From the category archives:


Q: I had planned to retire and was given gifts at a recent retirement party. Circumstances now are such that I have postponed my retirement for another year or two. What should I do about the gifts? A: You might call those who gave you gifts for your retirement and explain to them that it […]


Q: I am single but have a lot of married friends and family. Each year at Christmas when sending and receiving gifts, I usually receive a gift from ‘Eric and Julie’ or from ‘Bill and Margie’, however I usually feel I have to buy for each of them individually. This seems a little unfair, not […]


Q: When guests contribute food or drink to a meal at someone’s house, such as with pot-luck meals, who keeps any left-overs? Should guests assume that the left-overs will stay at the home of the hostess unless the hostess implies differently? A: Usually you would leave the leftovers for the hostess. However, the best way […]


Q: A friend recently suffered the loss of her uncle. He was a nationally renowned figure, so I cut out clippings of reminiscences about him from the local newspapers to enclose along with my condolences. Then I reach my curious circumstance. It has been some time since I last corresponded with her, and I’m sorely […]


Q: My boyfriend often refers to me as “she” or “her” when I’m standing right next to him.  He has said for example, “She was planning the trip,” or “She and I went there.”  Although I can’t seem to explain why, it seems rude to me.  I feel that he should use my name when […]


Q: What is the proper way to hold a wine glass: by the bowl or by the stem?     A: White wine glasses are held by the stem so the warmth of the hand does not heat up the chilled wine.  Red wine glasses may be held by either the bowl or the stem.


Q: My husband and I love to enjoy our backyard with our garden, swimming pool, and wonderful patio.  Recently a new home owner moved in and brought “Fido the barking dog” to live in our previously peaceful and quiet neighborhood.  The barking is non-stop all day and if it is left out at night it […]


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 […]


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 […]