# agony uncle # Ben and Jennifer Scott

Send Us Your Etiquette Conundrums | Jennifer L. Scott

Hello Daily Connoisseurs,

I'm coming to you today with a quick announcement. Please leave me your etiquette horror stories, conundrums & observations in the comment section. Ben and I plan to do a video where we respond to your questions.

You know that's going to be a good video! :)

If you don't wish to leave your comment below, you can always email me here. * Please note: due to the large volume of emails I receive, I am not always able to respond. I read every email and appreciate every one.

Thank you and I'll see you on Thursday for another ten-item wardrobe video!

Jennifer xx

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Sonya said...

My etiquette question surrounds young children at the playground or other public play spaces. What do I do if I notice a child I don't know do something unfair to my kid, push him off a swing for instance, and the other child's parents don't notice. I know ultimately kids need to learn to work things out on their own, but my son is still quite young at three years old and I'm not sure when or how to intervene sometimes. Thanks Jennifer and Ben! Looking forward to this!

Unknown said...

Sleeping (especially with snoring) in a public space or while in a group. A few of my husbands family members have a habit of falling asleep while we are all together as a family. Usually 1-2 times per week my husband, son, and myself visit my in-laws and other family at their invitation. During this time we usually have dinner and spend time together afterwards. Usually 2-3 people will fall asleep during this time. Usually my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or my husband's aunt. They are all snore rather loud and make conversation hard to impossible. One of them generally lays down and takes up the whole sofa while 1-2 of us are left sitting at the dining room table because of lack of space. They generally do not cover up with blankets and their clothing gets twisted and out of place and large swaths of skin are shown. My husband grew up this way and does not see an issue with it. I think it is rude and a little disrespectful. This is not a medical issue or I would try to be more understanding. Thank you for all that you do. I am excited for this video. God bless.

Jess said...

Last weekend, on an international flight, the woman across the aisle from me gave herself a full on manicure, painting her nails at 40,000 feet. The smell from the nail polish fumes was nauseating and lingered for a long time but I didn't say anything. I wanted to but it was the second leg an international connection and I was from neither the country of origin nor the destination country and just felt like it would be rude or presumptuous to ask her to stop. If it had been a U.S. flight, I would have said something but I was really torn as I generally follow a "when-in-Rome" ( or in this case, halfway-between-Vienna-and-Cairo) approach. The fumes were horrible and gave me a headache, but in the end I chose to stay silent. Really curious what you and Ben would have done!

Erica said...

Hi Jennifer,
I would be curious to know how you recommend I handle extended family members glued to their smartphones ALL THE TIME while at our home. Instead of spending time with us and our children whom they rarely get a chance to see, they have the device in their hands all the time, even by their plate when they're sitting at the dinner table eating the meal I slaved over. They will play videos loudly which interferes with the lovely classical music I have playing on the stereo. What really upsets me is that instead of playing with the kids, they will just put cartoons on the phone for them, without asking us parents first if that's ok, what exactly they are watching, etc. And sadly, the kids (toddlers and not knowing better) are drawn to it like a magnet. To me this is beyond rude. This past Christmas my husband actually had to announce before our Christmas meal: "No phones at the table please." I feel like it's putting a cloud over my holidays. Do you have any ideas? Thank you so much for your work to uphold etiquette!!

Emily Marsh said...

Hi Jennifer,
Not sure whether this falls under an etiquette story or not, but since you're a theatre person, I thought you'd find it entertaining! My husband and I attended a local production of 'Jane Eyre, the Musical' together. It was a small-town production, and while the play was very good, it was an amphitheater-style stage and the last row of seats was on the same level as the stage area. It was opening night, and everything with the production was going well. In the middle of the second act, during a solo song by Jane, we heard a dreadful gurgling and choking sound! It was so loud we thought it must be coming from backstage, and we were afraid the actor playing Rochester was having a heart attack! This sound happened again and again, and I finally realized what it was - a very aged service dog (golden retriever) was coughing up a hairball 2 feet from poor Jane Eyre!! The owners of the dog were themselves aged, and we aren't sure who was servicing who... They didn't seem to notice the loud gurgling/choking/growling coming from their dog until the third round! But the actress never missed a beat! I felt so bad for her, it being opening night and all, but it was so funny I couldn't look at my husband because I knew I would lose it and not recover. After the play we had a good laugh in the car on the way home!

jennifer said...

HI, Jennifer- My etiquette conundrum involves meal trains. Frequently I am asked to make a meal for a family in need (new baby, illness, etc), and that is fine; I am glad to help. But lately I have come to hate meal trains because each request comes with list of "Must be free of... gluten, soy, dairy. corn, nuts, nightshade vegetables, red meat"... free of everything but water, it seems. I am feel like I am down to delivering a bag of ice cubes. Worse still, I am appalled by my own bad attitude. On top of that I wonder: how is someone I may not even know very well trusting me to cook a dairy/soy/gluten free meal for their family? I am trying to figure out what I can do in these situations....

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennifer,

I was once on a Sydney bus when a woman got on with her kids and sat near the front of the bus in a rear-facing seat. She then took out a container of dental floss and proceeded to floss her teeth in full few of other passengers. I was appalled and amazed in equal measure!


DJ said...

Jennifer, you are really on to something with this post. I'm still trying to think of a story, conundrum or observation but I read all 7 comments above like I was devouring the latest Grisham novel. I openly laughed out loud!! I giggled along with the couple who witnessed the dog in the theater, really feel for the lady who has to watch her in-laws sleep, and truly the lady who feels like she could be "delivering a bag of Ice cubes" had me in stitches! The last story about the dental floss leaves me speechless!! You are going to get enough stories to write another book!! Your readers are the best. I can't wait to read more stories. Looking forward to your and Ben's video on this topic. (donna)

Marilyne said...

Hi Jennifer,

I'm British and I live in London. My etiquette problem is with women who do a full make-up on the London Underground in full view of all passengers, seemingly oblivious that others may find this a case of bad manners. One day a fellow passenger who was not British said to me, "Why do these women have no etiquette?" Another non-British friend who travels frequently to Paris, Brussels and Rome said she's never seen this on the Metro in any of these cities and wonders how far it will go? Will people start brushing their teeth in the Tube, will men start shaving? I one asked a women why she did her make up on the Tub and she said she didn't have time to do it at home. It was around noon - so I wonder what she did between waking up and then! I always felt that women should retain some mystery for men and not do make up, etc. in public. I wonder what the male passengers think and what Ben would think.

Marilyne said...
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Anna said...

Hi Jennifer,
My etiquette conundrum involves self promotion. We are living at a wonderful time when friends are starting businesses, creating music, writing books and offering services. I love seeing friends start side businesses and supporting them. I just published my first novel and am having a blast promoting it.
Can you offer advice on both sides of the issue? How far should we go to support a friend? When do we buy, share, or take a class, and when is it OK to say no? Are there limits for our own self promotion? I use facebook and twitter to put the word out, but I don't want anyone to feel obligated to buy, or even like my book.
So far, I am happy to promote and support my friends in anything they create, but sometimes I don't like the products they are selling. My book is written from a Christian perspective, and I know that's been difficult for some people in my community from other faith traditions.
I'd love to hear how you negotiate all this!
Much thanks,
P.S. I love etiquette and even collect antique etiquette books, but The Ladies Guide to Perfect Gentility has nothing on this topic :)

Brooke said...

Hi Jennifer,
My 11-year old son is beginning to notice that he is different from many of his peers in that he prefers to play outside, run around, get fresh air, and generally behave like a very energetic boy! Most of his friends have become increasingly addicted to screen time, in the form of XBox video gaming. Our family has a strict rule about gaming, and we only allow it on Saturday or Sunday. My son is perfectly happy playing outside with his neighbor friends, but he's begun avoiding having friends over because his school mates constantly badger him about playing on the XBox. Charlie doesn't want to play video games when he has friends over, and he's losing a dear friend due to his pal's obsession with Fortenight. They seemingly have nothing in common any longer due to my son's passion for sports and his friend's fixation on gaming. How can I encourage my son to behave politely in the midst of disappointment and frustration with changing friendships? He feels reluctant to go to other friends' homes because he knows he'll end up watching them play their video games for the afternoon, and he's not sure how to politely decline invitations from friends whom he knows spend all their free time online. Do you have any suggestions on how I can coach my son with this awkward predicament?

The Daily Connoisseur said...


I have enough material to work with here for 10 videos! :) Thank you for sharing your etiquette observations and questions. I will not be able to get to every comment (we had many on YouTube and social media too), but I can assure you this will be a good video!

God bless,