Q: At a recent dinner party for six my husband accidentally broke two pieces off the back of one of the expensive dining room chairs. He was telling a story and moved his elbows back too quickly. We were all surprised; the force was not that great. We feel we owe them more than an apology. What should we do?
A: It would be appropriate to offer to pay to have the chair repaired or replaced. Even though the force of your husband’s elbows was not that great, he is still responsible for the damage. Of course, your hosts could decline your offer but, in all likelihood, will appreciate the gesture.