Originally created 02/08/98

Make 'No' emphatic, not polite

Dear Carson: I just wanted to know what you should do if you were asked to use drugs. This has happened to me many times. I am 17 years old, almost 18. -- Peer Pressure

Dear Peer: When you are asked to use drugs, you have my support to throw etiquette out the window when you respond with an emphatic "No!" Anyone who would try to tempt you does not have your best interests at heart. As the slogan goes, "Just say no!"

Dear Carson: I am giving a 40th wedding-anniversary party for my in-laws. I am host, and all my sisters-in-law are splitting the bill.

Whose name should be on the invitation; mine or those of the biological daughters and their husbands? -- Proper Format

Please Dear Proper: If your sisters-in-law are sharing the costs of the affair, they and their spouses are your co-hosts. It would rightfully offend them to be left off the invitation.

By all means list every couple participating.

Dear Carson: I recently attended a wedding reception and witnessed the most appalling lack of good manners on the part of a grandmother and mother who stood by smiling while their three little girls insisted on unwrapping some special gifts of the bride's. These gifts were personal ones, and the mother and grandmother seemed to think this behavior was cute.

What do you think? -- Goggle-eyed Guest

Dear Guest: For the mother and grandmother to have allowed the little girls to take over unwrapping the bride's gifts was unpardonable. It is too bad that the bride did not sweetly say, "These are my gifts to open, but when you get married you will get to open your own gifts."

People who give a gift want the pleasure of watching the recipient open it. The mother and grandmother did these little girls no favors.

Confidential: I am unable to write letters or call people with answers to queries. However I am happy to give a quick response to e-mail at askcarson@mindspring.com -- Carson B. Elliott

Have a question on etiquette? You can ask Carson Elliott by calling INFOLINE at 442-4444. Press 4422 and leave your message. You can write to Ask Carson, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30913-1928. You can send e-mail to Carson at AskCarson@poseidon.net. Her Web address is: http://www.poseidon.net/Ask


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