From the category archives:

Everyday

Q: My husband and I were having a discussion about table manners for the children.  Is it proper for a young child to sit on the parent’s lap after dinner is completed?     A: Except for the most informal meals, such as a picnic, or with close family and friends, it is not appropriate […]

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Q: A close friend passed away in our lake community a few weeks ago after a battle with lung cancer.  She had only a few close relatives who live more than an hour away from where the funeral was held.  Our neighbors who could not attend the funeral would like to have a memorial service […]

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Q: What’s the proper yawning conduct at work?  Does a person simply cover their mouth or should he stifle the yawn (which doesn’t fool anyone)?       A: Yawns happen.  When they do, it is certainly appropriate to cover the mouth.  If it seems inappropriate for any reason, excuse yourself.  You may say, “Sorry, […]

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Q: When visiting a bed and breakfast, is it appropriate to leave a tip and how much?     A: No, you are not expected to leave a tip for the owner.  You would, however, leave a tip if he or she has staff who takes care of making your bed, cleaning the bathroom, etc., […]

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Q:  While eating I occasionally glide my teeth instead of my lips over the fork. My husband can hear my teeth gliding over the fork and says that is very bad manners.  Is it bad manners to use your teeth to scrap food from the fork into your mouth?   A: It is not considered […]

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Q:  My husband feels it is OK to go to a neighbor’s house and ring the doorbell just to say “Hi.”  I feel it is rude to make a surprise visit.  Last night we went on a walk and my husband decided to go see a neighbor.  After we rang the doorbell, the neighbor invited […]

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Q: What is the rule for having your hands in your pockets?  I am especially wondering about doing this while speaking in public.  I have never been in the military but I believe that the military does not allow hands in the pockets.  What is correct?   A: Pockets are for holding wallets, change, car […]

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Q: I have a new neighbor who moved in five days ago.  When would it be appropriate for me to call on her and welcome her to the neighborhood?   A: Any time would be very nice.  You might take her a small welcome item — some cookies you bake, a bouquet of flowers, or […]

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Q: I work graveyard shifts and often receive calls early in the morning from persons who don’t know that I sleep during those hours.  I must keep the phone on for emergencies because I am on call. Sometimes when people call, they ask, ‘Did I wake you?’ Saying ‘no’ is a lie so in the past […]

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Q: I noticed that a close friend of mine always responds to ‘excuse me’ with ‘certainly.’  I asked her about it and she said that her mother taught her that it was the proper response.  I have never heard anyone else say that.  Now she and I are both wondering if this is simply an […]

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