It’s called “Etiquette.”

Recently, an RSVP deadline for the wedding of a friend of mine ran up to me, stopped and stared, and then kept on running. I totally and completely forgot to send in my RSVP even though I see this friend on a more than regular basis. I was embarrassed, to say the least. I apologized profusely and E.- being the delightfully forgiving and understanding woman that she is-overlooked my forgetfulness and had already RSVP’d for me. She did tell me, however, that she had only put down my name and not the name of a date. I must have looked surprised as I said “Of course! There wasn’t a place for a date on the invitation.” She laughed, patted my arm, and said “Bless you. You know etiquette.” Apparently, people who had only received an invitation for one, had deemed it their right to bring a date.

I’m sorry, but when did we lose all practice of common courtesy and manners? Not only is assuming that you have the right to bring a date to an event, such as a wedding, without invitation rude, but it is inconsiderate in economical times such as the ones that we are in when brides and grooms are cutting corners and making ends meet on their special day.

There are exceptions to every rule which you can read about here. But usually, if the name isn’t on the invitation, there’s no invite.

In other etiquette news, when I was in D.C. last month with a large group, we were faced at almost every meal with the lovely task of splitting up the bill and tipping since we almost always ate together. And at every meal, with the exception of one, there was some drama about who owed what and how much to tip. Add that the District of Columbia has a different-and much higher-sales tax than we do here at home and it was just plain craziness. Yes, gratuity is included at most restaurants for large groups and yes, even though it is not always expected, it is nice to give a little extra out of the goodness of your heart. In the same vein, make sure that you are paying your share. If your meal was $20, put a twenty in the pot. Don’t come up short, even by a few cents, causing someone else to have to cover your lack of funds. I thought Julie Rottenberg said it best.

One last rant. When you are waiting on the elevator and the door opens to show a room full of people, stand to the side and let those folks off before you get on. Men, let women go first. Ladies, let older folks in front of you. And exit in that order of you are all going to the same place. I know, I know. This is the 21st century, but again, it’s called etiquette” and you know your mother taught you better.