who lives in NYC that a family member from the caribean is visiting for a week. ...
  A: Scott: The person visiting is supposed to inform those with whom he or she would like to spend time ...
Social Etiquette and Good Manners - Death of a Family Member9/12/2012
  Q: Social Media Short facts: My father passed away at 9:30pm last night it is now 4:40pm the next day. ...
  A: First of all, I am so sorry for the loss of your father. The death of a close relative is a ...
What is a reasonable stay for your spouse's family?8/4/2012
  Q: Ms. Lett, Being Leap Year, I recently was asked to marry by a woman that has (5) adult sons. The ...
  A: I agree that you need to iron out your different opinions about how your joint home will be shared ...
Death and family8/2/2012
  Q: my father died 1 month ago i have 4 sisters and 1 sister has always been judgmental and self ...
  A: I am so sorry for your loss of your father. Regarding your sister and brother in law, I suggest you ...
family reunion7/29/2012
  Q: there is a family reunion being planned. by three sister inlaws. dad has asked us to bring a prime ...
  A: Since there are three main planners of the reunion, it is up to the three to decide how to divide ...
Niece7/24/2012
  Q: We don't enjoy entertaining at all. My niece is living in a city 80 min. away for a short time. We ...
  A: Relationships are tough and require going out of our comfort zones sometimes. That being said, you ...
Divorced parents/grandparents7/22/2012
  Q: My husband's ex had to move in with their daughter, her new husband and their soon to be 1 Y/O ...
  A: I am so sorry that you and your husband have been put in this position. It is really uncomfortable ...
My best friend isn't speaking to me. How can i (politely) find a way to contact her without being rude?7/16/2012
  Q: I'm sorry if this isn't quite your expertise, so i'm sorry if it's not and i'll understand if you're ...
  A: I can tell from your letter how frustrated you are and how worried. What I can offer is this. You ...
obituary7/12/2012
  Q: Is it appropriate to list an ex-spouse in an obituary when the divorce was over 15 years ago and ...
  A: First of all, please accept my condolences on the passing of your father. Obituaries and what they ...
Cocktail Business Event7/11/2012
  Q: We are having a business Cocktail event. We are wanting to invite the customers and clients we work ...
  A: The invitation should be addressed only to the person invited first of all. That in itself should ...
Mother only thanks my husband when we invite her for dinner7/11/2012
  Q: My mother in law has a habit of only saying "thank you, my son" when we as a couple invite her for ...
  A: I don't believe you are insane for your feelings but you are allowing your mother-in-law's somewhat ...
Father's Day7/8/2012
  Q: My husband and I each have adult children from our previous marriages. On Mother's Day, my children ...
  A: It is difficult being the Stepmother and having to deal with your husband's grown children ...
manners7/7/2012
  Q: I have a question. When someone comments on a shirt or shoes etc. How do I respond? I always say ...
  A: When someone compliments you on something you are wearing, they are saying that they admire your ...
dinner table conversation7/1/2012
  Q: at a large dinner table with many folks, say x, y and z are sitting side by side in that order. x ...
  A: There is an etiquette rule that states no one can talk over someone else without including the ...
Dinner invitations6/26/2012
  Q: We have been invited to dinner at the home of a client on two occasions. We reciprocated after the ...
  A: The etiquette rule is when you are entertained you must reciprocate but the rule doesn't specify how ...
loaning of car6/25/2012
  Q: My wife said, when asked by her friends husband at a party, to give him the keys so he could move ...
  A: It sounds like your wife had her reasons why she didn't want this man to drive her car for any ...
bridal shower invitees6/6/2012
  Q: My daughter wants to have two bridal showers: one for the younger ladies and one for the older ...
  A: There is definitely an expectation that if you are invited to the bridal shower that you will be ...
No response to invitation5/31/2012
  Q: I verbally invited a couple to my home for dinner. She indicated she would let me know. It is now ...
  A: The best thing to do at this point is to call your friend and say, "I was so looking forward to ...
How do we deal w/a bad neighor relationship my dad started?5/22/2012
  Q: We'll be moving into a house my parents are vacating in a week or two.Well,my dad and one of the ...
  A: My suggestion is to send a letter (return receipt requested through the post office to be sure he ...
family at the lake for the weekend5/17/2012
  Q: My husband and I have a lake place and love having people in for the weekend. However, with family, ...
  A: Since proper etiquette allows the host to set the rules in their own home, my suggestion is to set ...
Event ticket etiquette5/16/2012
  Q: A number of friends were together one morning discussing an upcoming concert and if anyone was ...
  A: I am sorry that you have such unreliable friends but now that you know this, you need to protect ...
academic cedentials5/9/2012
  Q: When someone has earned a Ph.D should they place Dr. in the front of their name? ie: Dr. Mary ...
  A: Etiquette doesn't allow for redundancy so the proper way is Mary Jones, Ph.D. When addressing ...
Group invitations5/6/2012
  Q: A friend (Mr Q) of mine stated yesterday he'd heard of a mutual friend's (Ms P) birthday ...
  A: I don't believe an invitation exists unless there is a host who is inviting a guest. A group ...
Milestone family birthdays5/1/2012
  Q: My Dad is turning 70 years old mid-May...all my siblings (4) and their families live close enough to ...
  A: The celebration is for your father and his opinion about your being there is the only one that ...
How to decline an invitation to be a houseguest4/23/2012
  Q: I'm a fundraiser and do alot of overnight travel. I prefer to stay in hotels, because I like to ...
  A: In order to decline a generous offer of hospitality, all you have to do is smile and say, "You are ...
boutineer4/21/2012
  Q: What is the correct protocol for wearing a boutonniere for the groom and groomsmen in a wedding...is ...
  A: Boutonnieres are worn on the left side (shoulder) as are brooches, corsages and support pins. The ...
Grandmother inviting her own guests to my shower.4/13/2012
  Q: My sister-in-law recently asked to throw my husband and I a shower. Her mother says she doesn't want ...
  A: Congratulations on your pending parenthood! Your situation is one of the reasons why etiquette ...
Bathroom supplies for guests at home4/5/2012
  Q: My husband and I own a vacation home and invite friends to come with us when we are vacationing. We ...
  A: Your home to guests in it is the same as a hotel and as such guests have certain expectations. In ...
good houseguests3/30/2012
  Q: My husband and I and our 3 children will be visiting and staying with a friend, her husband, and 2 ...
  A: First of all, I am so glad you are asking your question before you leave to visit your friends ...
Problematic Invite !3/27/2012
  Q: Greetings ! My parents and I have been invited to have dinner Easter with an elderly lady and her ...
  A: I am going to assume that you have already considered the option of graciously declining the ...
Obituary Etiquette3/20/2012
  Q: My Father recently passed, upon doing the Obit, my Mother is very upset that her & my step father ...
  A: My condolences to you first of all. In an obituary it is customary to include the statement such ...
Quinceanera host etiquette3/12/2012
  Q: Is it appropriate to ask guests to "sponsor" the DJ, food, pavilion, etc. for a Quinceanera? This ...
  A: It is NEVER appropriate for guests to receive an invitation that requests that they spend their ...
OFFICE ETIQUETTE3/10/2012
  Q: WHEN A CO-WORKER GOES OUT TO GET LUNCH FOR THE OTHER EMPLOYEES IS CONSISTENTLY GIVING THAT PERSON ...
  A: The answer is that money is money and there is no rule that specifically states that coins are not ...
Etiquettebeducation3/9/2012
  Q: I am looking for a school or establishment to learn to teach etiquette to young children. I kept ...
  A: I personally teach others to teach High School age and older plus professionals. I however do not ...
Funeral ettiquette3/9/2012
  Q: I was married for 23 yrs...have been divorced for 18. We have 2 adult children who see me often but ...
  A: You seem to know the basics of good etiquette because at its core is kindness towards others. ...
Wedding RSVP3/3/2012
  Q: As I'm receiving RSVP's for my daughter's wedding I'm noticing that people are ADDING their children ...
  A: I am constantly amazed at how rude people are in regards to invitations they receive. For the guests ...
Weekend guests arriving3/2/2012
  Q: WHO makes the move to go to bed first? Is it the hostess or the guest? I don't want to be waiting ...
  A: The host should tell the guest the rules of the house when they arrive. Included in those "rules" ...
Phone vs email etiquette3/1/2012
  Q: I have a friend who is responsive when I phone him, but doesn't answer emails. The other day I had ...
  A: There are a lot of people who don't use emails as their chief method of communication. I personally ...
Funeral/death etiquette3/1/2012
  Q: I feel a little strange asking this question but I need to know because I have really only been on ...
  A: Sending flowers would be a lovely gesture. If there is a wake at the funeral home, you can send ...
Parents 55th Wedding Anniversary2/29/2012
  Q: Is it appropriate to send out an announcement of my parents 55th anniversary? There will not be ...
  A: It is a sweet idea to want to share your parents' anniversary information with friends and family. ...
Asking someone politely to take out their trash2/28/2012
  Q: I live in a college dorm and share a room with one girl and a bathroom with three girls. I placed a ...
  A: You are living in a very unsanitary situation. I have found the best and most polite method of ...
I need some advice2/26/2012
  Q: How far can I go in exemplifying good manners to children who are related to me only by marriage? I ...
  A: Two suggestions in 6 months isn't excessive except if you only saw the child twice during that time ...
Ediquette for a 50th Birthday Party Guest List2/24/2012
  Q: Ms. Lett, We recently (within a week) found out that my brother-in-law was thrown a 50th ...
  A: I know it seems that your brother-in-law's companion should have included your family but the true ...
Wake up "Good morning"2/13/2012
  Q: My girlfriend and I have an ongoing discussion about who should say "Good morning" to whom first ...
  A: There is no hard and fast rule of etiquette that states who should say "good morning" to whom first. ...
meeting daughter's boyfriends parents2/4/2012
  Q: We our visiting our daughter who lives out of state. We have not yet met her boyfriend's parents ...
  A: You should always extend your own invitations, not through your daughter. Call (no email or texting ...
I am so rude. How to recover?2/4/2012
  Q: While at my daughters ballet class, I was talking to a mom sitting next to me. She is from Europe ...
  A: If I were you I wouldn't say anything to the pajama mom. Wearing pajamas in public is still not ...
Table settings1/29/2012
  Q: Can you use a table cloth, placemat and charger?
  A: You can use a charger with either a tablecloth or placemat or both. Using a tablecloth and placemat ...
dont know1/8/2012
  Q: this man that is a brother to my hair dresser , came to my work and brought me flowers.. I'm single ...
  A: If you like this man and want to see him socially again, call him and thank him for the flowers and ...
Mom's 80th Birthday1/7/2012
  Q: My husband and I have been going back with forth with it and still disagree with each other. Mom's ...
  A: Most people want to celebrate their special birthdays on their birthdays. Your Mom will probably ...
wedding gift for co-worker1/6/2012
  Q: A co-worker is getting married (for the third time). None of the staff has been invited to the ...
  A: If you are not attending the wedding or a member of the family, you are in no way obligated to give ...
etiquette1/3/2012
  Q: A lady whom I know called me on Saturday and invited me to lunch at her house the following ...
  A: I am afraid your daughter is correct. It was rude to suggest having the lunch at your house instead ...
family holiday visit1/2/2012
  Q: My adult niece came for a 2 week Christmas visit and stayed with her Dad, my brother, who happens to ...
  A: I'm sorry that your niece chose not to share some of her time with you during her recent visit. Any ...
Car borrowing12/29/2011
  Q: My aunt texted me asking if my cousin and his wife could borrow my car for a week, while they were ...
  A: Please allow me to clarify your question. You are asking if you should say something to your cousin ...
guest in your home12/25/2011
  Q: What is the proper etiqutte for guest (my significant others family of whom I'm just getting to ...
  A: I believe you are asking whether your significant other's family is planning to stay in your home ...
Graduation etiquette12/14/2011
  Q: I am graduating this spring from graduate school. Should I send a graduation announcement to the ...
  A: Congratulations on your upcoming graduation! Announcements for graduation are normally reserved for ...
Guests12/13/2011
  Q: Let me preface that my husband is a very generous man. For years I have entertained his friends and ...
  A: I am on your wavelength of thinking regarding taking a hiatus from hosting large gatherings. I ...
Christmas card12/10/2011
  Q: My husband died suddenly/unexpectedly 4 months ago. How do I acknowledge Christmas cards received ...
  A: I am so sorry for your loss. If you would like the senders of the Christmas cards which bear both ...
Single Sibling vs. Married Sibling with Kids & Parental Gift Giving12/6/2011
  Q: I NEED ADVICE!!! I am married with 3 kids and my sister is single with no kids. Every year there ...
  A: Your question is a common one that I receive at this time of year so please forgive me for sounding ...
invitation etiquette11/9/2011
  Q: Is it okay to give someone (parents) an open anytime invitatn to visit your house.My mom says she ...
  A: I am afraid that your mother is correct. An open invitation is nice in theory but all too often ...
gifts11/8/2011
  Q: is it proper to bring gift to wedding reception?
  A: It is fine to bring your gift to a wedding reception but not the best idea. Remember that the bride ...
How much money to give for baptism?11/6/2011
  Q: My sister had a baby this past August. She made my brother and me godparents and the baptism was ...
  A: I believe that you should give what you want and can give and not worry about whether it is ...
Giving back an item to a friend11/1/2011
  Q: A friend overheard me say to my mother-in-law that I needed a white skirt. That week I found the ...
  A: Your friend was very generous to make sure you had what you need - a white skirt. Since she was ...
Child's Thank You notes10/13/2011
  Q: When addressing thank you notes after my child's birthday party, do I address the envelopes with my ...
  A: When sending mail to a minor child under the age of 12, you address the envelope like this: Miss ...
dealing with questions about job hunt10/11/2011
  Q: I will be getting out of the military in mid December, and will be looking for a job after the ...
  A: First of all, thank you for your service to our country. I also applaud your wanting to be kind but ...
delayed housewarming9/27/2011
  Q: We moved in August 2010. Started major projects (adding room, windows, bathroom remodels). My wife ...
  A: You can have a "housewarming" party any time you want. However, keep in mind that if you call it a ...
son's engagement9/23/2011
  Q: my son has just announced to me that he is engaged. should i call his fiance to congratulate her.
  A: I will congratulate you because the groom's side is the side that is congratulated. The bride and ...
Corporate Etiquette9/20/2011
  Q: I have recently found myself in a favorable position with my significant other, whereas he is a ...
  A: I would love to work with you one-on-one to get you to the comfort position you need to make a great ...
announcemnt at homecoming9/6/2011
  Q: My Niece is in homecoming and wants to have Jean announced (as like honorary mother) and then her ...
  A: From your description, Jean holds a very special place in your niece's heart but proper etiquette ...
Thank you notes9/1/2011
  Q: My husband just recently passed away, and I purchased "thank you" notes from the cremation society. ...
  A: I am so sorry for your loss! Your signature on the cards is plenty at this time. Later on you can ...
Divorce/step-parenting etiquette8/31/2011
  Q: My ex husband and I have been divorced for 4 years, we have two children 5&7. I am remarried (2yrs), ...
  A: It would have been a kind gesture for Stepmother to talk with you about what you were comfortable ...
Barbecue Etiquette8/30/2011
  Q: Cynthia, I have a question about etiquette at a barbecue. Here's the short version. I was the ...
  A: You are right about the hostess who corrected your behavior in front of others - extremely rude in ...
Who pays for dinner?8/9/2011
  Q: My husband and I are sometimes invited to go to Nantucket to visit our daughter and son in law for ...
  A: Whether you or your daughter pays for a meal out when you visit from out of town depends upon ...
unkind remarks by in-laws7/30/2011
  Q: The last time I saw my in-laws my father-in-law said something rude as we were saying goodbye. We ...
  A: I can understand what you are thinking about your father-in-law's comments and those from his ...
Bridal Shower Luncheon7/24/2011
  Q: We are planning a bridal shower for the future daughter-in-law of a good friend of ours. We are ...
  A: Inviting someone to a bridal shower and then making them pay for their own food and refreshments is ...
Social Function Etiquette7/22/2011
  Q: If you are having a conversation, at a bar lets say, with your significant other, and their coworker ...
  A: Your significant other was very rude to start talking with anyone and not immediately introducing ...
gift giving7/20/2011
  Q: I would like to give my stepdaughter's mother, stepdad, and half sister a Christmas gift as a kind ...
  A: I wonder why you feel it is important to reach out to your husband's ex-wife and give her a gift. ...
Return of item7/16/2011
  Q: Lett, Relatively quick question. I attended a pot luck gathering in the neighborhood at the ...
  A: Just give the hostess a call and ask, "I was wondering if my serving spoon showed up during your ...
court house marriage/Judge tips?6/24/2011
  Q: If I get married at a court house and the judge performs it do I tip him like I would a priest or ...
  A: First of all, congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. The fee for the ceremony by the Justice of ...
Bridal Shower Invitation Wording6/23/2011
  Q: I am the maid of honor at a wedding this year and my question is in regards to the wording on the ...
  A: I am glad you and the other bridesmaids are planning the shower because immediate relatives of the ...
salutations to a married woman who is a doctor6/22/2011
  Q: How do you address a letter to a couple when the wife is an M.D. (Jeff and Brenda Carmine)?
  A: When the wife in a couple holds a professional designation or honorific, you would separate their ...
signing greeting cards6/13/2011
  Q: Is there a way that I could decline to sign greeting cards in the workplace without being offensive. ...
  A: You have the right to say no to any activity you don't feel right about doing. I suggest you say to ...
Social Etiquette6/13/2011
  Q: A few times a week I have dinner with a group of people who have lived in this country for many ...
  A: It is very rude to speak a different language that not everybody there speaks because it ignores ...
conversations6/11/2011
  Q: In social situations people often comment, "you're so quiet!" I don't know what to do but be quiet, ...
  A: I am sorry that you are having this difficulty. Group conversation is tough for a lot of people. It ...
Informal party seating chart6/10/2011
  Q: I am curious to know if I am overreacting to a situation at work. I work in a school and am friendly ...
  A: The hostess decides whether she want a seating arrangement pre-defined for her party and if there ...
Graduation Announcements6/6/2011
  Q: Is it ok to send your boss (if you work in a small Atmosphere) your son's graduation announcement? ...
  A: If your boss has a relationship with your son or if he has asked about him in conversation in the ...
In-Laws with poor manners6/4/2011
  Q: I have been with my husband for over 25 years and have always had issues with his parents' poor ...
  A: First of all, you are not alone with your situation. Often there are members of a family who ...
friend borrowing suitcase for a one month trip overseas6/1/2011
  Q: Am I being petty? My friend wants to borrow our suitcases for a month-long trip overseas with her ...
  A: You have given quite a few hints that you don't want to lend your luggage to your friend which she ...
Gifts of cash/service5/26/2011
  Q: Our family is growing as we are adopting a toddler. We'd like to send out announcements and host a ...
  A: There is no tactful way to ask for money from others, for whatever reason. Most people, family and ...
Adult Birthday Parties5/23/2011
  Q: We have relatives that continually invite my husband and myself to their joint birthday party ...
  A: It sounds as if your relatives are hosting the kind of party they can afford and that doesn't break ...
accidental flatulence5/23/2011
  Q: I know Emily Post talks about certain body functions that we socially pretend do not exist. And I ...
  A: When the embarrassing bodily function happens, a quiet "please excuse me" is enough. It would be ...
How to ask for donations for staff5/19/2011
  Q: I have been asked to script an e-mail/letter asking for donations for some of our staff who have ...
  A: The best way to "ask for donations" is to send out a memo to each employee describing the situation ...
going to visit friends for HS graduation5/17/2011
  Q: I have two sets of friends that I will be seeing during this 4 day trip. I am mainly going for my ...
  A: The right answer to your dilemma depends upon promises you have made already. It sounds as if you ...
Mother in Law to vacation with us?5/15/2011
  Q: How can I include my mother-in-law on my family's upcoming vacation? Next month, my husband and ...
  A: First of all, thank you for your service. And since your planned vacation is meant for rest and ...
asking guests to pay for portion of party5/6/2011
  Q: My brother wants to host a surprise engagement party for close friends and family after he propose ...
  A: It is always considered rude to ask guests to pay for any costs relating to an event they are ...
Birthday Cards5/5/2011
  Q: I have adult nieces and nephews that I no longer send birthday cards to, for different reasons. I ...
  A: There is nothing old-fashioned about practicing proper etiquette. You have tried to reach out and ...
Odd Association !5/4/2011
  Q: Perhaps you can kindly advise. I'm a professional musician and thought I had struck up a potential ...
  A: You are a very kind and generous man who was raised by the same kind of family. The "friend" you ...
Bridal Shower Etiquette5/4/2011
  Q: I am having a bridal shower for my future daughter-in-law who lives wth my son out of state. Guests ...
  A: Suggesting "gift cards" is the same as suggesting giving cash as their gift and asking someone to ...
Siblings' Joint Card to Parents5/3/2011
  Q: My sister, parents, and I all live in different cities across the country. When it comes to ...
  A: Assuming Andrew and and Shaughn are your and your sister's spouses the proper way to sign the card ...
Social Etiquette Question5/2/2011
  Q: I invited a couple of co-workers over to my house on Saturday for cocktails in celebration of my ...
  A: You are right, your coworker was rude to cancel without a really good excuse an hour before the ...
Gift/ Card mix up4/26/2011
  Q: i was rently thrown a surprise party for my birthday. There were gifts on a table and my friends ...
  A: My suggestion is to check the wrapping paper carefully because some people (like me) write to and ...
How long should gratefulness go4/19/2011
  Q: back in 2008 I needed assitance by a physio. His method proved to be so good that, against all ...
  A: You have been very generous giving your testimonials and they have benefited your doctor. You can ...
Graduation Announcements from Two Sides of Parents4/18/2011
  Q: I am putting together graduation announcements for my daughters high school graduation. She has two ...
  A: The answer to your question is that people with names not just positions have to make announcements ...
Giving a gift but with a caveat4/14/2011
  Q: Here is my situation. My uncle, age 92 has always teased me about wanting the antique ceramic dogs ...
  A: Why don't you lend the dogs to your uncle to enjoy for the rest of his life stating that you would ...
walking etiquette/being a gentleman4/11/2011
  Q: When a man accompanies a woman, I understand that a man should walk on the side of the sidewalk ...
  A: You might be interested in the origin of the man walking on the street side of the sidewalk when ...
wedding shower gift question4/9/2011
  Q: My niece is getting married this summer. She had a gift registry online.. so I bought her the set of ...
  A: The wine glasses sound great. Why don't you add wine glass markers (the charms that go around the ...
Evening Graduation Continued4/9/2011
  Q: Cynthia, Me again! First I want to thank you for your recommendations for my disabled son's ...
  A: I remember thinking that I should give advice about your dress for the events but you hadn't asked ...
When is it ever appropriate to sit on someone's lap?4/8/2011
  Q: I have a question of appropriate sitting in a social/casual environment.My friends seem to be ...
  A: Sitting on someone's lap is an intimate gesture usually reserved for children and significant ...
houseguest4/8/2011
  Q: when my friend comes to visit , she has a small pet that she wants to sleep with her. I have a air ...
  A: I don't blame you - I wouldn't want someone else's pet in my bed either. Since you have already ...
b-day invitations4/7/2011
  Q: is it proper to do your b-day invitations in your own name. In other words something like: '' I ...
  A: I am assuming that you are inviting guests to a birthday party for you. We don't word invitations ...
Evening Graduation4/2/2011
  Q: My son is graduating this May from U of A in Tucson. Yea! My problem is we have two graduations to ...
  A: First of all, congratulations is in order for both your graduating son and for you. We never ...
Dinner outing4/1/2011
  Q: My husband's colleague and his wife has invited us both to go out to dinner with them - their treat ...
  A: The only thing you need to do is be good guests. Call the restaurant and ask what the dress code is ...
manners4/1/2011
  Q: When entering a room, who should greet whom first?
  A: Whomever is the host of the event/meeting/meal/party should greet guests first. This assumes there ...
Use of "Congratulations"3/22/2011
  Q: Our college student son and his girlfriend visited our home this weekend and expressed their ...
  A: Both of these kids have an attitude of entitlement. They feel entitled to do as they please and ...
Host committee3/21/2011
  Q: What is the proper way to list couples who are on a host committee for a cocktail party that is ...
  A: This doesn't change no matter who provides the guest list. You list the hosts: Chief host or ...
Birthday gift3/20/2011
  Q: My friend I'd going to Italy this year and we wanted to put instead of a traditional gift, powder ...
  A: Anytime you ask for a gift, whether it is money or something else you are begging to a point. You ...
political titles3/19/2011
  Q: Since Sarah Palin chose to leave office and did not serve her full term, should she be refered to as ...
  A: I am so glad you asked your question. Most people don't know protocol so most people in the media ...
Academic Credentials after name3/18/2011
  Q: It was a very big deal for me to go to college because during the first couple years of high school ...
  A: Congratulations on your impressive credentials. You always leave off bachelor degrees and your ...
Going to stay with boyfriend's family3/18/2011
  Q: After giving it much thought, we've decided to allow our 15 Year old daughter to go stay with her ...
  A: Your daughter should ask what the schedule for the weekend is so she can be sure to pack everything ...
BOSS ANNIVERSARY3/17/2011
  Q: I have a question in reference to my boss who's wedding aniversary is coming up on the 30th. I ...
  A: How nice of you to want to recognize your boss's anniversary. Wedding anniversaries are usually ...
holiday etiquette3/17/2011
  Q: my best friend and his family are in a difficult financial situation since a while, and it's getting ...
  A: I can't determine your feelings for you but you can certainly go on a short vacation without guilt. ...
accepting show invite3/16/2011
  Q: My husband and I have been invited to see a show by our neighbors. We would like to accept, but ...
  A: When someone invites us to an event we expect that they are treating. From them saying they already ...
envelope ediquette3/16/2011
  Q: Mr. co-workers, husband's aunt died, do I address the envelope to just him or Mr. & Mrs.
  A: You would address the envelope Mr.& Mrs.. For the future, the etiquette rule is that a husband and ...
Declining invitations3/11/2011
  Q: I work at a hair salon and have regular customers who often invite me to their family events. I ...
  A: What a nice compliment from your customers. I suggest you say,"I am flattered that you want me to ...
Baby Shower and In-laws3/10/2011
  Q: I have been invited to my niece's baby shower which is being held at her mother's house who is my ...
  A: I suggest you decline the invitation and invite your niece out for brunch or lunch and give her the ...
Invitation to a 50th wedding anniversary celebration3/10/2011
  Q: My husband and I are invited to a 50th wedding anniversary dinner given by the daughter of the ...
  A: Thrift: I suggest you call the organizer and explain honestly your situation. If she invites the ...
People Inviting Themselves !3/9/2011
  Q: Perhaps you can kindly advise. We reside in the USA. A few short years ago we became aware of a ...
  A: I venture to say that your Australian relative is lonely and looking to connect in a more meaningful ...
Should I tell an out-of-town guest they can't stay with me?3/8/2011
  Q: I have a friend of mine who moved to another country several years ago, we have maintained our ...
  A: My first thought was she might not have room for a guest to stay with her. Whatever her reason for ...
Proper picture etiquette for "In memory of"3/7/2011
  Q: What is the proper etiquette for pictures to use of a person that is going to be a "In memory of" ...
  A: Because you are immortalizing the deceased please use the most flattering formal picture and a ...
engagement gift3/5/2011
  Q: our son is proposing to his girl friend of 4yrs on april 8th. we live in chicago and her parents ...
  A: Congratulations! Gifts for the bride and her family are not an etiquette necessity. However,a nice ...
was I wrong to leave . . .3/3/2011
  Q: I was recently visiting son and DIL and new baby. I was told by my son I had to bring food to feed ...
  A: From your description it sounds like your son and daughter-in-law didn't want you in their house. ...
50th Surprise party3/2/2011
  Q: Is it OK to plan a 50th Surprise Party with a "potluck" menu, where the guests bring a dish to the ...
  A: A potluck dinner Surprise Party is not being given just by you - it is being given by everyone but ...
complete trust to early?3/1/2011
  Q: Can you completly trust with all your personal affairs? Even when not blinded by love. I know that ...
  A: The only person I believe you can completely trust with personal affairs is your lawyer. Lawyers are ...
Greeting and Saying Farewell2/28/2011
  Q: My issue is that my wife's family greet each other with a kiss on the lips, not on the cheek(s). My ...
  A: In my own family - my father's side kissed on the mouth and my mother's side kissed on the cheek or ...
requests for reference letter from 2 people applying for the same job2/23/2011
  Q: I agreed to be a reference for a colleague applying for an in-house job but then another colleague ...
  A: There is no reason, etiquette or otherwise, that you can't be a reference for more than one employee ...
Deacon ordination reception2/23/2011
  Q: Who should pay for the costs of the reception to celebrate the ordination of a 45 year old married ...
  A: There are a few occasions when the parents are supposed to pay for life event celebrations. For ...
table setting2/22/2011
  Q: does the salt shaker belong on the left or right of pepper shaker?
  A: While it really isn't an issue anymore, if there was a right or wrong way to place salt and pepper, ...
Driving inconvenience2/15/2011
  Q: I have 2 friends who are my roommates. Last semester, one of them moved in(female friend). I did not ...
  A: First of all, you are not being selfish to set a time limit to your generosity. It has been very ...
reaction to "no response from giftee"2/10/2011
  Q: My wife and I are new to the neighborhood.The next door folks invited us to a graduation party.We ...
  A: By all means the next time you see or talk with your neighbors say, "I always wondered if you ...
Surprise Party Etiquette2/7/2011
  Q: Recently attended a SURPRISE 30th for a close relative at a local restaurant. Pizza and wings were ...
  A: You are not wrong. Making invited guests pay for anything at the party was not just tacky it was ...
High School Girl who has no social cues2/6/2011
  Q: I have a high schooler who is having an issue with a girl who has no social cues. The girl will have ...
  A: The problem your daughter and her friends have is not just with this classmate but with her mother. ...
Wedding invitation2/1/2011
  Q: I have recently become aware of special plans to include my daughter in her aunt's wedding ...
  A: If your ex-husband's family were to be correct by etiquette standards, you would be invited to the ...
In-Laws 'cleaned' my house without asking first2/1/2011
  Q: My In-laws came to our house to stay in the guest apartment to dog-sit while we went on vacation. ...
  A: You clearly have a reason for being upset about the violation of your and your family's privacy. I ...
houseguest1/29/2011
  Q: our daughter's boyfriend joined her at our house for the weekend. they want to go to church sunday ...
  A: Since this sounds like a once in a lifetime situation, why not join them at the church they chose? ...
Friend refuses to honor a request of guest for a glass of water for ill feeling guest1/29/2011
  Q: I was recently visiting 2 close friends of mine (one friend I do know better than the other one ...
  A: No matter what you feel about a guest in your house and their requests, it is a host's job to make ...
Inviting a recovering addict to a birthday party1/28/2011
  Q: I do not want this person to feel obligated to come but I also do not want to feel responsible for ...
  A: Your friend, since his/her release from rehab, now has to start the road to rebuilding his/her life ...
Open invitation to visit1/26/2011
  Q: My family and I (myself, husband and son) have had open invitations to visit and stay with a couple ...
  A: My family and I never stay at anyone's house (relative or not) because it is a huge imposition on ...
Retirement Luncheon Invitation1/24/2011
  Q: When holding a business retirement luncheon with a predetermined menu at a restaurant, do I include ...
  A: On the RSVP card (you should have one if you hadn't planned on it) there should be: "My preference ...
Social Gathering1/22/2011
  Q: We're going through the process enrolling our daughter into a Private school. We just received an ...
  A: Marks: Since this is not a social occasion or a party, it is not necessary to bring a hostess gift. ...
Imposing House Guest1/20/2011
  Q: My problem centers around a friend of my parent's from Up North who wants to come to their home in ...
  A: If your parents don't want to have this woman at their house for her vacation, your parents should ...
Funeral Etiquette1/20/2011
  Q: My children are adults (24 & 21). I have been divorced from their father for 8 years. Their ...
  A: While attending a funeral is truly a personal decision, I would be a kind and gracious gesture for ...
My Son1/18/2011
  Q: I have informed my son that he will not be playing football next year because of his grades. He's a ...
  A: Adkins: I applaud you for standing up for your principles. The best response to inquiries about why ...
Responding to compliment1/16/2011
  Q: My newly found friend/neighbour has been singing praises about me to friends at her workplace. So ...
  A: Krish: What your friend's coworkers told you was a compliment. The proper response to a compliment ...
surprise party/dinner1/14/2011
  Q: How would you word a Surprise Party Dinner invitation to let guests know that you are inviting them, ...
  A: You cannot invite someone to go to an event and spend their own money. That is like saying to them, ...
Inviting Ex's Sister to Baby Shower1/13/2011
  Q: I was very close to my brother's ex-wife's sister while they were married. It has now been about 4-5 ...
  A: It wouldn't be bad etiquette to invite your friend to your shower although you shouldn't be the one ...
Birthday invitation to spouse of deceased1/11/2011
  Q: My cousin passed away 2 months ago after a long illness . She and her spouse had always asked my ...
  A: Your cousin's widower is still part of the family and I am sure your mother will be grateful he has ...
Dinner Table Setting1/8/2011
  Q: I have a Dinner Table for 6. It is dark brown in color (wood). Itis covered in Glass on the top. ...
  A: Placemats are protectors for the table and decorative and let the diner know where their ...
Baby Shower1/6/2011
  Q: My son and his wife are having their first child. She is due in 5 weeks. I was getting concerned ...
  A: According to proper etiquette standards, it is correct to invite the grandmothers-to-be. If the ...
holiday open house1/6/2011
  Q: i have been invited to a relative's home for a new year's open house via email, and have been asked ...
  A: The host sets the parameters of their party and it sounds like this one is a pot luck. You as the ...
Baby item borrowing etiquette1/5/2011
  Q: When I told my my friends that I was pregnant a couple of them that had just recently had babies ...
  A: Congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope everything goes well for you. You are right that there ...
gift returning1/4/2011
  Q: I work in a small private club bartending and waitressing in the function halls. My boss called me ...
  A: What a lovely gesture from your boss to recognize your work with a gift he believed you would find ...
addressing an envelope12/31/2010
  Q: How to you address a social event envelope when the wife is a physician and the husband is a ...
  A: Bufalo: The way to address the envelope is this: The Reverend John Doe and Mary Doe,M.D. or The ...
Problem with boyfriend's adult children12/30/2010
  Q: I currently in a 8 year relationship with no promise of marriage. However, I am doing all the ...
  A: You deserve to be treated with love and respect by the man that you love. The fact that you have ...
Son gives no gifts.12/27/2010
  Q: I have a son that has turned 27 this year, he has a good paying job, lives out of province, he is ...
  A: I am sorry that your older son hasn't learned to appreciate his family up 'till now. Do you talk ...
Christmas gift12/26/2010
  Q: My sister in law invites herself over for Christmas every year saying she has gifts for us and even ...
  A: By etiquette standards, you can't tell your sister not to give gifts to you and your family - even ...
Retaining a Political Title12/22/2010
  Q: When leaving elected office, what titles may be retained. There seems to be some confusion on the ...
  A: Your question is one of protocol, not etiquette. Therefore, the rules have been agreed upon by the ...
Invitation Question12/22/2010
  Q: I met a woman named Sophie when our children were babies (about 4.5 years ago). We became close -- ...
  A: Friends come and go in our lives and relationships change for many reasons. From your description ...
in-laws12/21/2010
  Q: I have visited the home of my ex-husband's sister (at her invitation) and while there visited with ...
  A: What you described sounds like a great reason why you are divorced. There is no etiquette rule that ...
A matter of politeness12/20/2010
  Q: Evey year a friend drops off a bottle of an ultra sweet wine that I can not stand to drink or would ...
  A: Since your friend has been giving you the same gift for several years telling him now that it isn't ...
Person I Don't Like12/18/2010
  Q: There is a woman that both my sisters have become friends with that I don't care to know, get to ...
  A: After reading your question, I wonder why your sisters both like this woman if she is as you ...
Open House Gift12/17/2010
  Q: we are invited to the home of my husband's boss for an open house. Do we take a open house gift? ...
  A: You need to take something to your host's home that the family will enjoy. A box of chocolates, a ...
New Year's Eve Party Start12/16/2010
  Q: Just wondering what time I should invite guests to come to a New Year's Eve party? It will be ...
  A: Because a New Year's Eve party is an all evening event, the right time to invite guests is between 8 ...
overnight guests12/14/2010
  Q: I am hosting my husband's family for the weekend of Christmas. Brother-in-laws family will be ...
  A: I personally applaud you for saying no to underage overnights for your nephew in your home because ...
Graduation Party12/12/2010
  Q: I'm graduating early {this month} and planning a graduation party. Finances are a bit tight and ...
  A: First of all, congratulations on your graduation! It is considered very poor etiquette to invite ...
Christmas Gift Dilema12/10/2010
  Q: I have 2 questions and will try to simplify this as much as possible. I have 2 sisters. Since ...
  A: Etiquette doesn't give any status to individuals who are not married to family members. Since your ...
Christmas Etiquette12/8/2010
  Q: I am wondering what the rules are during the holidays for gift giving. I have a brother who never ...
  A: Please understand that by true etiquette standards, you are never required to buy anyone anything. ...
Mixed Family Christmas Guest12/6/2010
  Q: For Christmas dinner, our family has been taking turns hosting each year. My husband and I both ...
  A: My opinion is that you need to speak directly (pick up the phone and call) to your father's ...
Excessive gifts year after year - no thank you ??12/3/2010
  Q: Every special occasion my in-laws send a large cash gift. These gifts make me very uncomfortable ...
  A: Please understand that your indignation against the gift that two people who love you give to you is ...
invites for out of town siblings12/1/2010
  Q: Is is rude not to include out of town sibling(s) to a major celebration such as a baptism, first ...
  A: The celebrations you listed are life events and very important to family no matter where they ...
facial expressions when conversing12/1/2010
  Q: When one has had to disagree with one's partner in conversation, or to give evidence for one's own ...
  A: When you are in a disagreement with another, your body language conveys most of your message - not ...
family get-together etiquette11/28/2010
  Q: We have many family get-togethers throughout the year. The host usually makes the main dish and the ...
  A: The proper etiquette of bringing a dish to a dinner (family or just friends) is that the contents of ...
Ettiquette for Family member (daughter in law)11/27/2010
  Q: My son and daughter in law were here for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Here's my problem. She didn't ...
  A: I am sorry that you were taken advantage of by your daughter-in-law during Thanksgiving. I have had ...
Kids Party RSVPs11/22/2010
  Q: Lett, We will be sending invitations to my daughter's birthday party soon. In past years we have ...
  A: What are you going to do when the children who did not respond and who assume aren't going to be ...
Any good books11/17/2010
  Q: Being an 'alien' in USA I am am always looking for new things to learn. I have spent around 2 years ...
  A: It does take a while to acclimate to a new culture and its etiquette. I think though that you have ...
Unable to attend11/15/2010
  Q: If you cannot attend a Thanksgiving Dinner should you send a food dish?
  A: If you are unable to attend Thanksgiving dinner you are not obligated to send anything but your ...
Mother in Law11/10/2010
  Q: A few weeks back...at around 1:30 in the morning, my husband got a text on his cell phone while we ...
  A: An important etiquette rule is to make requests rather than give demands. Your mother-in-law is ...
Christmas Presents11/9/2010
  Q: My husband is the eldest of six & we are expected to buy presents for all and sundry (10 Adults & 15 ...
  A: First of all, let me tell you that you are not alone in your concern about all of the Christmas ...
manners11/5/2010
  Q: How do I address a wedding congratulations card sent before the wedding to mr and mrs or just to the ...
  A: You can't congratulate someone on their wedding if they are not married yet therefore, if you want ...
donation etiquette11/4/2010
  Q: A "generous" donation was made by our vet to a university for vets in memory of our pets. We lost ...
  A: What a lovely gesture by your Veterinarian. At the very least you should write a handwritten thank ...
work invitation11/3/2010
  Q: I live near our in town office (about 10 minutes or 4 miles). Our team is in town for a meeting. I ...
  A: Your intent to entertain your colleagues while they are in town sounds like a lovely idea. Before ...
neighbor guy stuff11/1/2010
  Q: If I invite some neighbor friends over for drinks or beers, and they are all sweaty from projects, ...
  A: It is never snobby to be a gracious host. By all means serve your guests whatever there is to be ...
Graduation announcements10/24/2010
  Q: My husband will graduate from Law School this December. My question is he is 47, is it appropriate ...
  A: First of all, congratulations to your husband for such a terrific accomplishment. Since etiquette ...
Announce Divorced Parents10/19/2010
  Q: My Stepson is going to be announced as a nominee on the Homecoming Court at his high school. ...
  A: Since your stepson's mother is in the picture, ask her if she wants to walk with the two of you and ...
Wedding Ettique10/18/2010
  Q: I have invited my colleague from work to my wedding and she is now unable to attend, but has ...
  A: It depends how you wrote the invitation. If you wrote the envelope to Mr. and Mrs. then it is not ...
fanning self on to others10/15/2010
  Q: My father of age 62 is fanning himself on to me and dusts from around the house while cleaning, as ...
  A: I am not sure what you mean by "fanning himself". If you father is doing something that you don't ...
Live in brothers manners10/13/2010
  Q: How can I really get my 63 year old brother to understand some etiquette and manners, around the ...
  A: Your brother never learned the good manners your parents taught you and you obviously have. He is ...
Leaving with food after a party.10/11/2010
  Q: My question is about the etiquette of leaving with food items, which you initially arrived with, ...
  A: When you bring food or drinks to someone's home for all present to share, it stays with the host. ...
Baptism with Ex's10/5/2010
  Q: My boyfriend is having his daughter batized. His daughter's mother is not very involved in her life ...
  A: From your question it sounds like your boyfriend is planning the event. I believe that even though ...
Seating at a Round Table10/1/2010
  Q: If you have two couples being seated at a round table, should the spouses sit facing one another?
  A: When you have two couples - whether or not one couple is the guest of the other, protocol rules ...
Graduation Guest List9/30/2010
  Q: My ex-husband and I gave a college graduation party for my adult daughter at a restaurant. Guest ...
  A: Your girlfriend who knows etiquette doesn't know etiquette. Since you know the extended family of ...
Entertaining at Home9/19/2010
  Q: we had guests last nite that unfortunately drank to excess and would not take hints to leave. Our ...
  A: The best way to have handled guests not leaving at a reasonable time is to stand up and say how nice ...
Private space vs public space in our house9/17/2010
  Q: My partner and I live together, we are not married but in a committed lifetime relationship. He has ...
  A: You are right to feel violated by having anyone (especially an adult) go into your bedroom much less ...
Dinner conversation with a non-eater9/16/2010
  Q: After refusing an invitation to join my wife and me in dining my adult son will occasionally stand ...
  A: It sounds like your son refused the food and eating part of dining but not the conversational part. ...
Declining an invitation9/14/2010
  Q: How do you decline an invitation to a weekend trip to Vegas? An older couple we know asked us to go ...
  A: Because you didn't act as quickly as needed, your hosts took your silence as a yes. If you don't ...
B'nai Mitzvah Gift9/10/2010
  Q: Cynthia, My son has been invited to a B'nai Mitzvah, but only knows one of the siblings. What is the ...
  A: Your son need only give a gift to the child who invited him to his Bar Mitzvah or Bat Mitzvah. If ...
Backyard party9/10/2010
  Q: If I am hosting my own backyard party, with plenty of food and drinks included, Do I still have to ...
  A: There is no need to give out favors at the end of the party. This is a practice that is most common ...
declining goodies at work9/2/2010
  Q: How do you decline the foods brought to work from co-workers as "treats" without being rude or ...
  A: Just say, "Wow, those look great! I am going to pass right now, maybe later." The most important ...
Invitations9/1/2010
  Q: Should a dead beat dad's name be included on the invitation and party announcement or just the ...
  A: Are you asking about a wedding invitation? A graduation party? A Birthday Party? In order to give ...
family9/1/2010
  Q: I have two brothers. One lives three miles from where I live, and the other brother lives fifteen ...
  A: Since this distant and dismissive behavior has been happening for only two years, something happened ...
Hats on women8/10/2010
  Q: I play golf with a baseball hat, when we go to lunch in the formal dinning room at our Country Club, ...
  A: I understand that hat hair isn't flattering. If your club dining room has a dress code it is ...
We Want to Stay in a Hotel While Visiting Parents8/9/2010
  Q: My boyfriend and I have been living together for 2 years and recently visited my parents together. ...
  A: What I have learned in your type of situation is that your parents want to treat you like you are ...
Surprise Birthday Party8/4/2010
  Q: I am throwing a surprise birthday party for my husband. I am paying for a band, dinner and set-ups ...
  A: I understand that hostesses don't want the legal implications if one of their guests gets stopped on ...
After Memorial Service8/2/2010
  Q: I know that thank yous are sent after a service for flowers received for the family. Should you send ...
  A: Funeral etiquette is a little special compared to simple social etiquette. If you receive an ...
Graduation Gifts for non-traditional students7/24/2010
  Q: I returned to college and finished my degree when I 48 years old. My sister just finished her ...
  A: First of all, congratulations to you and your friends. What a terrific accomplishment. Money as a ...
Thank you cards for HS graduation/party7/22/2010
  Q: I had a party for my son graduating high school. The following weekend he took off for the state we ...
  A: I am so sorry that your son doesn't think that saying thank you for other's kindness towards him is ...
Manners7/21/2010
  Q: We have a lady at work who always corrects other peoples verbal punctuation, is this not deemed ...
  A: Topham: I understand how annoying your colleague at work is to you and others. It is generally ...
Party7/15/2010
  Q: My question is this: when you go to a party or event and you offer to take a side dish, is it ok to ...
  A: When you take a dish to share at a party, you should leave it for the guests to enjoy even if you ...
baby shower etiquette7/13/2010
  Q: Can you please explain the proper way to handle this situation? What should a pregnant woman, who ...
  A: You are a very lucky woman to have such good and generous friends. You accept their gesture and ...
Order of Names in business/casual setting7/13/2010
  Q: I'm pretty clear on the rules for addressing envelopes to couples in myriad situations (married with ...
  A: Since Joe started with the last name Smith and Jane joined him in having the name through marriage, ...
family giving7/12/2010
  Q: I would like to know the manners of giving to a family member. One family has 3 children that were ...
  A: I surmise that you are part of the only child's immediate family and you are asking what you should ...
personal space being invaded7/8/2010
  Q: Usually in a public places around my city, some rude creep usually forces his way into my personal ...
  A: I imagine that you are a very attractive young woman and the men around you want to be recognized by ...
Upcoming Mother-in-Law B'day6/29/2010
  Q: I lost my Father a couple of months ago. He would have been 90 years old soon and I had been his ...
  A: First of all, allow me to offer my condolences on the loss of your father. I lost mine almost two ...
Inviting guests to a family weekend6/27/2010
  Q: Every year my husband and I host our immediate family for the 4th of July weekend at our cabin. Four ...
  A: It is poor etiquette to invite guests to a function that you are not hosting. Your sister made a ...
Engagement6/21/2010
  Q: Should the bride's parents call the groom's parents to congratulate them or vice versa?
  A: While the bride is traditionally considered the number one of an engaged couple it has been expected ...
family events6/20/2010
  Q: I am constantly the last person invited to any of my brothers family events. Today I happened to ...
  A: It sounds as if your brother and you need to have a talk. Try to set up a time with him without ...
High School Graduation Party6/18/2010
  Q: We just found out that our son who is a Senior and supposed to graduate next week has failed a ...
  A: If your son has the intention of graduating this summer, I would go ahead and hold the party to ...
retirement party6/17/2010
  Q: I am going to a friend's retirement party. What are some acceptable gifts to give?
  A: Since I don't know the retiree and what she or he is into or how much money you want to spend, here ...
addressing in-laws6/16/2010
  Q: My husband died a number of years ago. We were married for over 18 years and while I was friendly ...
  A: If you are talking directly to your late husband's immediate family, I would suggest using their ...
Mother-in-law and wedding dress6/16/2010
  Q: I got married 5 years ago to a man from a different country. I always showered his mother and oldest ...
  A: It sounds as if nothing is going to make your relationship with your Mother-in-law pleasant until ...
Ongoing issues with Mother's boyfriend6/15/2010
  Q: I am writing for some family advice. I am not sure where to start, so I will just jump in. My ...
  A: I am so sorry that you and your family are in the middle of a situation that is so disturbing to ...
verbal thank yous'6/14/2010
  Q: When a married couple invites someone to a restaurant and pays the bill, is it proper for the guest ...
  A: It is not proper to only thank the husband for his hospitality. Your guest should thank both of ...
baby shower etiquette6/12/2010
  Q: Some friends are hosting a baby shower for my daughter and we are both very grateful. When should my ...
  A: What a lovely question! You should arrive at the given time but leave first. Nobody should leave ...
Birthday Cake Protocol6/10/2010
  Q: My father will be 90 in June and my mother 89 in August. The family would like to do a joint ...
  A: There is no etiquette rule about birthday cakes and whether they should be for one or more ...
Prior Commitments6/9/2010
  Q: Is it ever O.K. to cancel a prior commitment due to circumstances? My daughter promised she would ...
  A: When we make future commitments we do so with the information we have at that moment about whether ...
Culture Clash?6/8/2010
  Q: I am in my first interracial relationship and embracing another culture is exciting to me. I also ...
  A: Your home belongs equally to both you and your husband. You have every right and obligation to tell ...
Family Get Together6/7/2010
  Q: My sister in-law called saying that she was inviting the family over for a get together on Father's ...
  A: If you are asked to bring something to a party and the host doesn't specifically tell you what, then ...
High School Graduation6/5/2010
  Q: I was given an invitation to a colleague's daughter's high school graduation open house. I have ...
  A: I suggest that if you don't want to attend the open house, you certainly don't have to. You should ...
Exhusband want to stay home6/3/2010
  Q: My girlfriend exhusband is visiting and want to stay over at her home even though he made ...
  A: Lara: The solution to this situation is totally up to your girlfriend. It is her house and her ...
High School graduation6/2/2010
  Q: My son was due to graduate and I have not sent announcements yet. We have spoken to the 6 people ...
  A: You should still be acting like the proud mom you are. While your son won't be going through a ...
rudeness6/1/2010
  Q: My son will stop by my house for a quick 20 min.hello on his way back from a long day of touring out ...
  A: My guess is that your son's girlfriend is just allowing you and your son some private time together ...
host duties5/29/2010
  Q: What are the proper duties of the host when offering a buffet style dinner. When are the host and ...
  A: The host is responsible for putting out all the things his guest will need to enjoy the meal. Don't ...
High School Graduation gift5/29/2010
  Q: How much money should a grandparent give for one of their Grandchildren's High School Graduation? My ...
  A: I wish I could tell you that according to proper etiquette there is a right or a wrong amount of ...
Vacation5/28/2010
  Q: Last year, my parents took their two children (my sister and me) and their families to Myrtle Beach. ...
  A: The only ones who can affirm or deny your mother-in-law's request are your parents. From what you ...
Boss's child is graduating5/28/2010
  Q: My boss's child is graduating from High School and my co-workers and I have been invited to the ...
  A: An appropriate gift for a high school graduation would be: * a book of quotes or inspirations ...
Boss's Child Graduation Party5/27/2010
  Q: I work in an office of 11 employees. Between us we have worked here from 1 to 15 years. My boss's ...
  A: You are not obligated to go the party for your boss's daughter. Regarding a gift, separate gifts ...
Car seating etiquette for a couple and a friend5/27/2010
  Q: If there are 3 people in a car, 1 single male who is the driver and the other 2 people are a couple. ...
  A: In a social situation, which it sounds from your question this is, the seat next to the driver is ...
money for high school graduates5/20/2010
  Q: My boyfriend and I both have grandchildren graduating from high school. What would be an appropriate ...
  A: Money as a gift puts a price on what you think the person and event your are celebrating is worth. ...
Staying with Relatives5/20/2010
  Q: My husband, my two boys and I recently spent 6 days with my cousin, her husband and daughter at ...
  A: You should ignore the musings of your cousins. They are trying to look like "heroes" to both your ...
Fellow College Graduation Gifts5/18/2010
  Q: Good afternoon, My son just graduated from college on Sunday. We're giving him a graduation party ...
  A: Congratulations to your son and to your family for his accomplishment. Regarding gifts for his ...
Proper way to make out a gift check5/16/2010
  Q: My mother-in-law always gives us money for our anniversary. She always makes the check out to my ...
  A: While it is proper etiquette to write the check to both of you since it is a joint present, your ...
Gift - Voice Recital5/14/2010
  Q: My niece is having her senior voice recital. I know that parents/grandparents typically give ...
  A: It is a lovely gesture to give a gift or flowers to your niece after her recital. A small piece of ...
Graduation Dinner5/14/2010
  Q: My wife's son is graduating from college and his dad, his mom and me, and his girlfriend of less ...
  A: Your step-son's girlfriend's parents and his girlfriend were invited by your step-son. Your wife is ...
vacation5/11/2010
  Q: is it rude of my sister inlaw to turn our florida vacation for 4 to a vacation for 9. they got a ...
  A: It is always rude for someone to intrude on another's plans. Your sister-in-law seems to have done ...
High school graduation party5/10/2010
  Q: We were invited via a social networking site event page to a high school graduation party for the ...
  A: If the hosts are extending invitations to a party through a social networking site rather than a ...
work - entering a locked room5/8/2010
  Q: At work, my boss and other management in my dept will come to my door. If it is locked, they ...
  A: Yes, your boss has the right to use his key to enter a locked door but you are correct in so far as ...
birthday party invitations5/5/2010
  Q: I'm having a 40th birthday party for my husband and I'm inviting friends and family. I will be ...
  A: I wish I could give you the answer you want but it is considered quite rude and against every ...
Graduation5/2/2010
  Q: How would I word this...Our son is graduation from high school but does not want a party. We would ...
  A: Here is one way to word the announcement: Mr. and Mrs. John Doe Proudly Announce the Graduation of ...
paying for dinner5/1/2010
  Q: When you are visiting from out of town and staying with friends, is it customary to take your ...
  A: When you are accepting hospitality from friends, it is customary to either take them out to dinner, ...
Birthday Party4/27/2010
  Q: My good friend is throwing a birthday party for herself in Atlantic City, which is 2 and 1/2 hours ...
  A: You are not wrong to think that asking people to spend hundreds of dollars to attend a party for the ...
Forgotten birthdays4/26/2010
  Q: How do I handle godparents that forget my children's birthdays. Also, how do I handle the ...
  A: It sounds like you have the expectation that your children's godparents should give them gifts for ...
family thank you cards4/25/2010
  Q: My Dad had Easter at his house this year. After dinner we all said thank you. When we left to go ...
  A: It is not necessary to send a written thank-you note to your parents for a family gathering but you ...
hats vs caps4/25/2010
  Q: Is there any between hats and caps with respect to male head covering when it comes to social ...
  A: No there is no difference between hats and caps. Both should not be worn indoors (whether public or ...
College graduation party4/19/2010
  Q: My daughter is graduating college and has already sent announcements to all friends and family. Now ...
  A: Congratulations to you and your daughter for her graduation. You are correct that if you invite ...
Gift for PhD Graduate4/19/2010
  Q: Next month my brother-in-law will receive his Ph.D. in Social Work. Although the family is ...
  A: I suggest giving a useful gift such as a nice fountain pen or leather portfolio. A jotter card ...
memorial service4/17/2010
  Q: My daughter who lives out of state has informed me she is pregnant. Although this is exciting news, ...
  A: I am both sorry for your loss and happy for your new grandchild coming. Since a new baby is a ...
High School Graduation4/15/2010
  Q: My son passed away tragically in November of 2009 and would have been graduating in June 2010. I ...
  A: I am so sorry for your loss. I understand that you want your son's memory to live on but it is an ...
Etiquette Question4/14/2010
  Q: I have a mid-sized home. 3 bedrooms and 2 bath rooms. If I have made plans for my family or ...
  A: It is not rude at all to decline hosting guests at your home for whatever reason. I agree with you ...
baby shower4/14/2010
  Q: Our daughter is expecting our first grandchild & I will be giving a baby shower in her hometown. The ...
  A: Rogers: First of all congratulations on your impending grand-parenthood. One of the reasons ( and ...
Adult step child as house guest4/10/2010
  Q: My husband and I have 4 adult daughters between us. (He has three, I have one of my own) 2 are ...
  A: It sounds like you have a valid reason not to allow your stepdaughter to stay in your house. The ...
Gift for artist daughter-art show4/10/2010
  Q: I was wondering what would be proper to bring to my daughter for her final thesis art show. Flowers, ...
  A: From your question I am surmising that your daughter is an artist so I suggest giving her a lovely ...
Do you bring a present when the host specifies no presents?4/7/2010
  Q: My 9 yr old daughter was invited by a neighbor to a birthday ice cream outing just two days before ...
  A: In your situation my guess is that the mother told you no presents so that you didn't get over ...
Going Away Party etiquette4/5/2010
  Q: I am throwing a "Going Away" party for a close friend. She is very well known in our neighborhood, ...
  A: It is nice of you to throw a party for your friend. Email invites are OK, not the best when it ...
Sports parties at a private home4/3/2010
  Q: We were asked to a private home for the NCAA tournament, we were not told that other couples were ...
  A: Don't allow the idea of a party with people you don't know get you flustered. The best way to enjoy ...
Grandson Christening4/2/2010
  Q: I have been divorced for 7 years and am now seeing a wonderful woman. My daughter and son-in-law ...
  A: The host has the say what happens, who is invited and how much he spends. You can invite whomever ...
Gift Registry3/30/2010
  Q: Would it be inappropriate if I created a registry for my son's first birthday?
  A: I would be most inappropriate to create a registry for a birthday - anybody's any birthday. A ...
family dinner conversations3/30/2010
  Q: We regularly have large extended family meals, composed of 9 adults and sometimes 6 children sit at ...
  A: I am not sure whether an answer from an etiquette expert will help change your mother's mind about ...
50th Surprise Birthday Party3/28/2010
  Q: I just attended my cousins 50th Surprise Birthday party. Suspecting that this cousins party was ...
  A: If you were going to give your cousin a birthday present whether or not the party was planned, then ...
cashing checks3/23/2010
  Q: im currently a very poor college student living off campus with two roommates. we have split up the ...
  A: There isn't a specific rule for cashing someone else's check but there is a legal rule. By most ...
family etiquette3/19/2010
  Q: My Son's Baptism is tomorrow and we are having family and some friends around afterwards for dinner. ...
  A: First of all, congratulations on your son's baptism. It is the hosts' responsibility to inform ...
Retaining a political title3/19/2010
  Q: It is proper to continue the use of a Political title if the office holder resigns or is fired?
  A: It is protocol that states that if someone earns a title because they were voted into office, they ...
gift giving to children3/17/2010
  Q: my friend Nancy has a grandson who has siblings who are not Nancy's grandchildren. When she visits ...
  A: When it comes to treating children well, the etiquette rule is not to insult or demean or hurt the ...
Proper name addressing - clergy3/16/2010
  Q: How do I address an invitation to our Rabbi and his wife? How do I address an invitation to our ...
  A: Leonard: You address your Rabbi and wife: Rabbi and Mrs. Jacob Doe Address If he has a doctoral ...
Grooms Dinner Guests3/14/2010
  Q: I would like to know who should be invited to attend a grooms dinner? I feel the wedding party and ...
  A: The nice thing about the rehearsal dinner (what you call the Groom's Dinner) is that it can be ...
Timeliness in responding to correspondence and other communication3/11/2010
  Q: Am I the only one who still sets themselves a standards to repond in timely fashion to ...
  A: I agree with you that the common courtesy of responding to correspondence is becoming more lax all ...
retirement invitation3/10/2010
  Q: if the invitation is $25.00 a ticket are you still required to bring a gift or money card
  A: I am going to assume that you have been invited to a retirement party that the host doesn't want to ...
Obituary3/9/2010
  Q: My mother just passed away and my sister informed me that my two aunts (sisters-in-law) were upset ...
  A: First-I am so sorry for your loss. Obituaries are arbitrary - you can include the dog if you want, ...
Saying Good Morning3/8/2010
  Q: I work in a warehouse and many mornings there is more than one person when I enter. Do I have to say ...
  A: There is nothing sweeter to our ears than hearing someone say our name out loud. If you are walking ...
addressing an envelope3/6/2010
  Q: When addressing an envelope and using the man's and woman's first names, whose lst name goes first?
  A: If you are addressing an envelope to a married couple you don't use both names. They are Mr. and ...
Cocktail party invitation3/6/2010
  Q: Is it rude, after accepting an invitation to a cocktail party, to ask who the oterh guests will be?
  A: No - it is not rude to ask your host, "Is anyone that I know also coming?" It is the host's duty to ...
Mother's Death and a Gift3/5/2010
  Q: My boyfriend's mother died recently and his siblings are now removing items from her home. I bought ...
  A: Because you gave the watch as a gift to your boyfriend's mother, you no longer have any say who ...
no grave has been dug !3/2/2010
  Q: the funeral home did not have the grave site ready when we arrived in procession at the cemetery.. ...
  A: Oh my! What an unfortunate situation! I am sorry that I don't know state regulations for the funeral ...
Baby Shower Dilemma3/1/2010
  Q: I am a mother-to-be with a baby shower dilemma. Recently I found out that my mother in law and ...
  A: The dilemma you find yourself in is one of the practical reasons that it is considered rude and ...
Gifts to friends2/26/2010
  Q: I recently moved near a childhood friend and her family who treat us like family inviting us to all ...
  A: The most important point of gift giving is to give something that the recipient will enjoy or ...
returning a gift2/26/2010
  Q: my sister who doesn't make much money, bought me expensive shoes ($84) from QBC for my 53rd ...
  A: First you tell your sister how much you love her and her most generous gift of the shoes. Then tell ...
Funeral Etiquette2/25/2010
  Q: My husband and I have been together for 5 years and married for 4 months. He is not close to his ...
  A: I think you should go to the funeral. When there, make sure you meet your mother-in-law and just be ...
FOOD QUESTION.2/22/2010
  Q: MY MOTHER IN LAW BRINGS FOOD OVER TO MY HOUSE FOR MY WIFE TO EAT AFTER SHE GETS OUT OF WORK BUT THE ...
  A: Since what your mother-in-law is doing is bothering you, I would suggest you talk with her in a ...
Delivery of food2/19/2010
  Q: One of our employees's parents passed away and will not have a funeral just a remembrance gathering ...
  A: The proper thing to do is to have the food delivered to her home. It is rude to impose on the ...
wife and daughter inlaw bust up2/19/2010
  Q: We weent to stay with our son and his wife for 3 weeks overseas. They have two small boys who kept ...
  A: I am sorry for the situation in which you find yourself. From your question I see two women who ...
son's art show2/18/2010
  Q: My son has an opening night for his art show coming up. This is his first that I have been able to ...
  A: First of all congratulations to you for raising a talented artist and to your son for doing ...
what's proper?2/17/2010
  Q: I was recently at a social gathering with my partner of 5 years. We had decided to be more social ...
  A: It is proper etiquette to introduce all parties who are talking in a group. If you join a group ...
help2/16/2010
  Q: I am in charge of health and safety management of 25 Zara sotores in Venezuela. I love to wear jeans ...
  A: The answer to your question lies in the corporate culture in which you work. How are the other ...
psd2/15/2010
  Q: etiquettes on the decline a social problem...?
  A: Hussain: I don't understand what your question is but if you are asking if the decline of general ...
Neighbor's Get-Together2/12/2010
  Q: My wife and I have been invited to a neighbor's house for wine and casual conversation. This will be ...
  A: By all means bring a small hostess gift - something that can be used for hospitality but doesn't ...
proper etiquette when having to cancel an appointment2/12/2010
  Q: I'm a hairdresser with a small business in my home. I specialize in updo's for weddings. A customer ...
  A: The proper thing for you to do in this situation is to call the customer and explain that a family ...
Drink Serving Etiquette2/10/2010
  Q: Recently my fiancee, her best female friend and I were invited out to be introduced to her best male ...
  A: You would make a gracious host. You were correct in offering more wine to your fiance's friend ...
50th anniversary expectations of party2/8/2010
  Q: My parents 50th anniversary is coming up. The last 2 times I was with my dad, he made it clear, ...
  A: You never mention whether your mother would expect a party or appreciate one. Let's assume she ...
Bringing personal food to someone's house2/5/2010
  Q: I have a sister that has her boyfriend over 5-6 days a week. There are days that he brings over food ...
  A: You were brought up correctly - I wonder why your sister didn't learn the same etiquette lesson. It ...
21st Birthday2/3/2010
  Q: I would like to put a poem on my 21st invitation like the wishing well poems for weddings, but ...
  A: it is considered quite rude to ask guests to pay for anything if you invite them to a celebration ...
Which way do caskets face?2/1/2010
  Q: When a person is buried are they buried if front of the headstone or behind it. It is difficult to ...
  A: Caskets are placed in the ground with the head of the casket and the tombstone next to each other. ...
Business mailing1/31/2010
  Q: I am a sales representative for a small remodeling contractor. We have contracts with a few ...
  A: The best way to address the envelope is Mr. and Mrs. Steven Jones. Anything else is too familiar, ...
sick wife1/29/2010
  Q: I spend my day wondering whether my wife lag behind me when I am walking down a hallway, however ...
  A: I would not qualify your wife as selfish in this situation. I would say that she seems to need ...
Are bride's maids expected to give a gift?1/27/2010
  Q: Bride's maids usually have so much to pay for with their dresses, shoes,jewelry,travel&lodging and ...
  A: You are right, being a bride's maid can end up costing quite a bit. They are expected to give a ...
baby gifts1/21/2010
  Q: I have a question regarding baby gifts. My best friend from graduate school had her first baby 5 ...
  A: First of all, congratulations on your twins! Regarding your friend's behavior towards you, I ...
shower thank you1/20/2010
  Q: What is your opinion on having guests address their own thank you envelope ? I was asked recently ...
  A: D.: Asking someone to address their own envelope is the ultimate in laziness and disrespect for the ...
Wwhen should a women say hi to a stranger1/16/2010
  Q: I took my ex wife to check out where her classes were going to be and check out a safe place for her ...
  A: There is so little civility in this world at this moment that when anyone is kind to another - even ...
brother of the mother to be1/15/2010
  Q: My sister is coming into town for a baby shower that my other sister is throwing for her. My ...
  A: If you are not attending the party, you don't give a gift. Did you also know that it is considered ...
Boyfriend's bad manners, what to do?1/14/2010
  Q: Boyfriend of many years moved in with me. His manners have progressed from merely "indifferent" ...
  A: If I were sitting and chatting with you about this situation my first question would be, "What do ...
Guest at your house1/13/2010
  Q: My niece and I had a discussion about whether it was proper for someone, who already has a guest at ...
  A: The simple answer according to etiquette rules is that you are the host and its your house so you ...
Volunteers1/12/2010
  Q: Our organization deals with volunteers. Should the employed person greet the volunteer, or should ...
  A: The employed person is the host in this situation and should greet anyone coming into the group. He ...
Return Neighbor's Gift1/10/2010
  Q: The house next to us is our neighbors weekend home. We live here full time. From time to time ...
  A: Your neighbors gave you the gift card to tangibly show you how much they appreciate your help. To ...
Cancelling a party due to an emergency-what would be gracious follow-up?1/9/2010
  Q: Lett, This year we were to host a Christmas party at our home for family and friends. The named ...
  A: I am sorry that your party had to be canceled because of an emergent medical reason but life happens ...
son's ex-girlfriend gives his mother Xmas present - keep or return?1/8/2010
  Q: My son finished a relationship with his ex-girlfriend and she continues to harass him with text ...
  A: My best advice is to call and ask her. You might say something like this: "Mary, I understand that ...
Visiting inlaws1/8/2010
  Q: Is there any type of social rule about staying with inlaws while visiting from out of town when ...
  A: There is no hard and fast rule about who can accept whose hospitality. I suggest that to keep the ...
conversation etiquette1/7/2010
  Q: Lately it seems the following scenario has been happening a lot. I will be in a conversation with ...
  A: The people with whom you are talking who then turn and ignore you are demonstrating how rude they ...
Surprise B-day Party at a Restaurant1/5/2010
  Q: What is the general etiquette for going to a surprise birthday party at a rather expensive ...
  A: The etiquette rule is that the host pays for his guests (everything including drinks and food). ...
friendship gift12/20/2009
  Q: ...
  A: From your description of the situation, your husband did all the right things. Your friend is ...
Christmas12/17/2009
  Q: We were "sort of" invited to our neighbours for Christmas; but the invite was rather vague. We are ...
  A: Once you have accepted an invitation it is rude to rescind your acceptance except for illness or ...
Christmas card Etiquette for almost divorced couple12/16/2009
  Q: We would like to send a Christmas card to a couple who has filed for divorce. They still reside in ...
  A: I know this is a touchy subject. By etiquette rules, as long as they are still married and living ...
signing christmas cards12/15/2009
  Q: My husband is a SGT Major in the US Army National Guard. I am sending out christmas cards and need ...
  A: For cards sent to friends and acquaintances who call you by your first names, you would sign them ...
Death of Ex-Husband12/14/2009
  Q: 2 weeks ago an employee's ex-husband passed away and we did not send her a card. Now it seems we ...
  A: At this point, your colleague is grieving for her ex-husband. It would be nice to go up to her, take ...
Family and Party Etiquette12/13/2009
  Q: My question involves manners and etiquette when dealing with family members.My DH has built on a ...
  A: Hill: I read from your question that your SIL and MIL are on one side and you are on the other. ...
gift etiquette12/11/2009
  Q: There are 3 grandchildren in our family. The oldest is my nephew and other two are mine and my ...
  A: The way the grandparents handled gifts for their grandchildren is typical for many who find the gift ...
50th wedding anniversary12/10/2009
  Q: I think the ideal gift for my parents 50th wedding anniversary would be an all expense paid ...
  A: What a nice gift that would be. You cannot mention gifts or money on the invitation or you will be ...
christmas gift12/10/2009
  Q: my husband and i have a heating and air business and also a general contracting business. we do work ...
  A: Write a separate thank you card for the $100. If you feel it is too much for you to keep, include in ...
driving friend home12/9/2009
  Q: I am the only one among my friends that have a car. I notice that my friends have expected that I ...
  A: You are not being selfish for not wanting to take time out of your day to do the bidding of others. ...
problems with boyfriend's adult children12/8/2009
  Q: I have been in a serious relationship with my boyfriend (he is 63 and I am 49) for two years. He has ...
  A: Please forgive the delay in my response. It sounds to me that your boyfriend is feeling quite ...
What do I do?12/7/2009
  Q: So I really have two questions: A: How do I, nicely, tell my family that I never want to do another ...
  A: Isaacs: Please forgive my taking some time to consider your dilemma before responding. It is a ...
guest at bday party with gf's family12/7/2009
  Q: My girlfriend of 3 months brought me her aunts bday party. It was my first time meeting most of ...
  A: I am sorry to say that your girlfriend's lack of concern for your comfort at the party was ...
casual holiday gift-giving12/6/2009
  Q: I have a friend with some lovely redeeming qualities, but generosity and tact are not often among ...
  A: I personally have never known anyone who behaves the way your friend does to have any lovely ...
BDay Party and Cash Bar12/5/2009
  Q: A lady has invited me to a surprise bday party with a cash bar. Who should pay for the drinks? I ...
  A: Shelton: The general etiquette rule is for the person who did the inviting does the paying. I ...
guest to hosts gift12/4/2009
  Q: What is an acceptable gift to present to friends upon accepting a dinner invitation besides a ...
  A: Hilty: Thank you for knowing that wine is not always the best hostess gift. The best ones have to ...
Attending the funeral of a colleague from work12/3/2009
  Q: A volunteer who I worked with passed away last weekend. His daughter contacted me with the news and ...
  A: I am so sorry for your loss. You have the choice of attending either the viewing (visitation) or ...
Leftovers when hosting dinners and partys12/3/2009
  Q: Would it be bad manners not to offer leftovers to quest or family members when they leave? When ...
  A: It is not bad manners not to offer leftovers of the food you provided. You should ask if they want ...
Christmas Etiquette12/2/2009
  Q: My brother and sister-in-law are at the center of a mild controversy on my side of the family by ...
  A: Your brother and his family have made their decision for a reason that works for their family. You ...
Accepting an invitation to be a house guest12/2/2009
  Q: I have to fly interstate (within Australia) to attend a film festival where a film I have directed ...
  A: As you said, you have two choices. One will give you a feeling of intruding, taking advantage and ...
How to reply12/1/2009
  Q: I have family members that never attend my family parties but always sent a gift. But every event ...
  A: Wright: Invitations for parties and events are not a "you attend mine and I will attend yours" ...
Congratulations Note for an Unexpected Baby11/30/2009
  Q: Lett, I have just received a group e-mail from a friend of mine announcing the news that her ...
  A: By all means extend congratulations to the mother-to-be. You might say something like, "I heard the ...
room etiquette11/30/2009
  Q: My Question deals with the never ending debate between me and my wife. She is very upset because my ...
  A: Smith: Your question is a little complicated but to my understanding, your wife wants your daughter ...
Boyfriends Kids Bad Table Manners11/29/2009
  Q: I was raised in a family where manners are important. My boyfriend of two years has two kids 11 and ...
  A: Since you are "practically a blended family" you have the responsibility of teaching his children ...
address11/28/2009
  Q: a man holds and MD and a JD (he is both a lawyer and a doctor - how should his mail be addressed?
  A: You address him by his name followed by the MD and JD listed in order of when he earned them. For ...
Christmas party etiquette11/27/2009
  Q: My boyfriend has invited me to spend Christmas with his Parents (at their request) which includes ...
  A: You have asked all the right questions. Your wardrobe should be conservative. Ask your boyfriend ...
Sorority function11/27/2009
  Q: I am attending a formal sorority party. My friend is a member of the chapter but I am not. I ...
  A: As long as the dress you wear doesn't look like it was made for flaunting their colors, feel free to ...
Neighborhood Social Etiquette11/25/2009
  Q: I live in a neighborhood where everyone's house is very close to each other. Our kids are all about ...
  A: I am sorry that you are having difficulty with your neighbors. My suggestion is to reach out to ...
How to say no to guest11/24/2009
  Q: how to stop a drunken guest of not having more alocohal
  A: The best way to stop drinking by a guest is to gently tell them that the bar is closed and ask ...
neighbor's dinner party11/23/2009
  Q: One of my best friends was invited to a dinner party at her next door neighbors house, her husband ...
  A: It was extremely rude of the hostess to point out that your friend was not dressed properly unless ...
baby shower invitation etiquette11/23/2009
  Q: I am the mother of the new mom to be. I contacted the other mil concerning having a combined ...
  A: It is improper etiquette for mothers or mothers-in-law of the mother-to-be to give a baby shower. ...
graduation announcements11/22/2009
  Q: How soon before college graduation do you send out announcements?
  A: You may send announcements to be received within three weeks prior to the actual graduation. Also, ...
Invitations11/21/2009
  Q: On a private invitation the "At home" means what? A)That it takes place in the house of the ...
  A: I rarely see "at home" on an invitation - it is usually on a card included with wedding ...
Dating11/19/2009
  Q: My sister was asked out at work by her bosses boss and wants to know what is the polite way to ...
  A: Your sister should simply state that she keeps her personal life and her work life separate. That ...
co worker bereavement11/18/2009
  Q: A co-worker's nephew passed away on Monday and our company is sending flowers. Another coworker is ...
  A: You are not obligated to contribute to anything at the office if you don't want to. When someone ...
Surprise Birthday Party11/17/2009
  Q: I am having a surprise birthday party for my boyfriend who is turning 40. I want to send out ...
  A: While it is tacky to ask guests to pay for their food and beverage at an invited event, you are ...
adoption11/15/2009
  Q: do you take a gift to an adoption open house. Is the gift for the parents or the child/childern?
  A: Yes, a gift is appropriate and it should be for the child. It is a welcome to their family gift and ...
Guest Dress Code for Debutant Ball11/13/2009
  Q: My husband and I have been invited to a Debutant Ball, My husband is wearing a tukedo, what is the ...
  A: It sounds as if the invitation said formal and your husband is right to wear a tuxedo. You need to ...
How to return an expensive present11/12/2009
  Q: I was recently given an expensive present by a friend/exboyfriend. It was a gift certificate for ...
  A: It is rude to give back a gift you have been given - no matter your perception of its worth. When ...
Birthday Card Etiquette11/12/2009
  Q: My husband and I sent a birthday card to his mother. She cannot see very well and relies on her ...
  A: Emery: I can imagine what your thoughts are about this situation and I believe we share them to some ...
Introduction11/11/2009
  Q: How should my boyfriend introduce me. We have been living 3 years together, are past our ...
  A: There is no official way to introduce "live in honeys" by etiquette standards. That said, you ...
invitations to colleagues11/10/2009
  Q: I wonder if I'm being oversensitive. A new colleague (she joined 8 months ago) in our very small ...
  A: Often when people choose to invite only the "professionals" in a firm to an event of significance it ...
in law terror, Moving out..11/8/2009
  Q: I have been living with my future in laws for nearly two years, across the country from my home.. ...
  A: W.: I am so sorry that living with your fiance's parents has been so troubling. You are right to ...
Dinner Invites11/8/2009
  Q: My husband and I have noticed that we always do the inviting, including friends and family. We buy ...
  A: First of all, you are not doing anything wrong - you are just more savvy than your friends. Many ...
50th birthday gift - money11/7/2009
  Q: My brother in law is throwing his wife a surprise 50th birthday party at a nice restaurant which he ...
  A: What you give to your sister for her 50th birthday should be something that you think she will like ...
40th b-day invites11/4/2009
  Q: Is it ever ok to sell tickets to a 40th b-day celebration like they do for stag parties? My friend ...
  A: I am sorry but it is never OK to ask people to pay for attending a function that they have been ...
Eating Fried Chicken11/3/2009
  Q: At a semi-formal banquet where fried chicken is served may it be eaten by picking it up with the ...
  A: I have never been to a semi-formal affair where fried chicken was served, but if it is served, you ...
birthday cards11/2/2009
  Q: How long after a birthday/anniversary can a card be sent? I have received some up to 2 months after ...
  A: Great question! The nuance is lost after a week. A belated card can safely be sent up to two weeks ...
Graduate Party Invitations11/2/2009
  Q: My wife will be graduating with her doctorate degree and she wants a party with all her friends and ...
  A: It is never appropriate to ask for gifts - any gifts. It is especially rude to ask for money. Your ...
President wants to borrow bus pass10/30/2009
  Q: I work at a small company (12 people). The president of my company has asked me on multiple ...
  A: You are neither ungrateful for your job or wrong in your assessment of improper behavior by your ...
Rude to ask for a gift?!?!10/28/2009
  Q: I have a question. My step-sister and I have had very limited contact in the last few years. Due to ...
  A: It is always rude to ask for a gift. That said, your step-sister seems to be grasping at a ...
salutations10/27/2009
  Q: I really never know, when writing a 'thank you' note (or any note) to friends and family, whether to ...
  A: The rule is that when you sign a letter, the other persons for whom you are also signing have their ...
family-style dining10/26/2009
  Q: I have a friend who eats at my home occasionally. She fills her plate as the food is passed, eats ...
  A: As the host it would be rude to say anything to your friend about how she piles her food on her ...
Is there a polite, non-conflicting way to tell my sister-in-law to stop this behavior?10/23/2009
  Q: My husband and I are hosting a housewarming party in our house. I am rather reserved person and I do ...
  A: Tell your sister-in-law that you set a guest list because it was what you feel comfortable with. You ...
College Graduation Announcements10/23/2009
  Q: I would like know when is it proper for sending College Graduation announcements. My daughter will ...
  A: Since your daughter will be continuing her college education, it would be proper to inform your ...
No Sympathy Card10/22/2009
  Q: my 91 yr-old grandfather recently passed away. My in-laws often saw him at celebrations for my ...
  A: As I was reading your question I kept thinking how confused about life your mother-in-law is. I ...
signing a family card10/21/2009
  Q: I hope you can help me with something that has stumped me since I gave birth to my son last year. ...
  A: My first response is a question. Do you call Steven Jr. by Steven? or is it Stevie or other ...
Protocol behavior at a funeral10/14/2009
  Q: I would like to know if its necessary for me to attend a funeral when it involves my husband's ...
  A: There is no requirement to attend someone's funeral - no matter what relationship you have with ...
Regifting jewelry10/13/2009
  Q: Since my divorce, I am at a loss as to what to do with some jewelry. I have some pieces that were ...
  A: The jewelry given to you is yours to give to whomever you like but it would mean a lot to your ...
Dinner in a restaurant10/12/2009
  Q: who is entering a restaurant first? He or she? who is leading the way to the table , he or she?
  A: The rule is that the host goes first and holds the door for his or her guests. The host goes to the ...
Extended family gifts10/8/2009
  Q: My brother-in-law had a son out of wedlock with a woman in another state. She later married and had ...
  A: Your question reminds me why divorce is a bad idea. It really complicates our lives. You didn't ...
sympathy cards10/7/2009
  Q: My elderly uncle passed away and I attended the out-of-town funeral and luncheon, also the private ...
  A: Since you attended the funeral, a sympathy card is not necessary. However, it is never wrong to ...
best girlfriend befriends x husband10/3/2009
  Q: One of my closest girlfriends found my ex-husband on the internet and started chatting with him. She ...
  A: I know it feels like a betrayal when a close friend finds someone you don't get along with ...
Friend moving in10/2/2009
  Q: A friend of ours (mine & my fiance's) is in a tough spot right now and needs a new place to move ...
  A: When you invite someone into your home - as an overnight guest or a paying renter, you have the ...
Nosy Coach9/29/2009
  Q: My partner's dream is to be a singer. Her singing coach has invited her to participate in several ...
  A: I don't know much about singing and singing coaches but I do know that coaches often ask students to ...
Husban's Ex Family9/27/2009
  Q: Although my husband was married for 20 years and divorced 25 years, I do feel and respect that he ...
  A: What is proper is that your feelings be considered and respected. If you feel uncomfortable being ...
Anniversary gift9/25/2009
  Q: Is is proper or good social etiquette to continue to give a gift on their anniversay to a surviving ...
  A: What a lovely gesture for you to think of for your mother-in-law. You can give her a gift that she ...
Birthday party invitees9/24/2009
  Q: I am inviting some friends out for drinks for my birthday. At first it was going to be a few people ...
  A: When you invite people to a party, it is not up to you to give them lodging too. That is their ...
Thank you Gift for Employer9/20/2009
  Q: In an extremely generous gesture the owner of the company I a senior executive for has offered an ...
  A: When you return home have all of your family (you for you and your family and your kids for ...
Snide Remarks9/19/2009
  Q: I just got out of an expensive lease of a "luxury vehicle" and purchased a much more reasonable car. ...
  A: You have the choice not to answer your questioner with more than, "Yes, I did." Anymore of an ...
Suffix9/18/2009
  Q: I am happily married to a II. When addressing us a couple, would it be Mr. First Smith & Mrs. First ...
  A: I am not certain what your question is but the proper way to address an envelope to the both of you ...
Birthday Party Etiquette9/16/2009
  Q: A pretty good friend of mine, let's call her Ann (not real name), recently failed to invite my son ...
  A: You are looking at invitations as a tit for tat situation and they should not be. My guess is that ...
Christmas Gift Giving9/11/2009
  Q: My husband is one of four boys. All of his brothers are married and have 2 kids each, while we don't ...
  A: I think your resolution is reasonable but it will only be acceptable if you can garner acceptance ...
Overnight guests9/10/2009
  Q: My husband and I live in a two-bedroom apartment. There is no guest room because we use the second ...
  A: In you own home, you set the rules. If having guests, no matter whether they are family or not is ...
family birthday party9/9/2009
  Q: My mother is soon turning 80 so we thought it would be great to get the family together and throw ...
  A: The etiquette rule is that the host pays. Since you are planning the party and have extended the ...
Announcing baby's name before birth9/8/2009
  Q: My son and his wife are expecting their first child in April. Her mother immediately wanted to know ...
  A: According to accepted etiquette rules, the parents are the only ones with the right to name their ...
husband and wife meeting a friend of husband9/5/2009
  Q: i am walkiing down the street with my wife I see a friend of mine and stop to say "hello" My ...
  A: It sounds like your wife was trying to give you and your friend some privacy for your conversation. ...
My Sister-in-law...9/3/2009
  Q: I have been in a relationship for almost 11 years and my partners' sister, has always made dinner ...
  A: My solution to this problem is to let her make the dinners, freeze them and when you don't feel like ...
Sick of petty adults9/2/2009
  Q: I have a longtime friend from my college days ("Michael") who is married (to "Maggie") and has two ...
  A: It sounds like your relationship with this couple is toxic and not very rewarding since you can't ...
How best to decline a previous9/2/2009
  Q: My 8 year old daughter and I were asked to join a new Girl Scout troop at her school. I reluctantly ...
  A: The best way to handle this situation is to not address the personality of the woman you don't care ...
Shower thank you's after stillborn9/1/2009
  Q: I understand it is up to the mother to return gifts or not. Now comes the hard part. What does one ...
  A: I am so sorry for your loss and for the pain it has caused your family. The thank-you should state ...
School formal9/1/2009
  Q: My son is about to attend his school formal which consists of a dinner and then I am assuming a ...
  A: It is not practiced much anymore but it is still lovely for the gentleman to include the mother of ...
Baby Shower Hosts/Invitation8/29/2009
  Q: What is the typical protocol for whose names should be on the invitation for a baby shower? The ...
  A: Proper etiquette dictates that relatives not host baby (or wedding) showers for relatives. It is a ...
dinner invitation8/28/2009
  Q: If family/friends who have been dining out for New Years for several years suddenly invite another ...
  A: While you as a guest can't tell your hosts how to configure their dining arrangements, I am ...
sister in law relationship8/27/2009
  Q: I'm not sure if this is an etiquette question, or just a question of poor taste...Do you think it is ...
  A: It sounds like your sister-in-law is using you are her style maven. There are many people who need ...
Reciprical Dinner Invitation8/27/2009
  Q: My husband and I were invited, accepted and went to dinner at the home of a new acquaintance, her ...
  A: You have a couple of months to reciprocate and you don't have to include the daughter. Your ...
FUNERAL/SYMPATHY ETIQUETTE8/26/2009
  Q: My co-workers and I are not sure how to deal with this situation. Our boss just lost a niece-in-law ...
  A: It is not appropriate for you to attend the funeral of your boss's relative especially since you did ...
Hello8/9/2009
  Q: I'm having my 13th birthday soon and I want to invite my friends in MY AGE GROUP. BUT,my parents ...
  A: I am afraid that your parents are right in inviting the younger girl in your carpool since she will ...
Family Member from Hell8/7/2009
  Q: When my family member visits our home and family members homes she sleeps until 10:30 - 11:00 well ...
  A: Your family member seems oblivious of obvious social cues and proper interaction with others most ...
Baby Shower Invites8/5/2009
  Q: My cousin is throwing me a baby shower. My mom wants to invite a set of relatives that I haven't ...
  A: The proper etiquette for this situation is that the bride along with the host make the guest list ...
"borrowing" baby items8/4/2009
  Q: My husband and I have a 21-month old daughter and now feel we are ready to try for #2. My husband's ...
  A: Since you are planning on another child you will no doubt need these things for your own use in the ...
Housewarming - TY for no gift?8/3/2009
  Q: We had a small informal housewarming when we bought our new condo. Several friends arrived with ...
  A: You should send a thank you for all the gifts you received, very nice or just wine. You do not need ...
Group visiting friend for weekend8/3/2009
  Q: Recently, a few of my high school friends and I have become reacquainted after 25 years. One friend ...
  A: To be a great house guest you should certainly pay for at least one meal for her and her family. ...
casual seating arrangement8/2/2009
  Q: We will be having family for dinner outside on out patio. Our patio table seats 6 and we will have ...
  A: Wilson: You and your husband should split up at the two tables. If the smaller table will hold four ...
Thank you notes8/2/2009
  Q: This spring, we celebrated my 7 year old daughter's First Communion, and shortly thereafter, we ...
  A: First of all, my heartfelt condolences for your loss. I too lost my son unexpectedly and I know how ...
Thank You Note8/1/2009
  Q: My college age son visited his girlfriend and family recently for 10 days. He is sending a thank you ...
  A: Since your son is college age and he is the one who enjoyed the family's hospitality, he is the one ...
child birthday8/1/2009
  Q: Our son (only child) will be 5 in October. His first 2 birthdays were at home and last 2 were at ...
  A: What a great question since it has happened to me on several occasions as well. When this happens ...
inlaws 60th Anniversary7/30/2009
  Q: My in-laws have asked each of their 7 children to contribute $1000.00 each so they can buy a car. I ...
  A: It is always bad etiquette to ask anyone to pay for anything for your benefit only. I too have not ...
GIFTS7/30/2009
  Q: We a family of 6 have been invited by our friends for a picnic lunch. The host family in their ...
  A: When a host specifically asks guests not to bring gifts, the best thing to do is to go to the picnic ...
Delayed High School Diploma7/27/2009
  Q: My son was suppose to graduate in 2008. Do to several circumstances, he didn't finish high school ...
  A: Your son certainly deserves a celebration for his accomplishment, no matter how long to achieve. ...
Visitor etiquette - bedroom use7/27/2009
  Q: Is it reasonable to ask a child (21 yrs old) to allow a visitor to use their bedroom for one night ...
  A: Brauen: Is the child's room in your house? If so, you have the say, not the child. Just make sure ...
walking together7/26/2009
  Q: I understand the principle of walking on the street side (next to a woman), and before her down the ...
  A: The reasoning behind the etiquette of a man walking on the outside of the sidewalk when with a woman ...
social etiquette/manners7/26/2009
  Q: My granddaughter's 22 year old boyfriend came to visit from Germany. Since he is allergic to cats ...
  A: No, you are right. Since he took advantage of your kind hospitality he should have not only taken ...
card to parents on anniversary of son's death7/23/2009
  Q: The adult son of friends of ours was killed in an accident last summer. Is it appropriate to send a ...
  A: As the mother of a son who died three years ago, I would appreciate being reminded of his birth, not ...
Birthday greeting to an ex boyfriend7/22/2009
  Q: Is it appropriate to send your ex a birthday greeting after a recent breakup?
  A: The proper answer to your question has everything to do with how your breakup went. If it was mutual ...
baby shower invitation7/20/2009
  Q: Five friends and I organized a baby shower for a friend last week. A few days later, she extended ...
  A: As with any invitation, you are not obligated to attend. According to proper etiquette, it is rude ...
speaking to someone in another room7/19/2009
  Q: On a daily basis my husband calls to me to ask me a question when he is downstairs. He EXPECTS me ...
  A: You are describing a typical pet peeve of people who live together. I highlight it in my book, ...
employee parties7/18/2009
  Q: I was recently invited to a pool party by one of my female co-workers. The age range for my ...
  A: I would tell your co-worker that you appreciate the invitation but pool parties are just not your ...
Familky Reunions7/17/2009
  Q: What is the correct protocol for a family member to sell their wares at a reunion gathering?
  A: There is no stated protocol for selling stuff at family reunions. The most important thing is not to ...
In-Laws come arrive before my husband (their son)!7/16/2009
  Q: my husband is in the military and got orders for some leadership training that lasts for 2 months. ...
  A: I understand your situation and there is a way for all to be happy. Allow them to come early and ...
Gifts for grandchildren7/15/2009
  Q: I have always sent thoughtful gifts (cloths, crafts, toys, books and sometimes money) to my young ...
  A: I am not certain what your question is so I will comment on what action I would take as proper if ...
Sister in law7/14/2009
  Q: My wife of 30 years went to her sisters house (sister is married) out of state for two weeks, on the ...
  A: Even if there is nothing going on - even a friendship -with your wife and this man, your wife should ...
Limiting guests7/9/2009
  Q: I'm coordinating a graduation celebration for approx 100. Due to space I must limit the guest to 4 ...
  A: Proper etiquette dictates that the only place on the invitation to indicate who is invited is on the ...
Graduation Gift Thank You7/8/2009
  Q: I have a question regarding gift-giving manners and timely thank you notes. My daughter recently had ...
  A: When gifts are given to others, we naturally expect to receive a positive response as soon as ...
Gift after weekend away with friend and her family7/6/2009
  Q: I recently spent a fabulous weekend at my friends cabin. It is her family's cabin and her family was ...
  A: The best gift you can give to the family (since they were all your hosts) would be a handwritten ...
Common courtesy after having dinner out7/3/2009
  Q: If some out-of-town friends meet you at your home for a drink before dinner, then you all go out to ...
  A: In days gone by a complete evening with others could well have included drinks at your house, dinner ...
Gifted Twice7/1/2009
  Q: My brother graduated from high school this year, and he recently had a party. A relative gave my ...
  A: The best thing to do is to call the relative who gifted twice and thank him for the generous gift ...
introductions7/1/2009
  Q: What is the proper way to introduce a couple, to a group of people, when the wife is a doctor? Are ...
  A: Introductions are done separately since it important that each person's name is said in full. You ...
In-laws unannounced overnight stay6/24/2009
  Q: My in-laws contacted my husband and told him they were going to be coming through our city and would ...
  A: This is an issue that you need to discuss with your husband first and get him to respect that you ...
Received flowers for helping out6/24/2009
  Q: Recently I did volunteer- received flowers from the manager. I am preparing a note to thanks for the ...
  A: A note of thanks is always appropriate but when the gift is given as a thank-you for efforts you ...
Thank you...and follow up question.6/23/2009
  Q: My orginal question was about the rude lady taking my picture without my permission. I just wanted ...
  A: When the two of you are sitting down, chatting about anything, bring up the subject. It could be ...
Birthday card6/23/2009
  Q: I am friends with a couple who have birthdays very close to one another(only 4 days difference). Is ...
  A: I know it is tempting to send one card that takes care of two birthdays but the individuals who ...
What card to send a terminally ill colleague?6/22/2009
  Q: A work colleague has recently been diagnosed with Lukemia. She has been off work for a couple of ...
  A: A card that expresses your appreciation of her situation and encourages her to keep up her spirits ...
fundraing for personal gain?6/22/2009
  Q: My kids have undertaken a expensive hobby of building a racecar to drive. They are both putting in ...
  A: Fund raising is acceptable only if the proceeds fund a non-profit (as defined by law) organization ...
announcements and thank you's6/21/2009
  Q: What is the time frame for sending birth announcements? What is the acceptable time frame for ...
  A: You have about three months to send announcements for births. For gifts, the thank you notes should ...
Is this behavior rude or not6/19/2009
  Q: ..this is my first time here. Is it considered rude, if a co-worker/friend asks me to go on break, ...
  A: I think you already know the answer to your question. Imposing anything on another person who ...
Returning a gift 4 months later6/18/2009
  Q: Myself and 2 other ladies became friendly with our dogs. The one lady(lets call her doglady as she ...
  A: It is probably a good thing that you are not friends with doglady as she is a particularly rude ...
Awards Brunch Gift6/17/2009
  Q: My son is receiving a scholarship at a brunch hosted at an individuals home. He and his father and ...
  A: Congratulations to your son and to you and his father for such an honor. You are right to bring a ...
birthday party6/17/2009
  Q: i am throwing my mom a 50th birthday dinner. This is going to be a surprise for her. So here is the ...
  A: It is a sweet thought to throw your mom at surprise birthday party but you are going to alienate her ...
graduation gifts, whom to give to6/16/2009
  Q: we were invited to a graduation party for a college graduate, who works with us, the party is also ...
  A: You don't need to give the brother a gift since you weren't invited to his graduation party - just ...
Overnight guests6/14/2009
  Q: When having people overnight should the host and hostess give up the master bedroom for the guests? ...
  A: Proper etiquette states that you provide comfortable, clean and quiet sleeping accommodations for ...
Mutual attraction in the surgery suite6/13/2009
  Q: My 77 year old stepfather recently had to have colon cancer surgery. I went with him to meet with ...
  A: While this isn't really an etiquette question I will tell you what I think anyway. You might call ...
RSVP6/13/2009
  Q: my question has to do with invites to my childs 2nd bday. I have requested RSVP but to no availe I ...
  A: It sounds like you need to do what savvy companies do when their guests to their events don't Rsvp. ...
graduation open house6/12/2009
  Q: We are invited to an open house for 3 boys. One, we do not know at all, one we barely know and one ...
  A: You should bring a congrats card for all three boys but you can give a gift to the one you know only ...
Confirming gift received6/11/2009
  Q: I was wondering if it is poor manners to contact someone to find out whether or not they received a ...
  A: It is not bad manners to ask the recipient if they received your gift. Perhaps she forgot to ...
meet the parents6/10/2009
  Q: When my then fiance and I went to my home for Christmas, my mother talked non stop about herself and ...
  A: It is never polite to not ask guests about themselves and their family. It is also never polite to ...
who should pay the dinner bill?6/9/2009
  Q: It was my father's birthday last night and my sisters and I wanted to take him out for dinner. I ...
  A: It would not be expected to have someone who is not family (husband is family, boyfriend/fiance is ...
Common Courtesy6/7/2009
  Q: Is there a good book to give someone on Courtesy and Respect? I have some relatives who don't seem ...
  A: I understand how frustrating being with people who don't know they don't possess social skills can ...
Bereavement6/5/2009
  Q: A co-worker has just lost his wife after a fourteen year struggle with cancer. Supervisors have ...
  A: My best advice is to let each person who wants to sign the card do so. The department head should ...
gift etiquette6/4/2009
  Q: My boyfriend of 5 years didn't give my son anything for his college graduation with a bachelor's ...
  A: It is a personal decision to whom we give gifts and what those gifts are. It is sad that your ...
Request for money as a wedding gift6/3/2009
  Q: How do I respond to a request for money rather than a wedding gift? I feel as tho a request is not ...
  A: It is incredibly rude to request a gift of any kind for any reason so the request for money rather ...
High School Grad Parties6/3/2009
  Q: When a student graduates from high school, the seniors typically graduate along with many of their ...
  A: Proper etiquette states that you take a gift of some sort to the host of the party. It doesn't have ...
Uninvited guest6/1/2009
  Q: An ex coworker and I have remained luncheon friends and enjoy lunch about once a month. We tired to ...
  A: Simply tell her that your family has plans already and it would not be convenient. She is looking ...
wording on child's birthday invitation6/1/2009
  Q: we are having my son's 5th birthday party at a bowling alley. We are prepared to pay for each child ...
  A: You could state on the invitation state that the bowling is for the kids only (though most parents ...
no gifts please for college graduation party5/31/2009
  Q: my husband and i are invited to his bosses daughter's graduation party. we have never met her or ...
  A: First of all, don't feel obligated to go just because it is your boss's daughter's party. If you ...
Wife's birthday at spa5/31/2009
  Q: Ms. Lett, I want to give my wife a day at the spa with 1 or 2 of her best friends for her 30th ...
  A: If you invite someone, you are the host and the host always pays. Don't invite your wife's friends ...
proper etiquette for a year death anniversary5/26/2009
  Q: My brother died a year ago this week and I would like to know the proper etiquette in corresponding ...
  A: I am so sorry for your loss. Flowers are not usually sent to the widow at this time. I suggest you ...
Following a Hostess in a Restaurant5/24/2009
  Q: Could you please tell me in what order people should follow a hostess to the table? For example, a ...
  A: The rule for following the hostess is the person who is paying the bill goes first so that they can ...
My husband is not invited to his daughter's high graduation5/24/2009
  Q: I am hoping for some advice on how to deal with situation in an adult manner. My husband's daughter ...
  A: I am really sorry that your stepdaughter has decided to graduate from high school as a child rather ...
Birthday Invitation Wording5/22/2009
  Q: I am sending out invitations for a surprise birthday for my husband at a local restuarant. How can ...
  A: It is considered quite rude to invite someone to something and make them pay for it. In essence you ...
social etiquette5/21/2009
  Q: A neighbor has invited himself and his family along on a small group camping trip. This man and his ...
  A: Tell your neighbor that you appreciate their interest in the trip but all of your plans have already ...
Dinnerware5/20/2009
  Q: Would one use Fine China (bone or porcelain) at a Sunday Supper table? or would the Sunday Supper ...
  A: By strict etiquette rules (which are rarely observed these days) Sunday Supper is considered casual ...
High School Graduation5/19/2009
  Q: It is proper ettiquette for my ex-husband to bring a date to our daughters highschool graduation ...
  A: Bringing a new friend as a date to a family event is pretty tacky. However, it is up to your ...
Video & Photography Etiquette5/18/2009
  Q: Is it appropriate for guests in your home to take pictures or video your home? This makes me very ...
  A: It is definitely not appropriate for someone to take pictures inside of your home without your ...
seniors sending other seniors graduation announcements5/14/2009
  Q: I have always been told that it is bad etiquette to send a graduation announcement to families that ...
  A: When I was a high school senior the school sent out a graduation announcement and each girl (it was ...
Anniversary party5/13/2009
  Q: Good day Ms. Lett, My parents are planning a 40th anniversary party in June. The invitations were ...
  A: I understand the frustration when guests are not gracious enough to Rsvp. However, the note as you ...
leftovers5/12/2009
  Q: Sometimes I bring in leftover bake goods, ie cake, from an occasion to work for my coworkers. My ...
  A: Bringing in food for co-workers is a nice gesture but they don't want to know that they are worthy ...
Graduation gift5/11/2009
  Q: We have a nephew and niece who have had a hard life (father died, mother in jail for a couple of ...
  A: Since you were initially invited by phone a year ago, you should call your niece, and ask if she ...
Dining Conversation5/6/2009
  Q: I sat a a table with 3 friends at at square table. One person sat on each side. Person A & person B ...
  A: I am surprised to read that Person A thought your behavior was rude because they were doing exactly ...
Medical School Graduation5/5/2009
  Q: My son is graduating from medical school and I would like to know if it is proper to include ...
  A: Your son has achieved a major accomplishment. Congratulations! Of course he may include whomever he ...
Treating out-of-town friends5/4/2009
  Q: I have an out-of-town friend visiting the city where I live, and we decided to get lunch together. ...
  A: In the best of all possible worlds, the rule of etiquette that you treat out of town guests would ...
two family social gathering at the same time5/3/2009
  Q: My daughters birthday party invitations where sent out two weeks before the big day. Around one week ...
  A: It is hard to give you an informed decision because I don't know the relationship you have with your ...
college graduation announcements5/2/2009
  Q: I'd like to know the correct way to handle the "putting together" of the announcement for mailing, ...
  A: Here are the details: The inner envelope has only the names of the invited guests - no addresses. ...
wedding gift5/1/2009
  Q: I am a professional hairstylist. My best friend is getting married & has asked me to do hair & ...
  A: If your friend hasn't already asked how much it will cost her for your services, she has asked for ...
Thank you Notes for Thank You Gifts4/30/2009
  Q: I received a bottle of wine as a gift to thank me for helping out on a work-related project. Is a ...
  A: You need to say thank you for anything someone gives to you. If you said thank you to the giver at ...
Disgruntled Grocery Clerks4/29/2009
  Q: Lett: Perhaps this is more of a regional than national issue but it is all too common where I reside ...
  A: I can concur with your situation. I have had the same situation happen at both grocery and clothing ...
college graduation4/28/2009
  Q: Do we clap when they had my son his diploma or should we hold our applause to the end. Also he is ...
  A: Arriaga: Congratulations to you and your family. Whether to clap when your son gets his diploma ...
Hostess Gifts4/27/2009
  Q: When hosting a party and you receive wine or food gifts as a hostess gift, is it rude to not use the ...
  A: When giving a hostess gift, it is rude to expect that it would be used or even looked at on the ...
Bridal shower4/26/2009
  Q: My son is having a very small wedding in a destination wedding. A friend of mine wants to have a ...
  A: It is absolutely proper to have your friends throw a shower (you should have nothing to do with the ...
Flowers for men?4/25/2009
  Q: My brother is in a musical at his high school and I was wondering if it would be okay or correct to ...
  A: Giving flowers at the end of a performance is something that is usually done for the stars of the ...
lady and woman4/23/2009
  Q: You hold the door open and such for a lady, but do you do this for a woman? Let's say the woman is ...
  A: Actually, you should hold the door open for anyone, man or woman (or lady or gentleman) who follows ...
baby shower4/22/2009
  Q: I recently hosted a baby shower for my daughter. I put a lot of time and money into the planning of ...
  A: It sounds like a wonderful time where the guests were enthusiastically enjoying themselves. There is ...
seating arrangements4/21/2009
  Q: We are going on a cruise next month and there are 6 couples. At a table for 12, 5 seats each side, ...
  A: Since you are going to be on the cruise for more than one meal, I suggest you take turns sitting at ...
Dinner Etiquette4/20/2009
  Q: My sister, as a birthday present, offered to cook a lunch for my brother. He was to give her a ...
  A: Your sister had the right to invite whomever she wanted to be part of her lunch for her brother. We ...
Addressing an envelope4/19/2009
  Q: Is it still correct to use Mrs. and husbands first and last name if the wife uses his name? Ex. Mrs ...
  A: When a woman divorces but retains her ex's last name, she substitutes her first name for her ...
name order for invitations and banners4/18/2009
  Q: We are confused with who's name should be first; Male or female. Bridal Invitations, banner and ...
  A: Wedding etiquette is still traditional so the man's name comes first. Think, Mr. and Mrs. John Doe. ...
High School Graduation4/14/2009
  Q: My son is graduating from high school and I am having difficulty with the proper announcement. I ...
  A: First of all I am sorry for your loss - even though it was a while ago. The etiquette rule is that ...
Donation4/9/2009
  Q: I have a catering company donating all the food/labor for a charity dinner I am hosting. I do not ...
  A: The best thing to do is to offer a tip to the servers, not the owner.If they don't accept, then ...
my childs graduation4/9/2009
  Q: Is there a book for parents etiquette for their child college graduation? Is it okay to set up a ...
  A: Since a college graduation is an event that normally warrants gift giving, it is ok to set up a ...
money gift4/7/2009
  Q: I'm (16) good friends with a boy (19) who i chat online (I'm USA he's Canada). i told him that i ...
  A: You are right to return his generous gift since gifts like that are never given without certain ...
50th anniversary4/6/2009
  Q: I, along with my 2 daughters are hosting a 50th anniversary dinner for my parents. I have 2 other ...
  A: The invitations should list the names of the hosts and not others' names. You might write: Mary ...
graduation4/5/2009
  Q: i am graduating from a 2 year college at 41 years old and would like to send out invitations to my ...
  A: Maraj: First of all congratulations! You don't word it in any particular way. You just send the ...
MIL names4/4/2009
  Q: I have been married for 12 years and my children are the only grandchildren. I am estranged from my ...
  A: Proper etiquette mandates that we call people by the name they wish to be called, not what we choose ...
etiquette when entering a building/room4/3/2009
  Q: When someone enters a room and says good morning to someone who is either in the middle of counting ...
  A: If you are in the middle of something which disallows you to say the words since you are ...
Graduation name cards4/2/2009
  Q: As a home-schooled student, I am planning my own graduation ceremony. I'm currently looking at ...
  A: Whomever is your teacher, he or she has taught you well to even care about the details of ...
at the Bar4/1/2009
  Q: Charlie and Mike go out for dinner. While waiting for a table, Charlie sits down at the bar and has ...
  A: I can see that you invited the lady to join you as a kind gesture on behalf of Charlie, but the ...
Testing etiquette4/1/2009
  Q: Cynthia, I read your answer concerning your distress at having someone test their blood sugar at the ...
  A: Bierhaus: I don't believe I was the expert who answered that question - I can find another's answer ...
Canadian wedding "thank you's"3/30/2009
  Q: My husband and I are U.S. citizens, living in Texas. We attended the wedding of his niece in ...
  A: My mouth is wide open with surprise that anyone in Canada, or anywhere in the world would state that ...
An unmarried couple signing a guestbook3/29/2009
  Q: My boyfriend and I have lived together for 12 years. A friend who is in the catering business told ...
  A: Neither of your friends are correct. An unmarried woman, no matter with whom she lives or for how ...
walking bride down the ailse3/28/2009
  Q: My step daughter has ask her father to walk her down the ailse to which he gladly agreeded. She now ...
  A: Today's norms allow the bride to ask whomever she wishes to walk her down the aisle if there is no ...
Conversation Etiquette3/27/2009
  Q: I am very well educated and well read compared to my acquaintances. In conversations with others, I ...
  A: The key to socializing with people who don't share your intellectual acumen is to find topics on ...
barking dog!3/26/2009
  Q: I have a new neighbor that has a dog. They keep the dog in the backyard and it howls and barks ...
  A: : I can imagine your frustration. My guess is that your new neighbors don't realize that this is a ...
Who should sit on the horse?3/24/2009
  Q: Who should sit on the horse and ride it through the Mardi Gras crowd? the boy or me? may I ask ...
  A: Choosing whether a teen boy and young lady should ride the horse during the parade depends on you ...
engagement party thank you notes3/23/2009
  Q: Do the engagement party thank you notes come from the bride only or both the bride and groom to be?
  A: The bride writes the thank you for the both of them. She would write something like, "George and I ...
Etiquette for baby shower invitation3/21/2009
  Q: the mom to be ask how do you ask your guest not to buy baby clothes? Yes she is registered. I've ...
  A: There is not proper way in etiquette to ask for or decline gifts of any kind. The cute rhymes that ...
Asking for letters of recommendation3/20/2009
  Q: Is there a right way and a wrong way to go about asking for a letter of recommendation from someone ...
  A: The right way to ask for a recommendation is to call the professor on the phone. Don't send an email ...
Introductions3/18/2009
  Q: Is it ever appropriate to say "Nice to meet you" before actually exchanging names, or should this ...
  A: While it flows better to say, "Nice to meet you." after you have actually learned the other person's ...
Sympathy Card Etiquette3/17/2009
  Q: Is it poor etiquette to send a sympathy card a few months after the person passed away?
  A: Know that it is never a faux pas to express kindness to another person for whatever reason. A ...
Confused3/16/2009
  Q: Greetings. A close friend of mine whom lives with her parents invited me to spend the night a few ...
  A: Your friend is confused about what good manners are. It is never wrong to send a thank you for ...
Bar Mitzvah gift ( cash )3/14/2009
  Q: What is the appropriate amount of cash to give to a grandchild
  A: The guidelines for cash gifts for a Bar/Bat Mitzvah gift are between $100 and $250. However, you ...
Baby Shower3/11/2009
  Q: What is the typical protocol for where the mother-in-law of the mom-to-be should sit at her ...
  A: There isn't a set protocol about seating charts at baby-showers. The rule of etiquette you are ...
Communicating with boyfriend's mother3/10/2009
  Q: My boyfriend and I have been dating for over a year. We both know each others' parents well enough ...
  A: Sudderth: Don't email your boyfriend's mother. Call her. Tell her that you appreciate the ...
Funeral Thank you cards3/9/2009
  Q: My grandmother recently passed away. Along with cards, flowers, and food, many people gave ...
  A: You should open them to see who gave to what charity in your Grandmother's memory and thank them ...
addressing same sex invitations3/6/2009
  Q: What is proper etiquette in addressing an invitation to a married lesbian couple using the same last ...
  A: In any marriage there is a "husband" and a "wife" role. My understanding is that it is the same in ...
Relationships with extended family3/5/2009
  Q: I live 2,000 miles away from the rest of my family. Parents, sister (with husband & kids), aunts, ...
  A: If this was a sibling's child I would say yes, you should go. Since it is a second tier relative's ...
family dinner3/4/2009
  Q: My boyfriend and I, his parents and my parents are all planning to meet for the first time at a ...
  A: The etiquette rule is whomever extended the invitation is the one who pays. However, my guess is ...
adoptive vs. biological parent3/2/2009
  Q: My son was born out of wedlock. His biological father chose not to be in his life. I married when ...
  A: Your children were and are wrong. Your husband could not have adopted your son if his biological ...
graduation announcement3/1/2009
  Q: Our daughter will be graduation this year with a graduate level medical degree. We would like to ...
  A: First of all congratulations to your daughter and to your family for supporting her to this point. ...
your sons girlfriend in your home2/26/2009
  Q: My son is 29 and living with me, he moved back on my asking , reasons to help us both. He has a ...
  A: It sounds as if your son's girlfriend is actually living with the two of you since it is an everyday ...
Group Thank You Gesture2/25/2009
  Q: My co-workers threw a surprise baby shower for a co-worker and myself. What is an appropriate ...
  A: What a lovely gesture for your co-workers to make. A simple handwritten thank you note is one of ...
NAMES ON PLAQUES2/24/2009
  Q: MY QUESTIONS ARE ABOUT THE CORRECT WAY TO PRINT NAMES ON A PLAQUE. SOME OF THE NAMES ARE FOR ALUMNI ...
  A: These are too many, and too involved questions. My work is handling these issues for organizations ...
Addressing the First Lady of the United States2/2/2009
  Q: What is the proper way to address our First Lady Michelle Obama when sending her correspondence? ...
  A: When addressing the envelope, you write Mrs. Obama The First Lady of The United States The White ...
funeral of an ex's grandmother2/1/2009
  Q: i was married for 30 yrs. i was close to my inlaws (family).i have been divorced for 2 yrs now.i ...
  A: If you were close to the grandmother or feel that out of respect you would want to attend, then go. ...
doctorate graduation day gift1/31/2009
  Q: Our daughter is receiving her doctorate and I am not sure what is a proper gift to give her ...
  A: When I received my Master's degree, my husband slipped a beautiful bracelet on my wrist right after ...
gift-giving, To open, or Not to open?1/30/2009
  Q: This is a response and question, about a Christmas party I had and a person was asked to open a ...
  A: Obviously Jan was upset by the situation and chose the response that made her feel most comfortable. ...
wedding invitations1/28/2009
  Q: I have a complicated situation when it comes to composing my wedding invitations. My biological ...
  A: First of all, congratulations on your upcoming nuptials. You do have a complicated situation which ...
Do I need to bring wine?1/27/2009
  Q: I have been invited to a family party and I have been asked to bring appetizers. Since I am already ...
  A: I believe you are referring to a hostess gift of wine. Since you are a host not a guest anymore ...
polite question1/26/2009
  Q: We had dinner with two couples we have known for over 20 years. We all know each other's children. ...
  A: I Western cultures, asking how much money someone makes is considered quite rude. However in Asian ...
car etiquette1/25/2009
  Q: on which passenger seat should one sit in a chauffeur driven car?
  A: The seat of honor in a car is the back, curbside, cattycornered from the driver. If you are the ...
obituary1/23/2009
  Q: Is there a good way to include my son's live-in girlfriend who is also the mother of my grandson. ...
  A: I am sorry for your loss. The obituary should say something to this effect - Left to mourn the loss ...
50th birthday party1/22/2009
  Q: I'm having a large 50th birthday party for my husband--very casual at a local bar/restaurant. I ...
  A: By all means let your friends know that they are going to called on to make a toast or tell a story. ...
telling what to give1/22/2009
  Q: Actually, I think I know the answer but reserve the question to you.....My husband's niece, age 17, ...
  A: I believe you when you say you already know the answer to the question. It is always bad manners to ...
recipricating gifts1/5/2009
  Q: I have a friend who is very good about sending presents to my kids at Christmastime. In previous ...
  A: Never believe that someone doesn't want you to reciprocate with gift giving. You should give ...
family relationship and etiquete1/3/2009
  Q: Basically, I am in the middle of my husband and my mother. At this point, I'm lost and don't know ...
  A: I am sorry that you encountered so much stress this past Christmas. Your question is long and ...
How to put it nicely12/30/2008
  Q: I have a wonderful group of women in my life and we are the best of friends. We support each other ...
  A: How wonderful to have a group of friends who seem to love to follow your lead. As I see it you have ...
25th Anniversary12/29/2008
  Q: We are a blended family with 5 children and their spouses. The daughter and a daughter-in-law have ...
  A: What a lovely thought. How about a bracelet or gold chain? It should be the same for both your ...
Is spouse invited?12/27/2008
  Q: My circle of friends (all couples)gets together every once in awhile and says would you like to get ...
  A: The dynamic of your group is couples getting together with other couples. Therefore, your husband ...
Party Donation12/26/2008
  Q: Is there a way to ask for a donation on an invitation to a New Years Eve Party we put on? I don't ...
  A: If the party you are planning is advertised to the public as a pay and play, then a fee can be added ...
gift receiving12/23/2008
  Q: At a Christmas party I was given a gift by a guest there. This person, Gina, gave some a gift but ...
  A: You did the right thing. It is incredibly rude to insist that someone open a gift that they receive ...
Theater Etiquette12/22/2008
  Q: When taking one's seat in a theater, is it appropriate to face towards or away from those seated, in ...
  A: When passing in front of other seat holders, you should have your back to them but saying excuse me ...
Gift for a Baby12/20/2008
  Q: Good morning, I just received notice that a girlfriend's daughter gave birth to a baby girl. I've ...
  A: You should send a gift for the baby. An outfit, blanket, Teddy Bear or something totally not needed ...
Christmas family dinner and gift exchange12/19/2008
  Q: My sister "Amy" and her second husband "Robby" are hosting Christmas dinner and gift exchange at ...
  A: You need only buy gifts for your family and others you wish to give to. If you don't know the ...
Christmas with Ex- spouse.12/18/2008
  Q: We are traveling to Christmas at my wife's brother's house. My wife's ex-husband has been invited. I ...
  A: You have the right to feel anyway you do. If you are uncomfortable with the situation, your wife is ...
Not giving thanks12/17/2008
  Q: We recently had a gift exchange at work. It was a Secret Santa gift exchange and everyone had to ...
  A: It is a shame that your coworker doesn't appreciate what others do for her. However, you cannot ...
new -nephew in law holiday gift question12/14/2008
  Q: I have always given my nieces and nephews money for christmas. My niece married this fall. What is ...
  A: The proper thing to do since you typically give money is to make a joint gift to your niece and new ...
Thank you note for a Boss' Thank you dinner?12/8/2008
  Q: My husband's boss took about 14 couples to a very high end restaurant to thank them for the hard ...
  A: The dinner you attended was a compliment for work you did. You do not need to send a thank you for ...
christmas cards after death of a loved one12/6/2008
  Q: Is it proper etiquette to send a Christmas card to someone 3 months after the loss of a loved one.
  A: Garofalo: Sending a Christmas card (if they are a believer) or any good wishes card to someone who ...
Considering and consulting12/4/2008
  Q: ..My husband, who is English, now lives in Australia, is married to me and we have 2 children...2 ...
  A: It sounds as if you and your husband need to be on the same page regarding visitors to your home. ...
Language and Manners12/3/2008
  Q: My question pertains to the English language and proper etiquette. Is it considered rude to refer to ...
  A: It is considered correct to refer to Jack as "he" in this example. It is better to turn to Jack in ...
farting in front of relatives12/1/2008
  Q: MY HUSBAND AND I ARE SO DISGUSTED WITH HIS BROTHER FARTING AT EVEYONE'S HOUSES. HE DOES IT TO GET ...
  A: Any bodily sounds are rude to share with anyone else, anywhere. Your Brother-in-law is indeed rude ...
Open House Gift Opening Etiquette11/29/2008
  Q: I am hosting an Meet and Greet Open House for my cousin and her husband who recently adopted a child ...
  A: What a lovely occasion! It is not a good idea for the recipients to open their gifts in front of ...
Serving Dessert11/28/2008
  Q: How soon after dinner is it proper to offer and serve dessert?
  A: Dessert is normally offered immediately following the entree or salad (whichever is the last course ...
former in-laws relationships due to death11/27/2008
  Q: What is the proper designation of deceased spouses immediate family members (mother in-law, sister ...
  A: Unless a new marriage adds a new current mother-in-law or sister-in-law, they retain their title. ...
long-term house guest11/26/2008
  Q: My husband's brother is going through a divorce and needs a place to stay. He has been living with ...
  A: You have every right to set whatever rules you want in your home. It is up to your brother to ...
blowing your nose at the table11/24/2008
  Q: Is it polite to stay at the dinner table and blow your nose or should you excuse yourself from the ...
  A: You should not blow your nose at the table. The purpose of good etiquette is to make others feel ...
9 Yr Old Boy's Birthday Party11/20/2008
  Q: I was wondering what the etiquette is for giving a favor at the end of the party. i have heard you ...
  A: "Goody Bags" are the social norm for children's birthday parties. In the bag which is given to the ...
1st Birthday Gifts for Out of Town Party11/20/2008
  Q: We are throwing a birthday party for our daughter's first birthday in our home town on the other ...
  A: I understand that you don't want to have to carry home presents that your daughter might receive at ...
HOME SICKNESS11/18/2008
  Q: I am 24 years old, male, and doing MBA. I have always been closed to my whole family and friends ...
  A: Homesickness is normal for everyone who leaves what is comfortable and familiar. Since your reason ...
Social Situation11/18/2008
  Q: Two other couples, who my husband and I wish to disassociate ourselves from, keep asking us to join ...
  A: In everybody's life people come in and go out. If you and your husband are no longer interested in ...
etiquette11/16/2008
  Q: when meeting another couple at a restaurant, and if we arrive early, should we wait in the car till ...
  A: When meeting others for a meal at a restaurant, think of the restaurant as a home with an open door. ...
relational etiquette about buying gifts10/27/2008
  Q: My husband and I just got into a fight about this but we wanted to get a friend of ours a birthday ...
  A: Part of gift giving is the thought put into the item which you are giving. It is knowing the ...
Paying for birthday celebrations9/27/2008
  Q: A close friend and I have birthdays within a week of one another. My partner arranged a surprise ...
  A: This whole situation is rude. If you invite others to celebrate any occasion with you, you pay for ...
Family holiday houstguests-too many?9/26/2008
  Q: My husband and I relocated to my in-laws area to help care for my paraplegic father-in–law. My ...
  A: You are absolutely reasonable to say to everyone that having more than one couple who would use your ...
advice on encroaching priest9/25/2008
  Q: We recently moved and keep our family home in hopes we will return in a few years. Our priest has ...
  A: You are correct to feel like this priest is encroaching on your personal space. Tell him that you ...
walking etiquette9/24/2008
  Q: Does the man walk ahead of or behind the woman
  A: In Western society the man and woman walk together, side by side as equals.On a staircase the man ...
A colleagues Mother-in-law funeral9/23/2008
  Q: Is there a rule of thumb on what is expected when your co-workers mother-in-law passes. The team is ...
  A: In-laws don't have the same direct response as immediate family members so you and your team don't ...
dress code9/22/2008
  Q: I am attending a business dinner function and the dress code says for women: country club attire. ...
  A: Country club attire refers to smart pant-suits -for dinner, silk or wool or a fine cotton would ...
ENGAGEMENT9/20/2008
  Q: JUST FOUND OUT MY GRANDAUGHTER GOT ENGAGED LAST NITE IN HORSE AND BUGGY RIDE IN CENTRAL PARK. I,M ...
  A: I can understand your excitement. How wonderful! Your personal expression of pleasure and ...
Asking a question you know the answer to9/18/2008
  Q: Is it polite to ask a question you know the answer to? e.g. Do you know how much I paid for this ...
  A: It depends. Teachers ask students, parents ask children, and pundits ask their audiences questions ...
Letter to Mayor9/16/2008
  Q: Good morning, I will be sending thank you letters to both the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor of New ...
  A: The envelope should look like this: The Honorable Michael Blumberg Mayor of New York ...
proper use phd title9/13/2008
  Q: would it be correct to introduce someone with a phd as doctor? would it be correct to use it on a ...
  A: It is only correct to refer to someone with a Ph.D. as Dr. when he or she is in the arena of what ...
Graduation announcement/gift giving9/12/2008
  Q: Both my grandmothers & mother have always told me that if you receive a graduation announcement ...
  A: Your mother and grandmothers are very gracious women. Receiving a graduation announcement does ...
adult children manners9/10/2008
  Q: 8 years ago my husband and the father of my 5 children died suddenly. 3 children were in college ...
  A: I won't pretend to have the magic answer to this difficult situation but I want to share what I do ...
Signing a greeting card9/9/2008
  Q: I have been dating a guy for about 6 months, we are both in our 50's and "starting over". We get ...
  A: How do you feel about All the best,? My best wishes,? or for something more personal, ...
Late Arrivals9/8/2008
  Q: Recently, a friend of mine gave a Birthday party for her son. It was very informal and she was ...
  A: O'Neal: A host has ultimate responsibility to the guests on hand, not to go find where errant guests ...
Informal use of First Names? Which name is listed first?9/7/2008
  Q: Jill and John Smith or John and Jill Smith I have always thought that the rule was never ...
  A: You learned the etiquette rule correctly but there is still another reason to name the woman first. ...
Kiddies Party9/5/2008
  Q: I am preparing the invites for my daughter's party (2 years old) : I am catering for the kids and ...
  A: When you host an event and invite people to join you and to be your guests, you pay for everything ...
Sympanthy card with money9/3/2008
  Q: My boss gave me a sympathy card with money in it to use as needed. What would be the proper "thank ...
  A: You should write a note on paper that doesn't have "Thank You" already written on it. The thank-you ...
brother-in-law9/2/2008
  Q: I was staying one night at my brother-in-laws house while he was away, and wanted to watch a movie ...
  A: The proper etiquette of being a guest in someone's house (whether they are there or not) is NOT to ...
who pays....8/31/2008
  Q: my friend recently asked me to go away for her 50th birthday on short notice less than one week I ...
  A: Your friend was looking for a paid-for-by-you celebration of her birthday. She invited you to spend ...
Head table/Class reunion8/28/2008
  Q: We are having a class reunion with 60 attendees. Is it appropriate to have a head table which seats ...
  A: The protocol of having a head table at a dining function serves the purpose of presenting the Master ...
etiquette question8/27/2008
  Q: My boyfriend and I just got in a fight about this issue so I wanted to get a second opinion. On my ...
  A: Good etiquette requires everyone around feeling comfortable. No matter how familiar someone is in ...
thank yous unreceived8/25/2008
  Q: I have yet to receive a thank you from my niece and nephew (ages 51/2 and 81/2) for Christmas and ...
  A: Kids rarely have good manners when the parents don't have them. That is the situation you are ...
office manners8/7/2008
  Q: Quite often a co-worker and I (same lower grade) will be left out of luncheons and other activities ...
  A: Campbell: It would be easier to answer your question if I knew whether the employees who attend ...
Invitation Etiquette8/6/2008
  Q: I am throwing a housewarming party for a friend who would like to receive gift cards in lieu of ...
  A: You can't ask for gifts on an invitation. You shouldn't ask for gifts at all - it is quite rude. An ...
wedding invites8/6/2008
  Q: We are inviting a certain number of family and friends to the wedding with reception to follow. We ...
  A: The way to do this type of wedding where some will be invited to all events and some to only the ...
wedding parties8/5/2008
  Q: is it disrespectful for the groom to ask a married man to be in his wedding and not ask his wife
  A: The groom can ask anyone he wants to stand up for him. The bride asks those she wants to stand for ...
How to limit stay of houseguests8/4/2008
  Q: My inlaws came to stay this summer for a week; my house is small, they got on my nerves and I want ...
  A: Since it is your house, you have control of the time that guests stay. The easiest way to handle ...
RSVP what to say to someone8/4/2008
  Q: I am pregnant with my first child. My 3 co-workers and 2 good friends, and my God mother RSVPed that ...
  A: The way to handle this situation is to call each person and kindly state that you had been looking ...
child relative birthday parties8/3/2008
  Q: We are both great and great/great aunt and uncle to lots of nieces and nephews which we care about ...
  A: You are not required to attend all birthday parties - go to the ones that are convenient and send ...
Work Place Pot Lucks7/31/2008
  Q: In our office we have frequent pot lucks which the majority really enjoy. Sometimes we bring in ...
  A: Since everyone has a choice in the matter and the ones who choose not to participate are still ...
Boss shouting my name from her office.7/30/2008
  Q: My boss loves to shout my name from her office when she needs me and I don't like it... What should ...
  A: Many times people beckon others in ways that are disrespectful like shouting their name from another ...
haircut7/29/2008
  Q: My stepmother has a salon. She basically brings in most of the money these days as my elderly ...
  A: When you use the services of a relative or friend, expect to pay full price and tip - just as if you ...
proper use of title7/29/2008
  Q: Good Morning, How would you address a female mayor? Madame Mayor?
  A: To address a woman verbally who is Mayor you would say Madam Mayor or Ms. Doe or Mayor Doe. To ...
Visiting relatives7/28/2008
  Q: Cynthia, When relatives come to visit from out-of-state, is the proper protocol to announce your ...
  A: The visitor needs to alert the locals that they are coming into town. This way, if the locals want ...
visiting hours7/28/2008
  Q: My husband and I have a friend who makes it a habit to stop by early in the morning. We have three ...
  A: You were raised properly. Visiting another's home prior to 9am without a specific invitation is ...
Engagement party gift7/25/2008
  Q: I have been invited to an engagement party for the daughter of a couple I know. The party is to be ...
  A: If you go to the engagement party, you bring a gift with you if it is small and lightweight. If it ...
Differences7/25/2008
  Q: Prior to sending off an email I may regret to I thought I would try asking you. My aunt and the ...
  A: To give you some guidance in this situation, first of all I must remind you that it isn't fair to ...
Adding Surcharge Information on Invite7/22/2008
  Q: We are having a birthday party at a private club and all beverages will have to be purchased from ...
  A: You can't invite people to an event and tell them they have to pay for any part of it. It is ...
gift card for a new born7/22/2008
  Q: What is the proper saying for a card on a new born's present?
  A: What you write on the card for a newborn's present is directed towards the parents, not the newborn. ...
Parents 50th approaching with sibling feud!!7/21/2008
  Q: My parents are about to have their 50th anniversary in November. My only other sibling is my sister ...
  A: My suggestion is to plan something that you think your parents will enjoy. I can give you some ...
Etiquette for a joint occasion7/18/2008
  Q: Cynthia, I was married a few months back and at the time my wife and i were unable to have a ...
  A: The key to celebrating two individually wonderful events during the same party is to call it ...
acknowledgement7/16/2008
  Q: Recently, when I arrived right before dessert to a casual business dinner for my husband's work ...
  A: A spouse who attends a business function with the employee is considered part of a whole entity. ...
Correct salutations for letters and mailings7/15/2008
  Q: How do I address a letter to a family of doctors Dr and Dr Joe Smith? the Doctors Smith? Dr Joe ...
  A: Since both the Smiths are doctors and they share the same last name you address the envelope like ...
Family Get togethers7/14/2008
  Q: I need an idea for our family Christmas this year that will work. There are 17 of us including ...
  A: It sounds like the two ill-mannered children need to have buddies with them while they are in the ...
Thank You Cards7/11/2008
  Q: I was recently married and am now working on our Thank You cards. I've been learning the Do's and ...
  A: Congratulations on your recent nuptials. A thank you card is really quite easy. Only three ...
Wine brought by a quest for dinner7/11/2008
  Q: When a quest brings a bottle of wine when invited for dinner, are you required to open the wine and ...
  A: You are not required to open the wine for dinner. It is actually rude for the guest to insist you ...
wedding gift requirement7/10/2008
  Q: We received a wedding invitation from a former friends child whom we do not know very well. Because ...
  A: Proper etiquette mandates that you send a card with your best wishes. Unless you attend the wedding ...
House guests7/9/2008
  Q: My husband and I have invited another couple to stay with us for a month while their new apartment ...
  A: You should definitely deny the request unless you and your husband want it for yourselves after they ...
Invite In-laws to baby shower?7/8/2008
  Q: My mother is throwing a baby shower for me and wants my husband's family to throw their own shower ...
  A: It is in very poor taste (bad etiquette) for the mother of the mother-to-be or the mother-in-law of ...
mother vs. daughter (meeting boyfriend's parents)7/6/2008
  Q: Cynthia Lett, Every once in a while my mother who is very controlling is known by close friends to ...
  A: You are under no obligation to introduce your mother to your boyfriend's parents, especially since ...
Wedding shower and baby shower ettiquette7/2/2008
  Q: My step- daughter lives in another state. She is coming here (our state to get married). Her sister ...
  A: The two life events are very distinct and have their own etiquette. According to proper etiquette a ...
Dinner guests7/2/2008
  Q: I invited two of my husband's cousins and their spouses to dinner one evening. I wanted the dinner ...
  A: Your feelings are valid and your knowledge of proper etiquette is good. Both women were incredibly ...
Friends at work7/1/2008
  Q: Lett, thank you for taking the time to read my question. I work at a daycare, which is a relatively ...
  A: When you are asking someone to do the right thing, you shouldn't be worried that their perception of ...
House Guests (In-Laws) keep bdrm door shut7/1/2008
  Q: Cynthia, I really have a problem with my in-laws. They keep their Guest Bedroom Door Shut tight the ...
  A: You are not wrong that your in-laws are demonstrating behavior in your house that you are ...
Baby Shower6/28/2008
  Q: My close friends are throwing me a baby shower. They asked me to register, so that it would be ...
  A: Registering with a store or two for things that are your taste and for what you will need gives the ...
Not including in-laws in baby shower6/27/2008
  Q: My husband and I have been married for 2 years. When we got married my aunt threw me a bridal ...
  A: The problem you are describing started with your mother-in-law throwing a bridal shower after she ...
Family Tree6/27/2008
  Q: I have an etiquette question i wonder if you could help with. My husband and I have been happily ...
  A: It is a piece of jewelry, not a commentary on you and where you would be on a true family tree. It ...
Birthday Gift for 80 year old6/26/2008
  Q: My husband and I have received an invitation to a "birthday brunch" for a friend of ours. She will ...
  A: You must bring something for the birthday "girl". For someone who is older and can buy anything she ...
South African Etiquette6/25/2008
  Q: I'm in a bit of confusion, because I'm 16 nearly 17 and my mother has arranged for me to stay with ...
  A: I am so glad that knowing the right thing to do is important to you. I only wish more young people ...
hosting a get together6/24/2008
  Q: As part of our pre-wedding festivities, we wanted to invite our out-of-town guests to enjoy one of ...
  A: It sounds like you are sending an invitation to an empty room. You are not inviting them to an ...
Etiquette - extended family invitation to our vacation6/23/2008
  Q: My husband, daughter and I have just booked a vacation rental house on the beach for a week. We ...
  A: It would be rude of your father's wife to stay at the house when he is not there. The invitation is ...
Graduation Pictures6/21/2008
  Q: My granddaughter graduated from high school recently. Her father (my son) divorced about twelve ...
  A: I am so sorry that you are in this tug-of-war with your family. It sounds that you have been quite ...
50th Anniversary remarks6/21/2008
  Q: My parents are celebrating their 50th Anniversary by having an Open House. My mother has informed ...
  A: Toasts should be short (a couple of minutes or three), honest and kind. Don't reveal anything that ...
Houseguest question6/20/2008
  Q: I'll be staying at my aunt's house next weekend several states away for a set of parties she's ...
  A: By all means bring a small gift for the housekeeper. The difference is that you should give the ...
Dr. and PhD6/19/2008
  Q: Is it proper to use both Dr. and PhD together? For example Dr. Karol White, PhD
  A: No, you have a choice. Either the honorific goes before the name or the credentials go after the ...
MOB financial responsibility of daughters bridal shower6/17/2008
  Q: My daughter is having a destination wedding, it's the second time marriage for the groom and they ...
  A: First of all, congratulations on the upcoming wedding of your daughter. It is a little odd to have ...
Dining Out6/17/2008
  Q: When dining out with another couple, we always split the bill in half. what is the etiquette when ...
  A: A gift certificate is the same as cash. That is a fact but the situation you stated is not related ...
Opening Father's Day Card6/16/2008
  Q: I was at my sister’s house and my stepdaughter stopped by to give me a Father's day card. I was ...
  A: Burke: The etiquette in your situation depends upon your stepdaughter's expectation. Did she hang ...
VISITING CEMETERIES6/16/2008
  Q: When visiting my parents graves recently we bought flowers and looked for empty cones at the ...
  A: I am afraid he was right. Cones are purchased items that are set when the headstone is set on the ...
Neighbors6/15/2008
  Q: Greetings, My family and I live in a quiet neighborhood with a few children.I have 4 children, ages ...
  A: There is actually a secret to good "our children want to play with your children" etiquette. It's ...
i just told my mum her dad was not invited to my wedding6/14/2008
  Q: i just told my mum her dad was not invited to my wedding it didn't go down well i got silence ...
  A: I am so sorry that your family relationships are so difficult. Your mother's biological father has ...
Seating arrangements for couples at restaurant6/14/2008
  Q: Please note I have asked this question before, but this is the answer I receive: ANSWER: <Error 187> ...
  A: When two couples are dining the seating is this - the woman from one couple is seated to the right ...
Is my husband just quiet?6/13/2008
  Q: My husband and I have been married for 8 years and I've always known him to be quiet, however his ...
  A: There could be many reasons why your husband is so quiet and doesn't make an effort in social ...
last names6/13/2008
  Q: It really bothers me that whenever I go into a bank, credit union, doctor's office and just about ...
  A: D.: You were taught correctly that others should use an honorific and your last name when addressing ...
Boss asking personal questions6/12/2008
  Q: Please help! My boss keeps asking me how much I pay for rent, and is offended when I reply that I ...
  A: You are not out of line, he is. The next time he asks I would say either, "Too much" or "I have a ...
what to do about a friend that is causing issues within the group6/12/2008
  Q: I have a group of friends that get together on a regular basis. We get together at least once a ...
  A: Since this is new behavior on your rude friend's part, there is something that is triggering it. ...
How do I handle a new friend interrupting all the time?6/10/2008
  Q: I have recently been socializing with a coworker outside of work and have noticed that she ...
  A: It is hard to be friends with someone who disrespects you by not listening to you and acting like ...
visiting6/9/2008
  Q: Recently my nephew was visiting his mom (my sister) for about a week. He was visiting from out of ...
  A: The etiquette rule is that visitors are invited to get together with locals and then they can ...
Graduation invite6/9/2008
  Q: I'm invited to a College graduation party for the son of a business associate. The party is 3-4 ...
  A: You are under no obligation to accept any invitation you receive, no matter from whom. If you don't ...
Dinner Party & Food Allergy6/7/2008
  Q: Attending a dinner party with friends tomorrow night (4 other couples) and found out tonight that ...
  A: I am glad you asked your question. It is a host's responsibility to make sure guests have a ...
graduation announcements6/6/2008
  Q: My son is graduating high school. He stops in to my work place various times and has even helped ...
  A: First of all, congratulations to your son and your family. Your decision whether to send your boss ...
Signing a card6/5/2008
  Q: I don't think this falls under the etiquette umbrella but... I am always stumped as to how to sign a ...
  A: This actually does fall under the "etiquette" umbrella and thank you for asking. Since your ...
The semi-new sister in law6/5/2008
  Q: So here the short and skinny. My brother and I were not really close growing up and about 10 years ...
  A: Since your sister-in-law was a "stranger" or "guest" to your family before she married your brother, ...

All Questions in This Category

Social Etiquette and Good Manners

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Cynthia W. Lett

Top Expert on this page

Expertise

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

Experience

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.

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

Publications
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.

Education/Credentials
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.

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.