From the category archives:

Everyday

Q: What is the correct way to observe the singing of our national anthem. Many people stand and sing with their hands over their hearts. Others stand and look at the flag as they sing, but do not place their hand over their heart. Which is correct? A: One may or may not place one’s […]

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Q: I am having a birthday party for my soon to be five year old. I have made goodie bags for the kids that were invited. My dilemma is that often parents will bring their other children. What do I do when I don’t have enough for the other kids that were not invited, but […]

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Q: Is it polite to apply lipstick at the dinner table,either at home or at a restaurant when it doesn’t involve gazing into a mirror, making a production out of it, using a lip liner? A:  A quick application that is over almost before it began is fine. Anything more should be taken care of […]

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Q: My husband and I will be visiting my brother and sister in law for 2 or 3 days. Is it okay to offer to pay for groceries? A: Yes, it is thoughtful for house guests who stay for more than a day or two to offer to take the hosts out for lunch or […]

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Q: When going to the ladies room, while eating at a restaurant, where do you place your napkin? On your chair or on the table? A: You place it on the table, in loose folds, if there is room to do so. If there isn’t, without putting it on top of food, for example, then […]

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Q: I was just told by my brother that I breached proper etiquette when I notified of him of my new address via email rather than sending out a formal announcement. Do you have any input on which is correct? A: In the past, it was customary to inform people of your new address in […]

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Q: If you like someone’s outfit and compliment them, is it considered rude to ask where they purchased the item?’ A: It isn’t exactly rude, but it also is not something you would ask if you don’t know the person well for it does border on being a rather personal question.

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Q: My nephew, who is gay, just got married in Massachusetts. do I send a card or a gift or both? How do I acknowledge the event?’ A: You acknowledge it just as you would any other wedding of a close friend or relative – with a celebratory card and gift, if you are close. […]

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Q: I have a neighbor who just sends her three and five year old girls out to play whenever I’m out with my kids. She never talks to me to tell me her kids are coming over, she just lets them come over unsupervised assuming I or other neighbors would be willing to watch them. […]

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Q: What percentage of women turn their maiden name into their middle name? My mother-in-law insists that that is the way its done and I don’t know anyone who has done that. Who is more right? A: A bride who wishes to take her husband’s last name may retain her given middle name or, more […]

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