Right Handed World: Which Way do you Pass Food Around the Table?

Q: At a family meal recently there was some friendly discussion regarding the passing of the food. So, which way is it? Do you pass to the Left or the Right?

A: You pass to the right, or counter clockwise. You pass it from your right hand to the person on your right’s left hand. He then can hold the bowl or platter in his left hand and serve himself with his right hand.

Intimidating Introductions: Do you Need to Define Relationships?

Q: What is the proper way to introduce a girlfriend/boyfriend to friends / family / coworkers etc that you are involved in a romantic relationship with. (I’m a divorced male dating a divorced female, we both have children that are often with us from the previous marriage)

A: You don’t need to define every relationship when making an introduction. It is fine to simply say “I’d like you to meet Susan Smith. Susan, this is Mrs. French.” If Mrs. French simply has to know what Susan is to you, you can tell her. But this way you aren’t using defining terms that are not comfortable, whether girlfriend, boyfriend, significant other, or whatever you might feel defined the relationship.

Announcement – ‘Awesome Etiquette’ Podcast Launch!

575We are pleased to announce that the Awesome Etiquette Q&A podcast is now LIVE!

The Emily Post Institute is thrilled to be partnered with American Public Media’s new podcast network Infinite Guest to bring you Awesome Etiquette hosted by Lizzie Post and Daniel Post Senning

As your hosts, we’ll talk about etiquette in our own lives, answer listener questions, delve into the historical and traditional aspects of etiquette, as well as salute individuals and organizations who shine as examples of good etiquette.  If you have a question, historical or traditional etiquette topic you’d like discussed, or a person or organization you’d like to nominate for an etiquette salute, please email us at awesomeetiquette@emilypost.com. You can subscribe with iTunes here.

Infinite Guest has an all-star line up including: Dinner Party Download, The Splendid Table, Wits, Life of the Law, You Must Remember This, and Top Score.  Happy listening!

You can find out more and get immediate updates by following us on Twitter!


Boys & Boutonnieres: When are They Appropriate to Wear?

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 boutonniere but it certainly wouldn’t be a requirement unless it is a dress code rule, and he ordinarily would not do so.


Speak Now: When do you tell new Employers You are Expecting?

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 the obvious. or when an offer is made? I feel deceitful, but NEED to find a job. this is my first pregnancy and can not predict how I will feel after.

A: No employer has the right to ask if you are pregnant or planning to be, so you aren’t required to tell but if you accept a job that requires training and they invest time and money to do this only to find out that you are at the least going to have to take time off for delivery and child care, they probably won’t be pleased. It would be most ethical to tell them, but you aren’t required by law to do so. Instead, you might look for a long-term temporary job – there are often jobs that are three or six months in duration. This would provide you with income, although probably not medical benefits, and give you and the employer a defined period of time when you will be available and when they will have a job available.