Northampton Press

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Respectfully Yours: Female attire for summer morning wedding

Saturday, April 4, 2020 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

My friend is getting married this summer and the wedding is at 11 a.m. When attending a morning wedding, what are female guests expected to wear?

Dear Reader,

Traditionally, a daytime wedding is a semi-formal event and an evening wedding is a formal event.

When deciding what to wear, the time of day isn’t the only thing to take into consideration. The location and venue of the wedding are also big determining factors in what a guest should wear.

Respectfully Yours: Handle delicate-condition question delicately

Friday, March 27, 2020 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

Ever since we got married, well-meaning family members have been asking when are we going to start a family. We have been politely smiling and trying to give a vague answer. What is the best way to politely answer the “When are you having a baby question?”

Dear Reader,

This is a very personal question that when posed will make most people feel uncomfortable.

Some people do not have a sensitive awareness of boundaries when it comes to personal topics. The problem is, no matter how you respond, you know that your response will be analyzed.

Respectfully Yours: Last-minute dining should include good service

Friday, March 20, 2020 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

Is it OK to enter a nice sit-down restaurant 15 to 30y minutes before closing. If so, should you leave a bigger tip because the server had to stay later to serve you?

Dear Reader,

If you come in when a restaurant is open, you should expect good service.

Some places are better than others about this and some servers are better about it than others.

Respectfully Yours: Let ‘nice’ gentlemen down easy, and soon

Friday, March 13, 2020 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I’ve been dating a very nice gentleman. Unfortunately, I’m just not feeling that “spark” to take it further. I can see he is definitely interested in taking things to a serious romantic place. What is the best and kindest way to part company?

Dear Reader,

There’s no perfect way to end a relationship with someone. But you can try to let them down as gently as possible.

Respectfully Yours: What’s a dinner bill among friends?

Monday, March 9, 2020 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

When going out to dinner with friends or relatives, do you split the bill down the middle or do you itemize? What if they order drinks and you don’t?

Dear Reader,

Splitting a bill evenly among all diners isn’t a rule required by etiquette.

But to avoid disproportionate payouts and hurt feelings when it comes time to split the check, talk openly with your family and friends about sharing the bill as early as possible.

Asking for separate checks is the most equitable way to split the tab because each person pays for their share of the bill.

Respectfully Yours: Saving face when saving place in line

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

Is it impolite to tell someone to hold your place in line?

Dear Reader,

Occasionally, it’s fine to ask someone to hold your place in a line if it’s for a very brief interval.

If the line is moving slowly enough, so that there won’t be one more person added while you are gone, it’s not impolite.

Thank the people behind you for their patience and tolerance, but be sure to hurry back.

When you are ready to step back into line, if you took more than a few minutes, go to the end of the line.

Respectfully Yours: Ins and outs of who attends the party

Friday, February 21, 2020 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I am invited to a party and I am not sure I want to attend. Someone I don’t get along with might have been invited and I would feel very uncomfortable. Is it rude to ask the host of a party who else is coming before you decide whether you are going?

Dear Reader,

Asking this question before accepting an invitation is not considered polite. You will likely offend the host and give the impression that you need to be convinced the party is worth your time.

Respectfully Yours: Perfume triggers coworker’s allergies

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I am sensitive to scents, particularly perfume. The aroma triggers my allergies. I sit close to a coworker whose perfume is overpowering. How do I nicely tell someone her she’s wearing too much perfume?

Dear Reader,

Working in close quarters can sometimes be challenging.

For people who are sensitive to smells, overwhelming perfume can present an unhealthy work environment.

Respectfully Yours: Food delivery tip: There’s an app for that

Thursday, February 6, 2020 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

I’ve just started using on-demand food delivery services. Should I tip the delivery driver and, if so, how much?

Dear Reader,

Tipping etiquette has largely remained unchanged even though the method of delivery has evolved.

Your delivery person goes to a restaurant near you and brings the food to your door, providing a convenient service that makes your life easier.

Respectfully Yours: Handle uncomfortable questions comfortably

Monday, February 3, 2020 by JACQUELYN YOUST in Focus

Dear Jacquelyn,

When I’m talking to new people at social events, they just go directly to the point and ask personal questions like, “What what are my plans after college?” I don’t want to come across as impolite. What do you say when you don’t want to answer a question?

Dear Reader,

When someone asks a question that you might interpret as impolite it conjures up uncomfortable emotions.