A Question of Etiquette: Germs vs. politeness

I was introduced to someone who had just sneezed into his hand. He immediately stuck out that hand for a handshake. Gak. I pretended I didn’t see it and just greeted him politely. Was that okay? Well, no. It really is rude to ignore a handshake, so shake you should have, but then it would be fine to excuse yourself … read more

A Question of Etiquette: So, what are good manners?

  I’m 13 and fed up because my parents are always nagging me about manners. They said it was up to me to learn what that means since they’ve “tried to teach me and I’ve ignored them.” So what does this mean?   Well, attitude has a lot to do with good manners. For example, instead of demanding here, “So … read more

A Question of Etiquette: Celebrating a centennial

If the invitation gives no guidance, what would be an appropriate gift for a 100th birthday party? Don’t let the age of the birthday celebrant affect your creativity. Instead, think about his or her lifestyle; considering whether he or she lives independently, or with family, or in a care facility can help you determine what would be a great gift. … read more

A Question of Etiquette: Dealing with nosy guests

What do you think about guests at a party who look in your medicine cabinet? I think it’s intrusive, and I would never do that, but I’ve found that more than one person has opened up cabinets in our bathroom. Isn’t that pretty rude? It certainly is snoopy. A survey conducted last year reported that at least 25% of people … read more

A Question of Etiquette: Political discord!

Help me, Please! Both at work and in social situations there have been contentious conversations centering on politics. I have my own, very strong opinion, but find that expressing it, when asked, unleashes awful replies from those who believe differently than I do. How do I extricate myself without just stomping off so as to avoid what always turns out … read more

A Question of Etiquette: Valentine’s Day approaches

I love holidays and, admittedly, go overboard sometimes, so thought I’d check before following my desire to share the happiness. Is it okay to give my new (male) boss (I’m female) a Valentine?   Probably it isn’t okay to do this. Valentine’s Day has a sentimental component to it, so even if you find a humorous “boss” card, it still … read more

A Question of Etiquette: Hands out for a hand-out?

I feel like every time I turn around, somebody is expecting a tip, just for doing his or her job, like putting my take-out food into a bag, or pumping gas into my car. Most recently, I ordered a take-out meal from a place that offers curbside pickup. When the meal was brought to our car, the employee stood there, … read more

A Question of Etiquette: For grandparent gifts, offer help

My mother-in-law did it again – gave my four- and five-year-olds each a card with $20 in it as a Christmas gift. Is there a way to tell her that this means nothing to them and a small present would be so much more meaningful? I’d love for them all to have a more personal relationship and cash, at my … read more

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