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. Clara

    When we visit my in laws (they live about 3 hours away). They constantly have their camera out and are taking photos of us. Inevitably, these photos end up on Facebook, or printed out on their refrigerator. They do not “weed” through them and take out obvious horrible shots. It is really embarrassing. I have started to sort of turn my head like “no pictures please” and then they laugh and promise not to put it on facebook. So instead they end up attached in group family emails that go out to various family members across the country. The thing is that we stay over when we visit, so sometimes it’s all of us at the breakfast table in our pajamas. I do realize that people want shots of their family, but the other day I had a mouth full of food and the camera was in my face. I turned my head and then agreed to take the shot when I had finished chewing. I feel like I come off like the witch. Does anyone have a better way to handle it?

    • Vanna Keiler

      I must respectfully disagree with the diagnosis of Clara’s mouthful predicament. Taking photos of others in less-than-stellar moments AND posting them online may be funny (and forgivable!) once in a while, but done habitually, it seems a rather odd, passive-aggressive past-time for the in-laws, especially if the joy is one-sided.

      Has anyone taken their photos in like manner? Perhaps a dose of the same medicine may be in order, hmmm? I am not one to be vindictive, but it may serve as a humorous learning moment for them if they were “caught” in like manner. I am betting many family would holler with laughter at finally seeing the in-laws caught in the same types of photos. And provide food for thought to them in the future next time they are feeling the itch to photograph candid shots without permission… :)

  2. David

    I’m sorry to say that this could be a really joyful experience in their lives and that addressing it in a less than delicate manner could really hurt their feelings and make them hyper self – conscious in the future. But I think you already know that. I think you should hand over the responsibility to your spouse to tell them you’re uncomfortable with the more revealing and unseemly pics. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable request, as they’re your spouse’s parents. Then, ham it up for them on occasion to show you’re not a witch and you appreciate the fun, good nature of it all. But, yeah, a mouthful of food with sleep creases on your face isn’t funny to all. Good luck! LOL.

    • Elizabeth

      You can give whatever you like! I assume this card is for the restaurant and not a metro card? I would just make sure that this is a restaurant the recipient likes and frequents, because $100 is something like 15 or 20 meals there, which is a lot. A lesser amount would even be appropriate. Or you could mix it up with cards to subway, dunken donuts, starbucks, etc.

  3. Kate

    I’ve been invited to Ladies Day at the races (along with 9 others) by a friend for the second year in a row and have happily accepted the invitation as we had such fun last year. Last year (in her email invitation) she specified that it was her treat and that she was paying for our table but this year there has been no mention. What to do? Is it rude of me to ask her directly if we should each pay for ourselves, or should I take it that she is inviting us again?

    • Elizabeth

      I would assume that you are responsible for paying for yourself, and simply ask your friend how much you owe her for your place at the table. She will either tell you how much you owe, or she will surprise you by saying that she’s once again covering the cost.

      • Kate

        Thanks for your reply Elizabeth! I took your advice and asked my friend how much I owed her for my place at the table and she said “Nothing, you’re my guest! But I appreciate the gesture”. So generous of her.

  4. Rae

    My partner and I are to have a small non traditional wedding in August of this year, registry office do, no formal reception, no bridesmaids, informal family/ friends party. His parents are divorced and he is not close to his mother ,she remarried and had 2 more children, leaving him and his older sister to be raised by their father.
    Initially we intended to invite her as a quest but didn’t intend her to take any significant role, but we recently discovered she is having an affair with a married man (she doesnt know that we know) and my fiancée is livid, he doesn’t want her to be part of our day at all. In this situation can we dis-invite her and how do we do so without causing a scene?

  5. Camille

    Over the last seven years, my daughter has received the same book three times from the same person – our dear, Great Aunt. I realize Great Aunt probably just doesn’t remember that she gave my daughter the book. Of course, I have always properly thanked her for the book and have never mentioned that she already gave it to her. However, now that she sent the book (again) for the third time, I feel that maybe it’s time to tell her. It’s a nice and thoughtful gift, but I feel bad that Great Aunt continues to spend her money on the same book. Is there a polite way to tell Great Aunt that her niece has received the same book from her?

Leave a Reply

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