Open Thread

by epi on June 17, 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 }

Kate June 17, 2013 at 11:16 am

I received a thank you note from my boyfriend’s mother, and I wanted to send her a note in return. She signed the note with her first name, but has never formally told me to call her by her first name. Should I take this as that invitation, or begin my note to her with Mrs. ____?

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Cyra June 17, 2013 at 12:28 pm

I would suggest still addressing her as Mrs. until actually told otherwise. It would have been weird for her to sign her thank you note as “Mrs. ____” and I’m sure she will tell you (or her son) if she prefers a more familiar form of address.

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Winifred Rosenburg June 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm

I agree with Cyra. Out of curiosity, is there a reason you are sending a note in return? FYI, thank-you notes generally do not require a response.

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Nick June 17, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Lately the proper method for consuming milk from a cereal bowl has come up in conversation. Is it polite to drink from the bowl?

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Elizabeth June 17, 2013 at 5:39 pm

It might be OK to do in your own home, but definitely not in public or in front of company. It’s much better to use your spoon to drink the milk.

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Cassie June 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm

I have a six month old child that I recently brought on an outing with friends (an outdoor festival). My friends brought their chihuahua, whom they take everywhere. The dog is very snappy and you can’t touch him, which by itself I think its rude to bring him in public for that reason. I was holding my daughter and my friend was holding her dog when he actually snapped at my infant daughter. I couldn’t believe my friend let this happen. I checked my daughter’s hands and arms and didn’t see any marks, but I really felt like my “friends” should have offered to pay for an ER visit or something to make this right. In my experience, dogs who bite children are often put down.

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Jody June 18, 2013 at 7:50 am

Cassie, you say that the dog “snapped at” your daughter but it seems that the dog didn’t actuall make contact. If that’s the case I don’t think any ER visit or other “make it right” thing is necessary; if the dog had actually bitten your daughter that would have been another situation entirely.

Dogs, whether well-behaved or not, are normally seen at outdoor festivals. While the dog owners are responsible for the behavior of their pets, other festival attendees should expect to see pets at such festivals. Since you know your friends’ dog is snappy, the next time a similar outing is suggested you can either decline to attend (saying that given the last time, you feel uncomfortable having your young child in the presence of their dog) or suggest a pet-free, child-free outing.

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Elizabeth June 18, 2013 at 8:42 am

I agree – the ER is for people who are actually hurt, and it doesn’t sound like your daughter was. They owed you a sincere apology, as well as better efforts to control their animal. If you think this animal is a threat to your child, you should only accept dog-free outings with them.

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Ruth Peltier June 18, 2013 at 9:55 am

I seriously doubt if I would have held my infant anywhere near a dog that I KNEW was likely to snap at her. I think the fault lay with the Mother of the baby as much as the mother of the dog.

I do own a chihuahua, but he is well socialized and would never snap at anything that did not come out of a dog food can.

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