Q: What’s the proper way to excuse yourself to go to the rest room if you’re at a group meal? My mother says it’s okay to get up and leave without a word. I think that’s rude.
A: I’m with you! It’s sensible and considerate to inform the people you’re with that you’re leaving temporarily and will return soon. All you have to say is “Excuse me please, I’ll be right back.” I understand that your mother might not want to interrupt the conversation or make an awkward announcement. But you can make a graceful exit without disturbing anybody else. And quietly asking to be excused is far more gracious than abruptly disappearing, leaving people to wonder where you’ve gone.