Q: My great-aunt owns a big vacation home in Florida. She lets relatives use it all the time. My husband and I and our kids have spent Thanksgiving there for the past five years, and we’ve always had a wonderful time. Well, I just got an e-mail from a distant cousin of mine (whom I can’t stand) saying, “Looking forward to seeing you over Thanksgiving!” It seems my great-aunt told him that he and his family could use the house that week as well. I asked my great-aunt—I thought maybe she’d forgotten that we’d be there—but she said, “Oh, there are five bedrooms, so you’ll all have plenty of room!” That’s true… we just didn’t really want company. Is there anything I can do?
A: Not without looking like the sort of person who enjoys looking a gift horse in the mouth. It’s your great-aunt’s house to do with as she sees fit. If she wants to loan it to you and another relative at the same time, that’s her prerogative. You can suck it up and deal with sharing the space, or say you’ve had a change of plans and won’t be able to make it, but it would be rude to complain.
Q: I’ve really had it with inappropriately dressed people in amusement parks. I’ve seen t-shirts with obscene slogans, people wandering around in bathing suits (even though they were nowhere near a water ride), and people riding regular rides in soaking-wet bathing suits. Could you spell out some amusement park dress-code rules, please?
A: First of all, if there’s a water-park area, bathing suits are usually okay on the rides there, but you shouldn’t be strolling around the grounds without a cover-up. (And this is true no matter what shape you’re in.)
It should also go without saying that if you have even a tiny concern a particular bathing suit will become embarrassingly revealing on a waterslide or in a wave pool, you shouldn’t risk it. Wear something with more coverage or skip the ride.
Also, if you’re riding water rides, bring a towel and dry off completely or change into dry clothes before you get on a regular ride or go in a restaurant or show. The person who sits there after you will not appreciate your leaving behind a puddle.
And finally, leave the offensive t-shirts at home, please. Or better yet, don’t buy them in the first place.
Q: If I accidentally use the wrong serving spoon at a buffet, what should I do?
A: Tell a waiter. Lots of people have food allergies, so if you picked up a piece of shrimp with a spoon from a veggie tray, you shouldn’t put the spoon back in the veggies.
by Lesley Carlin
© 2010, originally published by Scripps Howard News Service