Open Thread

by epi on April 19, 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.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Cookie Crupman April 20, 2013 at 8:23 pm

I read that the proper place for a bread plate is to the upper left of a place setting for informal meals. But I have been told that at a formal dinner party, that there is no bread plate, and that the bread is placed on the tablecloth? Is my leg being pulled, or have I been taught incorrectly? It sounds rather boarding house. If this is true, why is it done like this, and how does one go about using the bread in a proper manner?

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Winifred Rosenburg April 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm

Bread is not served at formal dinners, and that is why there is no bread and butter plate.

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ozzie April 21, 2013 at 12:49 am

I recently BCC’d a consultant on an email correspondence after her request to be looped in to all conversations in order to best advocate for us. She thoughtlessly replied all with a disparaging tone and I am very embarrassed and feel I have offended the original recipient. How should I best address my offense to the original recipient of the message?

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Winifred Rosenburg April 21, 2013 at 10:56 am

Without knowing what exactly happened, it’s hard to give a specific answer. I would email him something along the lines of “I’m sorry you had to witness that. I’ll do my best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

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Teak April 21, 2013 at 8:54 pm

I have been a stay at home mother for the past 7 years, my children are 7 and 12. I had a successful career prior. The kids are now in school full time, but I still am very busy. My husband is away for work 3-4 weeks a month so I run the home and tend to the kids by myself. A friend of mine who had to go back to work after her first child constantly reminds me that I’m on a “vacation” and it must be so nice to have “free-time”, and that her life is so much harder and more difficult than mine. How do I kindly tell her that what I do is also important, and that I am not on a holiday?

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Winifred Rosenburg April 21, 2013 at 11:24 pm

You can say “I’m definitely not on vacation. Just today I had to pay bills, do laundry, take the dog to the vet, etc. and today was a light day!”

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Jody April 22, 2013 at 7:03 am

Teak, there’s not much you can say to people who make those remarks. I’m a single person (never have been a mom) but I admire those who are “stay-at-home” moms. Maybe the next time your friend makes such a remark you can offer to trade places.

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Just Laura April 22, 2013 at 9:32 am

I’m always saddened by people who must passively put-down the valid choices of a “friend.” I put “friend” in quotes because I feel a real friend would not do this. While snapping back with a good one-upper is tempting (i.e., My day was more difficult than yours because X, Y, Z!), I caution against this because it only leads to more of the same. I would, however, gently remind her that you didn’t do nearly as much laundry on your last vacation as you seem to be doing on this one ( ;) ), you’re doing it alone, and you’re sorry her decision to work outside the home is going poorly for her. Perhaps she’ll backpedal and start talking about how great working away from home is for her.

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Joanna April 23, 2013 at 11:36 am

Unfortunately, there just isn’t any way to “justify” your existence – some people just like to lord it over you no matter what.

In my case, I’m a single childless woman. Despite my working full-time, I have numerous “friends” who like to imply that I don’t work as hard as they do, simply because they have children.

However, I was diagnosed with a serious chronic illness in my early twenties. There is no cure, and in my case, basically nothing to treat it, either. I am constantly in a great deal of pain and exhaustion, and really, should be on disability (I definitely qualify) but I continue to push, simply because I want to keep active and independent for as long as I possibly can.

There are many days when I arrive home at the end of my eight hours and simply collapse in bed, utterly spent. Other days, I may still have a bit of energy left, but after stopping for a few groceries or doing some laundry, I’m done.

Everyone who knows me is well aware of my illness. Yet at this point, in my early thirties, I have basically given up on trying to “explain” that even if I have less to do than others, I also have less ability with which to do it. Life is not exactly tit for tat when it comes to checking things off your to-do list, you know?

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Robert April 25, 2013 at 8:46 am

my fiance is a JR and if I put his father’s name on the wedding invitation do I list him as SR also is it ok to abbriviate Boulevard on the invitation if the reception address is rather long

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Robin April 25, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I am confused about when to buy a baby gift. Few people send announcements any more. My husband’s cousin’s daughter had a baby. My high school friend’s daughter just had her second. My young friend with whom I play mah jong every week just had her second. Help!

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Winifred Rosenburg April 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

There is no rule saying you must give a gift to anyone. You should let your relationship with the parents be your guide.

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Alicia April 25, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Buy a baby gift when you want to give a baby gift because of your relationship with the parents.

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Paula April 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm

I agree with Winifred and Alicia. Also, what I generally do is bring a gift if I visit the family to meet the baby.

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