I recently received an informal party invitation via text message on my cell phone. Unfortunately, the message was unsigned, and I did not recognize the origination phone number. What is the proper response in such a situation?
You could start with a reverse phone number search on one of the Web search engines, such as whitepages.com, to see if you recognize the owner of the phone number. Otherwise Etiquetteer would think you Perfectly Proper in disregarding an anonymous invitation.
What’s the best way for me to tip my hairdresser? Should I just hand her the tip or give it to her in a little envelope? Does it matter if she’
s with another client or should I wait until I can get her alone?
Dear Cut and Colored:
The best way to tip never calls attention to the act of tipping. So if you can discreetly slip your tip to her while shaking hands, preferably before you’ve left her to settle with the cashier, that’
s best. Under the circumstances, Etiquetteer would say that the little envelope is a too fancy for everyday tipping at a salon. For your hairdresser, save the envelope for your holiday tip, which would be the equivalent or a regular cut.
Now of course this means arriving at the salon with enough small bills to tip without having to get change from the cashier. Does Etiquetteer remember to do this? Almost never! And by the time Etiquetteer has gotten enough change to tip, his barber usually has another client in the chair. When that happens, Etiquetteer usually slips his tip under something on the barber’
s stand (like his schedule or a bottle of Clubman Talc or something), says "Thanks, [Insert Name of Barber Here]," and leaves. Etiquetteer enjoys the undivided attention of his barber too much to deprive others of that same attention.
Someone in my office just received an invitation to a book launch that’
s being held in Singapore. The invitation specifies "Smart Casual" as the dress code. What does this mean?Dear Smarting:In the old days, for which Etiquetteer does pine on occasion, "Informal" would have been most Perfectly Proper. On the other hand, that distinction involved jackets and ties for the gentlemen. "Casual" was supposed to get around that, but then too many people started using "Casual" as an excuse for "sloppy."
While not pretending to know much about dress codes in Singapore, Etiquetteer will put forward that "smart casual" is likely to mean that ties are not required and that everything one wears be very pressed (even denim) or highly polished. No holes, patches, spots, please, and no scuffed shoes!
I’m planning to get married later this year. Do I have to have a maid of honor? I’
m afraid of offending any of my close friends by choosing one over the others.
Dear Bride to Be:
You may be surprised to hear this, but you don’t have to have ANY attendants at all, not even bridesmaids. All you really need is a groom, an officiant, and a couple witnesses to make sure it’
Seriously, no maid or matron of honor is required for a wedding. When Etiquetteer’s parents got married at First Methodist Church all those years ago, Etiquetteer’s mother selected two close friends for her bridesmaids, and neither was singled out as maid of honor. And this in spite of the fact that Etiquetteer’s father had a best man and around eight ushers. Invite those close to you to attend you, and don’t worry about what to call them or whether you have equal numbers or not. It’s not nearly as important as knowing that you’
ve picked the right spouse.