Open Thread

by epi on March 5, 2013

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.

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Evan March 5, 2013 at 4:41 am

Is it customary in the US to leave a little food on your plate at the end of your meal…?

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Winifred Rosenburg March 5, 2013 at 12:06 pm

No, you are free to finish the food if you wish.

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Vanna Keiler March 10, 2013 at 2:46 pm

I am in agreement with Winifred. I have read from some social “experts” that leaving a little food on the plate is what one should do in “high society”. However, if I could editorialize here, I think this sub-cultural and archaic custom is superficial, arrogant and displays complete ignorance of today’s economic challenges for most of the world in trying to put food on the table.

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Winifred Rosenburg March 10, 2013 at 3:36 pm

I have heard that the rule was changed by Eleanor Roosevelt because she disliked wasting food, but I haven’t been able to find a source.

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scdeb March 5, 2013 at 9:58 pm

I have been asked to design some items for a wedding rehearsal dinner. These items range from mongramed cocktail napkins to table place cards. My question concerns the table place cards. I have only seen these cards with the table number and sometimes the bride & groom names or intials and/or the wedding date. The request I have received is to add the groom’s mother’s name with wording that says she is giving (paying for) the event. How would this be worded? I thought presented by or given by might be acceptable but is there another way to word this? I have suggested that this is better left off the cards but I was over ruled. The dinner will be very casual.

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Elizabeth March 5, 2013 at 11:06 pm

Oh goodness, that is tacky mctackerson! If they’re having placecards and monogrammed napkins, it doesn’t sound that informal!

It is widely known that the rehearsal dinner is hosted by the groom’s parents. People should also know who their hostess is by virtue of having been invited by her. She could also let the group “know” by giving a toast welcoming them, and the bride and groom should also offer a toast thanking her.

But it sounds like you are stuck doing it. How about (in very small letters at the bottom of the card) “Host: Mom McTacky”? Perhaps you could suggest that the menu also be included on the card. Then such foolishness might get lost in a sea of text…

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Clara March 5, 2013 at 10:16 pm

I have sent 3 notes in the past 2 months that have not been acknowledged. Two of them were just Valentine’s cards in which I wrote a long note to 2 friends whom I have not seen in awhile. They are also my Facebook friends and we text message occasionally. I’m just wondering if they ever got the cards. Some of my other friends to whom I sent cards wrote on my fb wall “Got your V-day card, thank you!” Is it rude to ask someone if they got your card (when there is not gift or money involved). I just feel like we are left to wonder if it was lost in the mail, meaning our cards were never known about!
My second question is about a former professor to whom I sent a donation (for the English dept of which she is chair). She had sent a handwritten note a few months back and I finally sent the donation with a handwritten card, updating her on my life and asking about her. I received a form letter in return with the proof of donation for my taxes. Now I’m wondering if the note just went to the office and perhaps she never saw it and may not know that I sent the donation. Do I ask her in an email? It’s been about a month and a half since I sent it.
Thanks in advance!

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Elizabeth March 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm

For your facebook friends, why not dash off a quick message: “Hey! did you ever get my Valentine’s card by any chance?”

If you mailed the letter to the correct address, the professor likely did get it and forwarded it on to the donations office. She’s just probably busy. But you could email her too, and say something like “I received a receipt for the donation, but I just wanted to make sure you saw my note. Hope all is well!”

In both cases, keep in short and sweet.

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scdeb March 5, 2013 at 11:48 pm

Elizabeth:
You are a life saver! I didn’t know what to do (I was horrified) but I think your suggestion of burying the words “hosted by so & so” in the sea of text is an inspired idea! I am so relieved that there is a way to handle this. Thank you!

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