Dear Annie: My husband has a high-level executive position that entails attending many public situations that involve eating. Annie, he uses his fingers to push food onto his fork, and then he licks his fingers. He has done this at office banquets and dinners in fine-dining restaurants. I have actually seen him pick up the food with his fingers and then put it on his fork. It makes me think, why even use the fork? It’s how he was brought up, because his mother does the same thing.
I was always taught to use my knife or a piece of bread to push the food when needed. It embarrasses me when he does this, and I imagine he is embarrassing himself, as well. Is there any way to approach him about this? – Sticky Situation
Dear Sticky: Be honest. Use this as an opportunity to educate your husband on the social graces he ought to have in the rarified circles in which he finds himself. Tell him you love him and understand that he was never taught these things, but pushing his food with his fingers is considered poor manners and you don’t want others to think ill of him. Explain that it takes time to shed old habits, and offer to work with him at home, gently reminding and correcting him as needed. We hope he is amenable.
Dear Annie: I completely agree with “No Photo Op” to have a closed casket, but for a different reason. While I, too, think taking open-casket photos is a bit ghastly, I also am creeped out when people say, “Doesn’t she look beautiful?” Despite the solace it might give the grieving family members to hear these words, the answer is, “No, she doesn’t look great. She looks dead.”
This is one reason I want my casket closed. – No Open Casket
Dear No: This is such a personal decision that everyone should be certain his or her loved ones are aware of their preferences. Feel free to use this column to start the discussion.