QUESTION: Is a gentleman still expected to hold a chair for a lady?
CALLIE'S ANSWER: Of course! Now, this does not mean he has to hold the chair every time but occasionally is always nice. It never hurts to be a gentleman!
LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: Holding chairs out for a woman is a nice gesture that I wouldn't require but that I would appreciate from time to time, like at a nice restaurant or a special event. It is one way to convey consideration for the person that I hope would spill over into other aspects of the relationship and be reciprocated in turn. Also, if someone needs help with a chair or a door, I would hope that anyone of either gender would offer assistance.
Holding a chair for a woman, as is traditional etiquette, is not the only way to do convey respect — small gestures of thoughtfulness by each party for the other show genuine care for the person and deepen a connection. Too often these are missing. When we neglect the small things in a relationship, the big things become insurmountable, and vice versa.
HELEN'S ANSWER: Young women today are missing a real treat if their men aren't helping with the heavy chairs, opening the car door, and standing, instead of chair lounging, when they come into a room. That respect toward people should always be in place. Expect it!
The other day my grandchildren stood to greet me when I walked into the room. It was a dear gesture of respect. They are also the first ones to “help” with chairs. Mothers and dads, schools, churches, teach it!
GUEST'S ANSWER: Chuck Ainsworth, local business leader: While this courtesy is not always expected, it should always be extended. Good manners never go out of style, so I think you should always help a lady be seated. A refresher course on common etiquette might be a good idea for everyone — this information is just a click away. Good luck!
Callie Gordon is 20-something, Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s, and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email email@example.com