Open Thread

by epi on April 18, 2012

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 }

Ashleigh April 18, 2012 at 11:52 am

Allergy season has made me a sniffly, sneezing ball of gross and I will soon be going out to dinner with my boyfriend and some business associates. How does one handle blowing their nose at a nice restaurant. Having to keep getting up might seem rude, but blowing one’s nose at the table just seems gross. Is there anything that can be done – besides rescheduling for November ;)
Thanks!!

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Country Girl April 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm

Having to get up might feel somewhat tedious to you, but it is not rude at all. In fact that is the proper thing to do. Excuse yourself and blow your nose in the restroom where you can wash your hands afterwards. If you must dab at your nose, it is fine to do that discreetly with your napkin, but definitely don’t blow your nose at the table. No one wants to be in the splash zone for that. ;) Also when I am feeling a little ill, I will ask someone to pass me a roll (or if family-style, dish me up) so I am not contaminating anyone else’s food or the serving utensils.

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Ashleigh April 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Phew!! I’m a total germaphobe so the idea of blowing my nose at the table (especially having seen the MythBusters episode on the distance that germs travel…) really freaked me out. I would MUCH rather go to the bathroom but didn’t know if it would look weird. Thanks so much!!!! Relief!!!

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Chocobo April 18, 2012 at 2:56 pm

It is definitely not rude to excuse yourself to the restroom to blow your nose! That is exactly what you should do. You are right to think that blowing one’s nose at the table is gross. No need to explain why you are getting up either — you don’t want to give anyone a visualization of what you are about to do while they are attempting to eat.

If you just need to wipe a dribble away, use your handkerchief (cloth ones are probably preferable here as they do not get all bunchy and pile up like garbage around you) to discreetly dab at it. I wouldn’t recommend using your napkin because you also use that to wipe your hands and mouth as you eat, and that might be a bit gross to your companions (and possibly to you!) depending on the strength of their constitutions.

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Alberta Taubert April 18, 2012 at 3:54 pm

I have some questions regarding addressing inner wedding invitation envelopes.
My experience and some experts suggest, addressing inner envelopes in this manner: Write the couple’s last name only for example; “Mr. and Mrs. White” but if you are very close, the inner envelope may be addressed “Jack and Paige” or if close family members, themay be addressed inner envelope for example; “Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim”. I plan to address ours this way but here is my question: Is it correct to use the same “close family and friends” rule when addressing the inner envelopes from the groom and groom’s parent’s lists? We have met and only know a few of their guests, but if they know them well or are close family should I address the inner envelope using thier first names?

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Winifred Rosenburg April 18, 2012 at 4:06 pm

A good rule of thumb is to write whatever the bride or groom calls them, depending on which side they are on. In many cases the bride and groom will either write the inner envelopes themselves or give whomever is writing them instructions about what to write. People are generally aware of this so if you write “Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim” for the groom’s aunt and uncle they will understand that you aren’t suggesting they are your aunt and uncle. If you aren’t sure, you can’t go wrong with “Mr. and Mrs. White.”

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Chocobo April 19, 2012 at 10:28 am

This would probably depend on how the invitation itself is worded. Does it bear your parent’s names as hosts (i.e. Mr. and Mrs. So-and-so request the pleasure of your company…)? If so, you should be writing the envelopes according to their relationship to the guests, not your own, because they are issuing the invitation. If you and your groom are listed as hosts, (i.e. Bride and Groom request the pleasure of your company…) I think you are safe addressing the inner envelopes according to how you or the groom know them. In that case you could write “Aunt Mary and Uncle Joe” for the groom’s relatives, but beware that some people may find this a bit odd since it is often presumed that the invitations are coming from the bride or the bride’s family.

Personally I would keep the inner envelope with proper titles in keeping with the formality of the event, using “Mr.”, “Ms.”, and “Mrs.” It is safer to be more formal when it comes to weddings.

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Sandra April 22, 2012 at 3:49 pm

Hello. Some important people are coming to my home to see how I am doing. I am not accustomed to this. My home to say the least is a “hole in the wall” and my budget is limited. What should I say or do?

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Just Laura April 22, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Why would you need to say or do anything special? Simply greet them at the door, invited them to sit down, and offer them a glass of water.
However, if you do not want them in your home, politely say that meeting them for lunch might be a better option.

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Alicia April 23, 2012 at 8:25 am

Clean ( elbow grease is free) but really they are coming to your home it should still be your home. They want to see how you are doing either do not have them over or let them really see how you are doing. But yes a bit of clean for guests is in order.

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