Reason for Response: Do I need to RSVP even if I am able to attend?

Q: What is the proper etiquette when receiving an invitation (bridal shower, wedding, birthday, etc) and the issue of RSVP. Some people say you only respond when NOT attending, others state that you respond when you ARE. Could you clarify this issue for me?

A: R.S.V.P. means please respond, whether you are attending or not. It is an obligation to reply promptly.  Only when an invitation reads “regrets only” (which is never a good idea) you do not have to reply if you are attending.

Continued Condolences: Should I Send Flowers or a Card on a One Year Death Anniversary?

Q: Do you suggest sending a card/flowers to a friend on the first anniversary of one of their loved one’s deaths?

A: It is very nice to provide extra comfort to a friend who may be feeling especially sad on a death anniversary. A thinking of you card or a bouquet or arrangement of flowers conveys your friendship and provide support at what may be a difficult time.

Widow Wording: How to Properly Address a Widowed Woman

Q: What is the proper addressee and salutation for a widowed woman? Addressee: Mrs. John Smith, Mrs. Mary Smith, or Mary Smith? Salutation: Mrs. Smith? Suggestions?

A: A widow is addressed as Mrs. John Doe. By her choice, she may be Ms. Ann Doe, and now she can even be Mrs. Ann Doe. The latter used to be reserved for divorcees. However, that is her choice. In the meantime, it is most correct to address an invitation to Mrs. John Doe.  Your salutation follows the form you use to address the correspondence.

No Phone Zone: Are Cell Phones Okay in the Library?

Q: In your book Emily Post’s Guide to Good Manners for Kids, you give quite a few suggestions as to where kids should turn off their cell phones. Why did you not mention libraries? Cell phones have become a problem for us (patrons and staff) too.

A: You are correct.  Children and adults alike should either turn off cell phones or put them on vibrate.  If they must take a call, they should go outside to take the call. In such a short book it would be impossible to list every situation that would require a child to turn off a cell phone, but we will make note of your suggestion for future revisions.