Party Foul : What to do when someone mentions a party someone isn’t invited to

Q. How do you handle an embarrassing situation where someone mentions a party you have invited them to in front of others who are not being invited?

A. Wow. That is embarrassing. The best you can do is smile and change the subject. If you sense a certain follow-up coolness from the others, you will have to mention at another time that you were very embarrassed to have your get-together mentioned, that you were sorry you couldn’t include everyone, but hope to get together with them, soon. Hopefully they can be adult about the situation and not be nursing hurt feelings so it can all just pass by and not be mentioned by either you or them.

When to give thanks : Are thank you cards only required for gifts ?

Q. Friends threw my husband and I a surprise birthday party on August 14, 2004 (our birthdays are two days apart). I am, of course, sending out ‘thank you’ notes for gifts received. My questions is: should I send a ‘thank you’ to people who gave a card and no gift, to thank them for attending? Further, should we thank people who gave no card or gift?

A. The obligatory notes are for gifts. You are not expected to write a note for cards or to those who simply attended. It is likely you did thank them for being there during the party, and that is sufficient.

Girl(friend) or (foe) : What to do when someone does not greet you

Q. My son’s girlfriend comes into a room and hardly ever say hello. What is a nice way to let her know this is not polite?

A. Rather than telling her that her action is not polite, you can teach by example by greeting her when she enters a room, which gives her an opportunity to return the greeting. If she is a teen, take heart – many go through a “non-verbal” stage, but kind perseverance usually brings them out of their “shell.”

Invitation Inquiry : Is it appropriate to invite yourself over?

Q. I was brought up to never invite myself to someone’s home for any reason.
(I’m 55 years of age) Is this still considered good manners? Also, is it still good manners never to interrupt someone else’s conversation?

I ask these questions, because I notice these behaviors seem to be common
place these days.

A. Both your questions have the same answer – yes, both are still considered good manners. You might call a close friend or family member to ask if you can stop by for the length of a cup of coffee to say hi, but otherwise you don’t issue invitations to yourself. One never interrupts. This is very self-centered behavior and is no more correct now than it was at any time before.

Tips on Tipping : How much to tip movers

Q. We will be moving to a new home 45 minutes away from our current home. The moving will be completed in 1 day (about 7 or 8 hours). How much do we tip the moving men? There will be 2 or 3 of them doing the job.

A. Movers are tipped at the completion of their service. The head mover is tipped from $25 to $50 and the crew members from $15 to $20 each depending on the amount they have moved, the difficulty of the move and the care they have taken with your possessions. If they also have packed your belongings for moving, tips increase accordingly.