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.

Living Logistics: How to Confront a Messy Roommate

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 put up with whatever since he says that I am the cleanest in the house. I want to continue living with our colleague because I am partially afraid of making awkward relations with him. Is there anything I can do to remedy the situation or how shall I call it quits?

A: This is of course a touchy situation, but if you don’t really want to make any changes right now in the base of your relationship, then you might keep reminding him of his responsibility to everyone else in terms of upkeep. You could even ask him if he has a problem with your requests that he do his share and hear what he has to say. He may say it doesn’t matter to him, or he doesn’t notice, or he thinks you are too finicky. . or he may pledge to try to improve. If his tidiness is leaving things around the apartment, you can suggest that you will, to keep from nagging, simply put his things in a box, in his room, so he can deal with them when he feels like it. This still has you picking up after him, but may give you greater freedom to have things the way you want them without having to literally nag.

Relative Relations: Splitting Up Holidays Once Married

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 every year – Thanksgiving with your family, Christmas with his, this year, the reverse the next year, with a clear communication that this is what you are doing. Some make arrangements to see both families during a particular season. For example, Christmas on Christmas day with your family this year, a few days later or before with his; and the reverse next year. Others, when the families aren’t too big, host holidays themselves inviting both families to their home. “Fair” seems to be the key concept in working out this problem so no one feels “ditched” or abandoned, and again, this requires sincere communication of your plans, on your part.