From the category archives:

Everyday

Hand Deliverance: Is this still okay to do?

by epi on December 13, 2013

Q: When, if i ever, is it appropriate to hand deliver an invitation? A: If you know you will be seeing a guest in person it’s perfectly acceptable to hand deliver the invitation.

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Q: What does ‘your presence is present’ mean at the end of an invitation? A: It means no gift is expected. It is far better to write ‘no gifts, please’ but some people think it is gentler to phrase it as was written on the invitation you received.

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Q: I have noticed that more and more people are sending lengthy family ‘newsletters’ in Christmas cards. I have even seen these suggested in magazines as a way to keep people informed. I have always included a handwritten note to those with whom I exchange cards and rarely communicate with otherwise. What is the proper […]

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Q: Do Americans bow or curtsey when meeting British royalty? For example, would an American girl curtsey when presented to the Queen? My husband says that Americans don’t bow or curtsey because we have no sovereign and are not subjects of the British crown. I say you follow the local customs when in a different […]

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Q: Having ordered a cup of coffee in a restaurant, is it more appropriate to pour the sugar from the container right into the coffee, or pour the sugar into a teaspoon and then  place the teaspoon with the sugar into the cup? A: You pour the sugar into the teaspoon and then lower the […]

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Too Hot To Handle: Can I blow on my food?

by epi on November 15, 2013

Q: Is it proper to blow on food to cool it, if it is too hot? A: No, because you are then blowing across the table, onto other food, or into someone else’s space. Instead, lift a bite-sized portion onto your fork and simply hold it for a few seconds until it cools.

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 Q: My son’s mother-in-law wants to give her  daughter a baby shower in November. She has a suggestion of asking the guests to give gift certificates to places such as the power company, the landlord, food, telephone, etc. Somehow this just does not seem proper to me. Our children do have most of the necessities […]

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Q: I have an etiquette questions concerning the addressing of graduation announcements for homosexual couples who are legally married and homosexual couples who live together. I am a high school senior class advisor and have had this question posed to me in regard to to how to address the envelope. Do you address the envelope […]

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Q: What is the proper way to eat sunflower seeds? A: If the seeds have been shelled and they are served in a small dish for hors d’ourvre, eat them like any other shelled nut – with your fingers. IF they are still in the shell, crack them with your teeth, take the shell out […]

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Q: What is the proper etiquette for entering and leaving through a double door? It seems logical to me to stay to the right but when I go to open the right hand door there’s always someone coming out and saying ‘thank you’ like I’ve held the door open for them. A: Generally speaking, you […]

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