Returning an RSVP is just good manners

Dear Readers: Today’s SOUND OFF is about returning RSVP cards:

“Dear Heloise: Recently we had a retirement party for my father and sent out invitations with RSVP cards, so that the hotel would know how many tables to set up and how much food to prepare. When an RSVP is sent out, you’re supposed to send it back with ‘Yes, I’ll attend’ or ‘No, I can’t attend.’ Eighteen people showed up who had not returned a card! The caterers quickly set up tables in the back of the room, and those guests were served last, which meant their food was almost cold.

“Please tell your readers that when they receive an RSVP, they should return it as soon as possible, because it’s rude to just show up.” — Emma in Sarasota, Fla.

Emma, I have to agree with you. It’s only good manners to return an RSVP card. — Heloise

FAST FACTS

Dear Readers: Here are some additional uses for duct tape:

* Store a roll in the glove compartment for roadside emergencies.

* Use to temporarily hem a skirt or slacks.

* Use to remove pet hair or lint.

* Great for removing a splinter.

— Heloise

SUNSCREEN ALL YEAR

Dear Readers: Many people figure sunscreen is only useful at the beach, but actually, we need it all year long. However, many people are confused by the labeling of sunscreen products. Here are some definitions from the Skin Cancer Foundation:

UVA (ultraviolet A) is the longer UV ray from the sun that causes long-lasting skin damage and premature aging.

UVB (ultraviolet B) is a shorter ray than UVA that causes sunburn and skin damage. Both UVA and UVB can cause skin cancer.

SPF stands for sun protection factor. It’s a measure of the sunscreen’s ability to protect someone from UVB rays damaging the skin.

Broad spectrum means protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

— Heloise

CHECK YOUR CREDIT SCORES

Dear Heloise: Please advise your readers to check their credit scores on a regular basis. Why? Anyone can go to a post office and fill out a change-of-address card and have your mail diverted to another address. This gives identity thieves the opportunity to check on what you owe, how much money you have, where your investments are and much more information that you’d rather keep private. — Naomi K., Willmar, Minn.

BUDGET-FRIENDLY IDEAS

Dear Heloise: I have a terrible time sticking to a budget. I tend to spend on frivolous items I don’t need, and I order online all the time. Any hints on how to stick to a budget? — Ann-Marie A., Muskegon, Mich.

Ann-Marie, first ask yourself how an item will enrich or improve your life. If tempted to buy something not in your budget, wait 24 hours before buying. Stay away from the shopping sites you normally frequent. When you pay off a bill, keep paying that same amount into a savings account so that you have some extra cash on hand. — Heloise

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Hints from Heloise run occasionally in Lifestyles. Readers may send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE, or email: Heloise@Heloise.com. Letters won’t be answered personally.

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