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. Linda Turner

    My husband and I are non-smokers. It actually gives my husband a terrible sinus infection, being around cigarette smoke. We have some really nice friends, who are wanting to invite us for dinner. They are great people, but they both smoke. How do we handle this, without making hard feelings, or making them feel bad? Thank you in advance!

    • David

      I think the way you just explained it would be perfect in a phone conversation with the hosts. Are they inviting you to their home? If you’ve been to their home, you probably know whether they ask if you’d mind if they light-up. If they’re taking you to a restaurant, there shouldn’t be a problem, as there isn’t a restaurant left on Earth that allows smoking. Otherwise, I think you explained it beautifully here, and I would just repeat that with the hosts.

      • Linda Turner

        Yes, they are wanting us to come to their home. I’ve only been in their home two times, very briefly. They both smoked while I was there, and didn’t ask if it bothered me. My husband has never been inside their house. Maybe I can just explain, honestly and politely, without leaving hard feelings. Thank you

        • Elizabeth

          I agree, the real reason is an understandable one. “Friends, thanks so much for the invitation. Unfortunately, my husband is allergic to cigarette smoke, and gets terrible sinus infections if he’s in an enclosed room where there’s smoke. It’s nothing person, he’s just quite affected by it. What if we met at a restaurant or for a bbq at the park instead? Looking forward to seeing you, Linda”

          • Jo

            Unfortunately, IMO this is a bigger issue than simply asking them to refrain from lighting up in their home while you are there…if they are regular smokers and you are highly sensitive, then you will be affected by all the smoke that has seeped into their furniture, clothing, etc. Really, there isn’t much to do other than suggest meeting in a neutral place like a restaurant, or asking them to your home.

    • Alicia

      Depends. Does the invite say you are hosting a birthday party at x restaurant or does it say please join us in celebrate birthday at x restaurant where entrees are typical y dollars. Basically if host yes if organizer no.

  2. DarkHairedRaven

    I am a divorcée with a youthful appearance who is often asked out by younger men. As a Gen-X’er in a Millennial world, how do I guide dating conversation away from a straightforward inquiry into my age or marital status so that I am not stigmatized while getting to know someone?

    • Elizabeth

      Hmm, well, if someone asks you flat out how old you are or if you’ve been married, the best policy would be to answer honestly. If someone has a problem with dating a divorcee (not an attitude I think much of), or if they want to date someone young enough to, say, have children with, that is their right. It would be worse to go on a few dates, get to know and like them, and then have them break it off because you’re not what they were looking for.

Leave a Reply

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