Just Behave

Just Behave: Girls Only

Advice from our etiquette expert

BY March 24, 2017

A really good friend of mine has been dating a guy for a couple years and won’t go anywhere without him. There’s a group of girlfriends who gather twice a year for a “girls only” dinner, and this friend continues to be invited, even though she asks if her boyfriend can join us. We’ve told her that no husbands or other boyfriends would be attending. The last time we met, she brought him anyway, said they had time only for a quick drink and then both stayed through the entire dinner. How do we stop this from happening again? We like him, but it’s not right to intrude on our girl time.  —Nancy, Naples

Dear Nancy,

Are they so stuck together that they’d scab up if pulled apart? I do think they need some first aid for their relationship. Is he scared she’ll do something she shouldn’t do?  Does she worry that he’ll fly the coop during his “free” night out?  Regarding the summer gathering of the girls: Tell her again that’s it a night for the hens and to leave her rooster at home. If they do a repeat, don’t invite her again and hint about the possible need of a therapist’s couch for help.


I am so embarrassed. I attended a dinner party at a friend’s home and had an urgent call of nature. There was only one guest bathroom, and as I was leaving, someone came in right behind me. What can I do in the future, if I’m ever invited again, to avoid the smell I left behind? —Bart, Marco Island

Dear Bart,

I have a couple solutions for you. 1. Matches. 2. Poo-Pourri. Yes, you read that right.  First, the matches: My grandmother always had matches in her bathroom. One lit match can quickly override any other smell. It’s a little obvious and someone may think the house is on fire, but it works. Another option is a handy little travel spray of natural essential oils called Poo-Pourri. With three to five squirts into the toilet bowl, the magic potion will trap odors under the surface of the water. The bottle is small enough to carry in the pocket of your pants. I recommend the Original Citrus variety. It’s also wise for the host/hostess to have a spray (or matches) in the bathroom. As a guest, you always want to be remembered as heaven-scent. 


I’ve been friends with this guy for more than five years. Nothing romantic has ever happened between us, although he often tried to encourage a relationship. He’s now happily engaged. Well, I thought he was happy. He called me last weekend when he was really drunk and confessed that he still has feelings for me. I am pretty sure he won’t remember the conversation. He had been drinking all day and was stumbling over his words. Do I confront him about it or pretend it didn’t happen? And do I still attend the wedding? —Sandy, Fort Myers

Dear Sandy,

Well, this fellow seems more sure where his bottle is than where his heart belongs. Perhaps he isn’t as happily engaged as you thought. Or maybe he was just drunk. If you’re good friends, you should have a conversation—and no more than that—with him. If he’s having big doubts, he shouldn’t be getting married. And maybe he needs to think about his relationship with alcohol, too. Love is intoxicating and complicated enough without added stimulants. If he continues with the wedding, do not attend. 


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