Metro-East Living

Is it appropriate to take photos during a wake?

Q. I attended the wake of a dear friend recently and I saw various people taking pictures of others who were in line to extend their grief to the deceased man’s wife and family. They also took pictures of those sitting in chairs around the room. It just didn’t sit well with me. Is that something new?

A. It does not “sit well with me either.” Taking pictures of those who come to a wake is very inappropriate. If the family wants to take pictures of their family, it should be done before the wake begins, or after. Some other, more private location and time would be more appropriate, such as after the funeral meal when only family remains.

2020 Dianne Isbell NEW

Q. I have invited another widow friend of mine to go to dinner and the movies several times in the past couple of months. The only problem is she is always, always late. If I tell her I will pick her up at 5 p.m., she’s usually 20 minutes late. I’ve tried just going back to my car to wait thinking that might speed her up, but it doesn’t. If I wait inside, she invites me to take a seat and I don’t because I think she might feel uncomfortable with me standing and get ready faster. None of that works. Thus, it is rush, rush, to have dinner and get to the movie before it starts and it is definitely no fun. I have decided not to ask her to go with me again. Do I need to call her and tell her?

A. No, you do not need to call her and explain why you are not going to be asking her to go with you anymore. If she should call you and ask about going with you again, you can either politely tell her that her continual lateness upsets and ruins the evening for you. Or, you can tell her you just haven’t felt like going lately. That’s not a lie, because you do not explain why you haven’t felt like going.

Perhaps you might consider asking another friend, who is more punctual.

Dianne Isbell is a local contributing writer. Send your etiquette questions to Dianne Isbell at Belleville News-Democrat, P.O. Box 427, 120 S. Illinois St., Belleville, IL 62222-0427, or email them to