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 (trĂ©s 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.