Mrs. McVeigh's Manners
a division of Elise McVeigh's Life Camps
Elise McVeigh Life Camps

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Pet Peeves

 Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

We all have pet peeves when it comes to manners.  What are some of yours?

Helpless Housewife


Dear Helpless Housewife,

My biggest manners pet peeves are as follows:  people licking their fingers when they eat; picking their teeth in front of others (with fingers or toothpicks); and using their phones at the table.

I would love to hear our reader’s pet peeves.  Please tell me yours through this blog, or through my Mrs. McVeigh’s Manners facebook page.

Neighbor Relations – Who Pays for What?

 Dear Mrs. McVeigh,

My neighbor’s tree has grown to where it is in my backyard, and the shade is killing my grass.  It also has ruined the fence that we share with our neighbor.  I am wondering who’s responsibility it is to pay to trim this tree and replace the fence.  The other issue is I do not know these neighbors at all, and do not know what to say to them about it.



Dear L.E.,

If it is their tree, it is their responsibility to get it trimmed.  As for the fence, if there is just one fence between the two of you, that is a cost that should be split.  To show good will you could speak to them about the tree, mention it has ruined the fence, and tell them if they will keep the tree trimmed from now on, you will replace the fence.  If you cannot pay for the fence, then ask if they would split the cost with you.  If you are cordial to them in your approach and sound like you would be appreciative for anything that they are willing to do, they will hopefully be receptive and friendly about the whole matter.

Rude Child at your House

Dear Mrs. McVeigh,


I recently had one of my son’s friends over for a play date.  He was a little wild while he was there, and I was not sure if I should discipline him or not.  Where is the line of being polite to a guest and asking a child to follow the house rules?



Dear Anonymous,

My theory is my house, my rules.  When my child is at someone else’s house I expect him to follow the house rules, and our family rules.  When a child is at your house you are in charge, and you should correct him on anything you want to from “don’t wear your shoes in the house,” to “do not speak to me in that tone of voice.”  If my child does not follow rules at someone else’s house I would hope the host would say something to him about it.  I also expect my child to adhere to my rules, such as we do not drink soft drinks at home, and so he should not drink one at someone else’s house.


Great article on etiquette for lawyers and business people

 Greg Moundas sent this link to me. It is great for anyone - in business or not.

Too Old for Trick or Treating?

 How old is too old to go trick-or-treating? Greg Tepper


Dear Greg,

I have an 11 year old, and he was sort of done with it last year.  When I see parents trick-or-treating I give them candy just in case they are under- privileged and really need food.  If they are not under-privileged and just like candy, don’t they know they should sneak their children’s candy after they go to bed?

Go to for more advice and tips on manners.


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