Q: My parents offered to foot the bill for my husband and me to accompany them on their next cruise. We’d be happy to cruise with them; we just think their favorite cruise line is tacky. Can we tell them we’d love to go, just not on that line?
A: Gee, look a gift horse in the mouth much? This is an invitation, and as with all invitations, you only have two choices—accept with pleasure or send your regrets. If your friend invited you to her birthday party, you’d either go or not go; you wouldn’t say, “Sure, but only if you move it to a different restaurant.” So, if you want to go on your parents’ dime, you go on the cruise line they like. But only accept if you’re sure you can hide your distaste. If you spend the whole trip turning up your nose at everything, that would be tacky.
Q: My four-year-old and I waited in line for an amusement park ride for over an hour. When we got to the front, she announced she had to go potty right now. So we got out of line. When we returned to the ride, though, they wouldn’t let us skip to the front. Isn’t that unfair?
A: Nope. As a mom, I totally sympathize with you, but if people were allowed to leave the line and come back whenever they wanted, even for perfectly good reasons, there would be total chaos. If the wait’s longer than 30 minutes, plan on a mandatory potty break first.
Q: What’s with people walking around hotel lobbies in nothing but swimsuits? Have they not heard of cover-ups?
A: Apparently not, so let’s educate everybody. Unless you are currently at the beach or the pool—not merely on your way to or from it—you need to wear something over your swimsuit when you’re in public. Hang out in your hotel room in your string bikini all day if you like, but if you step into the hallway, cover up appropriately. For women, this means some sort of dress / tunic / sarong large enough to cover your entire bathing suit; for men, it means a shirt with your swimming trunks. (And shorts over your Speedo, although unless you’re training for the Olympics, I sincerely hope that is not your swimwear of choice. All of America is with me on that one, guys.) Wrapping yourself in a towel doesn’t cut it. You also need footwear, and you shouldn’t be soaking wet.
by Lesley Carlin
© 2009, originally published by Scripps Howard News Service