Etiquette

Dear Mary: Should I pay to charge my electric car at a friend’s house?

9 October 2021 9:00 am

Q. An acquaintance suggested organising a celebratory dinner in honour of some mutual friends. He asked my husband and me,…

Dear Mary: How do I get rid of my terrible cleaner?

2 October 2021 9:00 am

Q. I have recently become a widow. Since my son is away at university, I had the idea of charging…

Dear Mary: How do I stop my grey-haired friend giving away my true age?

25 September 2021 9:00 am

Q. I never lie about my age but I try not to think — or talk — about it. Now…

Dear Mary: How do we get our friends to pay for the carpet they ruined?

4 September 2021 9:00 am

Q. We have had some rather rich Argentines to stay. No one was able to come in to help before…

Dear Mary: How do I stop my husband repeating himself?

14 August 2021 9:00 am

Q. A very old friend has rented a holiday house and invited my husband and me to stay. The property…

Why am I so angry?

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Why have we become so quick to anger?

Dear Mary: What is the etiquette of greeting a friend who is engaged in a ceremonial display?

31 July 2021 9:00 am

Q. Passing Buckingham Palace in a taxi the other day, I saw the ceremonial wing of the Household Division prancing…

Dear Mary: How can I stop friends asking to stay in my holiday cottage?

24 July 2021 9:00 am

Q. My beloved wife has been studying Chinese metaphysics for 18 months. Our house and garden have been badly neglected…

Dear Mary: How do I get my neighbours to tidy their front gardens?

10 July 2021 9:00 am

Q. I live in a row of town houses with a communal strip of garden in front. Three of the…

Dear Mary: When is it acceptable to make a French exit?

3 July 2021 9:00 am

Q. The other night, while hosting a house party, I was one of only three people still chatting by the…

Dear Mary: How do we stop our friends’ dogs wrecking our house?

26 June 2021 9:00 am

Q. We have old friends who live in the northern hinterlands and have a property in Provence where they normally…

Dear Mary: Has lockdown de-civilised my husband?

19 June 2021 9:00 am

Q. Last night I went to dinner with people I had never met before. Because the host was a friend…

Dear Mary: How do we tell our friend that her hairstyle doesn’t suit her?

5 June 2021 9:00 am

Q. At a lunch party, I was getting on so well with someone I had not met before. She knew…

In our narcissistic age, nothing beats good manners

29 May 2021 9:00 am

Why rudeness doesn’t pay

Dear Mary: should we exclude our friend for not having had his Covid vaccine?

29 May 2021 9:00 am

Q. Once restrictions are lifted, our annual walking group has planned a week’s walk with after-walk gatherings in a different…

Dear Mary: What is the etiquette around gifts for virtual weddings?

22 May 2021 9:00 am

Q. We have been invited to a virtual wedding. Is it correct form to send a present?— P.F., Barrow Street,…

Dear Mary: How do I tell my fiancee that she eats with her mouth open?

15 May 2021 9:00 am

Q. I’ve recently been approached by a very good friend who — with genuinely admirable candour and tact — pointed…

Dear Mary: How do I cope with colleagues’ bad habits now I’m back in the office?

8 May 2021 9:00 am

Q. I am placed in a social dilemma due to a proposed visit on the last weekend of June by…

Dear Mary: How can I stop my sister-in-law pinching food off my plate?

1 May 2021 9:00 am

Q. Since the relaxation of lockdown, my brother and his wife have started coming to our garden for takeaway meals.…

Dear Mary: What’s the etiquette of loo-flushing for overnight guests?

24 April 2021 9:00 am

Q. My husband and I have started receiving invitations to large summer events scheduled for after 21 June. We have…

Dear Mary: How can we use our neighbour’s tennis court without inviting him to play?

17 April 2021 9:00 am

Q. Our neighbours have a tennis court which, under the property’s previous owner, we enjoyed playing men’s fours on. The…

Dear Mary: How do I reject a wedding invitation without causing offence?

10 April 2021 9:00 am

Q. I have just been invited to a wedding where the groom will be the only person I know. Much…

Dear Mary: How do we stop chatty workmen from disturbing us?

3 April 2021 9:00 am

Q. I have been working (from home) for a TV comedy production company for a year. My job is scouting…

Dear Mary: How can I prioritise ‘first division’ friends after lockdown?

20 March 2021 9:00 am

Q. Before Covid, I was staying with friends in the country every other weekend. As a single man living in…

Dear Mary: What should my wife and I do with the risque photos we took in our youth?

13 March 2021 9:00 am

Q. I hesitate to bring you this problem, but I suspect it is not that uncommon. Early in our very…