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. Judy

    We’ve been invited to my nephew’s wedding. The wedding gift has been sent to the bride. Since it is my nephew I like to send them a card but it seems strange seeing as the gift has already been received. Is it appropriate to just send a card?

  2. Joann

    I have gone to the same hair stylist for 21 years. I
    I want a change and want to go to
    Someone else, but don’t want to hurt
    My stylist ‘s feelings. How do I
    Handle it? Should I just not call
    Back for an appointment or should
    I call and tell her that I just need a change?
    Joann in Iowa

  3. Gene

    I have a question regarding a roomate. I have been kind enought to allow a young gemtleman to live with me at my home. We are not related nor are we in any type of relationship other then a friendship. Currently he is unemployed and has no income so needless to say he doesnt pay any rent or share of utilities or groceries. Which is fine with me for the moment. We have an agreement that I am helping him get back on his feet and when he does find gainful employment then he will start to contribute to the houshold finances. The problem is that he continually has overnight guests. These guests being his neice, or a friend of his who had a fight at home and so on. Well the first time it occurred i looked the other way so to speak. Figuring it was an exception. But it has now been three weekend in a row that he has had a guest here. And he always has a terrible sob story as to why they are here and have no place to go. Althought I am sympathetic to these peoples plight I dont feel that i have to indulge this. And when I told him so he acts all hurt and says they arent bothering anyone. And that I am being inconsiderate. What is the proper answer here. Although I fully know what it is I need to have it writing from an expert to share with him. Thank you

    • Jody

      I agree that it’s a “your house, your rules” situation. Sounds like you and your guest need to have a discussion about house rules. Having a guest over for a few hours is one thing, having an overnight/weekend guest when you don’t allow it is another thing. Stand firm, no matter what sob story your friend gives or how hurt he asks. If he can’t live with those rules maybe it’s time for him to find another place to live.

    • Elizabeth

      I agree with Jody. This person is taking advantage of you, and if you don’t lay down your rules and expectations about the arrangement, he will continue to do so. I would also caution you to learn something about the laws in your state that deal with tenants. Even though this person is not paying any rent, if you allow him to live with you long enough, he may acquire tenants’ rights such that you may have to initiate eviction proceedings to get him out.

      Edited to add: I just now read scdeb’s response, and she’s absolutely right as well. It can be quite disadvantagous to you to have someone in your home long-term without some kind of written agreement in place. Even if you choose not to charge him rent, you may want to have some kind of agreement in place that protects you legally.

  4. scdeb

    This might be more of a legal question than one of etiquette but here goes. A non paying guest be it friend or relative should abide by the rules of the house. Since it is your house you set the rules and let your friend know that you do not allow over night guests no matter the situation. If this is a problem that you can’t live with the friend might have to move out. Or perhaps the friend could take his visitor to another friend’s home and one or both of them can stay there for the weekend. There is also the hotel room option for the emergency visitor.
    That being said your live in friend should be able to have friends visit for a few hours when it is convenient for you. Once this friend begins to pay room & board the rules of the house will change because this friend will become a boarder. Your state or city might/should have rules regarding boarder/renters. A contract of some sort might be in order at this time to avoid complications. There are all sorts of things that can go wrong while having a paying permanent houseguest/boarder.
    One other thing that could be troublesome is having people in your home whom you do not know on a frequent basis–can you trust them? Valuables get lost, illegal items could appear, neighbors complain, doors being left unlocked and friends of friends knowing too much about your habits etc. Being safe in your own home could be the result.
    I hope you get it all worked out without a lot of tension and stress. Good luck!

  5. Pam

    I have a question regarding wedding thank yous. My stepson got married on Saturday, and several close friends and relatives attended from out of town. I would like to send them a small note of thanks for making the journey, to let them know how much my husband and I appreciated it and how wonderful it was to see them again. Would it be OK to do this? Of course my stepson and new daughter-in-law will be sending the traditional thank you notes for gifts after they return from their honeymoon, so not like I am writing thank you notes for them. Could you please weigh in? Thank you.

    • Elizabeth

      I don’t see why this would be a problem. It sounds like a nice note letting your friends know how much it meant to you for them to be there. Go for it!

    • Jody

      I agree with Elizabeth, it would be a lovely gesture. If I were a guest, I’d be touched that you thought of such a note.

    • Winifred Rosenburg

      Traditionally guests send thank-you notes to hosts, not the other way around (although there is an exception for ceremonial events such as weddings). When hosts send “thank you for attending” notes they have known to be interpreted as rubbing in that the guests didn’t fulfill their obligation, particularly if the guest did not give a gift. Plus the fact that if your thank-you notes go out before your stepson’s it may cause confusion and make people think you are writing thank-you notes for them. For these reasons I suggest not sending “thank-you notes.” However, you can certainly send letters saying how nice it was to see them, etc. and have them not be thank-you notes.

  6. Donna

    I have been invited to a wedding event where the brides parents are taking a break between the wedding and reception to have a brides family only sit down dinner. Grooms parents and other out of town guests are being sent a list of local restaraunts to go eat and come back 3 hours later for reception, hors dourves and dancing. Is this appropriate?

    • Elizabeth

      I have never heard of such a thing, and I wonder why the groom would allow his family to be treated this way???

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