Metro-East Living

Is it OK to ask for cash for a graduation present?

Q: Is it proper for a prospective high school graduate to ask for money from a relative as a graduation gift?

While I was planning on giving him money to use for his upcoming college expenses, I didn’t appreciate his unabashed solicitation.

A: It is very improper and unmannerly to ask for a gift of any kind from anyone at any time. If you were undecided about what to give him and chose to ask him what kind of gift would he most appreciate, his polite response could be: “While no gift is necessary, because your presence at my graduation and graduation party is the best gift I could receive, I do have a lot of college expenses in my future; therefore, cash would always help the cause.”

The other option in spreading the word that this young man could use cash as a graduation gift, is for his parents to mention it when asked by relatives or friends who have been invited. Note that I said: “when asked”. To openly solicit monetary gifts to those who have been invited, is inappropriate.

Q: My male companion friend and I go to the movies and dinner occasionally. We are both widowed. He is a very nice man and always a gentleman. The only thing that bothers me is he swishes his water or iced tea around his mouth after eating. He says he does that to get little seeds and bits of food out from underneath his bridge. I think it is sort of disgusting. Tell me that is not good manners.

A: No, it is not proper to swish a beverage of any kind around in your mouth at any time when in public. Your companion should handle this problem by going into a restroom, or waiting until he returns home.

Send questions to Dianne Isbell at