Open Thread

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.


  1. Tricia

    When signing a couple’s name, does the husband’s name come first or the wife’s?

    Richard and Tricia Everett
    Tricia and Richard Everett

  2. Curt

    My wife and I have been friends with another couple for many years. They are both over weight and unfortunately instead of trying to lose weight they are gaining. He is probably at least 400 pounds and she is pushing 300. They visit us at our house 4-5 times a year and we have a wonderful visit. But because they are so big, we are afraid they will damage our furniture. Our dining room chairs have already been repaired because of damage they have caused and we are afraid they will now damage our new living room furniture and patio set as well. My wife is torn on how to handle their visits since they have been friends for so many years, but yet does not want our furniture damaged or broken. Each time they are to come to our house we try to figure out how we can make them sit on older, more uncomfortable furniture, but somehow we can never bring ourselves to tell them to do so. How can we tell them we like their visits but hate to have them over just because of their weight? How can we tell them they cannot sit on any of our new furniture?

    • Elizabeth

      Hm, that’s quite a dilemma. The easiest thing for you to do would be to put away whatever furniture you do not want them to sit on, or to not entertain in the areas where that furniture is. For instance, don’t take them out on to the patio if you don’t want them to use that furniture. IF you’re going to have dinner in the dining room, be sure to swap out the new chairs with the old, so that it’s not obvious that they’re being relegated to certain seating. Another tactic would be to ‘complain’ about how ‘flimsy’ the new furniture is. “We bought this furniture thinking it would be more substantial, but it’s actually kind of flimsy. Why don’t you sit in that (stronger) chair where you’ll be more comfortable.” Or just put the strong chairs at the heads of the table (or wherever they usually sit) and say nothing.

      Unless they are the outspoken kind who clearly have a lot of self-acceptance, any direct mention of their weight runs the risk of insulting them or hurting their feelings. They know they are overweight, but no comments from you or anyone else is going to cause them to ‘wake up’. I don’t know the reason for their obesity, but I would treat it in your own mind in terms of an addiction – unfortunate, but more complex than you as a friend can deal with. Perhaps it is worth investing in a couple of nice comfortable and strong chairs that they can enjoy? The other option is to only entertain them out, or socialize with them at their home.

  3. Samantha

    Hello, My fiance and I are about to get married, and a close friend is getting married the week after us. He just gave us a very nice $400 wedding present, while we were budgeting to spend about $150 on them. Are we obligated to reciprocate a $400 gift? Should we comment on this situation to them directly? All parties are working professionals, although our budget is currently tight with wedding and honeymoon expenses. Thanks!!

    • Alicia

      No you do not have to give the same amount. What you were given does not matter give based on your budget and your closeness with the couple.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Alicia is absolutely right. I wanted to add that this is why personally I avoid giving money as a gift. When people are given money it’s hard for them to not judge the gift by it’s monetary value because that’s all there is to it. When they get a non-monetary gift they have usefulness, sentimental value, etc. to appreciate so I give them something I hope they will like for more than it’s monetary value, which keeps me from feeling self-conscious about whether or not I spent enough.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *