From the category archives:

Everyday

Q: My sister and I have been given the task of writing the thank you notes after my mother’s memorial service. Do we need to acknowledge the senders of cards? We know we need to thank those who sent flowers and gifts. Do we need to personally thank the people who make donations to her […]

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Q: When sitting at a casual dinner table must you keep your left arm by your side and on your lap or can you rest the side of your arm on the edge of the table? Can you use your knife to help food onto your fork? A: Your arm is best by your side […]

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Q: What is the etiquette concerning how to eat a meal? For example, my husband eats his entire serving of vegetables, then his entire serving of potatoes, then his entire serving of meat, rather than sampling from each at random. A: When foods are served together on one plate, and not as courses, it is […]

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Q: I have been asked to be a godparent and have accepted. I would like to do it right. I have the added task of surmounting a great deal of geographical distance between myself and the child. What are the responsibilities of the godparent as well as the etiquette involved in performing this function? A: […]

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Q: What is the correct way to observe the singing of our national anthem. Many people stand and sing with their hands over their hearts. Others stand and look at the flag as they sing, but do not place their hand over their heart. Which is correct? A: One may or may not place one’s […]

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Q: I am having a birthday party for my soon to be five year old. I have made goodie bags for the kids that were invited. My dilemma is that often parents will bring their other children. What do I do when I don’t have enough for the other kids that were not invited, but […]

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Q: Is it polite to apply lipstick at the dinner table,either at home or at a restaurant when it doesn’t involve gazing into a mirror, making a production out of it, using a lip liner? A:  A quick application that is over almost before it began is fine. Anything more should be taken care of […]

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Q: My husband and I will be visiting my brother and sister in law for 2 or 3 days. Is it okay to offer to pay for groceries? A: Yes, it is thoughtful for house guests who stay for more than a day or two to offer to take the hosts out for lunch or […]

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Q: When going to the ladies room, while eating at a restaurant, where do you place your napkin? On your chair or on the table? A: You place it on the table, in loose folds, if there is room to do so. If there isn’t, without putting it on top of food, for example, then […]

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Q: I was just told by my brother that I breached proper etiquette when I notified of him of my new address via email rather than sending out a formal announcement. Do you have any input on which is correct? A: In the past, it was customary to inform people of your new address in […]

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