Miss Etiquette for advice

Dating couples etiquette.


Dear Miss Etiquette:

Here is our problem.  My boyfriend and I go to the movies and to dinner quite a bit and we aren't sure who goes down the aisle first at the movies, me or my boyfriend, and who follows the waiter or the waitress to the table at a restaurant, me or my boyfriend?   Will you help us?
-- signed: Movie and Restaurant Lovers

Miss Etiquette and her advice is symbolized by this red rose.
Dear Lovers:  Let's discuss going to the movies first.  When a couple goes to the movie or to the theater, the lady follows the usher down the aisle to the appropriate row.   The usher makes sure the seat is clean and that there are no obstructions in the woman's path.  The usher then goes back into the aisle and allows the woman to pass in front of him on her way to her seat.

The woman's date then follows the woman into the row and is seated  nearest the aisle.  If there is no usher, the gentleman goes first, makes sure the seat is clean and the path is clear, goes back out into the aisle, and then allows the woman to pass in front of him to her seat.  The gentleman then sits beside her, in the seat nearest the aisle.  When exiting the movie/theater, the gentleman stands and goes out into the aisle, waits for the woman, and then takes her by the hand or the arm, and walks her up the aisle and out of the movie/theater.

When there is no usher at the movie theater, the couple walks side by side down the aisle to the appropriate row or if they choose, one may walk in front of the other in no particular order.  When leaving the movie theater, the gentleman waits in the aisle for the woman and takes her by the hand or arm, and walks her up the aisle and out of the movie/theater.

This changes a little when there are two couples going to the movie theater.  Once all of you arrive at the appropriate row, one gentleman goes first, followed by the two ladies, with the other gentleman seated last and closest to the aisle.  The two ladies sit next to each other so they are the center of attention and conversation.  The ladies usually sit next to the gentleman who is not their partner.  As for leaving the movie/theater, the gentleman seated closest to the aisle gets up and waits in the aisle for the two ladies, who are followed by the second gentleman.  The gentlemen each take a lady by the hand or by the arm and leads her out of the movie theater.

Restaurant manners are completely different from at-home table manners.  Restaurant etiquette begins the moment you walk into the restaurant.  When a couple goes to a restaurant and must follow a waitress to a table, the gentleman goes first with his date behind him.

When the couple arrive at the designated table,  the gentleman makes sure that the chair is clean and that his date has the best possible place at the table before she is seated.   When a couple goes to a restaurant and are to be seated by a Maitre d,' the woman follows the Maitre d' to the table as the Maitre d' is schooled in the art of etiquette and dining and certainly would have the table and chairs of the restaurant in perfect order.

The Maitre d' is also familiar with the lighting and different areas in the restaurant and will seat the lady in the finest light to showcase her dress and manners.  This usually holds true when you are seated by a waiter.  Remember, a lady's handbag is placed in her lap and never on the table.  Further, a gentleman's hat comes off of his head the moment he enters a building, including a restaurant.

-- sincerely, Miss Etiquette
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