1. Brandon Dewyea

    Good morning,

    My boyfriend just gave me the latest edition and I love it!

    I have two questions…

    The first is we planned a game night with another couple and some other friends caught wind of it and then asked me about it. (we were trying to have them over too another night when they are free) she was trying to clarify which night to come and I felt obligated to just invite her to the night with the other couple. Is there a better way to handle this in the future? The initial invite and what to do if someone inquires about the event who wasn’t invited? Naturally there are different dynamics with some people vs others and we want to be able to have some couples over sometimes and not feel like we have to invite everyone just because they know each other.

    The second question is on handshakes. I wasn’t able to find this situation in the book either and thought I’d write the experts!

    I was recently introduced to a woman in her sixties who when offered her hand, she offered it palm down and thumb tucked. My question is how does a woman shake another woman’s hand in this situation. Do you gently cradle the fingers as a man would? Lastly, is it insulting for a woman offering her hand in the traditional shake for a man to turn it ever so slightly and shake? Not really commiting to the traditional as he would with a another man nor the victorian way but clearly implementing a different shake? My boyfriend and I got into a discussion about all the above and now we are both curious!

    Thank you so much for your time!


    • Jody

      Brandon — I’m not sure what the book says but here is my take on one of your questions.

      As for the handshake with the older woman, I’d gently shake the hand as it was offered. It’s possible that this woman had physical problems (arthritis or something similar) that makes a traditional handshake painful to her.

    • Elizabeth

      Brandon, I agree with Jody regarding the handshake. As a woman, if another woman did that to me, I would gently and briefly shake it as offered and then move on. It would be more like a brief holding of hands than a proper shake, but it’s close enough – and common for ladies of that age and older, whether from ailments or custom I don’t know.

      Regarding your friends: If you really wanted to have them come another night, just say so with a smile. “yes, Rob and Steve are coming over Wednesday, but Boyfriend and I would love to have you over next Friday for grilling and lawn darts. Are you available?” You don’t have to give an explanation. Just act naturally, and it will all go smoothly.

      • Joanna

        In the case of game night, depending on the game, you sometimes can only have a certain number of players. Whether or not you were actually playing a game like that, if you wanted or needed to limit the number of guests, you could say, “I’m sorry – we’re planning to play Scrabble and already have four players! How about you join us on X night instead? We’d love to have you then!” That way you don’t get stuck having more people than you want, and the excuse is a straightforward, believable one that wouldn’t offend any reasonable person.

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