Unfashionably Late: What Do I Say to Friends Who Arrived Way Off Schedule?

Q: I hosted a small dinner for friends. One of the couples was 2 hours late and said nothing about it (no apology, etc). I said nothing and still have not mentioned it to them. Should I have said or done anything about their tardiness?’

A: It may be that they got the time wrong, for it is unbelievable that anyone would be two hours late without a call or apology. They may have felt they had arrived right on time. You wouldn’t say anything now, but if you invite them again, just be sure you are both clear on the time of the invitation. At the time you could have said, “I’m so glad to see you – we were quite worried about what happened to you because we were expecting you at 6,” to which they would have replied how sorry they were, or that they thought the invitation was for 8.

Tea Time Troubles: Placement of the Iced Tea Spoon

Q: Where do you put an iced tea spoon after you have stirred your tea with it?

A: If there is a plate under the glass, you put it there. If not, you may put it on another plate if you have a place setting. If there are no other plates, you may put it on a paper, but not cloth, napkin. If there are no paper napkins, then you can do nothing but hold it for a moment over the glass until it finishes dripping and put it on the placemat or tablecloth.

BYOBottle: Should I Serve Bottled Water to Guests?

Q: Most everyone I know drinks bottled water. You see bottles everywhere, including meetings and meals. Is it proper to bring a bottle of water to the table or for that matter to serve one at a meal? Should I offer guests a glass and or ice for the water? Thanks. Glenda ‘

A: Unless you are serving an extremely casual meal with other bottles on the table (ketchup, mustard, etc.) you would serve beverages at the table in a glass.