A Question of Etiquette: Spaghetti without fear

color-etiquette-09-22-16I never order spaghetti in a restaurant because I’m not sure of the polite way to eat it. Help?

There are three perfectly polite methods, none of which involve slurping. First, cut it into sections so you can pick it up with a fork. Second, take a few strands on your fork and twirl them around the fork, holding the tines against the edge of your plate. Third hold the fork, with a few strands, against the bowl of a spoon and twirl.

 

I live in an apartment and have a shared wall with a neighbor I have never met who seems to like loud music with an emphasis on thumping bass. And he plays it all day long and well into the night. Things in my apartment actually vibrate. I have complained to the superintendent but nothing has changed.

 

Before you go to the superintendent again, start with your music-loving neighbor. When his music is especially loud, knock on his door, introduce yourself, and ask him if he would come into your apartment for a moment so he can hear exactly what you hear. Ask him what he can do to reduce the intrusion on your life. In a perfect world he will adjust the volume. If he doesn’t, then a written notice of your complaint to building management is certainly in order. Some neighbor noise can be part of apartment living, but constant noise of this nature is not acceptable.

 

We’re having some construction work done on our house. Should we let our neighbors know?

 

Yes, because the work you are having done could be noisy or disruptive. Let them know what’s happening and when, and tell them to let you know if they are inconvenienced by the activity. Make sure your contractors know the noise laws in your area and abide by them, and that they clean up at the end of the day so debris is not causing an eyesore nor ending up in a neighbor’s yard.

 

My daughter just told me that we have to pay for meals for the photographer, his assistant, and the band members during her wedding reception. Is this true? And am I supposed to have an entire table for them if this is true?

 

It is true that you provide meals for any vendors at your daughter’s wedding, but it is something you work out with your caterer or club manager. Generally, this provision is written in your contract. You do not have to add a table or have them sit and be served with your guests. The caterer or club will arrange a place for them to eat, when they take a break, and in almost all cases, provide their meal, whether the same food that you are serving or a different meal, at a discounted price. Let the caterer or manager know the number and feel confident that he or she will take care of it so it is one less thing that you have to do.

 

Questions for Catherine? Send them to [email protected]

 

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