Recommendation Appreciation: Writing thank-you’s for people who helped with College/ Scholarship Applications

Q: Please tell me what is an appropriate way to thank someone for writing a reference letter – my daughter has had a number of teachers write letters to accompany scholarship applications for her university entrance. Some of her applications are for full scholarships, but some will be for lesser awards. What do you think would be an appropriate token of our appreciation – my daughter thinks that because the potential result could be significant, so should the thank you. —– Could there be an initial thank-you gift, and a follow-up, if she in fact did receive a major scholarship? – or is there a correct way to do it once?

A: Your daughter should send a handwritten note to her teachers, who wrote reference letters, no matter what the outcome. It is not necessary but would be appropriate, if the outcome is favorable, to let the teachers know either in person or in writing. A gift is not necessary.

Didn’t mean to Pop your Bubble: Chewing Gum in Public

Q: What is the etiquette for chewing gum? Is it ever appropriate to chew it in public?

A: Gum chewing ought to be confined to private times or the company of close friends: not during class, at work, or in worship services, and not when in conversation. Young people must understand that watching someone chew gum is, as older generations say, “like watching a cow chew its cud.” Be discreet (mouth closed, no smacking or popping). Wrap used gum and dispose of it in a waste container. Never drop chewed gum or wrappers on the ground.

How to Butter Your Toast

Q: Hello, I would like to know what is the proper way to butter a slice of bread/toast.

A: Don’t butter the whole piece at once, but instead break off manageable pieces, and butter and eat them one at a time.

Should I Stand: Women and Modern Introductions

Q: I was seated at a table at a function and my husband walked over with someone to introduce me to. I remained seated, extended my hand and pleasantly said it was nice to meet the person. My husband said that, in this case, I should have stood up and had a conversation. I have always believed that it is not necessary for a woman to stand up when meeting someone, especially if she is seated at a dinner table. Could you please get me up to date on this.

A: Today men and women both rise when being introduced.   Even if there’s no room to stand — you’re wedged behind a table– briefly lift yourself out of your chair while extending your hand. In recent years, most business encounters have a protocol that is ‘gender neutral.’

‘Going Out’ after a loved one has passed: Resuming an Active Lifestyle

Q: My Mother recently passed away, and my Dad has asked what is socially acceptable as far as ‘going out’. We are pretty sure he means with a female companion, so would appreciate any advice you can give him in that regard.

A: How long should close relatives of the deceased wait before resuming an active social life? The answer is up to the individual. Some survivors may deal with grief by plunging into their regular activities, while others may want to spend time with close friends but otherwise keep to themselves as they adjust to the loss of a loved one. Widowers or widows may start to date when they feel up to it but should consider the feelings of in-laws, their children, and others close to them. Evenings at home with friends or some other inconspicuous activities might be wiser choices than more public activities.