Posts tagged as:

everyday etiquette

Q: I have a friend who always tries to one-up my stories: “If you think that’s bad, wait till you hear this!”  It’s so annoying.  How can I politely ask her to stop? A: Ah, yes, the one-upper.  Her desire to constantly outdo you may be a sign of her own insecurities.  Acknowledge her comment […]


Snapping at Meals May Lead to Eating Alone.

by epi on November 26, 2012

Q: While out to dinner with another couple, my husband and I were incredibly embarrassed when our friend repeatedly snapped his fingers to get the waiter’s attention. Should we have said something? A: If other people are present, it’s best to talk to the friend privately so you don’t make him feel bad in front […]

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Q: My husband’s sister swears around my kids — not the language (or example) I want them exposed to.  What do I do? A: Talk to your sister-in-law directly.  Say, “Jenna, you may not realize it, but the kids hang on your every word.  Could you please keep down the cursing when you’re around them?  […]


Q: What is the proper way to word an invitation for an ‘adults only’ party? I have kids of my own, and I don’t want others to feel that I don’t enjoy their children at my home also. But there are times that the adults need time to socialize. A: It is understood that only […]


Q: I have a friend who recently moved into a new home. They are having a housewarming party and on the directions they have a note of where they are registered for gifts. Isn’t that inappropriate first of all to have a housewarming where you’re expecting gifts and to put where you are registered. It […]


Q: Is there an unspoken rule about how long you have to wait before taking empty (and better) seats at a baseball game? A: The rule is to sit in the seats you purchased, tempting as moving up may be.  The best way to get great seats is to buy them.  When the park is […]


Q: Is it impolite to apply lipstick during/after dinner at a restaurant at the table? A: It is fine 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 […]


Q: My son’s new teacher is tough, and I think his papers are being unfairly graded.  What should I do? A: This depends on your son’s age.  If he’s 11 or younger, call the teacher to discuss her expectations and what your son can do to meet them.  Ideally, set up an in-person meeting (chatting […]


Q: What is proper thank-you note etiquette from house guests after they’ve departed and returned to their own homes? Should one expect a thank-you note via snail mail, or are profuse verbal thanks previously rendered in the driveway sufficient? Does the nature of the house guests make any difference (i.e., close family members vs. friends)? […]


Q: Is it proper to tip the owner of a salon, or diner if they are providing you with the service? I have always been taught not to, but many do not agree. A: If the owner of the salon charges more for his/her services than other stylists in the salon charge, you do not […]