more about: etiquette

‘Dead on Time, as Only the Dreaded Can Be’

Most party guests know how to interpret an invitation. If it says “starts at 7,” that usually means, “The host will be dashing around, attending to last-minute details until 7:15, after which she will be happy to see you.” But not all guests. This week’s etiquette question comes from a reader named JoanieK, who wrote: “Whenever I have a party, […]

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How to Fly the Stars and Stripes on Memorial Day

It used to be called Decoration Day, this annual national holiday in remembrance of fallen soldiers that we’ve been observing since the end of the Civil War. There are special guidelines for how to display the flag today, on Memorial Day: Before noon on Memorial Day, fly the flag at half mast, according to U.S. flag code. Then raise it […]

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If My Daughter’s a Flower Girl, Do I Deserve an Invitation?

Let’s say you live in the same house as your ex-wife, but are no longer romantically involved. Should you be invited to your her friend’s wedding if your 5-year-old daughter is a flower girl? Should I repeat that one? If you had a hard time following along, maybe it’s because the situation is complicated. Here’s how a reader named MHoffman2 […]

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Is It Facebook’s Fault if You’re Self-Centered?

Does Facebook turn you into a narcissist? This is the question posed (but not answered) by a recent column in the New York Times. Citing a number of recent students of Facebook users, the Times article described the research so far: Facebook users who tag themselves in photos and frequently update their statuses are more narcissistic; self-centered people are more […]

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For Richer or Poorer: It Costs $1,000 to Be a Bridesmaid?

“I’m horrified at your advice to the cash-strapped bridesmaid in the May issue,” a reader named SarahPNC wrote this week. “The bridesmaid already spent over $1,000 on the wedding. I say that she can bow out of the group gift.” Let’s get out our calculators; wedding season is underway. In the case of one cash-strapped bridesmaid who wrote to Real Simple […]

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Can I Get You Something From the Bar? (Not)

“What should you do when you’re at a party having a conversation with someone, and you suddenly realize they are obviously not listening?” writes a reader named JS. “You are talking away, when you notice the person you are addressing is straining to hear another conversation going on nearby,” she writes. “How does one handle this situation?” Cut your losses, JS. […]

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Your Kid Saw Porn Online. Now What?

With more kids browsing the Internet at younger ages, an article today’s New York Times warns:  “Your child is going to look at porn at some point. It’s inevitable.”  Now what? That’s the opinion of Elizabeth Schroeder, who is executive director of a sex-education organization based at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Kids have laptops, smart phones,  computers and other electronic […]

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Rude Kids: How to (Politely) Put a Stop to It

This week’s question comes from a reader named Jill, who is getting increasingly exasperated by the rude behavior of one of the children in her carpool. “Everyone always says ‘it takes a village,’ yet what do you do as a parent when someone else’s child is perpetually rude to you?” Jill wrote. By rude, Jill means: “rude at your house […]

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Give Me That Babysitter, I Saw Her First!

“Dear Michelle: I complete disagree with your column saying a friend is wrong for not sharing a babysitter. NO WAY! It’s hard enough to find a reliable available sitter,” wrote a reader named JACM1234. “Add to that friends homing in on the same sitter, and we’ve found ourselves hosed when we really needed a sitter,” JACM1234 wrote. “True friends understand […]

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How to Make Your Co-Workers Like You

The same bad behavior that got you in trouble at home when you were a kid—taking credit for something your brother did, saying no reflexively, a messy room—can cause problems with your co-workers at the office. A few days ago, a story in the Wall Street Journal listed the most common behaviors that make co-workers dislike you. They include: 1. […]

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