Sweet Sayings: Is it Appropriate for a Man to Use Pet Names when Addressing a Waitress?

Q: Is it appropriate for a man when accompanied by a wife or date to address waitresses as ‘darling’, ‘sugar’ or ‘honey’? If it is not appropriate how should the significant other address this situation?

A: No, it is not appropriate for a man or a woman to address a waitress as “darling,” “sugar,” or “honey.”   The person’s significant other may privately and tactful point out that those terms are considered reserved for close family members and friends and a waitress may consider it, no matter what the intention, as condescending.

Rude Requests: Is it OK to Specficially Suggest Money for a Gift?

Q: My granddaughter’s birthday is in December and she will be 12 years old. I casually asked her what are some of the things she would like as a gift for her birthday and Christmas. Her answer was ‘Cash’ or a ‘Gift Card’. I told her that I thought it really isn’t good manners to ask for money, that she could have suggested a gift that I could pick out for her. She said that if she gets ‘Cash’ she can then buy what she wants.

A: In answer to your question, it is not incorrect, when ask, to tell someone, even your grandmother, that your most appreciated gift would be money because you are saving for. . . .whatever, when that is the case. However, many families are uncomfortable exchanging cash and prefer to be able to select a gift they know the recipient would enjoy. If you are more comfortable buying a present than sending a gift card or a check, it is fine for you to say so, and ask for a small list of some specific items she might enjoy opening.

Cruising for Company: How to Suggest that Friends Join on a Vacation

Q: We are taking a cruise for our 50th anniversary. We would like to have friends with us but can’t afford to pay for them all. Is there a ‘not tacky’ way to invite these people?

A:  Tell those friends whose company you enjoy what you are planning and tell them that if they are planning a vacation soon and suggest that it would be fun to all go together – then give them the name of your travel agent. This way you aren’t inviting them, but are indicating that you would welcome their company if they can fit it into their schedules and budget.

Fashion Flops: Can you Wear Linen After Labor Day?

Q: Do the old traditions of not wearing linen after labor day still apply?

A: That really never has been a fashion tradition or rule. Linen, depending on its color, can be worn from early spring through mid-fall, weather permitting. The Memorial Day-Labor Day rule is for wearing summer white clothing or accessories. Therefore, if your linen clothing is white, you’d follow that rule. If it is another neutral or color, you may wear it according to seasonality, not according to defined days of appropriateness.