Open Thread

by epi on September 14, 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.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Sheila Keyes September 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm

If invited to multiple showers as well as the wedding of the same bride, are gifts required to be given for all ?

Reply

Just Laura September 14, 2012 at 3:40 pm

Only if you attend. Personally, I can’t afford too much beyond one shower gift and one wedding gift, so I decline to attend other showers (you shouldn’t be invited to multiple showers anyway).

Reply

Alicia September 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm

No you only need give one shower gift no matter how many you attend. ( Give at 1st shower) If sister or bridesmaid multiple shower invites is not a f aux pas. In past when in this situation I have given something that comes in parts. Like a place setting and given forks at one shower and spoons at another ect.

Reply

Just Laura September 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm

Oops! Thanks, Alicia, for the correction. Obviously if you are a bridesmaid you may receive invitations to multiple showers. However, if you’re simply a college friend or distant cousin, I think multiple invites are inappropriate.

Reply

Clara September 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm

As a bridesmaid I was invited to 2 showers so I bought multiple gifts off the registry spending the amount that I planned on spending on her shower gift in total. I would have given her a tea kettle and set of glasses that she wanted if she had 1 shower, so instead she got the glasses at one shower and then the tea kettle at the next (where I also made a little basket of teas and coffees). If planned and presented well you can avoid breaking the bank but also be able to bring something to each shower. Again, as a guest, declining a 2nd or 3rd shower invitation is a great option :)

Reply

Joanna September 18, 2012 at 11:19 am

My understanding has always been that the only way multiple showers are acceptable are if they are for different groups of people – i.e. co-workers, or if there are loved ones in a different state where the bride or groom originates, etc. Thus, each person only brings a gift once. But if there is overlap, I wouldn’t even acknowledge the second invite.

Clara September 14, 2012 at 4:41 pm

My friend may be admitted to the hospital today for severe depression. She asked me if I would visit her if she is, in fact, admitted. I told her I absolutely would. She has been hospitalized in the past for this reason, but never wanted visitors. If someone has surgery or a physical reason for being in the hospital, I would normally bring a stuffed animal, flowers or send a basket to their home. In this case, is there anything appropriate I could bring?

Reply

Just Laura September 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm

May I suggest a good book, if this person likes to read? Often something pleasurable to keep their mind occupied is greatly appreciated.

Reply

Katie K September 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm

Clara, Your suggestions of a stuffed animal or flowers sound very thoughtful. Many people working through depression would appreciate having something to cuddle. However, some psychiatric wards may not allow gifts or flowers – you might check first.
Being hospitalized for depression, your friend probably is being medicated and may find it difficult to concentrate on something like a book. Most of all your friend will appreciate your support.

Reply

Jenn September 14, 2012 at 4:58 pm

I have a question regarding the tipping of concierges. How do you know how much to tip? If they make a restaurant reservation for you, for instance? Do you tip more if the reservation was hard to get? I have not seen too much information on this. Thanks!

Reply

Bekk September 15, 2012 at 12:35 am

I have a question about the proper escort position of the man and lady…

Reply

scdeb September 15, 2012 at 11:27 pm

As long as we are talking about tipping–how about tipping the professional massage therapist if the therapist works within the doctors’ practice? Is it necessary or customary to tip?
What if you are at a salon or spa?
And if so, how much to tip?

Reply

Sarah September 16, 2012 at 2:41 pm

I am currently separated from my husband and though it has been 2 years we haven’t yet divorced. For me it is really important for my last name to match that of my son, which would be my ex’s name. I kept the married version of my name Sarah Bryant for the first year. Just over a year after the separation I picked my maiden name back up and have been using Sarah Salyers Bryant for the last year. I’ve not hyphenated anything, not ‘officially’ changed anything. What is the proper name I should address myself as throughout the separation and after eventual divorce?

Reply

Elizabeth September 16, 2012 at 10:21 pm

You should check with your divorce lawyer, but legally I believe you can choose any name you like. This is not really a matter of etiquette. It’s up to you whether to keep your husband’s name, go back to your maiden name, or use both. Many women do keep their husband’s name because of the very reason you describe. Your ex may try to intimidate you into giving up his name, but the law is (I believe) on your side.

Reply

Jerry September 18, 2012 at 6:36 pm

Elizabeth, the question really was an etiquette question: No rational person writes into an etiquette blog for legal advice. Reading between the lines, the question sounds like “I want to ditch my married name for my maiden one. But I also want my son to have the same last name. Can I change my name and his name?”

The answer to the legal question is maybe (check with a lawyer licensed in yuor jurisdiction). Etiquette-wise, what would the boy’s father say? (Remember, it’s his child too!) And (if he’s old enough) have you asked your son about his feelings on the matter?

Reply

Winifred Rosenburg September 16, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Some of you may remember that I was working as a manager and a teacher for a music school. I quit the manager position last spring for several reasons, including ethical objections to some of the things that I witnessed in my position such as mildly racist behavior, but when I did so I indicated to my bosses that I would like to continue teaching. Their new season started last week, and they have not asked me to teach any classes. Up until now I had given them the benefit of the doubt and assumed that this was because of a lack of enrollment. I just found out that a new teacher is teaching two of the classes I taught last year (and the new teacher is of their preferred race). I know that they are supposed to observe seniority when assigning classes, which they have clearly ignored here, but unfortunately because I was also a manager while teaching I was not covered under the union contract so I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it. Needless to say, I’m extremely hurt.

Yesterday, one of the other managers I worked with emailed me and asked if he (that is to say the music school) could hire me as a ringer to perform with one of the orchestras. I’m tempted to say “no” just to avoid having to face my former boss, but I’m not really in a position to turn down paid work. I’m dreading the awkwardness of seeing him. Does anyone have advice on what I should do if he tries to act friendly to me or worse if he tries to explain why he didn’t do anything wrong by ignoring procedure and not hiring me as a teacher (knowing him, that is something he would do)?

Reply

Jerry September 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Yes. But you probably won’t like it.

Reply

Elizabeth September 16, 2012 at 10:19 pm

Winifred, I think you should go, do the job, and act cordially to your former boss. What else can you do? If he starts the conversation about your past employment, you can either engage him in that conversation, express your disappointment at his failure to follow established procedure, etc, or you can just cut it off and say, “yes, well, it’s water under the bridge. I think I see someone I must say hello to, excuse me.” Do you still think there’s some hope of your being hired back? If so, you might say something to the effect that you’re disappointed not to have been hired back for this semester, but that you’re still very interested in teaching and you hope that he keeps you mind if a position opens up. You might still check with the union to see if you have any recourse, it’s better for you to be sure rather than to assume that you’re not covered.

Reply

Clara September 17, 2012 at 10:20 am

Winifred, I agree with Elizabeth…check with the union. Even if they cannot cover you, they may be able to give you advice about any steps you may be able to take for yourself.

Reply

Flower Girl September 17, 2012 at 5:16 pm

I offered to purchase the flowers for a wedding. All the flowers. The Bride never confirmed any order nor came to view any samples of the flowers. 1 week before the wedding I ordered the entire floral arrangements needed for a proper wedding. After notifying the bride she said she did not want the flowers I ordered. So I canceled the order and lost a substantial deposit. The florist was kind enough to take home all the arrangements that were completed and equaled the amount of my deposit.

I asked the Bride to let me know when she decided on flowers and 3 days before the wedding she had not even bothered to order her BRIDAL BOUQUET. I in turn placed an additional order with the brides input on the type of flowers she would like. But she also took the flowers that I had PURCHASED with my deposit and kept them in her home! They were orchids arranged with beach wood and succulents in the form of a terrarium for her beach wedding.

Am I wrong for feeling cheated here? Can I ask for them back?

Reply

Just Laura September 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

You gave them as a gift, so no, you cannot ask them to be returned. As for those on which you had lost the deposit, it sounds as if you didn’t want them (or else they’d have been in your home instead of sitting at the florist for several days). Asking for them back now would lead to more negative feelings.

That said, I understand the irritation. I am curious, though, why were flowers ordered without the Bride’s final approval? If you ever make such a generous offer in the future, I strongly suggest not ordering anything until you have the final approval of the recipient. What if that approval is overly late in coming (as it appears to have been here)? Call or stop by the person’s home, explaining that if the person actually wants this gift, then you will need to know the person’s preferences ASAP. This was a miscommunication problem – had there been appropriate communication, a lot of this might have been avoided.

I do hope you get a wonderful thank-you note. This was quite a gift!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: