Delicate dilemma: switching stylists

Help! I have been going to a hair stylist for several years. She recently was out for several months on leave, and someone else in the same salon cut my hair twice. I loved what she did and want to stay with her, but feel awkward, now that my original stylist is back, and don’t want to hurt her feelings or cause problems between them. What do I do?
You can either say nothing and simply make your next appointment with the new stylist, or you can be direct and speak to your long-time stylist and tell her that, while you have loved what she has done in the past, you liked the change provided by the new stylist and will be making appointments with her in the future. This enables you to make the change without feeling awkward and as though you have to avoid eye contact with your former stylist. It’s not easy, but at least it clears the air so you aren’t uncomfortable being there. Your only alternative is to find a new salon entirely, but that shouldn’t be necessary. You really don’t owe a detailed explanation for making a change, and it is not uncommon for someone to change from one stylist to another.

I know you say, “excuse me” when you sneeze or cough or even burp, but should you say that when you have the hiccups, too, and if so, do you say it every time you hiccup since it’s usually more than once?

You might say, “excuse me” with your first hiccup, adding, “sorry, hiccups!” but you would not say it repeatedly. Once is enough.

Can you tell me what the guidelines are for a BYOB party? I don’t mean to sound cheap, but alcohol is expensive and since I’m providing my own beverage, leaving a practically full bottle seems sort of a costly proposition. Do you leave it behind, or can you take it home with you? Also, are other people supposed to pour from your bottle or just their own?

When the invitation reads “Bring Your Own Bottle,” you may leave whatever is left in the bottle for your host, or you may take it with you when you leave. If it seems awkward to pick it up and take it with you, instead of a new bottle, take one that only holds the amount you plan to consume so if there is some left over, it is a very small amount you don’t mind leaving behind. You also can take your beverage in a flask which you of course would take home, avoiding the concern about seeming to be “cheap.” No, your bottle is for your consumption and other people aren’t supposed to help themselves from it, but if they do, you can hardly shout, “That’s mine!” You certainly can offer a drink to another guest, but they shouldn’t assume it’s OK to decide they like your brand better than their own.

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