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The Etiquette Grrls' Q & A Archive: August 2002

Dear Etiquette Grrls,

A fan of yours sent me to this site when we had a disagreement. I enjoyed the humor, and the fact that there are at least two polite people left in this country.

We are both recently engaged. She has been horrified that my engagement ring does not reflect my status as wife-to-be of an attorney. She thinks that this proves that we are tacky since her fiancé was able to buy her a large diamond and he is a Pizza Delivery man. I find all spending lavish amounts of money to prove class or status tacky in itself.

I have opted for a ring that does not protrude in any way since I am fond of knitting, crocheting, and other forms of hand work and felt that a large ring would get in the way.

She has cited the "custom" that he should spend two months' salary on the ring. (Is this really a custom?) Now, my husband-to-be makes a comfortable salary and it is nothing to blush about. However, the idea of wearing a piece of jewelry that ADVERTISES what he makes sounds to be as the epitome of vulgarity and bad taste.

I have searched your website and although I found some nice plugs for good jewelry, I see nothing to support the wearing of glittery, enormous stones simply because one can afford it. Personally, I think having a plain band out of solid gold is miles better than wearing a two carat flawed diamond with a plated setting.

Is it really proper etiquette to spend two month's salary? What if your fiancé is a high-powered investment banker? Should you really wear a $200,000 ring? I'm afraid the result would be rather garish.

Sensible

Dear Sensible,

Holy Mary, Mother of God! Now, the EGs like Good Jewelry as much as Anyone, but we have Had It Up to Here avec the Diamond Industry and their Made-Up "Rules"! It is absolutely ridiculous to imagine that a Boy should plug his Monthly Salary into some Silly Formula to determine what kind of money he should spend to buy his girlfriend an Engagement Ring! Dear Reader, we assure you, some Annoying Executives sitting in a Windowless Conference Room Somewhere just Made That Up. It's like how Hallmark blatantly Invents Holidays left and right. Grandparents' Day? Now the EGs love our Grandparents, but they don't need to get a Cheesy, Generic Card from us to Know It! Sweetest Day? What the HELL is that? Was Valentine's Day not Cutesy and Saccharine ENOUGH for the Greeting-Card Industry? But the EGs Digress.

In short, the EGs do not approve of Flashy Jewelry of Any Sort. It's so much nicer to have a small, plain, but Lovingly Chosen piece of Jewelry than some Giant Hunk of a Diamond that's so Flawed, it's Practically Brown. Even if one could afford, say, the Hope Diamond (not that one would really want it as an Engagement Ring, what with Its Being Cursed and all), one should still choose a Modest, Classic Ring. And furthermore, we could not agree with you more that one should not go around Sporting Something that advertises what One's Fiancé Earns. That is Supremely Tacky, and suggest to us that Immense Insecurity is A Factor. We're glad that Your Friend referred you to Our Site, but we have to take Your Side on this one, Dear Reader.

With best wishes,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

Dear Etiquette Grrls,

One of my co-workers has decided that he HATES eating lunch alone and he skips lunch rather than eat alone. Usually he eats lunch with another co-worker, but since this other co-worker is on vacation at the moment, he keeps asking me to join him for lunch.

I would rather not eat lunch with him. While I don't mind the occasional lunch out with co-workers, this gentleman with the eating-alone issues is not one of my favourite people and I would rather spend my break away from him, enjoying my meal and the day's newspaper, than trying to make pleasant chit-chat with him. We all have to eat in the same cafeteria within the same two-hour window, so it's not easy to avoid him, especially since he seeks me out in the absence of his usual lunch partner.

What can I say to politely avoid lunch with him without letting him know that I dislike him?

ST

Dear ST,

You have to eat in the Same Cafeteria? Really? The EGs can't think of a job where one is Obligated to take meals in a Particular Place. You can't simply Eat At Your Desk if you really want to Avoid Him? Or go out alone? We imagine that after a few days of Not Being Available to join him for Lunch, he should Get the Hint. Or, you might try bringing something to the Cafeteria to give you an excuse not to be Sociable-- "I'm sorry, I've got to finish three chapters of Jane Eyre to prepare for the graduate-level English Seminar I'm taking after work today" or "I'm using my lunch hour to learn French, and I'm listening to lessons on tape. I'm afraid I won't be much company for you."

Or, you could just simply be straight with him: "I've always preferred to have lunch alone. It's nothing against you-- I just have a routine and would prefer not to break it. It's the only time all day that I have to myself, and I value it."

Sincerely yours,
The Etiquette Grrls

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Dear Etiquette Grrls,

First of all, my compliments on a darling (and much needed) web site. Keep up the good work!

Yet another thank-you note question: Last weekend, I visited my (relatively new) beau at his parents' home in a swanky New Jersey town. (He is living there while looking for new digs in NYC; I live in Boston.) His parents spent the weekend at the family's Manhattan apartment, where we met them (and other family members) for dinner on Saturday night. I know I should thank somebody for something, but I'm not sure what goes to whom and where? Do I send a note to Mrs. Boyfriend's Mom at the New Jersey address (where they live during the week) thanking her for the lovely dinner and also for letting me stay in their home? It was my beau who invited me, though his parents knew I was coming. The weekend was absolutely wonderful, and it was my first time meeting his folks so I really really want to do the right thing.

Please help,
Thankful

Dear Thankful,

Why, thank you for your nice words about Our Little Site!

Hmmm, this is a little more complicated than the typical Hostess Gift / Bread-and-Butter Letter situation. We think it would be Peachy Keen if you sent a nice thank-you note to Mrs. Boyfriend's Mom at her New Jersey address, complimenting her on her Lovely Home, and thanking her for Dinner. And of course, you've thanked Your Boyfriend, n'est-ce pas? If you wanted to, you could even send him a sweet little note thanking him for the Wonderful Weekend.

Cheers,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

Dear Etiquette Grrls,

I am planning a shower for a Nouveau Petit Enfant. The shower is set for one in the afternoon and I thought that my guests would get a wee bit hungry. I planned for a few salads, fruit, crusty bread with Fancified spread, and Raspberry and Lemon tarts. But I have been told that this is Too Much Food and that a plate of cookies will do. My critic even stated that having a petit spread between meals would be rude.

I was reared with the strictest of manners, but my mother was raised in Hawaii. To her, the concept of Too Much Food only applies if one is offering a super-sized order of fries to a quad-bypass patient. On this très grand Main Land, is it really gauche to offer a light meal after the Traditional mealtimes?

Planner

Dear Planner,

The EGs think Your Repast sounds Divine! We think one can Never Go Wrong in offering a Nice Variety of Food to One's Guests, no matter what the time. Indeed, Dear Reader, a shower scheduled to begin at one in the afternoon might be interpreted by some guests to include Luncheon-- so you would be Doubly Wise to have Yummy Hors d'Oeuvres and Salads for everyone to Pick On.

Hmm, the EGs could really go for some Raspberry and Lemon Tarts right now. Care to send us Your Recipe?

Yours truly,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

Dear Etiquette Grrls,

My seven-year-old is invited to attend a Birthday Party that is going to held at a Water Park. The Mom called again to remind me and I thought I should ask what my son needs to bring and etc. She then proceeded to tell me that the ticket to get into the water park is $10! I always thought that if you "invite" someone to a party or any get-together, it is bad etiquette to ask for money. Shouldn't she be the one to pay for her son's guests? I know it's only $10, but I will have to buy a birthday present, give my son spending money, etc. and I just think it's tacky.

Am I wrong?

Annabelle

Dear Annabelle,

No, you are Not Wrong. It is both Greedy and Tacky. If you host an event, you must Foot the Bill. (This Woman is probably the sort of person who would invite Twenty Other People Out to Dinner to celebrate, say, her Best Friend's Birthday, and expect everyone to Cover the Cost of Their Own Meal. Sigh.)

Most sincerely yours,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

Hey EGs:

What do you think of that leech at www.savekaryn.com. Do you believe she is actually on television?

K

Dear K,

Good God. We think so little of her that we're not even going to put a hyperlink in to send traffic to Her Stupid Website. All we'll say is this: a Lady does not Live Beyond Her Means. If, for any reason, she finds herself in Dire Financial Straits, a Lady does not Broadcast Her Insolvency on the web, or on Morning Talk Shows, and a Lady most certainly does not expect Sympathetic Strangers to Bail Her Out.

Sincerely yours,
The Etiquette Grrls

Dear Etiquette Grrls,

I have a friend who recently had to attend a fundraising event in Arabian Nights themed attire. As I have taken classes in and performed Middle-Eastern dance for some time, she asked me if she could borrow some costumes. As she is one of my most trusted and responsible friends, I lent her some costumes and explained to her how she should care for them.

When she handed them back to me she thanked me and mentioned that she had had to do a wee repair to the bottom of a particular piece of costume. When I unwrapped my costumes, I was horrified to find that the piece in question was practically in pieces and that she had actually cut a whole section of it off. If I had ruined something that I had borrowed from a friend, I would be so embarrassed and ashamed that I would not only apologise profusely but offer to pay for the damaged item entirely, regardless of whether I could afford to or not. However, she didn't even TELL me that she had damaged the item, which happened to be rather expensive, and the centre piece of my costume. She furthermore knows I am the quiet type who would probably be too shy to confront her about it.

I do not know what to say to her. Is it inappropriate to ask for her to at least pay a small amount towards buying a new one? Should I just express my hurt at her not even telling me and leave it at that? I am supposed to be travelling with her at the end of the year and thus do not want to create any tension, but I really am quite angry!

Your guidance would be appreciated!

Angry

Dear Angry,

The Nerve of your friend! The EGs think that if you Wreck Something that Belongs to Someone Else, you need to 'Fess Up to it. And, of course, you must Apologize and offer to repair or replace the item at Your Own Expense. But obviously, Dear Reader, you Already Know That. It sounds like your friend attempted to tell you about the damage in a very euphemistic manner-- upon hearing of a Wee Repair, we'd probably have asked her to show it to us, and then, if there was any Discussion to Be Had about whether or not it was, in fact, Wee, it could've happened right away, as she was returning the costumes.

Dear Reader, if we were in Your Shoes, we would sit down with your friend and ask her exactly what she did to the costume. You might phrase it as, "I need to wear it soon, and since you said you made a Small Repair, I thought I should check it out-- could you tell me exactly what happened? A big piece appears to have been cut off. Do you have that fabric anywhere?" We'd then listen to her hem and haw through some Fishy Story of What Happened, and then say, "Okay, Beulah; I just wish you'd have told me before. I thought the costumes were in wearable condition when you returned them; this one's not, and I can't fix it, so I'm going to need to buy a new one." At this point, she should Take a Hint and Offer to Pay. If she doesn't, then, well, Dear Reader, you could pointedly ask her to Chip In, or you could decide to Cut Your Losses. We would hope, however, that you'd Think Twice about Travelling Avec Her if she doesn't Get the Hint. Travelling is Nerve-Wracking Enough without having to worry about whether one can Trust One's Companion to do the Right Thing.

As ever,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

Dear Etiquette Grrls,

A few months ago, a Canadian team was playing against an American team at hockey. To my shocked horror, the American spectators BOOED the Canadian anthem. I was utterly horrified. And the Americans didn't even think it was that big a deal. Somehow I think they'd change their view if it was "The Stars and Stripes" being booed as opposed to "O Canada." I mean, YOU may think America is the world's greatest country, but we up north think differently and find it to be as disrespectful as spitting on the Maple Leaf itself!

Please remind your readers that being American does not entitle you to disrespect anyone of another country or act so horribly arrogant. We who do not happen to live there retain the right to be treated equally, thank you very much.

J.

P.S. Keep up the good work, your site is a masterpiece of good taste.

Dear J.,

Absolutely. It goes without saying that while one should hold one's own country's Flag, National Anthem, etc., in High Esteem, one should always, ALWAYS be respectful of another country's. This is true of EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE-- even Hockey Fans who've Tossed Back a Few and are Feeling Rambunctious. Dear Readers-- we're sure you would never dream of Behaving Badly during the playing of another country's anthem, but we need you to Set a Good Example for Les Autres!

Thank you for writing in-- we promise to keep Spreading the Word about Good Manners!

Sincerely yours,
The Etiquette Grrls

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Bonjour Etiquette Grrls:

Your website is without a doubt, the absolute best I have come across. Not only am I impressed and entertained by you, I am also relieved to find kindred spirits. I have always felt that perhaps I was born in the wrong era, but you have confirmed that there are others out there who feel as I do. Students at the university I attend, in Massachusetts, laugh at me because I follow the "white" rule. As I am sure you will agree, this is not a laughing matter. Rather, an issue of propriety.

Now to my question: I have had the unfortunate experience of getting braces on my teeth at the beginning of my Freshman year. Entering my Junior year this fall, I have numerous questions directed my way, such as, "When are you getting your braces off?" And worse, when I am out on the town, most often when I am frequenting a bar, some wretched, vile person feels the need to strike up a conversation about braces! Comments range from, "Oh aren't braces so cute!" to "So why are you so old to get braces?" To me, this does not seem like an appropriate conversation starter. Icy glares don't always do the trick and I am getting fed up. Even though they should be off by December, I could use some advice on handling these cads until then.

Merci beaucoup in advance, for your advice, and for your tremendous website,
Bracing Myself

Dear Bracing Myself,

Hmmm, lots of people seem to be asking the EGs for Snappy Retorts lately. The Icy Glare's not working? Are you doing it correctly? (For a good example, ask a Nun or Librarian to demonstrate.) Well, the EGs can think of a few things to say...

Q: "When are you getting your braces off?"
A: "Never. I like them too much."

Q: "Oh, aren't braces so cute!"
A: "Casts, too, are Just Darling... I'm thinking of getting a plaid one for Fall."

Q: "So, why are you so old to get braces?"
A: "So, why are you so rude as to start a conversation with a remark about my appearance?" (Only for use with Really Rude, Nasty Folks.)

We're glad you like Our Site! Heehee, try leaving it up on the Computers in the Library sometime... maybe then people will start obeying the White Shoes Rule.

Yours truly,
The Etiquette Grrls

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Dearest Etiquette Grrls,

A colleague and I were discussing fashion trends at work this afternoon. We got to pondering the current style status of cargo pants for guys (aged 18-35). Please help resolve our differences of opinion on this issue as it is becoming increasingly pressing as fall approaches.

Meg

Dear Meg,

The EGs aren't too keen on men aged 18-35 wearing Cargo Pants. Nor, for that matter, do we like them on men over 35, or under 18, or on Women.

Toodles,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

Hello,

I've been a fan of the site for months now. I hope you continue spreading the idea that good manners are, well, GOOD.

I've often wished that someone would write a set of rules for modern dating etiquette.

For instance, I've often wondered:

-- I know it's not acceptable to take cell phone calls while on a date, however, what does one do if the date is taking place at home and the phone rings? Although I feel rude taking a call and rude to the caller by saying, "I have, er, COMPANY, and we're, uh, BUSY," I wonder if leaving calls to my answering machine would cause my date to wonder why I'm avoiding taking calls.

-- I also wonder at what point does one consider oneself in a boyfriend-girlfriend situation, rather than "seeing each other." And how does one introduce a date if one is not sure that the date is a boyfriend or not? Or field such questions as, "Is this your boyfriend?"

Thank you for your time and any words of advice you might have.

B.

Dear B.,

First of all, thank you so much for your nice comments! (If we may Digress Un Peu, a small note to the Bitter Reader who wondered if we didn't answer Her Question because she didn't Compliment Us Enough-- um, HARDLY, Dear Bitter Reader. A lot of people do say Very Kind Things to the EGs, and we think the right thing to do is to say thank you if we use a question that includes them! But don't be ridiculous-- that is Not Required! We wish we could get to Every Single Question, Every Week, but we never promised that we can. It's not the End of the World, Dear Reader! There's no need to be Bitter and Snippy!)

Now, Dear Reader, on to your questions. The EGs think that if a Date is taking place at home-- say, you've invited a Young Man over for a Delicious, Home-Cooked Meal (or even for Delicious Take-Out)-- then telephone calls should not be made or taken by either party. Let the Machine Pick Up, or let your Voice-Mail take care of it. It's just the Right Thing to Do to give Your Date Your Full Attention, and if for some reason, Your Date gets Paranoid about this, we think he needs to Lighten Up.

We think it's Unspeakably Rude of someone to demand, "Is this Your Boyfriend?" Putting people On the Spot is not very nice! We would hope, Dear Reader, that at some point, both parties in a Budding Relationship would have a Discussion about the Seriousness (or Lack Thereof) of the Budding Relationship-- e.g., you both should be clear if you're Seeing Each Other Exclusively, or In Addition to Other People, etc. Until then, we would recommend introducing One's Date just with His Name.

A bit more dating advice: don't date This Guy.

Very truly yours,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

Dear Etiquette Grrls,

First of all, let me say I love the site, but then, why wouldn't I?

My question for you is in regard to autumn and winter footwear. My mother and I have been quarreling over a pair of Nordstrom's boots I want. They are knee high (or slightly below) and brown or black (I can't decide). The boots have 2.5 inch heels on them too. I believe the brand is Franco Sarto; they're the "Aria" boots, I think.

As the EGs are wonderful at style advice (although I am a fan of Abercrombie and Fitch. I just NEVER buy anything with sparkles or rhinestones, or any form of wear and tear, but I digress...) I thought maybe you could solve our problem. My mother says these boots will not be appropriate to wear in Minnesota for the fall semester. (I'm 17, and she provides most of my money, so her opinion matters.) I think the boots will be fine so long as it isn't 30 degrees below and there isn't a foot of snow outside. These boots are only $80 on sale now, while most boots are $200, so I do hope they can work out.

What do you fine girls think? If these boots aren't appropriate, can you suggest what would be more fitting? Footwear troubles me, it's the only part of an outfit with which I have trouble. Thank you!!

Sincerely,
Kate

Dear Kate,

We think the Boots sound Smashing! We don't understand why they wouldn't be Appropriate-- actually, we think they sound like a Very Appropriate Item of Clothing for Fall in Minnesota! EGL went to Grad School in Michigan and got a Lot of Mileage out of a pair of Nearly Knee-High, Smooth Black Leather, Chunky-Heeled Boots. They're the best thing to wear with Skirts when it's cold. Only caution: make sure the heels are Easy to Walk in. If you're going to be trekking across your College Campus carrying Lots of Heavy Books, you will not want to be walking on Spindly Little Heels.

We're glad you like Our Site-- please keep visiting after you Go Off to School!

With best wishes,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

Hello,

If I ever find someone to marry, I am hoping I can convice them to breast feed. I know that this is something I should not even be thinking about yet, but I really worry. I mean, I think I am going to be passing down some wonderful genes, with some wonderful traits, and I want to make sure my future wife does not destroy all that in one fell swoop. I'm serious! Anyway, I know I am rambling, and I know that this is a topic that is probably a little touchy for many people, but this is really important. OK, so please get back to me on this, because I know that your answer will affect the many people who visit this web site.

Carlos

Dear Carlos,

Good God. Are you For Real? Egotistical Much? And what on earth does this have to do with the EGs?? We're not the Eugenics Grrls, for Heaven's Sake.

Sincerely,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

DEAR ETIQUETTE GRRLS,

MY WIFE AND I DON'T KNOW THE PROPER WAY TO WEAR A WEDDING RING PEOPLE TELL US ALL DIFFERENT TYPES OF THINGS.

ELIJAH

Dear Elijah,

First, stop SHOUTING!

Second, it's Pretty Darn Easy: on the Ring Finger of Your Left Hand. What could Other People Possibly Be Telling You?

Yours truly,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

Dear Etiquette Grrls,

My husband and I are expecting a baby and were wondering if you had suggestions for nice, classic baby names. Nothing made up like Madison or Dakota. My rule of thumb is going to be only names that existed before 1900.

Mother-to-Be

Dear Mother-to-Be,

Ooooh! Quelle Brilliant Question! The EGs absolutely ADORE classic baby names! We have TONS of favorites! However, we'll restrict ourselves to twenty...

Boys
Julian
Will (As is, or as a nickname for William; EGL's baby nephew's name is Will, and he's Pretty Darn Adorable. But We Digress.)
Simon
Kenton
Lawrence
Algernon (please, please, please, will SOMEONE name their son Algernon?)
Miles
Edward
James
Thomas

Girls
Emma (Both EGs have used this name on A Kitten, and, thus, feel it's Out of the Running for any Wee Ones we might someday have, but we LOVE this name, the horrid Gwyneth Paltrow Movie notwithstanding.)
Grace
Esmé
Violet
Rosemary
Lily (hmmm, the EGs seem to be on a bit of a horticultural kick here)
Charlotte
Anne (With an "e"-- see Anne of Green Gables)
Claudia
Sarah

As we say, Dear Reader, there are many, many more. We entirely agree with you-- much as with Cocktails, the EGs prefer Baby Names "invented" more than, say, fifty years ago. At least.

Sincerely,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

Dearest EGs,

Have received your book in the mail yesterday eve, been reading all night, and am now all eyes on your site, obviously. Have been browsing all your wedding Q&A, but honestly, h o n e s t l y, have not found an A to my Q. so hear me out, please.

Le "boyfriend" of, yes, three months now, has just flown off to the second wedding he did not invite me to. Granted, the first one was in Paris, and we had only been "an item" for about two months then, but still, I must ask: what is the etiquette on bringing a date to a wedding? Is it not implied that wedding guests will bring their Most Significant (one does hope) Others? Or does this have to be spelled out on the invitation (which, in both cases, I haven't seen, so for all I know it may well have been), e.g., "Bring your significant other, duh!" Am I being unreasonable or paranoid? I do have to admit that around both times I was rather short on the argent, so I might have had to decline, what with air fares and all that, but SHOULDN'T HE HAVE ASKED? Just tell me if I should laisser him tomber.

Your latest, and already most devoted, fan,
I.

Dear I.,

Oh Dear Reader, we are so grateful for your devotion to our website and TYNTBT, but we are afraid you're probably not going to like this response. Nevertheless, the EGs are Rather Fond of Telling It Like It Is. Basically, it is Up to the Happy Couple to decide if they will allow Wedding Guests to Bring Dates. Now, one is, of course, required to invite Both Halves of a Married Couple; similarly, one must invite Both Halves of an Engaged Couple. Mostly everyone, nowadays, would also think it best to invite Both Halves of a Couple Living Together. If you do not fit into one of the Above Categories, Dear Reader, you must not Expect to be Included in invitations sent to Your Boyfriend. If his invitation does not read, "Mr. Joe Boyfriend and Guest," or if an invitation sent to you does not read, "Miss Sally Girlfriend and Escort" or "and Guest," then the invitation is for JUST ONE OF YOU. No exceptions. It is truly The Height of Rudeness to ask if you can Bring Along a Date to a Wedding for which you've not been specifically invited to bring one. And it's even worse if you just R.S.V.P. that you're bringing one, without even asking, or, worse, NOT R.S.V.P. that you're bringing one and then Show Up avec A Date, throwing all the Seating Arrangements into Chaos and forcing the Caterers to Rustle Up another Plate of Filet Mignon. Actually, this is true for Pretty Much Every Social Invitation-- if one is invited to a Dinner Party, and the Hostess hasn't said, "Oh, and do bring a date if you'd like," then you are not allowed to try to weasel an invitation out of her for Joe Boyfriend, or, horrors, just to Bring Him Along.

So no, Dear Reader, we do not think this is cause to Dump Joe Boyfriend. He is behaving Absolutely Correctly... assuming, of course, that you were Not, In Fact, Invited. We think if he did receive an invitation for Himself and Guest, and didn't even ask you if you'd like to Attend, that would be Curious Behavior indeed.

Yours truly,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

Dear Etiquette Grrls,

I was wondering if it is appropriate to give a friend/coworker a gift if she is only five weeks pregnant.

Curious

Dear Curious,

Sure! Even the Pregnant have Birthdays, and celebrate Major Holidays like Christmas!

We suppose you mean a Gift because she is Pregnant. Is it Public Knowledge that your colleague is With Child? If not, we'd certainly advise you to wait. The EGs think Baby Gifts are always best given AFTER the Wee One has arrived-- too much, sadly, can go wrong, especially in the early stages of Pregnancy, so we would always advise erring on the Side of Caution, even if that means waiting a few months.

With best wishes,
The Etiquette Grrls

martini

Dear Etiquette Grrls,

Thank you for your Lovely Website. I enjoy it very much, as I did your Marvelous Book.

I have a question regarding the workplace. Do you think that it is preferable to issue commonplace pleasantries such as "Good Morning" when greeting colleagues, rather than always trying to be Funny? Not everyone is a Standup Comedian, after all, and even those who are should probably Give it a Rest while working their day jobs, don't you think?

It seems to me that those trying to come up with Clever Comments (such as "I didn't recognize you in a dress" or "What's with the apron?") all the time are going to Unnecessary Trouble, and it is Bound to Backfire someday.

I have no desire to humiliate these well-meaning folks, but don't you agree that it should just stop?

J.

Dear J.,

Yes, Dear Reader, it should Just Stop. Just tell them, "And good morning to you too," while giving them, simultaneously, a Sweet Smile and an Icy Glare, and be On Your Merry Way.

We're glad you've enjoyed Our Book, and hope you continue to visit Our Website! Merci beaucoup!

Most sincerely yours,
The Etiquette Grrls

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Dear Etiquette Grrls,

Hi, I was just wondering if it is acceptable to wear faux pearls instead of the real thing. Thank you.

CeCe

Dear CeCe,

Heavens, no! Faux pearls are NOT acceptable! Someone might think they were real! You should also immediately cease wearing makeup (faux perfect complexion), heels (faux height), contact lenses (faux 20-20 vision), and anything else that's not 100% Totally Real!

We're Kidding, of course! Yes, Dear Reader, it is Perfectly Fine to wear Faux Pearls. Do try to find some that are Understated and Elegant (make sure they don't have a Very Gaudy Clasp-- that's the downfall of Many a Strand of Faux Pearls we've seen), and wear them with Pride!

Yours truly,
The Etiquette Grrls

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Dear Etiquette Grrls,

First, I must say that I am so pleased to have stumbled upon your site. You both are completely Fab. It has been two weeks now and I have purchased your book and read your website religiously. I do have a wee problem that I am sure you can help with. Recently I purchased my first new car and I adore it. I have told my Dear Friends and Family that I would appreciate if they would not eat or drink in my car as I would like to keep it looking new as long as possible. My Dear Friend has a problem with this rule and she allowed her mannerless, spoiled four year old (the Monster) drink in my car (without me knowing) and he of course spilled his juice in My Car. Of course she did not tell me he spilled his juice, neither did she attempt to clean it up. I found the juice stain on my door days later as I cleaned My Car. On top of that my Dear Friend has decided to tell me she has had enough of my Rude Rules and since my car is only a $20,000 car not a $50,000 car, I should not have such rude rules. She feels that if my car gets dirty I should just Clean It. Please keep in mind that Her Car is a 1990 Something that she paid $1,000 for and is rarely clean so she always wants to ride (with the Monster) in Mine. She also is Offended that I do not want her to bring the Monster everywhere I invite her.

Am I THOR? Please Advise.

Your Newest Fan,
Lauren

Dear Lauren,

Oh no! A Monster Child in Your New Car? Heavens! And the EGs do not understand why the price of a car makes any difference in How Clean It Should Be Kept. The Etiquette Volvo is Ancient (not "Antique and Cool Ancient," either-- just medium-old, thanks very much), yet it's Spotlessly Clean! The EGs have some simple advice: Stop driving your friend around. As a matter of fact, we'd stop inviting her anywhere, period; this should also take care of her always bringing the Monster avec vous.

Thank you so much for saying we're Fab! Tee hee!

Cheers,
The Etiquette Grrls

 

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