1. Suzanne

    My boyfriend of a year 1/2 had a death in the family. His uncle whom i’ve never met passed away. I have met his brothers ,sisters and parents, but not his uncle. He didn’t ask me to go with him, but should I send flowers or something?

    Thank you!!

    • Graceandhonor

      In this case, I would think sending your written condolences to his parents would be fine. I say his parents because I’m betting one of them was his uncle’s sibling.

  2. M. Holland

    My niece ( one of my flower girls years ago) is getting married in June. We are not particularly close, but her father is my oldest brother. I have just realized we have a conflict with the date (my child’s dance recital). I am torn as to what to do. We are not part of the wedding party and I guess it’s possible we may not even be invited. Her parents have discussed plans with the whole family, though so I suspect we are at least invited. It will be an elaborate event.

    My child is 10 and may not be included in the reception. I just don’t know. We haven’t gotten a save the date card or anything.

    Do we plan to miss the recital and go to the wedding? Costumes have to be ordered soon and my daughter will probably want to quit dance now since from Feb. on, they prepare for the performance. It has been a struggle to keep her interested in dance all year.

    I am at a loss.

    • Graceandhonor

      If its been a struggle to keep your daughter interested in dance all year, I’d say your decision should be an easy one.

    • red

      If the wedding is your brother’s daughter’s, it seems you could call your brother and ask him if children are welcome at the reception. I would probably skip the details about the dance recital; just let him know you want to plan ahead. If your daughter is not invited to the reception, perhaps another relative or friend (perhaps another ballerina’s parents) could take her to the recital, while you and your husband attend the wedding. This can be worked out if you want.

  3. Me again

    I see your point; however, my philosophy has been that she should not quit dance, but see it through. She has taken ballet for years and it would be difficult to get back to where we are if she quits now.

    Needless to say, I wouldn’t blame her for wanting to quit if she won’t be around for the big performance.

    Thank you.

    • Graceandhonor

      I know my boys were involved in some things over the years they chose not to pursue. Nevertheless, these experiences did give them a foundation they can build upon later in life if they so choose. However, if you think she is intermittently flagging and will want to continue dance at a later time, I agree it would be better for her to continue. Tenacity is an important lesson, no doubt, but waning interest should not stand in the way of other family activities. Good luck to you!

  4. Polly

    I have a question about proper equiette when dealing with rude people. What is the proper behavior when you have to be around someone who will not acknowledge or speak to you? For instance, if you say hello to someone and they act like you are not even there,do you just display the same behavior back? Do you smile and move to the next person or do you just find something to do like read a book. Not sure how to proceed.

    • Graceandhonor

      If someone does not acknowledge your initial greeting, give them the benefit of the doubt that they did not hear it, and repeat it once again. Still no response? Then say, “I am sorry you are having an unhappy day,” while turning to someone nearby and saying, “Jane is obviously having a bad day.” This puts Jane on notice that her unsocial behavior will now become common knowledge. Walk away, engage with someone else, and have sympathy for Jane, as she is most certainly an unhappy person with few friends.

      Do not let someone’s poor behavior deter you from being a gracious person, nor let them make you feel badly.

      • red

        I actually did something similar years ago — and it worked like a charm. They perked up, smiled, and said, “Oh hello, Susie, I didn’t hear you.” What else could they do?

        Also, I don’t waste my time trying to be overly friendly with these types. Cordial and polite, yes, but I would rather spend my time with people who appreciate me.

  5. Sharon

    I have a two fold question or a two part dilemma….first how do I politely tell my house keeper of many years that I really do not want to hear (on an on gong basis) about her personal problems including money issues when she comes to clean my house? I know she and her husband are going through a difficult time as he does not have steady work. In the past, I have been very compassionate and caring when she has had problems but now it is over whelming for me to hear about her problems. I feel resentful that I am paying her while I have to hear about her problems. When she brings up her money issues it feels like she is soliciting me for higher compensation. Which bring us to my second issue which is due to the current economic times means that most people are challenged or concerned about money including me! I had to cut her back two times a month as I felt that I was spending too much money needlessly on house cleaning and need to stay within my budget. I have not given her a raise in many years but have represented consistent income for her family. When I started researching what the current rate is for housekeeping in my area, I am and have been paying her a premium for her service. She asked for more money a couple of months ago and I was candid with her about current rates for house keepers, etc and that my budget did not allow for an increase. I have told her that everyone right now is having financial issues and that my family & friends have their own finanical concerns. However because I have a soft heart, I do give a little extra money now and then and quite frankly thinking about giving her an extra $5.00 per visit to avoid feeling sorry for her and giving her even more money randomly. And just as a point of reference she already gets $85 and I provide the cleaning products for a house that is basically well kept. Lastly, I keep continually telling her that everyone has money problems right now but she continues to tell about her short fall of cash. I have told her on several occassion that $85 for three hours of work is a premium rate and now I am noticing that she taking longer to clean my house. She may have other people who can pay her more but I do not have money to a pay premium for services that are discretionary! I feel resentful towards her while feeling sorry at the same time for her but I do not enjoy speaking with her when she comes to clean my house. She is a good house keeper and I trust her but have conflictive feelings about this situation!

    • Graceandhonor

      This woman is behaving unprofessionally and you are allowing her to do so. It is time that you clear the air once and for all.

      The next time she brings up her finances, sit her down and say, “I am well aware that you are going through financial difficulties, as you have mentioned them repeatedly. I am sorry for your situation, as I am for everyone in our difficult economic times. However, I am facing my own challenges and I must ask that you not mention this subject to me again. I value your work here and pay accordingly, as you well know. If you feel you are being treated unfairly by me, then we will have to make other arrangements.”

      This is very direct, particularly the last sentence, and is up to you to state or not. It is unfair that you are subjected to this litany in your own home each time she is there, and it is no wonder you feel as you do. However, you are the one in control, and it is now time to exert some for the good of you both.

      • Sharon

        Thank you for this feedback as I really think she is trying to manipulate me and unfairly benefit from my compassionate nature but need to set better boundaries in order to take car of myself! Best-Sharon

        • Graceandhonor

          You are very welcome, Sharon. I am sure you’ll feel better about this after you have a talk with her. And, really, this is good for her to hear, too, as she shouldn’t lose your work in these straitened times. Good luck!

  6. Tracy


    I am currently working on my wedding invitations and have come across a wording obstacle that does not get mentioned on any websites…

    How to word a formal secular wedding invitation when my married parents are hosting with my fiances divorced remarried parents….

    One Confused Bride

    • Graceandhonor

      There is no absolutely smooth way to clearly convey this, but this is what I suggest:

      Mr. and Mrs. Tom Jones
      Mr. and Mrs. David Smith
      Mr. and Mrs. George Allen
      request the honor of your presence
      at the wedding of their children,
      Tracy Elaine Jones
      and David Preston Smith
      Saturday etc. etc.

      Your wedding planner or stationer can help you fine tune this.

      • Tracy

        Thanks for your response! I want to clarify something actually:

        Although both of my fiances parents are remarried, they are both individally hosting with my parents, so it is actually not each remarried “couple” who is fronting the bill….

        With that in mind, is it a faux pas to do this:

        Mr. and Mrs. Tom Jones
        together with
        Mrs. Kathleen Allen Chant and Mr. Thomas Allen
        Request the pleasure of your company
        at the wedding of their children…..


        • Graceandhonor

          I understand your point, but don’t you think their spouses are at least tacitly footing the bill, too? Have you asked both of his birth parents how/who they would like listed?
          Other than this clarification, your wording is good!

  7. Jeanette

    Recently, my husband offered to repair his employee’s car as the cost was far outside her means. She paid for the parts, and my husband offered his skill. After returning the vehicle, he found a check from her parents in his truck. They were visiting from out of town, so we are torn with whether to return the check with a nice note letting them know his help was a gift, or cash the check lest they be offended.

    What is the appropriate way to handle this situation? Thank you.

    • Graceandhonor

      It was kind of your husband to offer his assistance. The employee’s parents probably proffered the check because they and the employee do not want to be in the position of “owing” your husband outside the professional relationship he has with her. I can understand the parents feeling this way, as they want to protect the reputation of their daughter and maintain a boundary, and your husband should respectfully accept their check. He should say to the employee, “Please tell your parents thank you for the check they gave me for your car repairs, though it was not necessary. I am glad everything worked out.” When cashing the check, he should write, “Thank You” in the memo line and let it go.

      • Jeanette

        Thank you for your response. Others we have spoken with provided the same response, so we will graciously accept their payment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *