Friday, December 21, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Christmas or holiday cards (PC)  are a nice way to get in touch with people you haven’t seen in a while and probably won’t see for a while. Many of us have observed children of friends grow up through the years by way of Christmas card picture frames. One family we know had a professional photographer photograph their family every year, the card is so beautifully produced, they’re keepsakes.

When we send cards, we like to include a brief handwritten note. Of course, it’s easier when you’re not sending dozens of cards but it always adds a personal touch. It's much better than leaving it up to Hallmark. We all know someone who adds his or own "Dear,” on the card as if they actually wrote the greeting card’s red, green or black text.

Holiday letters, when a sender takes the time to bring you up to date on what’s gone on in their life during the past year, are also thoughtful. Of course, Bah-Humbuggers think they're presumptuous because it's too much information. We’re not sure when it became bad form to bring friends up to date with what’s going on in our lives, however, better to keep updates upbeat.

For people with green leanings, the holiday card paper waste can seem criminal. A friend of ours thought nothing of throwing an exquisite, engraved Cartier Christmas card he’d received. He spent seconds reading it and threw it away without even considering displaying it on his mantelpiece. Yvette saves special cards and ties them together with ribbon. I have a few favorites and after the holiday I put them aside. The actress, Sylvia Miles sends a fun card she makes. She glues white cotton on it to represent her white mane of hair. I have years of them stuffed in an envelope.

There’s one dubious practice that we don’t support: the sender who sends only because they have received one from you. We think people who do this find it an easier way to send cards without making a card list or who have missed the point about the gift of giving - it's not about receiving.

In the spirit of the holidays we should take into account that there may be any number of reasons why someone hasn’t sent cards. If receiving a card means that much to you and you haven’t heard from a good friend, pick up the phone before you put down the pen. During these difficult times, we don’t need the house of Christmas cards to collapse too.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Re-gifting: Beware, It Can Go South by Yvonne

A very good friend of mine visited me last Christmas holiday. She'd just come from another mutual friend's home and he'd given her a gift.
Photo by allerleirau

"What's that in the bag?" I asked, knowing it wasn't for me. We'd already exchanged gifts.
 "It's a gift from HIM." (From here on he shall be referred to as The Re-Gift Guy.)

She whipped two books out of the bag, one was about Dorothy Parker and looked very familiar. I literally snatched it out of her hands to study it up close, page after page.

"He gave that to me last Christmas. I left it at his house by mistake!"
"You're kidding."
"No, I'm serious. In fact, last year both of these gifts were mine. I can't believe him."

The Re-Gift Guy had made the ultimate error in giving, he kept giving but the same thing to a different person. He was well-intentioned and maybe a bit forgetful.  But, for once my memory, a little foggy at times, didn't fail me. I'm a fierce Dorothy Parker fan.

So, to all the Re-Gift Guys and Girls out there, beware! Keep a list of those spare gifts you find around the house. Maybe there was a reason it was in a bag along with some used ribbon.

And remember that social networking will betray you in a click with people boasting and posting what they got for Christmas and Hanukkah.  Re-gifting isn't the worst thing you can do but it sure could end up being the most embarrassing.  Shhh, not a word to The Re-Gift Guy.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


What is it about women and bathrooms? Why are ladies’ rooms in general so unladylike?  Toilet paper that missed the bowl is on the floor, toilets aren’t flushed and the worst - telltale signs of what time of the month it is are left behind. And because many women prefer to squat instead of sitting (This is perfectly understandable.) seats are often left wet. And if you choose to use a toilet seat cover it turns into an instant blotter.

These days, toilet flushing seems to be left up to the toilet.  It appears that many users walk out and never look behind them to make sure the automatic toilet did what it was supposed to do automatically. It takes one quick glimpse to make sure the coast is clear for the next user.

Ironically, the ‘beauty’ of automatic flushing toilets was to offer a more sanitary bathroom experience. Ha!

The next time you use a facility, think about the women and men whose job it is to keep bathrooms clean. They shouldn’t have to finish your unfinished business.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012


We overheard this snippet of conversation last week on a crosstown bus. “This woman asked me if I would get up and give her my seat. I told her she didn’t look disabled or anything. I didn’t get up,” said a teenager to another girl about the same age.  She seemed almost proud of herself for standing up to a woman who should have been sitting down.

Oh, did we mention the teenagers were sitting in seats reserved for the elderly or physically challenged? Pregnant women can use a seat on a bumpy bus ride too.

Earphones seem to be the great savior to young people today. Plug in and tune out and look down at your knees, close your eyes for extra measure so you’ll never have to give up a seat to someone old enough to be your grandmother.

Our mother is 82 years old. Thankfully, she’s not disabled but would graciously accept a seat if offered or would offer her seat if she saw someone who needed it more than she. That’s what happens when children are taught manners, they take them with them over a lifetime.

 Do you know where your kid’s manners are?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

My Very First iFast or How Apples Stole My Break Fast By Yvonne

I am very fortunate. I come from a very nice family. I am also a member of another very nice family, the Flein’s (They asked me not to use their real name.) I have sat at their Seder table many years. I also love to break fast with the Fleins at the end of Yom Kippur. Never has a bagel meant so much. I delight in the spread of spreads of salads and well-prepared slices of lox, tomatoes and, the perfect homemade kugel by R.

What made this year different from all other years? Technology. Within a half hour of exchanging hugs and kisses, iPhones were all over the place. If they weren’t talking about the phone, they were talking about the various protective cases and how it changed their iLives.

 I could see the late matriarch, Mother Flein, nodding her head and wondering out loud as she sipped her slivovitz, “What happened to conversation?” That’s okay, Mother Flein, your eldest daughter and I were all over that, we wondered the same.
“Do you have this?”  “How do I get that app?” I love that app.”  “Draw something and see if she (a relative on the other side of the room all teched up) can guess what it is,” I was ordered. I am still waiting for someone to acknowledge my naive, delicate work of art.

The evil app of the evening award goes to the one that separates the young from the old. It emits a sound that you can hear if you’re under 45 and will never hear if you’re over 45. Oh, what fun!

What happened to the break fast where the best and most exciting thing you could have in your  hand was a fully dressed, wonderful bagel and then, for desert,  rugelach?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Wanna Be In Pictures

I, Yvette, have decided to pursue a career in acting. It’s something I always wanted to do from a very early age. I started taking classes over a year ago and continue to do so.   I’ve kept my day job.

When people ask me what’s new, I happily and eagerly offer up my new endeavor, responses vary from good luck wishes to compliments on having a good TV face. I’m told that I would be good on Law and Order because I’m an executive type. The most common is something like, “It’s hard, good luck.”  I imagine aspiring poets, painters and dancers hear the same thing.

There is also another response, more of an inquiry, and I didn’t see it coming. One person I know often asks mockingly, “How’s that acting coming, did you get a job yet?”

Should I act surprised? Should I act grateful for these unsolicited comments?  I smile, and cheerfully say ‘Not yet”.  I asked an actress how she handles this. “I’ve stopped telling people I’m an actress.’ “They always want to know what I’m working on.”  She wondered if these same people ask others what they’re working on at their jobs.  “Working on any new presentations or cutback proposals?”

Instead of giving an opinion, I would appreciate your good wishes. Ask if me if you’d like to be on my mailing list so you’ll know what I’m doing.

I’m well aware that careers in creative fields are tough, that’s no secret.  That’s why I’ll hold on to my day job.  Until it’s time for my close up, wish me well.

Thank you.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Filters are not just for water and air conditioners. Humans need them too especially when it comes to the words out of our mouths.

For example, maybe it’s not the best thing to talk about birth defects and abortion in the presence of expectant parents unless they initiated the conversation. 

No need to offer information – “You’re pregnant and expecting twins? My brother’s wife just had twins and they each have extra fingers!”

And weight, can be, well, a weighty subject for a pregnant woman.  Let her bathroom scale do the talking in the privacy of her home.  And no guessing games as to how many months pregnant she is, let her tell you. Nothing can be worse than you guessing, “Six months?” And she looks at you and says, “Three.”

Oh, there is something worse, asking a woman how many months she is and she’s not. Just say, “Excuse me, I didn’t mean to be rude.” Go home and clean your filter.

*Once, a dear friend when was asked this question responded with great style. "I'm honored that you thought I was still young enough."

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Time to Exhale

We wish you and your manners all the best, we're taking ours away with us.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


“People think that clothing optional places are a sexual free for all. They are not, in fact you see nuclear families as well as extended families,” explained a friend of ours who vacations with her husband at a clothing optional resort.

Stephen Payne, Managing Director of Club Orient in St. Martin, points out that the beauty of nudists is that they’re not hiding behind labels or fancy accessories. “People need clothes to tell the world who they are. A nudist doesn’t have clothes to fall back on. The wealthy guy isn’t looked at or treated any differently than a junior salesman here.” He’s amused when women in tiny bikinis talk about the lack of modesty in nudist communities.

Listening to Payne, (His family was once elected The Nudist Family of the Year by The American Association of Recreation.) talk about nudism and its origins is fascinating. When we spoke to him, he was fully dressed because he works in reception and not everyone paying a visit is a nudist.
Courtesy of Club Orient

As in any society, there are some ground rules and tips. Our friend and Payne shared a few.

• Towels are a must when sitting on any surface, that’s an absolute rule.

• No pictures (French law) or inappropriate acting out.  If the mood strikes, go to your room.

• When talking to someone directly, all eyes should be on the face. Of course it’s human nature to look but not as if you’re checking out merchandise.

• Generally, many cover up for dinner but it’s not mandatory, of course. Men and women wear sarongs. How a woman wears hers depends on the mood. If it’s a sheer sarong, it’s worn from the chest down, if not, the trend is from the waist down.

• When it comes to complimenting someone’s body, it’s usually inappropriate although it’s acceptable for one to say that someone is in great shape.
Courtesy of Club Orient

For more information, visit Club Orient’s site at Clothing is optional.

* This ran last year, we thought it was appropriate to post it again due to warm temperatures.

Thursday, August 2, 2012


Spring has come and gone, the daffodils popped up and so did something else – women’s thongs rising above their low waist jeans, pants, or skirts. Now, we're in the dog days of summer and the thong show continues.

What does this have to do with etiquette? Etiquette includes dress code, what’s appropriate and what’s not. Showing a garment wherein all roads lead to you know where, begs attention from the fashion police. It’s one thing to see a mass of thong wearers on a beach in Rio, but it’s another thing or sight to see on the streets of any community.

We’ve covered (heh) sagging pants, when silly men show us their drawers. Yvette wonders what came first for daily public viewing, men’s underwear or the thong? We’re not sure but one thing we know, enough is enough. Anyone have a gong handy?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Put Up Your Feet, But Take Off Your Shoes

The young woman was very comfortable in her seat as she leaned against a window on the commuter bus bopping to music on her iPod. She wasn't the least bit concerned that she'd put her feet with shoes on, on the adjacent seat. As I stared in disbelief, I wondered how many times had I sat on a seat where a wretched sole had been. I must've been staring pretty hard because she changed her position and put her feet where they belonged.

Yvette and I believe that putting your feet on furniture with your shoes on is a display of a lack of civility and a disregard for others (not to mention the high cost of cleaning clothes and furniture).  Of course, in your own home you can do as you wish. But in the homes of others, you may want to keep your feet on the ground.

Parents and caregivers let toddlers and children do it all the time on public transportation. It's as if they think the soles of childrens' shoes are immune to dirty sidewalks, and the dust, urine, mud, etc., and everything magically disappears. No one tells them that it's not right, so one day they end up on a bus with their feet on a seat bopping to the music while some stranger stares at them in disbelief.

Credit: gilliguy
We're not big fans of shoeless households but you can almost begin to understand why people have them. More than preserving the beauty of parquet and carpet, it's about leaving sidewalk dirt where it belongs. That said, we both welcome you to our homes with your shoes on and we trust that you've made good use of the welcome/doormat before entering.

We have some pretty nice shoes coming into our apartments, but no matter how fabulous the shoe, the sole is not.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Toothpicks Are Picky And Tricky And Tacky (Update)

We're about to enter some serious dining as the holiday season begins. , so we thought we would revisit this artifact of poor taste. (We would like it to become an artifact.)
Beware of toothpicks, they are like a trick question, use one, especially in the company of others at a table, you're done. Cathy Treboux of Le Veau D'or wishes diners wouldn't ask for them. And please, covering your mouth while picking isn't hiding a thing. Just excuse yourself from the table and go to the bathroom to liberate the offending morsel.

*This originally ran last winter, we thought it was worth talking about again because we've spotted tooth pickers at cookouts recently. Just because it may be a more casual setting still doesn't mean you should sit at the picnic table picking away at the piece of meat or corn stuck in between your teeth. Why not take a hike into a nearby wooded area and pick to  your heart's content?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Where’s Your Slip?

Time to turn our attentions to a dress code issue. One of our fans recently suggested that we write a post about slips. Remember those undergarments that used to be a must have for any decent girl or woman?  


 Most skirts and dresses are lined but with warmer temperatures fabrics are lighter, more sheer and flowing.  Add a thong to the mix and things begin to get ugly. You don’t really want to sport a wedge due to flowing fabric or have perspiration or bodily fluid spots show due to lack of coverage do you?

Okay, time to go.

Next week, summer dress code hit list.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012


We've notice a lot of expensive dental work recently and sometimes a whiff of unpleasant breath. According to our extensive research you should cover your mouth when you yawn.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Listen Up, We're On New School Radio!

On a sunny, warm Sunday afternoon, Roy Paul of WNSR invited us to talk about etiquette. Hear what we had to say.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


You see them every day on the subway. They are bold and oblivious. They are the door people. And if you think they will get out or you way to let you on a train or off, for get about it. In fact, you’re in their way.  You do not exist and you’re in their way. And they don’t care about

Recently, Yvette had an encounter with a doorwoman, a nasty piece of work. She couldn’t understand why Yvette had no choice but to push past her to get on the train. Words were exchanged and Yvette got the feeling that this poorly weaved young woman would have resorted to violence.

These are people not to be messed with. They are already telling you who they are just by their actions or lack of. So, the only tip we have for you is a safety tip – keep on moving, don’t say a word.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


 “If it’s a good friend, you should tell her, “ a friend said when asked what would she do if someone she knew doused herself with too much perfume.  “If not, just open a window.”

Joy, our resident wealthy living adviser had to tell her best friend one day that her expensive perfume was making her car sick and nauseous. “She understood and chose our friendship over the perfume.”  It doesn’t really matter how much a man or woman pays for a bottle of fragrance, too much is just plain too much. 

“To me,” said Yvette, “perfume should be a surprise. Someone gives you a hug and suddenly realizes and likes the scent. Perfume shouldn’t announce someone’s arrival.”

Once a scent seeker always a scent seeker, man or woman even in a car - the person using ounces and ounces of perfume a day thinks nothing of festooning his/her car with smelly little trees or scented clips that fit onto vents.

Yvette’s advice is to say nothing.  I think I’d go along with the good friend route and say something because too much perfume can be so nauseating it becomes a stinky proposition.  

What would you say?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Who Wears Short Shorts?

In the past, we've talked about the importance of buttiquette when there's little maneuvering space on an airplane, for example.  Recently, we've seen another version of poor buttiquette, women and girls wearing the shortest of shorts during their travels.

There's nothing wrong with dressing comfortably since air travel has become so uncomfortable lest you're traveling on a private jet or scraped up enough mileage to get upgraded.

But short shorts? There is nothing more unattractive than when they get all bunched up in the crotch area. We shudder to think of what the ramifications of wearing underwear-like garments could mean to others who sit in that seat afterward. (You don't really think that seats are sanitized do you?) Okay, this is getting gross, and gross we're not.

Is it time to consider a dress code for travel before we see yellow polka dot bikinis on board? We're just wondering.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

When Size Manners Matter

I once belonged to a group of women whose purpose was to learn the secrets of healthy relationships. The meetings took place in a different home once a week. One of the women was quite nice and trying hard to come out of her shell. She appeared to be younger than most of us, she was certainly bigger. She weighed about three hundred pounds.

At the end of each meeting we'd figure out where we would meet next. As much as I wanted to host a meeting I didn't jump at the chance because I didn't know where to seat her. There was the sofa where three average sized people could sit comfortably, if she sat there, there would be room for just two. My dining room chairs appeared to be sturdy but I feared that their sleek, Italian design would be compromised by a few hundred pounds. There was the wicker bench but even when I sat on it sometimes, I could 'hear' it.

I never did have that meeting not just because of the weight issue but the group as a whole was getting heavy. I hope they have since learned the secrets to being nice.

How does one resolve the issue of hosting a person who carries a lot of weight? Be honest and caring. Direct him or her to a seat that you feel is safe. That's what I did recently. A friend came to visit me and I had two seating options for him. One he rejected, nicely, pointing out that the first chair could roll over. The other seat was all right but not as wide. Being a gracious person he found a way to sit in it and assured all of us that he was all right.

I spend a lot of time on city buses. There is nothing more unpleasant than sitting next to a person who can't help but occupy their seat and part of yours. If it's very uncomfortable, don't get up in a huff. Just say, "Excuse me, I'm getting off next stop." They know how big they are and it's not your job to make them feel badly about it.

When you find yourself in these situations and handle them poorly and you will know when you have, the only elephant in the room will be you.

Monday, March 19, 2012


President Obama signing The Tobacco Bill
Don't get excited,  I haven't been invited to the table, yet. However, I would note that he's left-handed and I should sit to his right so that we wouldn't knock elbows. I wouldn't tick off a list of other people I know who are left-handed to make small talk.  And if soft drinks were the only drinks, I wouldn't ask, "You have any liquor in the house?"

There, I'm ready to have dinner with the president. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012


In light of the huge show of the lack of civility in the political arena, we asked a few friends to share their pet peeves and thoughts on civility. 

Our friend, Terry Kidder, coined a new word for one of his, device-iveness, He defines it as a catatonic obsession with checking devices, holding devices and even caressing them in the hopes of staying connected while disconnecting from life’s real-time discourse and engagement. (These are his words and they’re spot on.)

He, Monte Mathews and Cliff Love all would like to hear “Thank you” more often. With textmania and emailing, expressing gratitude is so much easier. However, many still don’t get the significance of those two powerful words no matter how easy it is.

Monte is sick of hearing kids on public transportation and on the streets using the F-word as effortlessly and generously as Yes or No.

We’re in total agreement with Monte when it comes to tots taking an entire seat while an adult is standing. “If you’re little, sit on your parent’s lap but don’t take up a whole seat.” We often wonder if these same children as grown ups sit while someone, a pregnant woman, a senior citizen or physically challenged stands,  think nothing of getting comfy in a seat. But, what would they know; they’re too busy practicing device-iveness.

Pets are popular pet peeves. Not everyone loves them; ask before you visit a friend if man’s best friend is invited. We all would like to see a doo-doo free street but that’s up to the pet owners, who choose not to stoop down and pick up.

Body-crashing, when someone is so involved in a phone conversation they don’t see you coming their way, is at the top of Cliff’s list. He also mentions flatulence, he believes that not ‘fessing up is rude. We’ll leave that for another day.

Thanks, guys!

Sunday, February 26, 2012


Recently, we’ve heard from friends who happily found a great job or project.  Upon reporting this good news to supposed friends, instead of  good wishes they get snarky comments in return.

 “Hope they’re paying you.”

“Really? Good luck, I’ve heard things about that company.”

“Are you happy?”

“Good luck, you’re going to need it.”

“Make sure they pay you.”


“Congratulations. I’m happy for you and wish you all the best.”

How about that?

Monday, February 20, 2012


      “Oh, please, you have to tell your followers about me. Tell them how I break all the rules of carpooling," Car Pool Offender No. l begged me.
       Your wish is my command.

• She insists on joining conversations she’s not been a part because of her manic texting. “What was that about the man who lifts his legs and pees on women’s gowns?” The driver and I, in the front seat, were speculating on why a  particular dog wasn’t invited to the Oscars.

• She thinks she’s whispering because she's speaking in another language.

• She’s not willing to freeze to death and has the nerve to ask the driver for heat.

• She starts texting around town on Sunday afternoon to confirm the carpool’s departure Monday morning.

• She talks about Republicans. It's best to keep the conversation in a carpool as apolitical as possible, there’s not enough room for flaring tempers.

• She emails carpoolers in the office too early, say, 2pm, about the ride home that night. This isn’t awful it’s just that the subject of the email will pop up on the screen when the carpool leader is in a presentation.
LADIES, ARE WE STILL LEAVING AT FIVE? This is followed by a series of emoti-thingys - :))

• She chewed gum one evening and pointed out how we should’ve told her she was being rude. Huh?

     She’s a really nice person and has a big heart. And she’ll learn to abide by the rules one day soon in a couple of years.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Email Of No Return

Is there an email in your inbox waiting for a reply? Is it from someone looking for a job? A response is in order.

“Let your fingers to the talking,” says a writer friend of ours, Terry. “It’s simple and easy to be polite – ‘Got your email, thanks.’" Terry suspects that when one doesn’t respond to an email there’s a power thing involved. “It’s a passive-aggressive way of saying, ‘I’m too busy for you.’"

Sometimes it may not be a power play at all. Not everyone is email-addicted. But if you offered your email address for business purposes, do business. Get back to people. The beauty of emails is that they can be brief and honest unlike a double-talking phone call.

If you’re counting on a reply and don’t receive it, before terminal rejection sets in, look in your junk mail box. Good emails are known to end up in bad places, the same goes for the email you sent.

During these difficult times many, are looking for work and a reply goes a long way. No one wants to send nagging emails with the subject line, ‘Just following up’. How much following up can you follow up? So, for those of you holding the cards or are just too fabulous and too busy to reply, remember, these days tables aren’t just turning, they’re spinning and it could be you in email hell tomorrow.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Busing, According To Yvette

I think I’m a courteous rider; I don’t hog the empty seat next to me with bags. I give up my seat to the handicapped, elderly, pregnant women, and anyone else who should be sitting. If I’m in an aisle seat I don’t have that, “Don’t you even think of asking me to move look.” I do have a pet peeve with some window seat riders.

I’ve noticed that riders just can’t seem to express in words their need to get off when the bus is approaching their stop. Instead, they make over the top gestures such as raising their handbags to my eye level. Their bodies begin to shift as if they’re trying to wiggle out of an uncomfortable undergarment, if all else fails, they stand up halfway, in a curious squatting position.

I tend to ignore all of these machinations until I hear, “Excuse me.” I personally think use of body signing is rude. Just two weeks ago NY was voted as the rudest cities (by tourists). Presumably people think you should know their next move by their body language. Should I drop the book I’m reading, close the newspaper so I can watch for signs that my window buddy is getting off the next stop? I think not.

People appreciate the heads up when I let them know my stop is coming up, sometimes they’ll even ask me if I want to get up at that moment.

If your stop is next, don’t be shy, just say, “Excuse me.”

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Fork and Knife Don't

Please don't do this under any circumstance. It looks as though this diner thinks someone is going to come and snatch his steak from his plate, notice how he's holding his fork.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


When did candles become the choice of gifts for friends and family of a certain age?

Seems like they've  taken the place of handkerchiefs, the old school gift for the mature set - nothing like a box of hankies for Aunt Mary and Uncle Bill.

When, I, Yvonne, paid a visit to a friend's bedridden mother,  I brought her a scented candle in a beautifully painted votive. When she opened the box, she looked at me and asked, “Does my room smell?” My intention was to make her happy, instead I made her feel stinky. (Please note, she wasn't living alone, I wasn't concerned that the candle would be a fire hazard, although that's something to think about.)

Candles, think before you give.
“Maybe people give candles when they think you have everything but I’m beginning to wonder if there’s an odor in the air that I’m not aware of,” said a friend of ours with enough candles to open a small shop. "When it comes to scented candles, people think you like them," explained another friend.

Of course, you never want to hurt a candle giver’s feelings. Like all gifts, they should be graciously accepted and appreciated for the thought. But in this case we will encourage a practice we really don’t like, go green and recycle. Candles are known to make their rounds.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Johnny Depp Hat, Do You Like It Or Not? By Yvette

I’m a hat person. I wear them well, and I know I look good in hats. I just cannot figure out why, when it comes to hats, my hats, it’s so hard for some folks to give a compliment instead of giving an unsolicited comment. No one is obligated to like my hats, but, if all one can offer is a flat out reference to some cartoon or figure from another century, well, some things are better left unsaid.

Just recently I ran into an old friend, she looked me up and down (with admiration) and said all I needed was a sword. I had no idea of what she was referring to. I looked at her and said “Huh?” “Your hat, your boots” she replied. I didn’t say thank you, because I realized she was comparing my look to some Puss N’ Boots get up, and by the way, I wasn’t wearing pirate-style boots.

A few days later I was wearing a hat I picked up in Paris (trés chic, indeed), “You remind me of a Venetian Doge,” said an acquaintance. What was I to do with that comment? I just smiled, stewing inside.

You remind me of Johnny Depp,” said another person. He read my puzzled expression and said, “You know the pirate look?” (Note: this was the same hat that was missing the sword accessory, hmm; maybe it does look like a pirate hat.)

Venetian Doge, Johnny Depp, even The Mad hatter (a comment about a hat I had many years ago) these comments would be fine if I were at a costume ball. The missing common thread in all these comments was not one of these people said “I like your hat.” So maybe their comments are code for, “I don’t like your hat.”

If you feel like giving a compliment, give the compliment, if you can’t say anything complimentary; keep the historical and theatrical references to yourself , and leave my hats alone. Thank you.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Thumbelinas and Tom Thumbs

No, this isn't a post about the lack of etiquette found in fairy tales. It's about texting, the Twenty-First Century's call waiting. That convenient service that forced you to field calls in your home and weigh who was the more important caller among your friends and family.  Texting isn't that insidious, it's just expensive and can be annoying. The colons and parenthesis, and the abbreviations that can give you a crashing headache as you try and decipher them. And it's really hard to hold your head up high if you're always dashing off a message.

When someone gives you their cell phone number, there's nothing wrong with asking if they mind text messages. Be mindful that texting is not free and not everyone's cell phone bill is being picked up by an employer. (And do not suggest as it has been to us, an unlimited plan. Not everyone treasures a close relationship with their phone.)

Consider that many keep their cell phones in their bedrooms, maybe you should hold off on texting them late at night.  And if you're in a car and the driver is texting, don't be shy. Ask them to stop immediately.

Funny, emails are beginning to look as old fashioned as phone calls and notes.

*Click on the highlighted sentence for a 'must read' written by a fan of ours, Edith Routh.