From the category archives:

America Today

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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Q: What is the correct way to observe the singing of our national anthem. Many people stand and sing with their hands over their hearts. Others stand and look at the flag as they sing, but do not place their hand over their heart. Which is correct? A: One may or may not place one’s […]

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Q: Is it polite to apply lipstick at the dinner table,either at home or at a restaurant when it doesn’t involve gazing into a mirror, making a production out of it, using a lip liner? A:  A quick application that is over almost before it began is fine. Anything more should be taken care of […]

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Q: When going to the ladies room, while eating at a restaurant, where do you place your napkin? On your chair or on the table? A: You place it on the table, in loose folds, if there is room to do so. If there isn’t, without putting it on top of food, for example, then […]

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