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]
We no longer need our dog walker's services. How much notice is enough? [more inside]
Something very strange happened to me yesterday, and I'm trying to figure out whether this sort of behavior was an individual quirk or if I've run afoul of some obscure but very strong taboo. More detail inside, but basically I asked somebody to step aside by tapping her shoulder and she ended up shouting at me and slapping me several times with both hands on my shoulder. I don't understand quite what happened there. [more inside]
Imagine you are in 19th century Britain and sharing a cocktail and a cigar with some upper crust gentlemen. What are some subtle actions that, while not essentially rude in nature, would still come across as a huge faux pas or violation of etiquette in that time period, specifically among the wealthy? I'm more interested in actions performed incorrectly, rather than spoken statements which are unintentionally offensive.
Early last week, I had a meeting where there were two people from my organization, and three people from an organization we're hoping to work with in the near future. At the end of the meeting, we agreed on a future date/time for our next meeting. The following day, I emailed everyone in attendance, with (our shared impression of) the date/time/location of our next email in the second sentence of the email. Today, it became clear that everyone on their side of the meeting thought it was supposed to happen today, and I thought it was happening tomorrow. How should I respond? [more inside]
I'm from an immigrant family and I have never really learned American social customs. Reading the comments on recent etiquette questions has made me realize that I lack an understanding of unwritten social rules that most people take for granted. [more inside]
My brother Just got engaged. I'm trying to come up with a good present for him (and more importantly) his wife-to-be. [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]
In a line of cars driving around a parking lot, waiting for a slot to open up, who is the bigger arsehole? [more inside]
Is it okay to ask guests not to take photos during our wedding ceremony? [more inside]
My downstairs neighbors are two of the sweetest people I know. They've done me many favors, from bringing food to inviting me for dinner to watching my cat. I would like to do something in return, but can't think of anything I could do that's equivalent to their generosity. [more inside]
Just called a friend with a severed tendon to see how his visit to the doctor went and he was still in the exam room. He said he had to get off the phone because there was a sign saying "no cell phones in exam room." I'm wondering why the sign is there. He was alone at the time, waiting for the doctor to return. Is the rule due to an equipment issue, or is it because of doctors being annoyed by rude patients talking on cell phones while the doctor is examining them, or something else?
I made a dinner faux pas that I would like to get input on how to handle afterwards. [more inside]
How important is having a .com suffix to the perceived legitimacy of a website? How does it affect traffic/success, etc? Does holding onto .com as the ideal make sense in this world of domain squatters? Can we make a list of good and bad choices?
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]
Help me, etiquette mavens of AskMe! Fiance and I are in the midst of planning a wedding for this fall, but we just found out that he's losing his health insurance soon. How ok is it to have a courthouse ceremony now, but still hold a "real" wedding in the fall? [more inside]
My wife and I were writing a brief thank-you note to some friends, and she was helping to edit. I then signed it off as 'Arandia & Wife' -- only my wife says that it should be 'Wife & Arandia', since *I* wrote the letter and it is coming from my email address. [more inside]
We have dinner plans with a couple (A & B) they're calling in just under 2 hours. I woke up today with a stinking cold. It's got worse all day. I feel crap and I'm not looking forward to a night in a loud restaurant, shouting cos my ears are blocked, and blowing my nose every minute. But my SO hates cancelling plans, and doesn't want to go out with the other couple without me as he'll feel "like a gooseberry" (even though he's known A for 20 years, and they're very sweet, nice people). I'm begrudgingly going to make myself go. Then it dawned on me - is it actually ruder to turn up with the cold and probably pass it on to them (as we're sharing a taxi there and I'm at the constant sneezing/sniffling stage), or just to cancel? [more inside]
I'm using Tumblr for the first time (link in profile) and posting lots of quotes (as 'text') every day. I don't want to spam people or muck up their dashboard, so please enlighten me about bad or annoying things people do on Tumblr so I can learn from their mistakes.
Is this a normal amount of time to expect to wait when YOU'RE BLEEDING IN THE DAMN BRAIN?! [more inside]
What are the best ways to politely decline people on internet dating sites? [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]
I usually over tip--22-25 percent. But I was confused about something that happened tonight. I went to a new bar, kind of a renovated dive, with a friend. We both ordered cocktails, I ordered a charchturie (sp) platter and he ordered a pizza. My food came right away, and both of our drinks came quickly. The bar was empty for our first drinks, but was filling up quickly. We ordered a second drink. The bar was filled with people that the bar tender seemed to know. The second drink came. No sign of pizza, it was more than an hour at this point. We remind the bartender, who is also the server twice. He finally says, five minutes, and five minutes later, the pizza comes. This would have been 90 minutes. No offer to comp the food, no apologies, but the food was really good, the drinks were strong, and I would like to go back...I tipped 4 on a 32 bill, after tax. They also split the bill in a weird manner. My friends kind of shy, so I took his lead, and didn't complain. How much should I have tipped? Should I have complained? Should I go back to complain? What's the protocol here?
I had an interview a week ago with an HR person and was told the company would be in touch soon, they liked my resume, etc. Since then... nothing much. I know who my next interviewer would be. Would there be anything weird about... emailing them and asking for an interview? Or should I wait?
What are your thoughts about the closing "Fondly," -- is it a little weird? [more inside]
My preschooler is getting just old enough to have a proper social life (playdates, birthday parties, etc.). I've got some specific questions about the parental etiquette expectations surrounding these kiddie get-togethers. [more inside]
Suggestions for nice things to do for the couples who are nice to you (especially when you're single and kind of broke)? [more inside]
Is it worth it to fly home for my friend's bachelor party? [more inside]
After many years of monogamy followed by several years of celibacy (continually enforced by the fact that, out of raw fiscal necessity, I will continue to share a house and mortgage with my ex for the indefinite future), a chance encounter has left me with the opportunity to enjoy one (or, fingers crossed, more than one!) casual hookup(s) with a breathtakingly attractive near-stranger. Can you walk me through this process -- safety, guidelines, what to do/not do or say, etc. -- like a complete newbie? [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]
Has someone important to you passed away? What was the most comforting/most respectful thing anyone said to you when that happened? I work with the elderly, who die at an accelerated rate. 98% of the time, I genuinely care about the deceased and would like to give comfort to the surviving family. Since this comes up a lot, I feel as if I'm repeating the same phrases over and over. I need more options. I'm specifically asking for things people said to you that were kind. [more inside]
Let's say the Queen of England is visiting Mexico, how does she eat her taco? When she visits the US South, how does she eat ribs? Does she take off her white gloves and eat Injera in Ethopia? More or less the question is: How does "proper etiquette" work for inherently messy food items, especially those of a foreign culture, when consumed by someone of high culture/royalty?
Next month, I will be travelling to Las Vegas. For the very first time in my life. I have a whole bunch of Vegas-newbie questions. I’d like to ask you for your help. [more inside]
My husband mentioned to me some years ago that he'd never had an actual, cake-and-candles, friends from the neighborhood invited, hats and horns birthday party in his entire life. I'd like to give him a small surprise birthday party for his upcoming birthday in late March, but I have questions about how to actually word the invitations. [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]
I've asked a couple questions about building a richer social life on AskMeta, and a few times I've gotten the suggestion that I should be spending more one-on-one time with friends and acquaintances. My observations suggest that women socialize this way more often than men do. Tell me I'm wrong, then share tips. [more inside]
A coworker who I don't know all that well has invited me to lunch at her house. There are only going to be the two of us. She is not a drinker to the best of my knowledge so I think my standby bottle of wine is out (is it?) She is in her early - mid 60s and fairly formal and reserved. Failing wine, what else should I bring? Flowers? A plant? Would cookies be okay? She has been having a rough time lately healthwise and is I think rather lonely and down. I asked her what I could bring and she said "Oh nothing! Just yourself!" but let's ignore that.
CatLivingFilter: One of my roommate's two cats has become very attached to me, probably because my roommate (by his own admission) inherited the cat from an ex relationship and never really liked it that much. That's cool--I like cats, and cats like me. What I don't like is that the cat has become so attached that it will yell inconsolably outside my door, scratch at my door, and sometimes even bash into my door in despair of not being in my room. This has become a major sleep disrupting problem for me. What can I reasonably expect my roommate to do to respond to this situation? [more inside]
I have some talent at drawing, but I'm awful at accepting compliments about it, and paranoid about coming off as arrogant (...I could barely type the word 'talent' just then). Help me be less awkward and accept compliments with more dignity! [more inside]
Could the hive mind recommend blogs or other writing about contra dance? I'm especially interested in discussions of technique, etiquette/custom/tradition, and calling. I've previously enjoyed Jeff Kaufman's blog and The Contra Syncretist.
How should I approach asking for a letter of recommendation when the letter writer doesn't write well in English? [more inside]
My fiance and I have different opinions about visiting and whether or not we should call first. I'm not saying either of us are right or wrong, but I'm wondering if it's a regional thing. [more inside]
I don't drink coffee and most of my friends don't either, but I'd like to be able to offer a nice cup to occasional visitors who do drink coffee. What type of small-scale coffee maker would be a good choice: some kind of drip and filter method? French press? Should I buy a small amount of decent quality ground coffee and hope that it keeps well between coffee drinkers? (And what would be a safe, crowd-pleasing choice?) Or should I just forget offering potentially mediocre coffee and offer everyone tea and tisanes?
My friend is growing a beautiful bushy beard and moustache. After several months it's wonderfully luxuriant. But, it's got to the stage where he can't eat without spillage. As for soup, forget about it - he can hardly have a mouthful before he has to wield a napkin and wipe spoonfuls away. My friend is very elegant and finds this sloppiness excruciating, especially in public. [more inside]
I am an academic, and I need advice on how to word my response to a review for a journal article. [more inside]
When you make a call to a service or business, say, you're calling because you have a problem or require a service -- what do /you/ say? [more inside]
Social-Awkwardness filter: I'm a formerly shy person who's recently been getting out there and making friends. I've been sick for the past week. A few people have asked to come over/hang out despite this. I want to know what the etiquette is when you have a persistent cough that borders on retching. Do the people who try to hang out anyway really not care or are they just being polite? Am I going to alienate people by rejecting their multiple attempts to see me? I don't understand why they wouldn't just end up being disgusted by me constantly coughing and sneezing and blowing my nose and being a sick person. [more inside]
Is there a polite way to tell your significant other that you absolutely hate the gifts you've received from them for holiday? But wait!! I'm not being snooty for the reasons you'd think I would! More inside.. [more inside]
Manicure/pedicure etiquette: What exactly do you do during the process? [more inside]
Is it kinda assholey to ask someone to leave their desk when they're eating lunch? [more inside]