Originally created 06/03/01

First date decorum dictates good taste

Dear Carson: I am going on my first formal date.

I plan to take my date to a restaurant. Even though I know not to take her to a fast-food place, do I have to take her to a very upscale restaurant? Would a "midway" restaurant by all right?

Also, would jeans and a nice shirt be all right, or should I wear dress pants? I'm 19 and don't want to mess up my first date. - Wants To Be Proper

Dear Proper: Pick a midway-type restaurant and tell her ahead of time so that she won't over or under dress. Why not choose clean, pressed khaki pants and a nice golf or oxford cloth shirt? It would be in good taste and would be midway-type dress, like the choice of the restaurant.

Good luck on your first date.

Dear Carson: A woman in the office blows her nose all the time. This is not only unprofessional but sickening. How do you let a person know that she should go to the restroom to blow her nose?

Please print this so people will be more conscientious about nose blowing in the office. - Sickened

Dear Sickened: An occasional, mild nose blow is acceptable, but loud and prolonged nose blowing is revolting for those who must listen. Diners in restaurants who indulge in loud nose blows are especially appalling. They should excuse themselves.

You might speak either to the offender's supervisor or the general office manager or post this column with your query highlighted. Hope this does the trick!

Dear Carson: I recently baby-sat for my daughter's children, girls ages 5 and 2, while the parents were at a convention.

While we were at a playground, the older girl fell from a jungle gym and broke her arm in two places. It was a Sunday, and I could reach neither my daughter nor the pediatrician. Two hospitals turned us away, but later we found an excellent children's medical center, and the staff operated late that afternoon.

So much of this experience could have been avoided if I had the forethought to ask for an insurance card and for written permission from my daughter to make decisions in an emergency. If it were not for the kindly help of two thoughtful neighbors, I shudder to think what might have happened. - Fractured Granny

Dear Granny: Had I been in your position I would not have thought of asking for written permission or insurance information. Thanks for saving me and my readers from making a similar mistake.

Write to Ask Carson, The Augusta Chronicle, P.O. Box 1928, Augusta, GA 30903-1928. Send e-mail to askcarson@home.com. Carson Elliott's Web site is at www.theproperthing.com.


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