Open Thread

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

No elbows on the table! : Does this taboo still hold true?

Q. Are you allowed to put your elbows on the table after you are finished with your meal?

A. This drummed-in-to-us taboo applies only when you’re eating. When no utensils are being used, putting your elbows on the table while leaning forward a bit during a conversation shows that you’re listening intently.

Open Thread

Welcome to the Etiquette Daily

This open thread is your space to use as you like. We invite you to discuss current and traditional etiquette. Feel free to ask questions of each other and the community moderators here.

Never on Time : How to handle a guest who does not know when to leave

Q. Is there a strategic way to handle a family member who shows up an hour early to parties and also lingers beyond the party’s end?

A.No guest should show up early. If a guest continually shows up earlier, say something like, “I m looking forward to seeing you, but I always like to have a few minutes alone before my guests arrive. So I’ll see you at 7:00.”

It’s okay to let guests know it’s time to go. Just be honest, saying how much you’ve enjoyed their company but that you have to get up early for work (or whatever the case may be).

To stave off the problem in the future, send a signal as the party draws to a close. One way is to ask, ‘Would anyone like a nightcap? Some coffee?’ Then, once the drinks and any last refreshments have been served, start tidying up a little. If most people soon begin to leave, you could ask someone who stays firmly planted in his chair, ‘Dan, shall I bring your coat?’ Or you could be pleasantly blunt: ‘Dan, I’m going to have to kick you out in fifteen minutes, since I have a six o’clock flight tomorrow morning’ -an explanation that asks for Dan’s understanding, gives him a chance to finish a drink or a conversation, and then depart as though it were his idea in the first place.