Gifts for grandmothers?
Q Every year I can’t think of a thing to give my grandmother for her birthday. She always says she doesn’t need anything and never gives me any ideas. What’s a good grandma present?
A This is a time when something personal is a great gift. If she wears jewelry, a locket (with your picture in it) or a delicate bracelet would become her favorite accessory. A little luxury is nice, too — a collection of lotions and bubble bath or shower gel that she probably wouldn’t splurge on for herself; or a really pretty, soft cardigan sweater that she can wear at home or when out with friends; or a purse or handbag that can be an alternative to the one she always carries — any of these would be nice. Of course the best present would be your time. Take her on a date — out for tea, or to the movies, or a botanical garden or museum, and when you pick her up, take her a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Q What are the guidelines for eating tacos? Should I attempt a knife or fork or is it okay to pick them up with my hands?
A Hard shell tacos are meant to be eaten with the hands because it’s impossible to cut into the crispy shell without having it crack and crumble. However, any filling that falls out should be eaten with a fork, not picked up with your hands.
Q What are the guidelines for talking in a museum? Is it better to whisper about works of art than talk in a normal voice?
A By all means, discuss the art, but there is no need to escalate conversations to the point of disturbing those around you. There is no need to whisper, either, which really is more distracting than normal-voiced discussion. Naturally, a museum isn’t the place to hold conversations about your life in general — save those conversations for another time. And do turn off your cell phone, or at least put it on vibrate. Museums are not places for ringing phones or phone conversations. If you have to talk on the phone, go outside.
Q My girlfriend and I do a lot of hiking, but have come across some situations where we aren’t sure about who has the right of way on trails. Are there guidelines?
A The first rule is the same as for driving: stay to the right and pass on the left. Always look before changing positions, and anticipate other trail users around corners or in blind spots. The second common sense rule is that downhill traffic yields to uphill traffic. People huffing and puffing their way up a hill are likely working harder, so you step aside to let them keep going so they don’t have to break their stride, or stop their bike momentum. Everyone yields to a horse. It’s fine, for the rider to advise you about how to step aside, since the rider knows the horse’s temperament and you don’t.
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