A Question of Etiquette: The cab conundrum

color-etiquette-09-15-16I work in the city and usually take cabs to meetings. Generally, a female colleague accompanies me. Sometimes I’m with my boss, a man. This may sound unimportant, but who enters the cab first? I’m never sure how to handle this.

Traditionally, and because chivalry still exists, a woman enters a cab first. However, many women prefer to have you enter first so they don’t have to slide across the seat, not an easy thing to do when wearing a skirt or a dress. The best way to deal with this is to ask when you open the door: “Do you want to go first, or should I?” When it’s your boss, the person nearest the door opens it and the other person gets in first, unless you have a strict junior/senior protocol, in which case you usually would open the door for him to enter first.

I share a house with three other guys, one of whom owns the house. One of them is a complete slob. How he keeps his room is up to him, but he pretty much destroys the shared rooms, like the kitchen and the living room. The other two housemates don’t seem bothered by this but it makes me crazy. I am very neat and this is making my life miserable. What do I do?

Talk to the owner and your other housemate about your feelings. If they really don’t share them and aren’t inclined to support you, then you either have to accept things the way they are or find another place to live. If they agree with you but haven’t known how to approach the situation, you can suggest a house meeting where rules about cleaning up are made clear, as well as the consequence for not following them, which likely would be the owner evicting the offender if he doesn’t change his ways.

What do we do about letting wedding guests know where we are registered? Can we note the information on the invitation, or on an enclosure with the invitation? We don’t want it to seem that we are asking for gifts but if people would like to give us a gift we’d like to share the information.

It is never correct to state gift or registry information on any invitation, even though your intentions are to be helpful. You want your invitation to indicate that you want invitees to be with you, and that it is all about the pleasure of their company. When you include registry information, it looks like you are also asking for a gift. It is true that anyone invited to a wedding is expected to give a gift, whether he or she attends or not, so it seems silly to say “don’t be helpful,” but it is the long-standing guideline that still is in effect today. Instead, tell your parents, attendants and other close friends and family where you are registered so they can share the information with guests who ask.

Questions for Catherine? Send them to michaels.catherine@yahoo.com