Q. A friend and I are hosting a baby shower for the daughter of another friend. We divided tasks, and one of hers was to send the invitations, which she sent listing only herself as the host. Should I inform the guests that I am a co-host?
A. While this was wrong in the extreme for your friend to do, you might not want to make a point of telling all the guests (who likely will figure it out when you are acting as a host at the shower), but you certainly should let the guest of honor’s mom, your friend, know, and the mom-to-be, as well, and you would be justified in letting your co-host know how much you did not appreciate having your name excluded on the invitation. She should be the one who explains this to other guests, since she made the error in the first place.
Q. I live in an apartment building with a communal laundry room. Yesterday I went down with my laundry and the machines were just finishing. I waited 15 minutes and then removed the wash from one machine, carefully, and put it on the work table. About five minutes later, the owner of that laundry came in and objected, strenuously, to my touching her wash. Was I wrong?
A. No, you gave her time to retrieve her laundry, and it was fine for you to carefully remove it and vacate the machine. When a facility is shared, everyone using it has the obligation of keeping track of time and practicing courtesy for the other tenants by being prompt and clearing their possessions so others can take their turn.
Q. How do I eat french fries? With my fingers, or with a fork?
A. Let the rest of your meal be your guide. If you are also having a sandwich or a burger that you are already using your hands to eat, then fingers for your fries are fine. If your entrée is a steak or chicken cutlet or other food that requires a knife and fork, then a fork for your fries, too, is what you use. If they are long, cut them with a knife before using your fork to eat them.
Q. My best friend, who is male, has agreed to be my “maid of honor” at my wedding. How do I refer to him correctly?
A. He is your honor attendant. Plan ahead on what some of his duties may be. For example, he might not be comfortable arranging your train, or holding your bouquet during the ceremony. If you have bridesmaids, ask one of them to help with any attire situations, and arrange for him to hand your bouquet to another, or if you have no other attendants, to your mom in the front pew or row. When it’s time for the recessional, he can walk with your husband’s best man, just as a female maid of honor would.
Have an etiquette question? Send it to Catherine Michaels in care of [email protected]