Ask Natalie by Natalie Bencivenga

Correct Vs. Normal When Items Are Left Behind

DEAR NATALIE: I have a topic for your "Ask Natalie" column. The scenario: I ate lunch at the Bettis Grille recently, and a few hours later I realized I had left my Reebok running gloves there. I went back. The manager looked for them, but they were not turned in nor still at the table where I sat. I was very disappointed. I went home and told my husband. He said I shouldn't be so surprised that they weren't there because the normal thing is for someone to take them, especially because they were nice gloves. I argued that the normal thing would be to turn them in to the manager/hostess. Ignoring what is the "correct" thing to do, what is the "normal" thing to do? -- COLD HANDS

DEAR COLD HANDS: Here's probably the conversation, if we are being honest, that would happen in someone's mind if he or she saw your gloves sitting on the table. "Wow, those are nice gloves. I guess whoever left them here doesn't care enough about them to keep them. Oooh look, they fit. Welcome to your new home." Now, is that the "right" thing to do? No, it's not. Like you said, the right thing to do is to turn them in to someone at the front desk. But, are humans good at justifying the things that they want? Yes, yes we are. So while I can agree with you on what is right, I have to side with your husband on this one as to what is "normal." And abandoned gloves in a restaurant sound like fair game, unfortunately. Here's to hoping they found a home where they were needed, and be grateful that you can afford a new pair.

Natalie's Networking Tip of the Week: Are you shy? Bring a friend with you to a networking event who is comfortable in front of new people and let them lead the way through the crowd, making a few introductions for you. Plan ahead with your friend and share your contacts so it's a win-win.

Please send your relationship and lifestyle questions to or tweet them to @NBSeen. You can also send postal letters to Natalie Bencivenga, 358 North Shore Drive, Pittsburgh, PA 15212

(This column was originally published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.)