I’ve never been one for chivalry. I prefer to do things my way, and take pride in my own ability to lift things that are heavy, open doors on my own and find my coat in a sea of bodies and sad down jackets at a crowded bar. I’ve been with men who are completely unchivalrous, men who I’ve had to kick in the shins to lift a finger to help me carry an air conditioner up the stairs, and I’ve been with men who have fallen over themselves to get the door for me, even though I was already in the process of opening it. There’s a finesse to the art, a way of doing things that falls in between a fawning obsequiousness and a genuine gesture, bred of genteel manners and a different way of living.
There’s a fine line between chivalry and common courtesy. Holding a door open for someone who’s hands are full is good home training. Giving your seat up for a pregnant woman on the bus is good home training. Helping me into my coat at a restaurant is unnecessary, awkward and assumes that deep down, you are unconfident in my ability to put on my own outerwear when the fact of the matter is I have been dressing myself for longer than we’ve been acquainted. I understand that this is a gesture of kindness, but I view it as a harbinger of times past — and quite frankly, the past is where it should stay. Keep reading »
Earlier this month, the head chef of Alinea restaurant in Chicago, Grant Achatz, made headlines when he tweeted about some of his patrons:
The facts: Dinner at this chi-chi eatery restaurant requires a $210+ non-refundable/exchangeable tickets to be purchased two to three months in advance, and they’re only good for the date and time that you paid for. The dining couple in question had a babysitter that fell through. Not wanting to waste their reservation or the money they had already paid, they ended up at Alinea with their eight-month-old baby, much to the chagrin of their fellow diners and Chef Achatz. Keep reading »
One of the hazards of apartment living are thin walls and floors that share your every “Oh, baby!” and bed creak with your neighbors. It’s part of life. You get used to it. All of us have sex (I hope) and no one’s sex should be ruined by whiny neighbors.
The polite thing to do when neighbors are having noisy sex is just ignore those amorous rumbles and smile awkwardly at each other in the hallways, pretending you don’t know they just got banged last night. Only in the most extreme of circumstances — I’m talking you’ve got the flu and a newborn baby — can you bang on the walls. Two or three good thumps should do.
But it’s a violation of alllll kinds of rules of decorum and not-being-an-asshole-hood to post a sign on your neighbor’s front door bitching about their noisy sex. And adding a dis about their stamina?! Oh no, you didn’t! Allow me to introduce you to the lady from Apartment 517 and her crappy sign-writing neighbor. Keep reading »
The following is an etiquette question sent to one of my favorite blogs, The Kitchn, from a reader:
A friend just invited me to his home for Thanksgiving dinner — and asked me to pay $50 upfront. I understand that hosting can be expensive and I wouldn’t mind being asked to bring a dish, but asking guests for cash seems incredibly rude. Am I crazy to be a bit miffed? Has anyone else experienced this? If so, how do you handle it? Should I tell my friend that this is not the norm?
Of course you’re not crazy to be miffed! What’s crazy is that people actually do this. Keep reading »