Wednesday, October 23, 2013


In light of what happened at hyper-chic Barney’s, maybe it’s time for some race related etiquette tips.

Robert Indiana


1.     If you think you’re being followed in a store by security, don’t confront just ask to speak to a floor manager, no need to get ugly because security is acting ugly.
2.     If you work in a store and see someone that doesn’t fit the stereotype of the typical customer, no need to buzz for security. Do your job and ask if you can help, nicely.  You could win yourself a loyal customer.
3.     If you sit down at a banquette in a restaurant and the woman next to you snatches her bag abruptly, you can either facetiously snatch yours or take a deep breath and a sip of something (much more pleasant).  If you’re the snatcher, before you act, consider how this can make someone feel especially if his or her hand isn’t in your purse in the first place.
4.     As you rant and rave about white people, consider that some of your friends have a white parent whom they love dearly, respect the black parent too.
5.     If you find yourself being constantly asked how do you know the host of the party.  (This usually happens  when you're the only person of color in the room.) You can answer honestly or say, “Honestly, it’s been so long, I don’t remember.”
6.     Do not speak for millions of people no matter what color you are or what religion you practice.  I was once asked why there are some many unwed black mothers, I wondered out loud about so many Hollywood unwed mothers and pointed out that I’m not a sociologist.
7.     If someone goes out of his or her way to talk about their best white or black friend, there is an ‘ugh’ factor but don’t get mad, get glad that this person may be culturally enlightened.

The poor etiquette directed at us or practiced by us is deeply embedded in history. Race isn’t going away. But we can send racism on its way with relentless acts of civility.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


 *Petitetiquette will be a series the little social things and practices we do (or don’t) and wonder (or not) why they matter.
I fancy myself a sophisticate whenever I raise my glass in a toast and know that it's proper to meet the eyes of everyone else with a glass in the air. I make it a point to look straight into their eyes with a slight nod, and a polite smile. When that ritual isn't returned by someone, I write them off (not completely) as having a lack of sophistication, they don't know better.

Guess what? While it’s nice to acknowledge someone with eye contact as you clink glasses, this practice has nothing to do with etiquette. It has everything to do with sex; not looking into someone’s eyes can gain you seven years of bad sex! 

It’s up to you! Cheers!