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.

New Kid on the Block : What to do as a new neighbor

Q.  My husband and I recently moved into an upperclass neighborhood where our neighbors are all 50+ years in age. We are newlyweds at the age of 27 and 31. Our neighbors have been very sweet and inviting bringing us a fresh lemon meringue pie the week we moved in and now are planning a ‘Block Party’ in our honor. My question is, what is my responsibility as the new person on the block? Is a handwritten thank you an appropriate gesture or should I do something more elaborate? We are not sure what our role is as the newcomer.

A.  That’s so kind of your new neighbors to welcome you so enthusiastically.  Thank-you notes to your neighbors would be appropriate.  You might offer to take a dish to the party or beer or wine.  As the newcomers just enjoy being feted for now.  As time passes you will find many ways to return the kindnesses of your neighbors.