Tag Archives: etiquette

Why You Should Ask A Woman To Reveal Her True Age

Dear Wendy: “Will My Brother’s Obnoxious Fiancée Ruin My Graduation Party?

I’m graduating from college in June. I’ve had a lot of setbacks and ups and downs that I had to deal with in order to get to where I am now, so I’m planning a party to celebrate my accomplishment. The problem is I do not want my older brother’s fiancée to attend. We do not get along and have a mutual understanding to keep out of each other’s way. The times that we do have to be around each other she always has something negative to say or a backhanded comment; and I just don’t want to be around that at my party. I have tried being nice to her, but after she insulted our mother and disrespected me, I’ve given up on that route. She has constantly manipulated my brother into canceling plans that he and I have, causing us not to be as close as we once were (we barely talk now). I have a feeling that she’ll want to come just to make a good impression on our family (which has nothing to do with me or my party). As I prepare to send out invitations, I was wondering if I should just invite my brother (even though we aren’t very close) or should I invite him and his fiancée? If I just invite my brother; how can I tell him and/or her that I would rather she not come? I should also mention that the party I’m planning is a small one with just close friends and family, and since she is neither (yet) I do not feel the need to invite her. — Drama Free Party Planner

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Dear Wendy: “Is It Normal To Stop Wanting To Spend Every Second With My Boyfriend?”

My boyfriend and I have been dating for almost six months. He goes to school in Rhode Island and comes home to New Hampshire every weekend. So I always keep my weekends free and make plans with him around my work schedule and his. I guess we’ve kind of been in that stage where we want to spend all our time together and seeing as how that’s only on the weekends I feel like its been amplified. This coming weekend I’m going on a day trip with my best friend and our moms. I thought we could do something Friday night too (best friend and I) and I got excited because it’s been awhile since we’ve made plans. Then I remembered that I spend my weekends with my boyfriend and I felt bad. I guess what I want to know, is it normal for the wanting to be together every second feeling to ebb out? — Honeymoon Stage

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How To Tactfully Hit On A Cute Guy At Thanksgiving Dinner

Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends. Sometimes this family event may have an unexpected guest: a cute, single guy. When such a treat comes your way, seize the moment in a feminine, ladylike fashion.

Seating. Right away, you will want to be seated next to this hottie; however, this is a bad idea. A major part of flirting is conversation and body language. Both of these are difficult to display if you’re sitting side by side. Try positioning yourself across from him for the best effect.

Introductions. If introductions have not been made before reaching the table, take this as an opportunity to place yourself on his radar. Before you take your seat, introduce yourself and offer him your hand to shake. When he shakes your hand, hold his gaze and smile. You should disengage from the handshake first so you don’t come on too strong (a girl who won’t let go is creepy). Glance down as you take your seat, then back up again at him with a slight smile on your lips and in your eyes. Keep reading »

How Do You Expect Your Family And Friends To Treat Your Ex?

When you break up with someone, how do you expect the people in your life to treat your ex? This Sunday’s “Modern Love” column in The New York Times explored that topic in an essay by Charles Antin. Antin had an amicable, cold-turkey breakup with his girlfriend of five years, and then found himself morosely following her life in the aftermath via Facebook. When his “technophile” grandfather joined the social networking site and befriended his ex — because of their shared love of Frangelico, it seems — Antin was angry. The column ends with a bit of a whimper — Antin confronted his grandfather, who ended up quitting Facebook entirely — but it got me thinking about how we expect our family members and friends to treat our exes, and how we expect their family and friends to treat us, whether the breakup was amicable or not. Keep reading »

A Boy Should Bow Just Slightly

I can’t help but love this retro etiquette missive which instructs boys to only shake hands with a girl if she offers her hand and to otherwise BOW. When did this go out of style? [via Planet Mabel] Keep reading »

Are Social Media Sites Like Twitter And Facebook Making Us Rude?

Last week, I had the pleasure of sipping Earl Grey at the Russian Tea Room while listening to Anna Post (Emily’s great-great-granddaughter) and anthropologist Genevieve Bell discuss etiquette as it pertains to technology. The event was hosted by Intel, which just completed a study on tech etiquette that shows that people believe there are unspoken rules when it comes to technology use, but we haven’t been able to agree on what those are.

Anna and Genevieve spoke to these differences in opinion, agreeing that we’re in a transitional period. There’s no clear-cut answer to the question, “Can I use my phone in the bathroom? just yet. Mobile devices and programs, like Facebook and Twitter, are still relatively new, and society needs a little more time to figure out how to be polite about using them. But Anna did share some advice. … Keep reading »

Should We Mind Miss Manners’ Salutations For Same-Sex Couples?

Not that you ever send snail mail any more, but Miss Manners received an interesting question from a reader yesterday: How should she address letters to same-sex married couples? I guess Mrs. and Mrs. Jones looks a little like a typo? “Thank you for not contributing to the general rude-ing down (the equivalent of dumbing down) of society by chucking honorifics altogether,” Miss Manners replied. She warned against addressing the letter simply to the intended’s name. “When Miss Manners sees a letter baldly addressed ‘Martha Dribbleport,’ she always thinks it must be a summons,” she explained. Nope, turns out there’s a format as old-fashioned as the post office for addressing more than one married person of the same sex: “Mesdames” for women and “Messrs.” for men. Those words look kind of bizarre to me, but what do I know? I’m too busy rude-ing and dumbing down society. [South Coast Today] Keep reading »

Eight Conversation Killers to Avoid

Recently, I was taking in a rare sunny day on my lunch break, when I ran into an acquaintance. The first thing she said to me wasn’t “Hi” or “How are you?” but “Wow, you look so tired!” I don’t even remember my immediate response because I was too focused on my depleting self-esteem levels. I wanted to say, “Gee, thanks. Actually, I was feeling pretty rested and refreshed until you said that,” but I changed the subject instead.

I’d love to say this was an isolated incident, but accidentally insulting comments like “Rough night?” or “You seem so frazzled!” are surprisingly commonplace in social situations. Most of the time, the people who say them are well-intentioned, but that doesn’t take the sting out of an unintentional slight. So what are the most common offenders when it comes to the worst things you can say to people? Keep reading »

Keepin’ It Classy: Making Plans With Friends

This week in “Keepin’ It Classy,” I received a letter from a lady who is trying to get back out onto the dating scene, but she’s confused about current social mores:

“I’m recently single and although I’m not quite yet ready to mingle, I do want to go out with my old girlfriends. Now that I have so much free time, I thought that it would make my social life easier, but it totally hasn’t. I’m so used to just hanging out at home with my man or making couple plans, that I don’t know what the protocol for an average date with the girls is. When did I get this lame? If I want to make plans day of, can I text two friends at the same time to see what they’re doing? Or do I have to wait for one to respond first? Making plans to hang out with friends is even tougher than dating!”

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