Q: Please weigh in on a discussion we had at work a few days ago. If you ask for lemon with your water or iced tea, are you supposed to get a round slice, half slice or a wedge of lemon? Should the lemon be on the rim the glass or inside the glass or in a separate dish brought to the table when the water or iced tea is served?
A: When requesting lemon with your water, the water should be served with either a full thin slice or a half slice of lemon floating inside the glass.
When requesting lemon with your iced tea, the glass can be served with a wedge of lemon resting on the rim, or several wedges provided in a separate dish or on top of a small paper doily on a small serving plate, accompanied by a small lemon fork. Each wedge should be approximately half-an-inch at its widest point to allow for easier squeezing.
Q: If texting is similar to writing to someone or “speaking” to him, is it not proper for the person you texted to respond to you in some manner, whether it is a return text or a phone call? I often find I text someone, asking him a question and I get no response at all. Am I missing the point or what?
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A: You are not missing the point. A text of any kind, whether or not a question is involved, deserves a response. A simple “thumbs up” sign is sufficient if a question is not involved. However, a response is definitely required when the text includes a question. The response can also be provided via a phone call. However, not responding in some form is very rude.
Q: My husband drinks a lot of water when we go out to a restaurant. I drink very little. I usually have iced tea. While I don’t mind the waiter refilling his water glass, it seems like when his is refilled, the waiter thinks mine needs to be refilled even if I have had only one sip. The same policy seems to apply when we have another couple dining with us.
This constant reaching in by the waiter to refill all the glasses is noisy and disruptive. Is this some kind of general training for waiters or couldn’t they just refill the one glass at the table that needs refilling? Also, how full is the glass to be filled? I find my glass is most often filled to the very top and even if I did want to take a drink, I would most likely drip water all over the table and myself trying to take a sip.My husband thinks he should just be able to ask for a pitcher of water to be provided and set in front of him so he can refill his own glass whenever he wants. Is this proper?
A: You are not the only diner who feels constant refilling of water glasses disrupts the conversation and the general tone of the ambiance of a fine-dining experience.
General training for a waiter with regard to refilling water glasses should be as follows:
▪ Never fill the glass more than 3/4 full.
▪ Check to determine if the water glasses require refilling after the first course, the main course and following dessert, if dessert is served.
▪ Refill only those water glasses that require refilling. If the glass appears to have had only a sip or two taken from the glass, do not refill it.
▪ If one guest at a table of four or six or whatever, appears to need more water refills than the tablemates, concentrate on refilling only that glass more often. If others at the table decide they need a refill, watch for an indication to refill their glasses as well.
▪ Do not remove water glasses until after the guests have left the table.
Even though your husband may drink more water than others at the table, it is not proper for him to request his own personal water pitcher. The purpose of dining out is to be served. In addition, serving oneself from a large pitcher of ice water can often result in an embarrassing situation of water and ice spilling over the glass and onto the table. It may also give the impression your husband has appointed himself as the person to refill the water glasses of the person to his right and left, or pass the water pitcher, which is also inappropriate and disruptive to conversation.
Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Lifestyle Editor Patrick Kuhl, Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.