I recently had two very close friends to stay for the weekend. My partner and I put a load of effort into tidying and cleaning the house, buying new towels for our guests, filling the cupboards and fridge with yummy (and expensive!) food, and my partner spent hours cooking. I had a nice, though tiring, weekend (with some awkwardness as we have all changed over the years since we were very, very close) but when the guests had left, my partner pointed out that neither of them had brought a gift (I would never expect something huge, but I don't think I ever don't take a bottle of wine/flowers/chocolates if I go to stay with someone..). We also realised that neither of them had offered to (or taken it upon themselves) to help with the washing up after any of the homemade meals we had - even breakfast! [more inside]
So, back in February or so, we were invited to a friend's September wedding in Cape Cod (both us and the friend are in LA). It sounded great; my fiancée and I RSVPed. Now, due to a passel of unforeseen circumstances, we can't really do it. Can you help us get out of it without being giant assholes? [more inside]
About a week and a half ago, I applied for a job that I would be perfect for. I'm getting antsy. Should I sent a follow-up note? [more inside]
How long should one wait before indirectly notifying a recent ex via social media that they are in a new relationship? Is this even a thing? [more inside]
My partner and I are hosting a housewarming party and we've invited more people that I think we can accommodate. What's the best way to make sure the party goes smoothly and what are some things we can do to help things along? [more inside]
I screwed up at work - which was compounded by a string of just plain bad luck. It got really ugly. Maybe could even lose my job. I'm thinking of having a heart-to-heart call with my leadership to apologize for the bits that were my responsibility...Not to grovel and save my ass, but to communicate that I know I impacted them and the team. Bad idea? Does an apology ever help in a workplace, or does it just help affix blame and make everyone uncomfortable?
A former distant colleague of mine is a trans woman. I'm pretty clear on the importance of not misgendering people, but I'm running into one or two slightly awkward practical issues in making sure I don't screw that up. [more inside]
A friend of mine (let's call her "Sarah") came over for dinner at my flat last week. Some way through the meal (just after the first bottle of wine was finished) she told us that her partner had recently been tested for a very serious medical condition. She then said that she "hadn't intended to talk about it".
She will have recently received the results of this test, and I'm wondering whether it's appropriate to ask her what the result of the test was.
I care a lot about Sarah and her partner (who is an incredibly warm and wonderful person), but I don't want to intrude. On the other hand, I don't want to be unsupportive.
A few details are below the fold. [more inside]
My SO applied for, was interviewed for, and subsequently was offered an academic post (lectureship). Some stuff just wasn't right from the outset, and all the contact with the department made it clear that it's not the right place to be working. Please help us to say 'no thanks' correctly. [more inside]
Some friends are throwing us a wedding reception and have requested "no gifts" on the invitation. Can I somehow ask them to change that or is that just the done thing now? [more inside]
How to respond to a self invite for a vacation? [more inside]
Had a great first date with a woman who seems pretty busy. She cancelled our second date, asked for a rain check, and I haven't heard from her since. What's the etiquette here? [more inside]
Over last weekend I spent a whole bunch of time with a lovely woman--dinners, picnics, walks, wine under the stars etc. These weren't explicitly dates, but it all seemed pretty romantic. At the end of the evening on Saturday and Sunday we had these awkward pauses when my insecurities and my desire to--give a goodnight kiss? Express my attraction? Or something--were warring. I don't know what she was thinking but it was awkward on both sides. Now I won't see her for a month. Do I email her and explicitly say that I'm interested? [more inside]
I am not a regular strip club attendee, so when I went to one today I had an unusual experience that I don't know if it was normal, and if it is how others handle it. It's NSFW and embarrassing, so details inside. [more inside]
How do we politely decline children's clothes? [more inside]
I went "no contact" with my birth family years ago, but I will have to see and likely interact with all of them for the first time since then at my sister's wedding, which is happening soon. How can I make sure that I can ably address whatever might come up with ease and clarity? I am not looking to re-establish any sort of regular communication with them at all, I am just trying to figure out how to gracefully handle encountering them at a single event. [more inside]
In a few days I will be attending my grandmother's funeral in the south. While I love her very much, we were never particularly close. Based on my past experiences with these situations, I know myself well enough to know that I most likely won't be crying or even really upset at this funeral. Please help me prepare so I don't seem callous or further upset my grieving family. [more inside]
I made a dinner faux pas that I would like to get input on how to handle afterwards.
I'm about to quit my job. I'm becoming increasingly aware that this is going to come as a huge surprise to my boss and coworkers. Should I have been dropping hints? [more inside]
In a dating scenairo, when a girl respond to a guy's request for a date with a nonspecific "maybe some other time," does it actually means "No"? [more inside]
Is it worth it to fly home for my friend's bachelor party? [more inside]
I am planning on leaving my job, and indeed my current career path, in the next 3-ish months, but for various practical reasons I want to stay for those next 3-ish months. There's a conference coming up that I would absolutely be going to if I were staying in this career. Do I sign up for the conference? If I do, the conference fee will be wasted when one of my coworkers could use the money for their own professional development (and money is tight in our department) and I'm afraid this would cause bad feelings and people would take it personally. [more inside]
We've decided to get married. Yay! I am the female half of a straight couple, if that matters. In the near future, we want to go to our local (US) courthouse and have a civil ceremony with just a judge and our immediate families present: his parents, my parents, his sibling+partner, my sibling+partner+child. Later this year, we'll throw an informal party and invite our extended circles to that as a larger celebration/reception. Our immediate families are supportive of this plan and just want us to be happy, but I have already gotten some pushback from friends and it gave me pause. So I guess I have questions about the practicality and etiquette of our plan and... whatever else we haven't thought about. Neither of us has been married before. [more inside]
A (white, American) friend's parents gave me a clock as a gift, which in China is really not done. This was clearly not malicious, so I'm not offended and my parents are getting over it, but I'm wondering whether there's any way to tell them not to give this particular gift to any other Chinese people they may know. The problem is that I don't know any way to broach the subject that wouldn't call attention to their faux pas, and it's entirely possible that they just don't know any other Chinese people, in which case I'd much rather avoid embarrassing them. Should I say anything, either to them or to my friend their son?
I’m going to be working with the (presumably unaware) friend of someone who sexually assaulted me in the past, and the perpetrator also has personal information on me that I’d rather not be made public. How should I interact with the friend personally and professionally? [more inside]
I would like some recommendations for books on office etiquette, including things like dress, getting lunch with people, how introductions to superiors should be properly handled, dealing with my intern being sidetracked by someone else's request, etc.
If it helps, I currently work in media, East Coast U.S. I work on the tech side, but I'm having to deal with this stuff a lot anyway, and it's all new to me coming out of mostly technical positions in the past.
What is the Facebook protocol during a painful divorce? [more inside]
What is an appropriate amount to spend on a wedding gift for myself and my guest, if I am a bridesmaid? [more inside]
Need advice on a high level meeting. [more inside]
Do people give their graduate advisors presents following a successful defense? What would qualify? [more inside]
I need a verbal and behavioral script to work from. I've experienced some recent weight gain. A relative will soon be visiting our home. Based on past experiences, I expect that he will comment on, judge, and offer advice about my weight. Please help me out. [more inside]
Second hookup/date tips for a girl who likes to pick up guys? (How to encourage said guys to make a move the second time around). [more inside]
When I asked my brother if there was something in particular he would like for his upcoming wedding, he told me not to give him anything unless it was cash. I have a few issues with this request. [more inside]
I'm a girl. You're a guy. We're making out, but we won't be doing anything past that tonight. How do I let you know that so you don't feel like I'm leading you on? Or do I let you know at all? [more inside]
I think that a new(ish) friend of mine might be involved with a pseudo-cult. Should I express my concern or just bite my tongue? [more inside]
How do I talk to people whose work I admire without coming across as starstruck, opportunistic, tactless, or otherwise obnoxious? [more inside]
Am I a total snob for being embarrassed by my friend's table habit? If so, how can I fix it? [more inside]
Ok, so I've been having this problem lately (and I think it's related to my recent depression) where I meet new people and kind of expect that I'll never develop any friendship with them, but then it actually does happen, and I realize in horror that when they bring up previous conversations we've had, I act completely clueless because I didn't bother to remember it in the first place, and they say something like, "Remember we were talking about how my mom lives literally right next door to you?" (seriously, that happened today) and I remember suddenly, but clearly have already made it obvious that I didn't remember it in the first place... That's been happening a lot lately, and I want to know how to recall what I talked about with people more. [more inside]
Help me graciously decline an invitation to a guy's apartment in advance of our date. [more inside]
Etsy etiquette for neg/neutral/positive feedback?etsy etiquette? [more inside]
My sister is being extremely difficult. Should I go to her wedding? [more inside]
Job search, interview, etiquette question. Sorry for the length. [more inside]
Have I blown it for good? Interviewed for a job 13 days ago and then followed up with a different interviewer 5 days ago, and neglected to send thank-you notes both times. No decision has been made yet -- should I just let it go at this point, or would I still be better off sending my thanks? [more inside]
Is it a bad idea to propose the day before (or the day of) my girlfriend's good friend's wedding? [more inside]
I flaked out on a friend's new-baby acknowledgment... for two months! Exactly how much of a transgression is this, and what (if anything) can I do to mitigate the damage?
My fiancé refuses to let his parents help pay for our wedding. Should I say anything, or am I walking into a minefield? [more inside]
Is my friend being rude, or am I overreacting? And how do I get over it in time for dinner tonight? [more inside]
I need to understand the Japanese cultural importance of "saving face" with respect to business, and how I can make myself less frustrated with an ongoing business negotiation I'm involved in. [more inside]
We broke up. Who keeps the apartment? [more inside]
What is the most gracious way for me to back out of the undergraduate research I said I would take up for the upcoming fall semester, given that I've spent two semesters working in the lab already? I don't want the people I worked with to have a bad impression of me because of the fact that I demonstrated so much interest in and commitment to their field only to quit prematurely. [more inside]