Gossip Girls: Do I Confront Someone who has Been Speaking Badly About Me?

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 so.  “George, I have been told that you said XXX about me and this upset me a lot. I would rather you came to me if you had a problem, and would like to work this out so it doesn’t happen again. If you have some problem with me, I’d appreciate it if you would try to work it out with me before sharing your opinions and critical comments with so man others.”

Awkward Arms: What is the Proper Dining Form?

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 with your hand in your lap when you aren’t using the hand to eat, rather then resting your arm on the table. Yes, you may use your knife to assist when eating things too difficult to pick up with a fork alone.

Serving Sequence: In What Order Should Your Meal be Eaten?

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 customary to eat them together – a sampling from each, at random, as you described. The cook has tried to select foods that compliment one another, with the intention of them being enjoyed together. It is not impolite to eat each food separately, however, so if this is the way your husband prefers to eat, there is nothing wrong with it.

Godparents Guidelines: What are the Responsibilities of a Godparent?

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: Godparents have no financial responsibilities for the baptism, other than to give a gift to the baby. They also have no obligations to give financial assistance or to adopt children who lose their parents – this responsibility is the guardian’s, not the godparent’s. Their actual obligation is spiritual only. The baby’s christening dress is provided by the parents, not the godparents. However, you may offer to assist in any way you like – knowing that you have no obligation to do so. The ceremony itself varies slightly from denomination to denomination – you might want to find a worship book for the religion into which the baby will be baptized and familiarize yourself with your responses – generally, the minister or priest provides you with your response during the ceremony and your replies are along the lines of  “I will,” although you may need to recite part of a creed, along with the minister.

It is a wonderful honor to be asked to be a godparent – the geographical distance is not a deterrent at all – you might want to make note of special occasions so you can send a card, in the future, especially when the child is young, for birthdays and other important events in his or her life.