From the category archives:

Everyday

Q: My son, who has been dating his girlfriend, now fiancé, for three years is upset that I have not met her parents yet.  He keeps inviting me to come to their house for an overnight visit, as they live far away, but I refuse because I think they should be the one’s to invite me.  […]

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Q: In my childhood, I was told the proper way to address a married woman was: the title “Mrs.” followed by the husband’s first and last names.  In more recent years, I have noticed the increasing frequency of “Ms.” followed by the woman’s first and last names.  I have a vivid childhood memory of being […]

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Q: I drive my daughter to school everyday; a friend of hers lives not far from us and her mother has asked if it would be possible for me to give her daughter a ride to school for this whole week.  Not only is the stop on my way but the girl is a close […]

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Q: I frequently have family members drop by my house unannounced.  I have gotten to the point where I cannot help but be almost rude, especially when it is 9PM and I am trying to put my 7 and 2 year old children to bed.  I have never encouraged this behavior, in fact, I have […]

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Q: What is the history for why a man takes his hat off when entering a building and why he should tip his hat to a lady?     A: Basically, hats are removed when going indoors as a measure of respect.  Therefore, caps and hats should be removed when entering a home, when entering […]

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Q: Recently I went to dinner at a nice restaurant in New York City, and while it wasn’t a five star restaurant, the bill did add up.  On the bill there was a line to add the tip and below that there was a second line for a tip for the maitre D’.  I had never […]

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Q: I have friends who smoke, and that means that when we go out to eat, or to bars, they periodically step outside for cigarettes.  As a non-smoker, sometimes I am left completely alone for various durations while they smoke, which feels awkward.  In addition, I feel it may be improper for a woman to […]

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Q: If a cook serves an obviously overcooked roast or even burned toast, how should the guest respond?     A: If you are a guest at a restaurant, you may politely explain that the food was not prepared the way you ordered it.  However, if you are a guest at someone’s home, it would […]

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Q: My brother has told me before that it is improper to rest one’s elbows on the table while dining.  I often put my elbows on the table, is doing this considered to be poor manners?     A: It is incorrect to put your elbows on the table while eating.  When no utensils are […]

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Q: I have always been told that the only hat that a man can wear indoors is a beret.  A restaurant owner in Los Angeles told me that the only reason Groucho Marx wore a beret for so many years was not because he loved berets, but because he could leave the beret on in […]

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