Evening Wear: Does the wrap stay with her at dinner time?

Q: I am going out on a date with a swell guy to a very nice restaurant and then to a play in Minneapolis in early December. I will be wearing a red tank dress with a velvet wrap. Does the wrap stay with me at dinner time or does the host take it with the coats? And if it stays with me, what do I do with it?

A: It is your choice whether you keep it with you or have it checked. If you keep it with you, you simply put it over the back of your chair.

The Fine Dining Experience: How to know which utensil to use

Q: When dining at a fine restaurant with more than enough silverware, how you know which utensil to use?

A: The simple way to know is to start from the outside in. If there is a soup course, the soup spoon will be to the far right of the spoons – on the outside – so you use it first. The salad fork, if that is the next course, is to the far left of the place setting, and you use it for salad. If you follow the order of the placement of the silverware you should be fine.

RSVP Version 2.0: RSVPing in the Digital age

Q: On RSVP’s. I was under the impression that when sending an invitation that requires an RSVP, you should enclose an envelope for that purpose. My daughter tells me I’m old fashioned, and that RSVP’s can be done by e-mail or by phone. I maintain that would be unacceptable.

A: Your daughter is correct, not that you are old fashioned, but that an RSVP can be requested by telephone, or email if a telephone number or email address is included on the invitation. If it is not, then a written response is required, following the form of the invitation. It is written on your own notepaper and mailed in your own envelope.  A reply envelope, however, is not required. Only when a response card is included in the envelope would the hosts also provide an envelope.

Me, Myself and Junior: The Proper usage of junior and roman numerals in names

Q: What is the proper way to spell and punctuate ‘Junior’ after a name? We are naming our son after his father and I want to be sure I write ‘Junior’ correctly on his birth certificate. Also, when is someone a ‘Junior’ and when would he be the second?

A: A Junior is named after his father when no one else in the family but his father has that exact same name, first, middle and last.  If a child has a different middle name than his father, he is not a Junior. A child is II when named after a grandfather or uncle who had that exact same name, and is III when his father and he have the same name which is also the name of the father’s father, uncle or great uncle. Junior is preced by a comma. Roman numerals are not preced by a comma. And the abbreviation for Junior is Jr.