Open Thread

by Daniel Post Senning on May 10, 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.

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Cyra May 10, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Hello everyone!

I’m curious, what are people’s thoughts on the polite way to handle call waiting? It seems like if I’m on a call with someone and my call waiting beeps, I should either ignore it or end my current conversation before answering it. Is there ever a good reason to put someone on hold to answer the incoming call?

Additionally, how should one respond when the person they’re talking to wants to put them on hold? I usually say something like, “Oh, I’ll just let you go and you can call me back” or I sit on hold as long as I can tolerate (about 10 seconds) and then just hang up–but admittedly that seems a little passive aggressive.

What do people think?


Winifred Rosenburg May 10, 2013 at 2:03 pm

The only time you should use call waiting is when you have reason to think it’s an important call. In those cases you should tell the person you’re speaking with at the beginning of the conversation “I may need to cut our conversation short. My daughter is supposed to call me when she it’s time for me to pick her up from the school dance.” I think your strategy of telling the person to call you back is a good way to go.


becky May 10, 2013 at 1:19 pm

I am exploring the idea of including a monogram on my wedding invitaiton. We are in our 40′s and we are hosting (paying for) all the festivities as it is the 2nd for us both. The dilemma is what monogram to use, if at all? After the ceremony, we could certianly use a “couple’s monogram” (center last name, flanked by first name of bride on left and groom on right.) But that would not be appropriate for the invitation as we would not be married yet, right? Using my initials only seems selfish as we are both the hosts (and both our monograms would just be too much from a design standpoint) I’ve seen samples with the bride’s monogram, but only instances where her parents are the hosts. As a southern girl, we love our monograms and I really like the concept, but I don’t want to try too hard to fit the square peg in the round hole. Without some logic or tradition to back up a decision, I will forgo the idea and move on, but wanted some broader input before giving up.


sara May 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm

Becky, you are correct that it is not acceptable to use your married monogram on your wedding invitation. We love monograms, too. We used a monogram cake topper at our reception and used our married monogram on the cover of the wedding program since we were being united in marriage that day.

In your situation, I don’t know how you could use a monogram for your invitation since you are both the hosts of the wedding. It seems like it may be awkward? I’d love to hear what others think.


Cyra May 10, 2013 at 1:36 pm

Hi Becky,

I’m not very familiar with monogram etiquette–so my apologies if this is completely gauche–but could you do a monogram that somehow intertwines the first letters of both of your last names? Then you are both represented without the clutter of two completely separate monograms.

Best wishes for your upcoming marriage!


Rafael May 10, 2013 at 4:50 pm

Recently, I encountered a couple of instances where I was asked ‘Why not?’ when turning down an invitation to do something by an acquaintance. I find it hard to explain to someone why I cannot do something when the reason is too personal to share with someone I do not know very well. For example, say that you are a budget conscious individual because you are saving for something, or maybe you have made far too many frivolous purchases – how do you respond to someone, without telling them all of your financial plans, why you cannot partake? There are times I want to say ‘It’s none of your business,’ but I know that is rude. I tend to hem-and-haw for a moment which makes me look like I am fishing for a reason. I have told people before that I am on a budget, and they give me this look as if something is growing out of my forehead. Any good thoughts on how to handle these types of situations?


Alicia May 10, 2013 at 11:16 pm

“I’m sorry but I have other plans” Your plans could be to watch downton abbey reruns it does not matter . no reason needs to be given.


Gertrude May 10, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I would simply say, For personal reasons, I’m going to have to decline. If they pressure you, say “I’d rather not say, but I appreciate the invitation and I look forward to being able to make it next time”.

Then, if they pressure you even more, tell them something like “My irritable bowel syndrome is acting up and I don’t think I’ll be able to hold in my flatulence” and that will be the last time they pressure you.


Cyra May 10, 2013 at 6:46 pm

Hi Rafael,

You are totally correct that you don’t need to give a reason why you’re turning down an invitation. If pressed, maybe reply with an “I am otherwise engaged” or “I have a prior commitment.” If your acquaintances continue to pry, then I’d just raise my eyebrows at them in a “are you really still pressing this?” kind of way and change the subject.


Gary May 13, 2013 at 9:50 am

I have Facebook “friends” who have deceased. What is the most appropriate way to deal with it? I don’t feel comfortable “unfriending” them.


Just Laura May 13, 2013 at 10:32 am

I’ve just left them alone. It’s a little awkward when FB reminds me of birthdays, though.


Cyra May 13, 2013 at 11:36 am

Hi Gary,

I think it’s perfectly acceptable to “unfriend” your deceased friends’ Facebook pages after some time has passed if you wish. Sometimes family members will use the deceased person’s page to pass on funeral or memorial information, but after that it is completely up to you. If you find their continued online presence in your life to be comforting then you can absolutely keep that until the family decides to delete the account, but if you find it awkward or painful, you are just as free to “unfriend.”


Alicia May 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm

If you report to facebook that the person is dead and show their obit then facebook will switch it to a memorial page. If a family member does so they can and will deactivate the facebook page. Here is the link


Mary June 16, 2013 at 10:16 am

My husband is being honored at an awards dinner. We were sent an invitation. Do we still need to RSVP since he is one of the honorees? Also, are we expected to pay the 150.00 per ticket?


Elizabeth June 16, 2013 at 11:42 am

I would imagine yes on both counts.


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