Rest Assured: Is it Rude to Not to Offer My Bed to a Houseguest?

Q: I recently moved to a small condo with two bedrooms; my bedroom and a smaller bedroom which I am using for a TV room. This room has no bed or sofa. A friend from invited herself to come up and stay with me for over a week. Am I obligated to give up my bedroom for her to sleep in? I have a nice full-sized air mattress, but I feel guilty asking her to sleep on the air mattress on the floor. However, on the other hand, she invited herself! I am certain she doesn’t know the sleeping arrangements here and would not expect me to give up my bed, but I still feel guilty if I don’t give her my room to sleep in.

A: No, you are not obligated nor expected to give up your bedroom for your guest.  You shouldn’t feel guilty asking her to sleep on an air mattress.  Furthermore, it would be fine to let her know what the sleeping arrangements will be.

Sweet Sayings: Is it Appropriate for a Man to Use Pet Names when Addressing a Waitress?

Q: Is it appropriate for a man when accompanied by a wife or date to address waitresses as ‘darling’, ‘sugar’ or ‘honey’? If it is not appropriate how should the significant other address this situation?

A: No, it is not appropriate for a man or a woman to address a waitress as “darling,” “sugar,” or “honey.”   The person’s significant other may privately and tactful point out that those terms are considered reserved for close family members and friends and a waitress may consider it, no matter what the intention, as condescending.

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.

Night Lights: When is it Appropriate to Burn Candles?

Q: What is the proper etiquette for burning candles? My mother-in-law says you do not burn candles in the day, only at night. In the past, we have wanted to light the candle in the centerpiece on the Thanksgiving table but she is adamant that you don’t light candles in the daytime.

A: She is correct. Candles are lighted when dusk falls. However, when among close family and friends, there is nothing wrong with saying, “I know we are supposed to wait until dark but having candles adds such a nice glow that I’m lighting them now instead of waiting.” You wouldn’t do this for a strictly formal entertainment, but friends and family are expected to be understanding and surely would go along with your wish instead of standing on rigid protocol.