Turning the Tables

I've never liked or should I say accepted rules--at least not without questioning or testing them. But for the new year I'd like to offer up two for consideration and that's the operative word--consideration!Restaurant Reservations: How would you like it if you made a dinner party and cooked your heart out for your guests and a few didn't show up without even letting you know before hand. That's the way it is for restaurants, especially small ones that have even more trouble surviving, especially in this economy. Some restaurateurs are forced to take credit cards along with reservations. Also, keep in mind that in order to survive financially, small restaurants need to turn the tables, i.e. you really can't occupy your table for the entire evening unless, perhaps, you are willing to pay for two seatings. Group E-mails: If you like or need to send the same message to several people, be sure to blind copy. This is not to keep anonymity of e-mail addresses as much as to prevent hackers--vampires of the internet (who adore group e-mails) from sending everyone in your address book endless spam. All you need to do is put the names in your group list in ( ) and they will be safe. Some people think of this as e-mail etiquette. Surprisingly, though, I've lost one very old friend and another previously friendly though evidently self-centered colleague after making this request. Each promised never to e-mail me again at all! And I had informed them in good faith assuming they didn't realize the consequences of what they had done and would be glad to know how it works. My husband Elliott has a saying that is a near mantra--it goes something like this: Do what you want as long as it doesn't hurt others. Of course this is subject to interpretation and requires much turning of the tables but could well account for why our marriage has endured for 33 years as of this July 2009. Happy and Considerate New Year!