Is Chivalry Dead? : Is a Man Still Required to Hold the Door Open?

Q. Hello. What I would like to know is, if a door is already open should the man always enter the room after his female companion if the doorway only allows one person at a time to pass through? Does ‘Ladies first’ always apply ?

A. The old rules for the ways for men and women walk together and go through doors may have faded, but there are still plenty of people who prefer the traditional way of doing things, particularly on social occasions. In this case, a woman precedes a man through a door, on an escalator (unless she needs help getting on or off), or through a narrow passageway.

Today it only makes sense that men and women open and hold doors for each other, or allow the other person to pass through first, depending on who arrives there first. The traditional door-opener, however, might want to give the woman a choice– “May I get the door for you?” or “After you, please.”

When you and a stranger of either sex approach a door at the same time, it’s polite to open and hold the door–especially if he or she is elderly, carrying a package, or managing small children. Most important, don’t ever let a door close on the person behind you after you’ve just walked through.

Partner Predicament : How to Address Someone’s Relationship

Q. What is the proper way for a gentleman to introduce his girlfriend, who he loves and intends to marry; however, is not formally engaged at a social function? We are both 48. There will be a varied assortment of his friends (both single and married), business acquaintances, and others.

A. Is it proper to say, ‘this is my friend, Pat’ or ‘this is my girlfriend, ‘Pat’ , or ‘this is my dear friend, Pat’, or ‘this is my soulmate’, or ‘this is Pat’? He wants to convey that it is more than a casual dating situation, but not be offensive.

Seal It With A Kiss : When is it Okay to Kiss in Public ?

Q. Is there a rule of thumb for which check a gentleman should kiss when greeting a woman in a social setting?

A. First put forward your right cheek to the right cheek of the one you are greeting. You then pull back slightly and proffer your left cheek. This should help you avoid the embarrassing bobbing of heads as you move toward one another from the wrong side. You don’t actually kiss the person’s cheek – which is where the term “air kissing” came from.

Quick Fix : Can you Touch-up your Makeup in Public?

Q. Is it acceptable to ‘touch up’ your lipstick in public. For example, at a restaurant after dinner.

A. It is okay to apply lipstick if it doesn’t involve gazing into a mirror, making a production out of it, using a lipliner, etc. A quick application that is over almost before it began is fine. Anything more should be taken care of in the ladies room.

Party Foul : What to do When Someone Mentions a Party Someone isn’t Invited to

Q. How do you handle an embarrassing situation where someone mentions a party you have invited them to in front of others who are not being invited?

A. Wow. That is embarrassing. The best you can do is smile and change the subject. If you sense a certain follow-up coolness from the others, you will have to mention at another time that you were very embarrassed to have your get-together mentioned, that you were sorry you couldn’t include everyone, but hope to get together with them, soon. Hopefully they can be adult about the situation and not be nursing hurt feelings so it can all just pass by and not be mentioned by either you or them.