Etiquette column:

Q. My daughter, her husband and their two beautiful daughters live in the South near a beach. They invited me to come visit during their high school spring break time so I will have more time to spend with my granddaughters. Naturally, I am delighted. I already have my airplane reservations. I just need a bit of advice on how to respond to the most recent news from my daughter.

She tells me both of my light-haired granddaughters are going to dye (temporarily dye, thank goodness) their hair while they are out of school on break. One is apparently thinking of bright pink and purple, and the other bright green and purple, or something like that. “Oh my goodness” was my reply on the phone when my daughter told me. She said she just wanted me to be prepared so I didn’t say anything to upset the girls. They are so anxious to see me to go shopping, sightseeing, etc. I know what I would like to say and that won’t go over too well, so what can I politely say?

A. Where is The Dowager Countess of Grantham when we need her? One can only imagine what she might wittingly say; however, she is on vacation herself. Therefore, now that you have an idea of what to expect, you can graciously respond as any loving grandmother would in a situation like this: “My, my, you both look beautiful! I am so glad to see you!” If either one asks you what you think of their new brightly colored hair, you might respond: “I would love you both no matter what color hair you had, or if you had no hair at all.” You could consider adding: “I am just happy it is only a passing fad because I love your natural hair color so much.”

Note from a reader: Thank you for the reader’s comment concerning last week’s question regarding ear cuffs. Here is my response: “An ear cuff is an excellent alternative to a pierced earring for a young girl. There is less chance she can have an injury or infection, as well as being fun and stylish to wear. Rules of what is right in life and etiquette changes through the decades. Ms. Isbell is clearly out of touch.”

Note: I was delighted to be called by New York-based Women’s Radio Network, WRNW1, last week for an interview conducted by Karon Viggiano on the March 19, about my Etiquette Plus and HATS by DI-Anne businesses. It is available to listen to by going to, clicking on All Archived Shows and then typing in my name: Dianne Isbell; then click on Search.