From the category archives:


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]

{ 1 comment }

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 […]


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 […]


Q: I work near someone who chews his gum so loudly I find I can’t focus on anything but the noise.  It is very irritating.  What can I do?  Is there a way that I can tactfully bring the issue to this person’s attention?   A: You need to be confidential and direct.  Tell him […]


Q: Is it rude to continue eating when someone comes into one’s home who is not staying for a meal?  Recently someone came to buy a piece of furniture we were selling.  During the discussion, my son walking in eating a bowl of ice cream.  I thought it was rude, but my wife said it […]


Q: My friend and I are in a heated debate about whether or not it is proper etiquette to put the toilet seat back down after use.  Could you put our query to rest?   A: In a unisex bathroom, the toilet seat should be put down as a courtesy to a woman who may […]


Q: I have a serious girlfriend that likely a few years from now I will become engaged to and marry.  She’s curious about my finances, and I don’t feel that it’s appropriate to be asking about my finances already.  I’m a lawyer, so my financial future is not bleak.  Is it appropriate for one to […]


Q: I am giving a presentation over formal dinners in a training class next week.  I have an old copy of the Emily Post book from 1960 and according to a page of pictures the progression of a meal is soup, fish, meat, salad, and finally dessert.  I have never encountered a meal that had […]