Wednesday, September 25, 2013


            “Lady, are you still on the phone?” My host asked,  feigning annoyance. I figured I was poolside, she was picking in her vegetable garden, so I might as well pick up my phone and call a few friends. She kept picking and I kept talking and didn’t even notice that she was now weeding a garden near the pool.
            I was being rude.  Instead of taking a dip, I took a dive into one of the most popular, tacky activities a houseguest can do - making and receiving calls all weekend long.  Your friend’s home isn’t really your home away from home. When they say make yourself at home, they’re not saying, “Make calls all weekend at your convenience, don’t mind us. Wave when you’re hungry.”
            Left to our devices we’re ruining our quality time and disrespecting others in their own homes.  It’s not like I was making deals at the pool with my agent that couldn’t wait. I don’t have an agent. (I’m looking.)
 If you have pressing business maybe you should opt for another weekend, make your calls in the comfort of your own home.  But if you’re a guest of really rich people, you’ll probably have your own little house, in that case, it’s just you and making a call here and there in between meals or activities is fine. No need to carry your phone as if it’s an evening clutch to the big house.
            How sad are we that our closest companion is our cell phone? We hold it more than we hold the hands of loved ones. 
            Have plans to go away this weekend?  Go, take it easy and take it easy on your phone. It’s getting tired.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


            It was a long time ago. I had a good friend and neighbor who went on a whirlwind of a trip alone. His girlfriend had small children and couldn’t accompany him. He called me when he returned three weeks later and said, “Come on out to dinner with us.” So, he, his girlfriend and I went off to his favorite Chinese restaurant.
           “You went to dinner with them? A girlfriend and also a neighbor asked.
            “What’s wrong with that?  I like his girlfriend.”
            She gently scolded me on the rules of hanging out with couples. “He hadn’t seen her in three weeks, did it occur to you that she wanted some time with him alone?'
            I was clueless. She explained that men don’t think about things like that and I should’ve been more sensitive.
            Just the other night the husband of a friend of mine invited me to join them for dinner. He’s a generous man and they both enjoy my company, but I declined. I’d realized he’s been away at their summer home and was just back. I was proud of my sensitivity even though she wouldn’t have minded but I did.

Third Wheel Dos & Don’ts

  1. Know that men mean well and think the more the merrier especially if they love crowds. Ask if their partner knows you’ve been invited.
  2. Respect relationships as you would want yours to be respected. Couple time is precious time.
  3. It cuts both ways; ask your partner do they mind if you invite someone along?
  4. Return the invite; include them in your plans when you’re with your boyfriend or girlfriend.
  5. And try not to go down memory lane that excludes the partner you don’t know well and he/she becomes the third wheel when in fact you were.



Sunday, September 8, 2013


            One breezy summer evening we were headed out to a party. Happy to find a taxi, we slipped in and shut the door. So far, nothing unusual to report, right?  When we went to shut the door our hand sunk into a wad of tissue. Maybe it had been used to wipe a brow.  Maybe someone blew their nose and thought that the designer of the car’s interior was so detailed oriented that he/she thought about what could they do for a passenger to make their ride more enjoyable and pleasant without a dirty tissue to think about. We don’t think so.
            And while we’re on the subject of what to do with used tissues and napkins, when at cocktail party, wrap your used cocktail napkin into a fresh one instead of handing the bartender a balled up mess of moisture. Or, if you’re thinking green, you can even find a receptacle, throw it away yourself and save on paper.
            It’s easy to know the right thing to do, put yourself in the place of the person doing the serving or cleaning and think about what you’d like to handle or be handed. It’s snot what you think.