Wednesday, November 25, 2015         


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Asking for milk with tea is no crime

By McClatchy News Services


Question: I like milk instead of cream with tea. (My mother is British.) How rude is it to ask for this in restaurants? Usually everyone else has coffee, and they bring a small pitcher of cream for the table, but I don't want that.

Answer: I think it's fine. Any upscale restaurant shouldn't bat an eye at it. If you're at, say, a hole-in-the-wall diner (usually the best kind of diner), you may get a curious look, but it's not like you're asking them for goat's milk or something. Just don't be a snob about it (e.g., tossing back the plastic cups of half-and-half as if they were the devil's spawn and hissing, "I shall not taint my tea with those abominations!") and you'll be fine.

Q: I am asking this on behalf of the young gentleman I was seated next to at a Broadway show last night, in hopes that he may read this and educate himself. May I, upon discovering no one is occupying the seat in front of me at a Broadway show, slip off my Crocs (placing one beneath my neighbor's seat on top of her brand-new purse) and put my bare feet up on the back of the seat in front of me? And come to think of it, should I be wearing said Crocs at a Broadway show in the first place? Lastly, should the show feature drums, should I play "air drums" at my seat?

A: That's easy. No, no and no. You poor thing.

Email travel etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at

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