Just Behave

Just Behave: All Drink, No Think

Our etiquette expert answers your questions.

  I’m in a book club, and some of the members come to the meetings and haven’t read the book we are to discuss. They just drink wine and laugh. I’m angry because I want to learn and they aren’t contributing. What should I do? — Melinda, Fort Myers Dear Melinda, Read between the lines here. Your group may be called a book club, but some members have turned the page on that and view it more as a time for good conversation and a glass or so of wine. Which is perfectly social and nice—but not to your taste. Bring up your concerns at the next gathering. If others agree with you, fine. If not, start your own club where books are the main course and the wine a pleasant pairing.   Recently, a friend of mine asked if my husband and I would like to get together Saturday night for dinner. While I consider her a friend, she and her husband are not a couple we’d like to socialize with other than events that involve our daughters. When I declined, she angrily responded that this would be the LAST TIME she would ask us to do something, because “we always say no.” Now my feelings are hurt, but I still don’t want to get together with them. Should we go out with them anyway? — Roberta, Naples Dear Roberta, There doesn’t seem to be much ground for friendship, does there? You don’t enjoy their company, and she seems incredibly insecure and rudely childish at the slightest hint of rejection. It’s hard to see much bonding in the futur
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