Table Manners rss

Experimental Seating at Dinner Parties

Experimental Seating at Dinner Parties I want to have a little dinner party at my house but (a) am lacking six matching chairs, (b) have a very small dining room table, (c) don't have six matching plates. Can a brother have a dinner party where the guests don't sit around a dining room table? Or is that just a cocktail party? READ MORE

On the First Match.com Date, Who Pays?

On the First Match.com Date, Who Pays? I go on a lot of first dates on Match.com, and it's getting really expensive. If I see a woman more than once, she usually offers to pay on the second date, but if there's no second date, it doesn't seem fair that I should pay for the first date. It's not as if I asked her out—it was a mutually agreed upon thing that happened through email. Must I, as the guy, always be the one who pays for the first date? READ MORE

The, Um, Breast Milk in the Fridge

The, Um, Breast Milk in the Fridge I pump milk at work for my baby and store it in the office fridge. I also leave parts of my pump drying in the drainage rack. No one would dare to tell me that I can't do this, but I feel like people are uncomfortable about it. Should I store my milk in a personal cooler and my pump parts out of sight? READ MORE

Should I Take My Hat Off at a Restaurant?

Should I Take My Hat Off at a Restaurant? I was brought up to remove my hat whenever I was indoors. Nowadays, I often see young people eating out at restaurants wearing all manner of hats. Have manners changed? READ MORE

How to Deal with Backseat Grillers

How to Deal with Backseat Grillers I like to grill, but there is one dude who always tries to take over when I throw a barbecue. He's just trying to help, but it's annoying. Is it rude for this dude to try to "help out," and if so, how can I get him to cede my territory? READ MORE

No Special Treatment for Vegetarians at Barbecues

No Special Treatment for Vegetarians at Barbecues Summer party etiquette for how to handle both meat-averse guests and a windfall of free meat. READ MORE

How Much Should Houseguests Treat?

How Much Should Houseguests Treat? When I'm a houseguest for a short period of time (two or three days), I buy at least one dinner and usually one breakfast as well—it seems like a nice hospitality thank-you, and it's a lot cheaper than staying in a hotel. If I'm somewhere for longer, probably two to three meals plus some kind of formal gift at the end (nice chocolates, wine, etc.). Is this just me, or is this conventionally accepted behavior? READ MORE

When Restaurants Refuse Substitutions

When Restaurants Refuse Substitutions I went to this new gourmet burger place where they have a bunch of different burgers on their menu. The one I asked for came with goat cheese and roasted red pepper relish. I hate goat cheese so I asked them to leave it off. They refused! What is up with this insane policy, and don't you think it is rude and arrogant? READ MORE

How to Handle Blood Sugar Crashes

How to Handle Blood Sugar Crashes My boyfriend is the type of person who turns into a complete lunatic if his blood sugar drops too low. If we're at the restaurant, he's been known to pick a fight with the host if there's a wait, or take it out on me, and he gets positively apoplectic if we can't decide where to eat and he's hungry. I feel like dining out is always a race against the clock. Is there any way to make this process less stressful for both of us? READ MORE

My Server Is Stoned!

My Server Is Stoned! Recently, San Francisco Chronicle restaurant reviewer Michael Bauer posted a reader's question, "What do you do when your waiter is high on something other than life?" I decided to talk to some servers and get their perspective. Is it really such a faux pas to get high on the job? After all, they're not operating heavy machinery. READ MORE