My husband and I are invited to a social gathering and the host suggests “comfy casual” attire. The evening is going to be a relaxing night that includes pizza and some game-playing. My husband insists on wearing khakis and a button-down. I said comfy casual is sweatpants or maybe jeans, but definitely not khakis and a button-down. This is causing a slightly heated debate. He is not comfortable heading out to meet friends in sweats. What is the difference between casual and comfy casual attire?
Dear Jacquelyn, I don’t want to hurt my cousin’s feelings, but she says the same thing at least three times but in different ways. I think she wants to keep the conversation going but I find it annoying. She will tell me that someone cut her off while she was driving and then she will tell me again, but in a different way. She does not suffer from memory loss. How can I politely change the subject?
I have a weekly ladies’ luncheon. My friend called to say she has had the flu all week and will attend just to get out of the house. How do I tell her she shouldn’t come?
Dear Reader, Showing up at the luncheon when you are days into a case of the flu is completely inexcusable.
The sniffles are one thing, but the flu is dangerous and your friend needs to stay home.
I find myself yearning for the old days of just having a landline telephone. My family and friends text and email all hours of the day. I don’t keep my cell phone with me all the time and I’m not always online. Everyone seems to want an immediate response. Are there rules for response time so as not to offend anyone?
Dear Reader, It seems the good, old-fashioned telephone call has gone by the wayside.
Although fast, email and texting bring about their own set of challenges.
I am planning on hosting a large family dinner. Our family doesn’t get together often and I really want to spend time talking and catching up. The problem is that I am concerned some family members will be distracted by their cell phones. I would like for everyone to interact and make fun, new memories. How do I ask them to put away their cell phones?
Hosting a family dinner is a great opportunity to reconnect and is so important it should be done as often as possible.
I get very uncomfortable when I’m standing in a line and the person behind me is standing too close. When I try to put a little distance between me and the other person, the person always seem to move closer. How close should you stand next to someone in a line?
When a person is within arm’s reach, or even worse, close enough to feel their breath, they are in your personal space.
Anytime someone steps across that invisible line, it’s natural to feel uneasy and uncomfortable.
Dear Jacquelyn, The other day, I went to a big retailer and crossed paths with a salesperson who was pushy. After the first couple of tries to excuse myself, I started to feel uncomfortable. I was not interested in the product he was selling and he would not take “No” for an answer. How do you politely tell a persistent salesperson you are not interested?
Dear Jacquelyn, I was out to dinner with my husband and after we were seated, I quickly realized I was seated next to a blazing heater and right under a sound speaker. I asked our server if we could switch to a different table. She moved us to another table but seemed annoyed. Is it bad manners to ask for a different table when you’ve already been seated?
Dear Reader, Sometimes it’s OK. Sometimes, it’s not. The most common restaurant protocol calls for a server to check with the host or hostess to see if tables are reserved.
I was shocked to see a guest arrive at a dinner party with her own food. The person did so because of being a picky-eater, not because of a dietary restriction or allergy. The host was gracious and did not say anything. What are your thoughts about bringing your own food to a dinner party?
Dear Reader, Being invited to a dinner party is a wonderful gift and a host will go through a lot of trouble planning and preparing a meal. Not mentioning ahead of time that you are bringing a casserole will seem like an insult.
Dear Jacquelyn, The one thing that sets me apart from my friends is I do not drink alcohol. A big part of my problem is feeling awkward in social situations. Is there a casual, polite response I could say when someone asks why I’m not drinking?
Dear Reader, Not everyone chooses to include drinking in their lifestyle and it is possible to say no to alcohol in a polite way.
There’s absolutely no reason to feel awkward. Not everyone drinks alcohol.