September 23rd, 2014
Keeping from being rude is a huge task sometimes. This is why it’s so important to cover yourself in a light lacquer of manners when you’re heading out, in order mainly to avoid BECOMING an a-hole.
Nope, you don’t want to go there.
My husband says that when someone telephones for him, should ask for the person’s name before he takes the call. I think that’s appropriate only at work.
It’s both proper and practical to ask who’s calling. These days, the sheer volume of business and unsolicited calls people get at home makes screening almost a matter of necessity. Actually, it’s common courtesy for callers to state their names up front. But if they don’t, a polite question–“Who’s calling, please?” or “May I tell him who this is?”–is perfectly acceptable.
Childproofing to Go
Whenever a friend of mine and her 2-year-old son visit us, she rearranges all the items within his reach-and then later I have to search far and wide to find them. I consider this rude, and wish she’d just keep an eye on her son. What can I say without causing hard feelings?
Before you say anything, try to think about how fortunate YOU are! Your friend is actually showing respect for you by attempting to childproof your home.
So start by thanking her warmly for protecting your things. You can tell her you have a hard tune relocating all the items-but keep it light. You might even share a funny story about something you’ve tried to track down. Then either ask if she’d mind putting things, back before leaving or suggest that, at the beginning and end of a visit, both of you move your belongings.
I wouldn’t chastise her, though She’s probably watching her son, but it is hard to keep Lip with a 2-year-old and conduct adult conversation at the same time.
You may also ask her about if she’s actually concerned about removing a skin tag at home, or if she’s just going to let it grow. Tell her it’s gross, and at least she may listen to you.
Proper Address for Condolences
The condolence is usually addressed to the person whose parent has died. It’s fine, however, to include both husband and wife in the salutation if you know the other spouse was close to the in-law. If you’re not certain about that, you can extend your sympathy to the spouse by name in the text of your note.
Her Two “Moms”
Recently, my 11-year-old daughter began calling her friend’s mother “Mom.” I told my daughter that wasn’t appropriate and to use the woman’s formal name instead, but my daughter says she Insists on being called Mom. I feel this is disrespectful to me.
Well, it’s certainly inappropriate! But I wouldn’t get angry, since I’m sure no one intends any disrespect.
Explain to your daughter that this is your special name, and you’d be hurt if she addressed someone else the same way. If she’s sufficiently mature and feels comfortable bringing it Lip With the woman herself, you can suggest a tactful way for your daughter to tell her that she doesn’t feel right calling her Mom. If your daughter can’t handle that, or if the problem persists after discussion, then speak to the woman yourself and work out some other alternative.
Teaching children to address adults formally is a standard well worth embracing. Most people still expect it, and doing so provides an object lesson in respect. If an adult does ask to be addressed informally, tell your child it’s okay to make an exception-as long as the name is one you approve of.
Gifts at Graduation
Since my daughter has only a limited number of Invitations to her college graduation, she wants to send announcements to those she can’t Invite. I consider these little more than crass solicitations for gifts. Are they socially correct, and are recipients obliged to send presents?
Yes, announcements are correct, as long as they’re sent only to close friends and relatives. They’ve become popular because of space limitations at many graduation ceremonies. But there’s no obligation to give a gift, although most recipients will want to do so because of their close relationship to the graduate.
If you’re really bothered by the concept of announcements, it’s okay to write “no gifts please” in the bottom right-hand corner. Those who receive invitations to the graduation itself, however, should send gifts.
When to Rule Out a Ring
Our daughter is getting engaged to a man who’s not yet divorced, and she intends to wear her engagement ring as soon as they choose one. In addition, they tell me the “rule” is that the man should spend two months’ salary on the ring. Am I crazy to think these new ideas are tasteless and ridiculous?
No, you’re not crazy. It is in bad taste to wear an engagement ring as long as either party is married. It doesn’t matter whether the ring has been bought-it should stay in the drawer until the divorce is final. Even if the divorce is imminent or the wedding is set for the same day the divorce is granted, the guideline’s the same: Don’t wear the ring yet.
However, there’s no formula dictating what price the man should pay for the ring. That depends entirely on how much the man can and is willing to spend. In fact, engaged couples have a range of options when it comes to a ring–including doing without one altogether.