Tuesday, October 28, 2008


It is with great pride that we endorse Barack Obama for president. We believe that he can make a difference in all of our lives, our country and the world. We also believe he can teach us the importance of etiquette and how to spell it correctly. 

We endorse him because he has shown us how to apologize - keep it simple with no qualifiers.

We endorse him because he refuses to jump on a pedestal and talk down to us, otherwise known as patronization.

We endorse him because he refuses to jump into the gutter, therefore taking us down with him. We've all heard of, 'two wrongs don't make a right'.

We endorse him because he is a gentleman. This is not a man who would remain seated while a lady is still standing. And he wouldn't sit until a woman was safely in her seat. (see debate footage with Hillary)

We endorse him because during his most difficult moment, he showed us what brutal honesty looks like when it is delivered eloquently and elegantly.

We endorse him because his open displays of affection for his wife are loving and respectful.

We endorse him for saying, "We can disagree without being disagreeable."

We endorse him because he's not mean-spirited. He has had ample opportunity to point out the lack of intelligence that has sometimes been displayed by his opponents, but he won't go there. (see jumping in the gutter)

We endorse him because he keeps it real - he doesn't mind letting the world know that he likes to play basketball. He could have grabbed golf clubs in the hopes of picking up some swing votes.

We endorse him because he doesn't roll his eyes at his opponents.

We endorse him because he knows how to say, "Thank you."

We endorse him because he has humility.

We endorse Barack Obama because he has manners and a whole lot more.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Several posts ago, we talked about children walking on seating in public spaces. Parents don't seem to mind. It's as if they believe that the soles of their children's shoes have some sort of self-cleaning process. 

Yvette participated in a flea market at her apartment complex.  She noticed a little girl with her blanket on the ground covered with a collection of children's books - all for sale. There was a fee for each tenant's table of twenty dollars. You had to have a table. We think that the parents of this young entrepreneur should've cleared their daughter's venture with the organizer. Did the child get a free pass because she was a child? Of course. If an adult had spread out a blanket and displayed books for sale, would the organizer have said something?  Of course.  When it comes to rules, there shouldn't be a double standard. 

When kids sneeze, cough or pick their noses, they should do what an adult would do, cover up or use a tissue.  Remember, the stuff coming out of their mouths and noses is no more hygienic than what comes out of an adult's nose or mouth.  And while we're talking about gross stuff, teaching children to wash their hands after using the bathroom is important. It's a fact that kids spread germs. They also grow up. There is nothing more unsettling to see an adult skipping hand washing. 

A restaurant can be a great learning experience for children. It can also be a learning experience for those dining with children who don't belong to them. Say a kid of ten is tagging along for dinner and he orders a surf and turf special (no crumb snatcher here), usually a pricey entree. What happens when the check comes?  Should it be evenly divided or should the parents of the child offer to pay for his meal? We think it shouldn't even be a discussion. The parents should offer to pay. If the other diners insist that the check should be divided evenly, that's another story and that's fine.  

These days, it's hard to know who's the boss when it comes to children. They rule. One friend asked an adult visiting to leave because her little boy didn't feel like company. Another was offered a ride by a family. At the last minute, she had to re-arrange her trip because one of the children decided she wanted to stay home. True, she was tired but what does that teach her about commitment? Was that explained?

Growing up our parents had a mantra, "You are a reflection of us."   
No kidding. 


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Gallery Of Rogues

About a month ago, New York's galleries opened for the new season. All over the city, countless galleries hosted openings. Some served wine, some food and some nothing. It's really about the art. Some people sweep through a gallery quickly and others stand still and study each work carefully and intently. So intently, so closely, there's nothing for others to see except the back of their head. This has probably happened to all of us. And it's not a crime. If the person doesn't know that you're standing behind him/her, you can quietly wait. Sooner or later they'll feel your presence. You can also say something like, "That's really nice." Any decent art lover, will move out of the way.

Artists like their work to be appreciated. But while you're appreciating it, unless you're the only one in the gallery, consider that others want to get a good look too. Try and tear yourself away just for a quick second to see if you've been blocking the view. Yvonne told me that just the other night she was at a photography show and people were so close they looked like they were trying to test the temperature of the glass with their noses.

Openings are really for the artists, their friends and families. It's a chance to mingle, drink wine and maybe eat a chunk of cheese. If you want to really see and enjoy the work, go back another day and appreciate it all you want in peace.

Museums are another story. Children are sweet to watch in a museum. They get excited. They're eyes light up. But when they start running around the galleries and touching ancient artifacts, statues and sculpture, the only ones getting excited are the security guards. What's a kid to do when they've probably seen an adult do the same thing? Not run around but certainly reach out and touch someone's bronzed hand.

Flashing is another annoyance. Most museums have taken pictures of the work and made postcards for you to buy in the gift shop. "No camera's, please," is a commonly heard phrase in museums. And if you like taking pictures of interiors, understand that other museum goers may not want to end up in your vacation pictures.

This seems obvious, but if you have to say something, try not to share it with the whole museum. Whispering is allowed.

Enjoy the show!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


"Miss, you look good for your age."  We get this a lot. And it never feels good and certainly doesn't sound like a compliment. And since we have manners, we never return the compliment. 

Earlier this week The New York Times published an article on the subject of seniors and the silly things people say to them. They call them, "sweetie" or ask them, "How many years young are you?" The list goes on and on.  We would like to add, "You look good for your age." 

When you see a well put together, attractive older person, there's no need to point out to them that you think they look good for being that old. An age, any age doesn't have one look or play by one rule. We all carry our ages differently. Some young people don't look so hot and some do. We understand that there are  people well into their 70's, 80's even 90's who still may have beautiful skin or are in great physical shape.  If you feel the need to compliment them, go for it but don't insult them and point out that they're not supposed to look so good. "You look good for your age," is exactly that.  And whatever you do, don't drag your parents or grandparents into it. One woman said to Yvette, "I wish my mother would take some fashion tips from you."  

Compliments are nice at any age. And there is an art to giving them and accepting them. Like anything, think before you give one.  Is it a compliment that you would like to receive? Or is it a compliment that you wouldn't mind if you were the receiver? Be careful. If you think that aging means becoming dowdy and tired, then you're more apt to give an unsavory compliment. If you think that at any age a person can put themselves together well, then you'll probably have a winning way with compliments.

Receiving a compliment graciously that may not make you feel so great is not always easy. If you know the person, there's nothing wrong with saying, "I know you meant that as a compliment and thank you but age has nothing to do with it." They'll get the point.

The next time you pay a compliment, don't show your age, show your style.