Parties

Dear Mary: I’m disabled – how can I stop my carer being so controlling?

18 May 2019 9:00 am

Q. I am a disabled man with a good brain and an independent bent. However, I need help to wash…

Down with kissing!

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Bring back British salutations

Dear Mary: how can I make my timid husband ask for a longer haircut?

13 April 2019 9:00 am

Q. We sent out email invitations to our drinks party and have had too many acceptances. The venue has said…

Dear Mary: How to get out of a neighbours’ dinner party invite?

31 March 2018 9:00 am

Q. A couple who live directly opposite us in London have sent a save-the-date notice for a big party they…

Dear Mary: what’s the etiquette when security gates don’t just open?

15 July 2017 9:00 am

Q. Is there an etiquette regarding security gates? My wife and I were invited to dinner by new neighbours who…

How can I stop a friend posting photos on Instagram of my parties?

10 June 2017 9:00 am

Q. We have received a ‘save the week’ card from friends who take a villa abroad every year. We usually…

How do you reject someone but still spare their feelings?

22 April 2017 9:00 am

Q. May I pass on a tip to readers wishing to reject a hopeful romantic partner without hurting their feelings?…

Why do people think it’s OK to order me to dance?

18 February 2017 9:00 am

Why does it make people angry that I don’t want to?

Dear Mary: I want a nuclear-family Christmas, but my cousin is on his own

3 December 2016 9:00 am

Q. I don’t go to my club that often but the other day I found a letter there waiting for…

Dear Mary: Can I accept an invitation to a villa though I have no money?

12 November 2016 9:00 am

Q. A man I know (but not very well) has invited me and another girl to stay in a villa…

Dear Mary: How to keep your guests from too many toasts

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Q. How can I tactfully request that well-meaning old friends stop toasting my (new) husband’s hospitality? It seems ungrateful but,…

In defence of the dinner party

13 August 2016 9:00 am

My wife prefers restaurants. She’s wrong

Too many internet deliveries? Befriend an elderly neighbour

13 August 2016 9:00 am

Q. I live in Balham but work in Mayfair. Twice recently I have had to take whole days off work…

Dear Mary: On being an unappreciated patron of the arts

23 July 2016 9:00 am

Q. Since my husband began to appear in the Rich List he has become much more popular with ‘artists’ in…

Dear Mary: What’s the tactful way to invite ourselves to the dance?

16 July 2016 9:00 am

Q. My wife and I are enthusiastic dancers so when we heard that people we know through mutual friends were…

Warning: black tie will not make you feel like this

Black tie is an infallible sign of a bad party

25 June 2016 8:00 am

Men don’t look good in black tie. They might think that they look like Sean Connery in Dr No, but…

Dear Mary: Would it be kinder NOT to give a homemade wedding present?

25 June 2016 8:00 am

Q. A friend’s daughter is marrying soon. She and her husband-to-be, both art-lovers, have dispensed with a wedding list, instead…

Confessions of a groomzilla

11 June 2016 9:00 am

It’s not just brides-to-be who can fuss absurdly over weddings. I’m living proof

Dear Mary: What can you do when your new neighbours stiff you on a restaurant bill?

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Q. We moved recently and new neighbours invited us to join them for dinner at a nearby restaurant. I planned…

Cannes, exclusive? I’ve met classier crowds in brothels

28 May 2016 9:00 am

New York Let’s face it, sleaze is to professional party-givers what jail is to a burglar, an occupational hazard. I’ve…

Oxford is full of overindulged whiners. It wasn’t like that in my day

23 April 2016 9:00 am

I was in the attic killing some Taleban on Medal of Honor when Girl interrupted and said: ‘Dad, what’s this?’…

Dear Mary: How can I make a conversation-stopping gaffe go away?

9 April 2016 9:00 am

Q. What should a host do when a guest says something so embarrassing in front of the assembled company that…

School drinking is the best drinking of all

12 March 2016 9:00 am

Head teachers may try to control it, but for Ed Cumming alcohol was the most fun between the ages of 13 and 18

Is it rude to run out of cartridges?

Dear Mary: How can I escape the New Year party that just won’t give up?

30 January 2016 9:00 am

Q. For the past two New Year’s Eves we have ducked an annual party given by some acquaintances, who are…

Dear Mary: How can girls avoid freezing in cold marquees?

10 October 2015 9:00 am

Q. What do you do when you are so cold at a party that you cannot enjoy it? At a…