Open Thread

by epi on August 6, 2011

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like.  We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom August 6, 2011 at 8:58 am

Don’t call me “he” or “him”

My wife and I have an ongoing differing of opinions. When we are together, out to dinner with another couple or in a small group at a party, I find it insulting when she refers to me as “he” instead of using my name. I’m sitting right next to her when she may say “he plays golf on Saturdays…”. My wife contends that I am over sensitive and there is nothing improper with it. Is it proper etiquette?

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Just Laura August 6, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Tom, this was already answered where you first posted it: http://www.etiquettedaily.com/2011/08/open-thread-509/#comment-10078

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Andy August 8, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Growing up, I was taught to refer to people by their names before referring to them as “he” or “she,” and I bristle when someone calls me “she” without using my name first. I would never make an issue of it, but I notice it. To me, the polite way to refer to someone who’s in the room would be

“Tom plays golf on Saturdays. He likes to get out early.”

You don’t have to use the person’s name over and over, but it should be used at least once.

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Pam August 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm

I am wondering how often people manage to contact their close friends. I have certain friends who I text with almost every other day, but others do not use texting, so I try to call at least once every two weeks, yet I always feel like they say “it’s been so long since we talked.” Am I obligated to contact each of my friends on a daily to weekly basis? I don’t have kids but I do work full time, have a boyfriend, parents, extended family and errands to take care of. I don’t know if I am being oversensitive to their statements or if I am really missing something and most people are talking to all of their friends almoste veryday!

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Alicia August 7, 2011 at 10:34 am

I have many many close friends there is absolutely nobody I call every day or text every day. A few we im or email almost every day but the most frequest phonecall friends are weekly. If you are worried then just contact them at approximatly the same rate they contact you. People say “oh it has been so long” a lot when what they mean is “oh it is so great to chat with you”

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Pam August 7, 2011 at 11:09 am

I’m glad to hear that, Alicia. I started to think I was the one that was “out of the loop.” I had a friend yesterday texting me and getting annoyed that I was on a daylong excursion with my boyfriend, she wasn’t believing that I was where I said I was. She seems to get paranoid that I’m out soemewhere and didn’t invite her. Meanwhile, I had emailed and called her during the week to make plans and didn’t hear back until the text attack yesterday. Then I have another friend who I will try and get in touch with, not hear back from, and then suddenly I get fb messages like “where’s Pam?” It seems like when I am busy with other things they make it like I am “not around” yet they can do what they please in their lives. It just begins to overwhelm and upset me so I wanted verification from thers that they are not making plans with their friends every second of their lives. Thanks!

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Jennifer August 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm

Hello everyone. I have searched high and low for an answer to this question. My Mother-In-Law is coming to visit my house for six days toward the end of the month. We will be driving around a lot to show her around. My question is: Who sits in the front of the car? Me or her? Please also note my husband is 28 years old and has two younger brothers (ages 13 and 17) and they will be coming with her. Therefore, whomever sits in the back must sit with the two boys. I want to do the right thing and follow the etiquette, though I have yet to read what that is. Obviously I don’t want to be squished in the back with two teenage boys, but if it is proper to allow her to sit up front with her son then that is what I will do. Your help would be greatly appreciated.
-Jennifer

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Elizabeth August 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm

The gracious thing to do would be to offer her the front seat. Depending on her temperament, she’ll either take you up on it or she’ll thank you and decline. Either way, you and your husband should take turns doing the driving so the ‘pain’ of sitting in the back with the teenagers is spread around a bit.

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R. August 8, 2011 at 11:30 pm

I think Elizabeth has a good middle of the road suggestion. I would be more likely to offer (politely insist even) her the front seat if she has mobility/physical issues that would make it more comfortable for her to sit in the front. Generally, my husband and I keep the front seats for ourselves in our vehicles, epecially if it’s for short jaunts, unless there’s a very compelling reason to give it up.

However, if you need to help your husband navigate around, then you should definitely have the front seat.

Flip side thought: what are the dynamics between you and your MIL? Would her sitting in the front lend itself to a perceived power/dominant position over you? If yes, then I wouldn’t even offer her the front seat. If you’ve power issues with her already, you don’t need to give her another area where she tries to dominate.

Best course of action? Talk to your husband and ask him what he wants to do and see if you are willing to go with whatever he suggests.

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Alicia August 9, 2011 at 8:27 am

I’d offer the front seat to the MIL but I would split the driving between you and your husband so some of the time he is jammed in the back with his brothers.

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