You can always ask – whether or not you will actually receive it often depends on how you ask.

Here are some suggestions for (tactfully) requesting what you really want.

Dear Rue: Cash Gifts

Continue reading “Can I Ask for Cash As a Gift?” »

December 5, 2013

While this issue may not be quite as delicate or tricky as actual politics, office gift giving can certainly feel just as dangerously diplomatic. Before you venture into office-relations waters, here’s a checklist of important factors to remember.

Dear Rue: Holiday Gifts Continue reading “Should I Give Out Holiday Gifts at Work?” »

November 14, 2013

Simply put, no. You don’t have to serve the wine.

Why not? Let’s phrase it this way: Do holiday gift givers have the right to demand you use their gift? No. Here, it’s absolutely no different. A guest who brings wine to your dinner party is giving you a gift. And therefore, it is completely your choice whether or not to serve it.

If you’re still feeling just a teensy bit guilty about that decision, don’t. Here’s why.
Dear Rue: Bringing Wine to a Party
Continue reading “When a Guest Brings Wine to a Dinner Party, Do I Have to Serve It?” »

October 31, 2013

The most important thing to keep in mind: There is no blanket rule. No one wants to be that so-early-it’s-super-uncomfortable guest at an open-house party (à la Michael Scott on The Office). But what friends with restaurant reservations would like to be left waiting at the dinner table?

Here’s a quick guide to some key arrival etiquette.


Dear Rue: Fashionably Late

Continue reading “How Do I Know If I’m Fashionably Late or Just Late?” »

October 17, 2013

In a word, no. And you cannot try to squeeze in an exception with that seriously weak they’ll-barely-eat-or-do-anything excuse.

Why is it pretty much always unacceptable to bring someone who wasn’t on the invitation? Let me count the ways.

Dear Rue: Uninvited Guest

Continue reading “Can I Bring an Uninvited Guest to a Formal Event?” »

September 19, 2013

Yep, we’ve all been there. That wow-this-is-awkward financial discussion isn’t fun for anyone.

What to do? First, don’t wait for someone to say: “Just want to split the bill?” Think and plan ahead.

Dear Rue: Splitting the Bill

Continue reading “What If My Friends Want to Split the Bill and I Don’t?” »

September 5, 2013


Shaina has spent years helping friends, family, and coworkers with thorny social issues (graciously and gently, of course). Starting today, she’ll bring Rue’s manners-with-style voice to your etiquette questions.

First, take a deep breath and don’t panic. It’s of course a great honor to be selected for the wedding party. And no one would deny that you care for the bride and groom.

However, none of this means that you automatically have to do it.

Dear Rue: Wedding Party

Continue reading “Dear Rue: Can I Say No to Being in the Wedding Party?” »

August 22, 2013