Open Thread

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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. Bidget

    Recently, while visiting my parents several things happened:
    The first night, they tried to give me an expensive, used wine opener that was given to them by a friend who no longer wanted it. I told them I didn’t have a place for it and didn’t want it, but would take it if they were just going to donate it to goodwill.
    The second day, they accused me of not sending a thank you card for my birthday gift. I explained that I didn’t receive a gift, so I wasn’t sure what they wanted me to thank them for. I mentioned that they had called on my birthday in March and told me they were going to give me a present next time they saw me.
    The third day, I woke up to the wine opener with a card on it that said “Happy Birthday to me and my husband.”

    I have since sent a thank you card for the wine opener.

    Would it be appropriate to regift a candle warmer I received last Christmas to them for their birthday?

    • Jody

      If the candle warmer is unused, and it’s something you think they’ genuinely enjoy, I’d say go ahead and regift it. If, however, you’d be regifting the candlewarmer only because you received a used gift from them, I’d say it’s not appropriate.

  2. BB

    I have a business etiquette/personal question: my finance owns his own consultancy and is under constant pressure to sell. He has a long-time married female friend who’s also been a repeat client who is visiting our city (NYC) and he’d promised her years ago that when she’s in our city, he’d take her out for dinner and a show – he’s vying for more business from her this year so he’s going ahead with this. I’ve never met her but she knows about me and while I’m not threatened by her/their relationship I am finding myself extremely uncomfortable with this plan of his especially since in the 3 years we’ve been out he’s never taken me out for any kind of show or event (it’s always me suggesting/paying for any extra-curricular performances we see). They are going to a recent Tony winning show with seats in the Orchestra.

    I’ve shared with him several times that I’m disappointed that he’s treating her to a lovely evening out when he’s never done this for me but his reasoning is that this is a business expense he’ll claim back and he hasn’t been liquid enough to treat me with his own resources (true, his business has struggled for as long as I’ve known him). I think I’ve pushed him far enough for him to suggest that I meet them both for cocktails before their show so that any concerns are quashed.

    My questions are: (1) is it appropriate for me to take him up on this offer to meet them before hand? For context, I’ve met almost all of his colleagues and he’s always introduced me to other clients if they are in town or if he takes me along to an out of town conference.
    (2) am I being fair in how I’m feeling about this outing of theirs? I am jealous by nature and he usually bends over backwards to reassure me but I’m genuinely uncomfortable and upset about this.
    What’s the best thing to do here?

    • Elizabeth

      Is there any reason the company could not spring for a ticket for you as well? I do understand your feelings about the situation, they seem natural in this situation. It does not seem as though your husband has any designs on this woman, however I can understand that you feel under appreciated. Aren’t there ways to get inexpensive rush tickets for shows if you really want to go?

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