A Question of Etiquette: Taking the right side (or the left)

color-etiquette-10-06-16I read that a man always walk on the outside or curbside when he is with a woman. Is that true, and if so, why?

This is an old and traditional custom that goes back to the days when horses and buggies were the form of transportation and the thinking that women needed to be shielded from the potential hazards presented by the horses. When automobiles were invented, a man walked on the outside to shield the woman from splashing mud flung by tires. It’s a custom that has stayed with us, and men still often position themselves on the curb- or outside, although it is no longer a matter of manners.

 

We are planning a senior trip to Vermont, about 30 people for three days. Are tips expected for tour bus drivers and/or tour guides? If so, how much?

Yes, tips are expected and are often included by the tour company. Generally, the amount is ten to twenty percent of the cost of the tour. Check with the tour company to see if tips are included. If not, the guide and a separate driver are each tipped $5 to $10 per passenger, depending on the length of the tour. For a three-day trip, you would tip in the $10 range. You give the tips at the end of the tour.

 

Which goes in the shaker with more or bigger holes; salt or pepper?

Salt goes in the shaker with more or bigger holes because generally, salt is used more liberally than pepper.

 

My husband is a “junior.” When I introduce him do I say, “This is my husband, Sam Jones Junior?”

No, that isn’t necessary. “Jr.” is a suffix you would use in correspondence, rarely in conversation. Only if people are confused because Sam Jones, Sr. is also present might you distinguish between the two by using “Jr.” in an introduction.

 

I am acquainted with a woman who is a serial hugger. Whenever I see her, which is often, she lunges in for a hug. This happens on the street, when we are both at the same event, and even in the grocery store. It’s making me crazy. I’m not averse to hugs but we are not best friends and since we are often in the same place, she will do the hug thing two or three times in the same day. How can I stop this? Currently I am doing my best to avoid her, but that is not always possible. I do like her. I just mind all the hugging.

If you can’t deflect a hug, (arms full of packages, or by saying you have a cold and don’t want to give her germs, or that you have a sore back and can’t abide being touched, for example) you may have to tell her how you feel. Be tactful and make it about you, not her. You can tell her how much you enjoy seeing her, but that you really don’t enjoy physical contact.

 

Questions for Catherine? Send them to [email protected]

 

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