From the category archives:

America Today

Q: Should a young man who is going to a homecoming dance and is going solo, wear a boutonniere? A: Generally, if a boy has a date, he buys her a corsage and she buys him a boutonniere. If he is going without a date, it is not inappropriate for him to buy himself a […]

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Q: I am actively looking for work (don’t have the luxury of not working) and am confused by different advice as to how to approach this subject with a potential employer. I am 12wks pregnant and not showing. when is the appropriate time to tell? during an interview? This I would think NO… due to […]

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Q: When an adult birthday invite states No gifts please do you oblige or still bring a gift as a nice gesture? A: You oblige. If you feel especially close to the birthday person by all means you can send or give him a gift at another time, but it isn’t correct to take it […]

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Q: My boyfriend and I work together and have lived together with one of our colleagues for the past six months. Unfortunately, we have talked to him several times about his cleanliness and tidiness. I have gotten to the point where I no longer want to live with him. My boyfriend, however, is willing to […]

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Q: Is there a specific protocol for the most polite way to split up holidays once you are married? I don’t want anyone to feel left out, but we all know not every holiday can be spent all together. A: This is always difficult and requires the understanding and goodwill of everyone. Some couples switch […]

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Q: Should an overnight guest strip the guest room bedding (sheets) before bidding his host goodbye?’ A: Yes, and then replace the spread or duvet on the bed, leaving the sheets folded at the foot of the bed or, if in the home of a long-time friend or relative, take them right to the laundry […]

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Q: You heard through the grapevine that someone was not saying nice things about yourself. What do you do? To confront or not confront without proof.’ A: It depends on your relationship to the person, but if it is possible to not confront but to ask, without divulging your source, it is fine to do […]

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Q: When sitting at a casual dinner table must you keep your left arm by your side and on your lap or can you rest the side of your arm on the edge of the table? Can you use your knife to help food onto your fork? A: Your arm is best by your side […]

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Q: What is the etiquette concerning how to eat a meal? For example, my husband eats his entire serving of vegetables, then his entire serving of potatoes, then his entire serving of meat, rather than sampling from each at random. A: When foods are served together on one plate, and not as courses, it is […]

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Q: I have been asked to be a godparent and have accepted. I would like to do it right. I have the added task of surmounting a great deal of geographical distance between myself and the child. What are the responsibilities of the godparent as well as the etiquette involved in performing this function? A: […]

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