So, where are you really supposed to put your napkin after dinner? Do you put it on the table or on your seat? We got into this discussion after dinner one night ‘cause we were all using paper napkins and they looked gross.
This is why Etiquetteer really doesn’t like paper napkins. Not only do they fall on the floor, they do not hold up well if the meal is, uh, moist. One of Etiquetteer’s favorite pub foods is buffalo wings. Most of us know how easy it is to use an entire stack of paper napkins going through a plate of those!
No matter the material of the napkin, its Perfectly Proper place at the end of the meal is to the left of your plate, not on your seat. When paper napkins get particularly messy, Etiquetteer is sometimes driven to slipping them into his pants pockets, but this is really a Desperate Measure . . . and not an option for a lady in a skirt.
What is the proper way to deal with friends who blog with wild abandon, and include one's private matters in their online diaries? If one highly values one's privacy, is the only solution to curtail social contact with the blogging folks? How does one make it clear to cyber-exhibitionists that one does not wish to be the subject of their reporting?
Your life doesn't become a blogger's property, even the parts of it you choose to spend with and/or in confide in him or her. As soon as you read or become aware of references to yourself in someone's blog, you should contact the blogger and request that those references be removed immediately. Repeat as necessary until the appropriate action has been taken, up to and including legal assistance. (Indeed, Etiquetteer became aware of an amateur photographer who had been threatened with a lawsuit if he didn't remove photos of a former friend from his blog.)
If you feel, after repeated instances of this behavior, that your private life is no longer truly private, Etiquetteer can only recommend that you no longer communicate with this person without witnesses.
A few months ago, we were talking about mailing a letter to a lawyer and his wife who's a doctor and you said the names should always be alphabetical, not Mr. first and Ms. second. But now we're down to the nitty gritty of wedding invitations and I have a few questions. I normally start with Mr. and Mrs., but here are the questions:
Mr. Arturo Swisserswatter and Ms. Igotta Cacciabutti (married couple -- should Mrs. come first?)
Mr. Galahad Familyman and Ms. Prunaprismia Amanuensis (not married, living together, one address, one invitation, but should our son Galahad come first?)
Ms. Antoinette Outlier and Mr. Lancelot Britlington (my married niece and her husband -- again, with different names, but I feel that my niece should come first).
I admit to different rules (in one case husband first, in another case the relative first). But what is the perfectly proper way to handle it? Or does it really matter?
Dear Familyman Patriarch:
Taking your examples one by one:
Ms. Igotta Cacciabutti
Mr. Arturo Swisserswatter
Yes, this is in fact correct, even though you and I were always taught that the gentleman comes first.
Mr. Galahad Familyman
Ms. Prunaprismia Amanuensis
Etiquetteer admits that ordinarily they should be listed alphabetically, but since this is a family wedding invitation and Galahad is the family member . . . well, Etiquetteer thinks that's a good enough reason to list him first. Etiquetteer has seen some universities list the name of the alumnus first and then the spouse, whether or not the last names are in alphabetical order. This seems a universal enough precedent to Etiquetteer to apply here.
Ms. Antoinette Outlier
Mr. Lancelot Britlington
Again, family may come first for a family wedding.
To answer your last question, you'd be surprised to whom it matters! People will interpret slights over the least little thing, especially at weddings.
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