The thing about good manners is that nobody is born with them; they are acquired and some of us have acquired more than others by the time we reach middle age. Around the holidays, we sometimes find gaps in our etiquette knowledge the size of the Grand Canyon. So, we turned to the Right or Rude ladies for guidance on what do to with some popular situations we find ourselves in come holiday season. Right or Rude is a website run by three women (whose ages span multiple generations). Here are a few questions we put to them:
● Should I drink at the office holiday party? After all, nobody wants to be the topic of office gossip on Monday morning.
Right and Rude: There's always a line for everything. An office party is an opportunity to bond with colleagues and let loose, but there is such a thing as "too loose." Keep track of your drinks and make sure to have some food because there's nothing worse than drinking on an empty stomach.
Post50s editors would add this: Don't be the one whose keys are taken away because they are too drunk to drive home. If you think this is even a remote possibility, ask a trusted work friend to keep an eye on you and your state of inebriation.
● How much should I spend on gifts for friends and co-workers? And what's your bottom line on re-gifting; is it ever acceptable?
Right and Rude: It may sound like a cliché but it is really the thought that counts. Whether you are able to spend $100 or $10, spend your efforts thinking about the individual person you are gifting. What do they like? Is your friend an aspirational chef? Think about giving her a cooking class or a unique recipes book. As for re-gifting, it is just RUDE and shows you are more interested in recycling rather than the person.
Post50 editors say: If you are watching your money, by all means just tell folks before they start shopping that you'd prefer to not exchange gifts this year.
● Dinner etiquette: Which fork do I use?!? Is getting a second helping too greedy?
Right and Rude: As we learned from the movie "Titanic," when it comes to forks, you always start from the outside and work your way in. Truth is, most of the time people aren't watching what fork you are using. We've been to restaurants where they expect you to use the same fork for all courses. As for second servings: Go for it! It can only mean you really enjoyed the food.
Post50 editors say: We like our forks fresh in restaurants. But we couldn't agree more on second helpings! Heck, we've been known to bring Tupperware when we have dinner at close friends' homes!
● I'm in a new relationship and meeting his family for the first time. How should I behave? Do I need to bring a gift?
Right and Rude: Meeting the family is always nerve-racking. A gift is always a nice gesture and some flowers or chocolate for your significant other's family can be the perfect way to break the ice. In terms of behavior there's only one thing you should do: Just be yourself. Let them see why your man/woman fell so deeply in love with you. It'll be the best gift you can possibly give them.
Post50 editors say: Meeting the family is the easy part. It's the next 40 years that are problematic.
● I am recently divorced and am facing the holidays alone for the first time in many years. Can I bring my adult daughter or another single woman friend to parties rather than just go alone?
Right and Rude: Most of the time, guests are encouraged to bring a plus one to any party. If a plus one is not mentioned on the invitation though make sure to ask the party host. No one likes party crashers.
Post50 editors say: We say get back on the horse that threw you, honey. Go to that party alone and work the room. If you bring a friend, you'll wind up talking to her all night. And if she doesn't know anyone else there, then you become responsible for her good time too. Go put on a party dress and a happy face and have a great time!