Today: Social Q’s Etiquette Review: Graduation, Father’s Day & Advice


Today Show: Social Q’s Review

With weddings, graduations, and countless other gatherings on the social calendar this time of year, keeping track of modern etiquette can be tricky. Philip Galanes is the author of Social Q’s: How To Survive The Quirks, Quandaries and Quagmires of Today, and he shared some advice with Today Show viewers.

Today Show: Social Q's

Philip Galanes, columnist & author of Social Q's, answered etiquette questions about graduation gifts & summer events.


Social Q’s: Graduation Gifts

A woman wrote in for advice, horrified that her daughter invited countless friends and relatives to her high school graduation, with the express purpose of collecting gifts.

The Today team saw two questions: the need to chat with the daughter, and the thornier prospect of uninviting the guests.

Philip said at least the daughter was honest, but the parents may have missed an opportunity to provide a good example. He said you can’t uninvite people, and saying “no gifts” could be misinterpreted as a sneaky reverse psychology request for presents.


He suggested getting the daughter to donate a portion of her gifts to a charity. The Today hosts thought she should get involved in community service as well.

Social Q’s: Father’s Day Dinner

A viewer wants to shine the spotlight on dad for Father’s Day and invite him to dinner alone. The concern is that mom tends to dominate the conversation, but is it rude to exclude her from the occasion?

Philip surprised the Today crew by agreeing that there’s a way to pull this off. But you have to give equal time to both parents, taking dad to Father’s Day dinner and inviting mom to lunch another time.

Natalie Morales emphasized the importance of honesty, and Philip said that every family is different, and parents will have different reactions.

Social Q’s: Camping With Boyfriend’s Family

A woman wants to know how to get out of her boyfriend’s family summer camping trip. She appreciates the invitation, but would “rather DIE” than go camping.

Natalie and Savannah said the woman should tough it out. Philip agreed that new relationships are about expanding your horizons, and you should be open to things that are important to your significant other.

Social Q’s: Plastic Surgery Birthday Gift

A man wants to give his wife an Eye Lift as a 60th birthday present, but his son doesn’t think the gift will be well received. Al agreed that this sounds crazy.

But Savannah pointed out the woman may have been asking or hinting for awhile about the procedure. In that case, Philip said it might be a safe gift. Otherwise, he said that it’s a delicate subject.

More of Philip’s advice can be found in his new book, Social Q’s, or in his New York Times column.


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