Table Manners RSS

Meddling Mother-in-Law

Dear Helena, I love my mother-in-law, but she cannot stay out of the kitchen when she visits. She hovers while I cook, making comments like, “Wow, that’s a lot of

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Drinking Wine While Pregnant in France

Dear Helena, I have a trip planned to France with my husband, during which I’ll be five and a half months pregnant. We’d like to enjoy wine on our trip,

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Drunken Guest from Hell

Dear Helena, Recently my friends threw a baby shower for me. I didn’t want it to be like a regular baby shower—diaper cakes make me want to vomit—so it was

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Should I Cut My Steak Like a Brit?

Dear Helena, My boyfriend is British and thinks the way Americans eat by switching their knife and fork back and forth between their hands is “clumsy.” According to him, it

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Too Frumpy for the Good Seats?

Dear Helena, I recently dined at an LA hot spot where it seemed that two-thirds of the diners were either hookers or women who looked like hookers (tight cocktail dresses,

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Inviting Vegetarians to Eat Corpse

Dear Helena, I am considering throwing my next birthday party at a restaurant where you can reserve a private room for a whole-animal dinner that is shared by everyone at

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Is It Wrong to Yell “Hey, Amigo”?

Dear Helena, The other night, I had dinner with a friend. He was frustrated because we weren’t getting any service—no water, no menus, and our waiter was nowhere in sight.

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Bad-Palate Breakups

Dear Helena, I am dating a guy who is borderline Mr. Perfect but has no appreciation of food. He’d be happy to have a peanut butter sandwich for dinner every

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Culturally Insensitive Takeout

Dear Helena, My in-laws, who are in their 50s, insist on referring to Chinese food as “Oriental food,” and it drives me crazy. My husband assures me that they don’t

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Avoid Farmers’ Market Faux Pas

Dear Helena, I’m a regular at my local farmers’ market. Most of the people who come to shop are pretty nice. But some are downright rude. They don’t bother to

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Avoiding Dinner-Party Wine Gaffes

Dear Helena, We took a nice bottle of white wine to a dinner party and the hosts didn’t open it, which was fine. But at the end of the night,

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What Food to Bring New Parents

Some friends of mine just had a baby and I want to drop by with some food, as I understand new parents are totally exhausted and don’t even have time to boil an egg. But what should I bring?

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Is This Salmon Farmed?

How to ask your server about sourcing.

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I Spit on Your Meat-Raising Livelihood

How do I break my vegetarianism to my boyfriend's meat-loving family?

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Does My Waiter Hate Me?

What you can do to make his job easier.

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Quorum Call

When not enough people RSVP, is it OK to cancel a party?

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Refuse Dessert Politely

Don't resort to the Windex diet.

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The Lady Will Have the Prawns

On guys ordering for gals.

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Tipping Homeless “Helpers”

They open the door; you feel guilty.

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Should You Tip on Takeout?

A to-go faux pas.

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The Top Grocery-Store Etiquette Gaffes

Bad things happen with low blood sugar.

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