Open Thread

by epi on June 20, 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.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Marlene June 20, 2013 at 9:36 am

My husband’s ex-wife’s husband has just passed away.
Who should sign the condolence card first? We’ve been disagreeing on this point.
Should he sign it first or should I? Tricky situation.

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Winifred Rosenburg June 20, 2013 at 11:59 am

If you’ve met the person you should send a condolence letter, not a pre-printed card. Even if you haven’t met him, a letter expressing your feelings would be preferable. Either of you can write the letter. Whoever writes it should be the only one to sign it but be sure to mention the other in the letter, e.g. “John and I are so sorry for your loss.” If you go with the card option, either order of signatures is correct.

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Cyra June 20, 2013 at 11:27 am

Since your husband is more closely connected to the recipient of the card, I would think his name should go first.

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Jenn June 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm

I need help with wedding thank you etiquette. My wedding is in 5 weeks. My fiance and I prepared our guest lists in February. I collected all the addresses and contact information for as many people as I could. My fiance planned on inviting co-workers and colleagues. Since I don’t know them, or their last names, I told my fiance the address collection and mailing was up to him for those guests. He then went about handing out invitations to everyone he saw fit (whether on the original guest list or not)…and proceeded to do so even after the RSVP deadline. So, I have a few problems: a) I have no idea who is actually invited to my wedding; and b) I do not know these people (which is fine – my future husband wanted them there). So, how do I go about sending Thank You cards after the wedding to all of the wedding guests when I have the two above problems.

I was considering asking people to self address envelopes as part of the guest-book sign in process and trying to come up with something creative, but I read on this site (as well as others) that asking guests to self-address cards is extremely tacky.

My situation is unique in that I’m not asking because I’m lazy – I’m asking because I have no idea who these people are and I haven’t a clue as to what their addresses are in order to thank them, personally, for their attendance (and, if applicable, gift).

I cannot rely on my future husband to gather addresses as this is what led to the handing out of invitations in the first place – he was too lazy to actually collect information. I also cannot rely on him to provide me with an accurate list of all of the people he invited because he doesn’t remember since he handed them out at work, job walks, etc.

Any suggestions and/or thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

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Alicia June 20, 2013 at 12:50 pm

The thank yous for his guests should be written by your husband and as he knows these people he can ask them either at work or through email for their mailing addresses. But as they are the guests on his side he should be the one writing their thank yous.

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Cyra June 20, 2013 at 1:01 pm

First of all, THANK YOU for not having your guests address their own envelopes! Tacky indeed.

I agree with Alicia that these thank you notes would be the responsibility of your husband since they are his guests. Hopefully he sees that you are trying to be a gracious and respectful host and will do his part to assist in representing the two of you well!

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Winifred Rosenburg June 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm

You should not send anyone a thank-you note just for attending. Guests are supposed to send thank-you notes to their hosts, not the other way around (although there is an exception for ceremonial events so you shouldn’t expect thank-you notes from your guests). Sending thank-you notes just for attending will imply that you are trying to guilt your guests who didn’t give you gifts. You should send thank-you notes to the guests who give you gifts. All you have to do is copy the names from the cards. Your husband should be able to tell you which gifts are from his coworkers and hand deliver tthe thank-you notes the way he delivered the invitations. Either you or your husband can write thank-you notes.

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BB June 20, 2013 at 7:46 pm

Dear all, I wonder if you can help me navigate what could be a messy situation…
I am friends with a guy who now works with me. We were friends before we started working together and were extremely close. During the last two years of working together, I have realised that he is b*tchy, talks behind people’s back and displays jealous behaviour when I have done better than him at work – I simply don’t trust him and dislike his energy. I rarely spend time with him outside work anymore and the friendship has obviously changed, but I have kept things pleasant at work as I don’t want awkwardness there.

He is now engaged to his boyfriend (well, fiancĂ©) and I have been invited to his bachelor party in September along with 6 of his other friends. I said I would go when he asked as it seemed like the decent thing to do given our history – I even agreed on mass email with his friends, to the dates. But as the preparations are now underway, I am really dreading a long weekend of faking that I like him – spending a pretty penny on a weekend that I know I will hate (money is not ultimately the problem, though).

How can I pull out of this weekend now, without creating bad blood with him at work and making my place of work uncomfortable for the months/years to come?

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Winifred Rosenburg June 21, 2013 at 9:04 am

Unfortunately, there’s no polite way to get out of going. Once you accept an invitation, you cannot change your answer unless the terms of the invitation change (have they?) or something terrible happens suddenly.

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Alicia June 21, 2013 at 9:51 am

You RSVPed yes and can not now not attend. Go make the best of it and in the future think about what an event entails before you RSVP.

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Elizabeth June 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm

I agree with Winifred and Alicia – there’s no graceful way to back out of going on this trip. Anything short of an emergency would be quite a slap for your coworker, and would no doubt change the tenor of your working relationship. Unless you are willing to lie, I can’t see how you’ll get out of it. Instead, I would focus on getting to know some of the other guys on the trip – there’s nothing saying that you have to be attached to the groom’s hip. You might also schedule some activities (a massage, a tour, etc) that will allow you to escape the group for a couple of hours. Make sure you have your own room (or a roommate that is not the groom). Don’t drink so much that you’ll lose control and say something you’ll regret.

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