Open Thread

by epi on May 17, 2012

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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.

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam May 17, 2012 at 9:12 am

My out of state grandfather passed away overnight. Luckily, I was able to visit him and say good bye this past weekend. So, people at work know that my grandfather was not doing well as I did have to miss 1 day of work for the visit. The wake and funeral will likely take place here, by me, rather than out of state. I don’t know which days it will fall on. If it falls on the weekend then I don’t have to miss work (we don’t get bereavement for grandparents). But here’s my question, what if I don’t want my co workers to attend the wake and funeral? I don’t know why I feel this way, perhaps it’s because I know that some of them were annoyed that a collection was taken for a charity when another co worker’s grandparent died. Some of the people I work with are caring, nice people, some are gossipy and complainey. I just want to deal with all of this in private. I just don’t know what to say if I am asked about the details of services. Any ideas?

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Just Laura May 17, 2012 at 11:03 am

Is this common at your workplace? I didn’t want coworkers to attend my grandpa’s funeral either, so I understand your preference for privacy for your family. If anyone asks, I’m sure they are simply trying to be polite. If you know the details, simply say, “We’re planning a quiet affair on Friday. I plan to return on Monday.” That way no one feels invited, but I couldn’t imagine someone taking offense to that either.

I am sorry for your loss, Pam, and hope the next few days go easily for you.

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Pam May 17, 2012 at 11:47 am

Thank you, Laura. I was surprised when many coworkers attended another coworker’s grandmother’s wake. I didnt’ go but I sent a sympathy card and contributed to the charity collection. However, it became “are you going? are you going?” and then some people complained “Why is there a collection for a grandparent?” I just don’t want any part of that.

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Karen May 17, 2012 at 11:49 am

We’ve been invited to cocktails and dinner honoring a soon-to-be-married couple. We will be sending a wedding gift before the big day in August but I was wondering if I should be bringing something to the dinner. It appears to be at a private home so should I take something for the host/hostess or for the engaged couple, or both?

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Winifred Rosenburg May 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm

All you need to bring are your good wishes. Engagement presents are not required, and neither are host/hostess presents. Just make sure you congratulate the couple and thank the host and hostess both at the event and with a written thank-you note after the event. If feasible, it would also be nice to invite the host and hostess to your home or out to dinner some time after the event.

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Chocobo May 17, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I agree with Winifred. No gift required for either the betrothed or the hosts. Enjoy the dinner and be sure to thank your hosts and congratulate the couple, but that is sufficient.

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Jerry May 17, 2012 at 6:53 pm

While not required, host/hostess gifts are strongly recommended. You can bring a bottle of wine or liquor, some flowers, or some chocolates. The only thing you owe the couple is a wedding gift and then only if you attend the wedding. (I know some people believe a wedding gift is required if you get an invite — that’s not the rule.)

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Alicia May 17, 2012 at 11:56 am

First , my sympathy for your loss. Second, you do not need to tell anyone why you are taking a day off. Simply ask your boss for a personal day. If they will not give it without explination then say for grandfathers funeral but that you want them niot to say anything to coworkers as it is personal and you want to keep it to family. When in advance people ask why you are taking off say simply taking a personal day.

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Linda May 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm

I have been married for almost 32 years, my mother in law just passed away and in the obit it was said that she was predeceased by her husband so and so, survived by three children and their names and three granchildren (two of them being MY children), I as the daughter in law of 31 years was not included. Am I right to be insulted?

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Fran May 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Technically, you are not a descendant, so I don’t think it was improper or insulting to leave you out (unless of course the other SIL/BILs were mentioned). While some obituaries do name “everybody,” it’s not required. Also, it’s possible that your name and relationship were provided to the paper and were omitted by the editors due to space issues. I’m sorry for you loss, but please don’t let this issue make you feel worse.

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Katie K May 18, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Hi Linda, I understand your feelings, but perhaps no insult was intended.

The style of obituaries seems to vary by region and by the size of the community. I’ve seen obits in which every family member, including long deceased parents are listed; some that list the name of the DIL or SIL in parenthesis; and others where the in-laws are not acknowledged at all.

Due to rising costs, many news outlets now publish very brief, standard “death announcements” at no charge. For a fee, the family can publish a more complete obituary that they write themselves.

Perhaps you could check to see what the policy is in your area, and then your family could provide (and pay for) a longer, more complete obituary.

I’m sorry for your loss.

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Zakafury May 18, 2012 at 3:51 pm

I’m sorry for your loss, but no, I don’t believe you should be insulted.

If other children-in-law were named, perhaps it was a slight, but it sounds like a line was drawn somewhere quite natural in writing the obituary.

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Marie May 18, 2012 at 12:44 pm

I was invited to attend a BBQ at noon on a Saturday. I noticed on the Facebook invite that we are to bring our own food to grill and sides to share. There is a ten dollar charge per person to cover the cost of supplies. I feel this is extremely tacky and do not know if I should attend. I see no need to pay money, especially when it is at a home, and I am supplying my own food. How do I approach the hostest about this or do I just go with the flow and pay the ten dollars. There are only 14 guests.

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Just Laura May 18, 2012 at 1:46 pm

I would politely decline, and keep to myself all the perfectly valid reasons you just mentioned.

As of right now, I’m still trying to figure out what kind of supplies the homeowners are buying with $140. Charcoal and Dixie cups don’t cost that much.

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Vanna Keiler May 19, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I agree Just Laura! Perhaps it is a fundraiser in disguise. :)

In my opinion, this falls into the same category as those house parties where the host or host’s friend intended to sell you something. But what are they selling at this party? My understanding is that if you invite someone to a restaurant you are responsible for paying for the meal. By extension, if you invite people to your house for a simple BBQ lunch, you should offer the bulk of the meal, including the main course, condiments, napkins, etc. even if it’s a potluck. I suspect many will decline this Facebook invite, and I second the motion to decline it too. I would not offer any explanation, and hopefully the planners will plan better next time and not charge a cover fee.

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Sandra May 18, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Hello:

I had the unfortunate experience of going through a severe misunderstanding with some people in the community who are very influential. The effect was I was hurt very much. I have been awarded a large sum of money by them and that is fabulous. They want to celebrate my receiving this money with them as well as mainline community members. Sadly, I don’t want to celebrate with the main wrong doers. It just seems wrong to me. How do I get this message across to them without hurting their feelings?

Sincerely,
Sandra

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Jerry May 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

You tell them that your feelings are still too raw. And you should not allow yourself to feel guilted into any social gathering you don’t want to attend. Your feelings are completely valid.

Please also weigh that your refusal to get together with these people could generate ill will in others in the community. This is not to say that you shouldn’t decline the invitation — it’s just a warning to consider the consequences of declining the invitation.

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Kristen May 20, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I am getting married in two months. My sister’s boyfriend just told me that he plans on proposing to my sister in one month- just 1 month before my wedding. My feelings are very hurt by this, but my parents think I am being selfish for wanting him to wait to propose after my wedding. What is the correct etiquette for proposing in this situation?

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Just Laura May 20, 2012 at 2:05 pm

These are two entirely different relationships. Your sister’s being engaged will not steal any spotlight away from you (particular since the proposal won’t even happen in the same month as your wedding).

Please be happy for your sister, as I’m sure she’s been happy for you.

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Alicia May 21, 2012 at 8:24 am

Your future brother in law should propose to your sister any day he feels best but not at your wedding or any wedding events. You should be happy for your sister should she accept the proposal. It has no bearing on your wedding in the slightest and there is no reason to feel upset. It will not take away from you if you act happy for your sister. If you pout and try and make their engagement about you then yes it will become about you and be percieved as selfish and cold hearted. You are likely not that but instead thinking that since your life revolves around your wedding right now that everyones does and sad to say it does not. So say congrats to your soon to be brother in law and be happy for your sister

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Chocobo May 22, 2012 at 10:00 am

I’m sorry to tell you that I agree with your parents. There’s nothing wrong with your brother-in-law proposing a month before you are married, or the day after you are married, for that matter. The only off-limits days for proposing are at your actual wedding events. Otherwise he is free to ask your sister to marry him at any time, and I hope you will be happy for them.

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Elizabeth May 22, 2012 at 10:19 am

I agree with the other posters. Your sister’s boyfriend is free to propose to her whenever he likes. However, what would not be OK is if he or they tried to make a big announcement at your wedding, or scheduled their engagement party before your wedding.

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