Tips on Takeout : Should you tip when ordering in?

Q. I recently went to a Sushi restaurant to pick up take out for my family and paid by credit card. When I signed the credit card receipt I did not leave a tip. Should I tip when I get take out?

A. A tip isn’t required when picking up a take-out order. However, if this is an establishment that you patronize frequently, and you are pleased with their service, then it is a nice gesture to leave a tip once in a while.

Pointing Procedure : What’s the policy on pointing

Q. What about pointing in public. My ‘Proper Bostonian’ Mother always said ‘It is impolite to point – period’.

I have a friend who points at things freely in stores, even at groups of people. She considers me ‘old fashioned’ about it. I tried to suggest quietly & politely that it’s not proper, but she then laughs out loud and takes me to task for my attitude.

A. Because American culture historically regards pointing at others as negative or hostile, the gesture can be misconstrued, whatever the pointer’s motive. (Are you merely pointing someone out or are you making some comment about him?) Pointing also attracts attention to a person who may not want to be the object of curious glances and stares.

Salutation Acclamation : When do you address someone as “Mrs.”

Q. There is so much conflicting information concerning the proper use of the salutation Mrs. When addressing widows or divorced women, whose first name is use and what is the proper salutation? If an invitation is going to a married woman, should the invitation be addressed to Mrs. John Doe or Mrs. Jane Doe.

A. There was a time when the proper address on a letter never used the woman’s first name unless she was a divorcee. Today, both forms of address are appropriate. You may address an envelope to a married woman using either her first name ( “Mrs. Jane Doe”) or her husband’s (“Mrs. John Doe”). For informal correspondence, the address can read simply “Jane Doe”.

Taxi Tips : Who should be allowed in a cab first?

Q. If I am entering a Taxi cab and I am with a lady. Who should get in first? If I am with my wife, is it different than being with a co-worker? If I am with another man- does it matter? Thank you.

A. Traditionally, a lady enters the cab first. It makes no difference if the lady is your wife or a co-worker. In the case of two men, it does not matter. However, if the lady prefers to have you enter first, so she does not have to slide across the seat, that is also fine. Just communicate your intentions, or ask her preference, before you open the taxi door. That way, the situation is handled gracefully, to the satisfaction of all.

Summertime Spirits : Can you drink clear liquors after labor day?

Q. Is it proper to drink clear liquors (vodka, gin) after labor day? Are brown liquors more appropriate?

A. Some people still believe it is improper to drink clear liquors, such as vodka or gin, after Labor Day in favor of “darker” liquors. This belief no longer holds true today and people have “summer drinks’ all year-round.