From the category archives:

Everyday

Q: Is there etiquette specific to a library?     A: Since a library is considered a “quiet” place, people should talk softly and only when necessary and cell phones should be turned off or set to vibrate.  If it is necessary to take a call or make one, a person should do so in […]

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Q: Recently, two of my friends have each told me that one of their parent’s has cancer.  The outlook is not good for either of the parents, and these friends are facing the death of their respective parents.  What is the best way to show support and concern for someone who is facing the imminent […]

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Q: I drove 95 miles to San Francisco for a first date with a very educated, successful woman. When I reached to open the door to the nightclub where we were to have a drink, she preceded to “read me the Riot Act” about how she was an independent woman and could open her own […]

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Q: How far in advance should I ask someone to go on a date?     A: If it is someone you don’t know too well and haven’t dated before, five to seven days is respectful of their time.  If it is someone you have dated before and with whom you have an established relationship, […]

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Q: Is it proper etiquette or even allowable to attempt to reserve a seat or table by leaving some article on the seat or table?     A: Yes, it is fine to “reserve” a seat or table by leaving some article as long as there is no assigned seating.

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Q: How can I tell my daughters how rude it is to not write thank-you notes for the gifts they have received from guests at their showers and wedding?     A: You may tell your daughters that if a guest took the time to select, pay for, wrap, and send a gift that it […]

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Q: A young staff member of mine asked me why it is correct etiquette to shake hands with your right hand rather then your left and I could not give him a good answer other then that is how everyone does it.  Could you possibly clarify this for me?     A: The following excerpt […]

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Q: When a man and a woman are walking together, is there an appropriate side the woman should be on? (e.g. at the gentleman’s right)     A: On the street, a man traditionally walks on the curb side — a custom born of the idea that women needed to be shielded from the potential […]

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Q: Is it considered bad manners to have food in the house that is not being offered to the whole family?  For example, a teenager orders a pizza and doesn’t offer to share with anyone, or, a parent brings home donuts for oneself, knowing the kids are not permitted to have any.       […]

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Q: My husband and I recently gave his stepmother a music CD as a gift.  After she opened it, she indicated that she already owned this particular CD and handed it back to us.  At that point, we did not know what to do.  Should the recipient hand it back to the gift giver, give […]

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