Etiquette Bitch

Mag Mile Tourist Etiquette

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Today's Trib features a most-excellent feature by Barbara Brotman on the dos and don'ts for enjoying (not crowding) the lovely Michigan Avenue Bridge.

Click here to read. Enjoy.

Sending a gift is more than okay

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About two days ago, I admonished all wedding guest not to go empty handed.

And I got emails. And comments. And tweets. Which I love! And I loved these because many of you pointed out I missed something.

"What if I sent a gift before the wedding? Does that mean I have to double-dip and still bring a gift?"

Continue reading...

Nix nix on these words

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Ah, nice invitation. No shakedown on this one.


Brides, grooms, best ladies, best men, mothers of the brides, MILs to-be of the brides, anyone who's writing out any sort of invitation (but especially wedding related): LISTEN THE EFF UP.

Hear me now and hear me real: NO YOU CAN'T ASK FOR MONEY IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM.

I don't care if you found a cutsey rhyming poem that "politely" asks for money. (Oxymoron right there. There IS NO polite way to ask for money.) And it doesn't matter (really) that the couple are in their 30s (or 20s, or 40s, or 80s...) and they "already have everything they need."

If you don't know the definition of "gift," greedy genius, then look it up. Here, I'll help you: "Something voluntarily transferred to one person from another without compensation." Key word there: voluntarily.

As we learned yesterday, weddings are not shakedowns; nor should showers be. It's rude to ask or hint for money in any format.

So promise me you'll obliterate these cringe-inducing phrases from your invitations:

  • "No box gifts, please."
  • "Cash gifts, please." (Worse: "Cash only." Really? Am I at a dive bar in Sycamore?)
  • "If you'd like to give us something
    To help us on our way
    A gift of money
    Would really make our day." (Really? Eff you.)



What to give at a wedding

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Yes, we all know (or should know, from some of the rude, blatant requests out there) that brides and grooms, brides and brides, and grooms and grooms, prefer cash to almost anything else. (But you're not allowed to say so! More on this tomorrow.)

BUT. How much to give when you attend the wedding, or, better yet, the wedding and reception?

Continue reading...

Back to the weddings

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Should the party favors say "Nights"?


Tip of the day for you brides- and grooms-to-be out there: Remember that not all of your guests and/or friends aren't made of money. Don't expect them to pay for everything.

Just because one day is all about you, doesn't mean all the days are all about you.

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Bookstore Etiquette

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Hey Etiquette Bitch,

Can you please alert all the rude douchebags of the world that douchily putting your coat and/or backpack on a table or a coveted armchair at a bookstore, while you douchily stroll around without a care in the world and page through douchey magazines like Maxim, will cause you to triumph over John Edward as the Biggest Douche in the Universe?

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Wedding invitations

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And now for the oh-so-fun chore, brides and grooms, of addressing, stuffing, and mailing the invitations for Your Big Day.

Mailing labels may be an expedient staple of the 21st century, but they're tacky. And they scream, "I'm lazy!" Hand-write your envelopes, or hire a calligrapher.

And don't cheap out and "forget" to put the stamp on the response envelope, like my cousin Laurence did. Nice try, Larry. I saw right through you to your thrifty ways.

Proper wedding invitation assembly tips are here (along with "Don't forget the stamp!!!").

You're welcome. Now get to work.

A word to the brides

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Congratulations on your upcoming Big Day! I'm sure you're thrilled. And your guy-to-be, he's excited, too? Cool!

Now let's compare facebook accounts.

Is Mr. Right posting every detail about his wedding plans, how much the florists are frustrating him, or how he can't wait to party down with his dudes on bachelor night?


Continue reading...

When your kids aren't invited

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Okay, so you got the wedding invitation addressed only to you and your spouse, and you see those dreaded words: "Adult reception" or "Adults only, please" or something to that effect.

Don't take it personally, and don't strong-arm the hosts into letting you bring your kids. (This includes the four-legged, fuzzy variety of kids. Oh yes, it has happened.)

Everyone gets their panties in a twist when it comes to wedding invites that -- whether implicit or overt -- say, "Your kids are not invited. Just you."

And then the wounded parents (parents!) usually do something boneheaded and rude like confront the bride and say, "But my little Kayla can come, right?" Oh, because the wording, "No kids" didn't mean you. Just everyone else. Except you and your precious little Kayla.
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More (attending) wedding etiquette

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Yes, you got invited to a wedding. Whoopee. You read the response card. Your choices for dinner are:

__ Sauteed Salmon in Something Yellow with a Wheat Base

__ Ribeye Steak a la Shoe Leather with Rye Seeds and Cheese Sauce

__ Chicken Blandalina with Fungus

Oh, the horror!
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Wedding time! Invitation Etiquette for the Recipient

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Wedding season is upon us. It never really leaves, I suppose, what with September being the new hot month in which to marry, blah blah blah. 

I'm not a girly girl. I'm not a princess, although I will act like one in certain situations. ("Camping" for "fun"? No thank you.)

Translation: I really don't care for large affairs and 300-people weddings. BUT I care massive about good manners.

And I know what a pain in the ass planning ...
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Those annoying restaurant diners

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Judy Hevrdejs had an excellent post on The Stew yesterday calling out rude behavior we hope we never see in restaurants.

She's got some good ones ("Chewing with one's mouth open," "Stuffing tiny jars of jam into one's pockets/purse"), but the shit really flies when the commenters post opinions and take shots at each other.

One of my favorites: "... it never ceases to amaze me that people are such idiots when it comes to common courtesy and acceptable behavior in public, whether to other patrons or the employees."

Amen.

Lousy venue doesn't mean lousy manners are OK.

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I was at the Metro last, standing on my tiptoes (I'm 5'2"), just barely catching here-and-there glimpses of Damian Kulash (OK Go). The Metro is arguably one of the worst venues for music in Chicago. It was great when I was 17, and pickings were slim for Chicago venues and I kinda liked 100 sweaty bodies slamming against me. Now? Not so much.

I realize that as a late-20something, I am not Metro's target audience. But whether you're in a room full of 17-year olds or 40-year olds, you gotta give some basic courtesy and respect when you're at one of those standing-on-the-main-floor venues (Metro, Aragon, Riviera, etc.).

  1. No blocking the short. Do not find someone who's shorter than you and plop yourself in front of him/her. I realize these venues kind of lend themselves to this type of thing, but when there's 12 inches of room before a pixie, you don't wedge yourself between her and the galoot who's just mere inches away. 
  2. Be nice when coming through. When returning to the floor from a beer run, a simple "excuse me" will do. Don't be a jackass and yell something like "Beep! Beep! Beep!" or "Comin' through!"
  3. Shut up during quieter moments. The majority of the concert goers (ie, not you) paid to hear the band, not your rant about how drunk you are, how you love John Mayer's douchebag tweets, or what show you're seeing next week. So when OK Go launches into an acoustic version of "Get Over It," shut the fuck up.

Ten etiquette tips for today

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Be obnoxious on facebook! Rudeness rules!


Some basic etiquette tips for whatever you do today, whether you're at work, home, or out and about:



  1. Chew gum, loudly and with your mouth open, during all conversations. 
  2. Leave your cell phone ringer turned on to its highest volume, and let the noise fly today! Even better if your ringtone is an obnoxious, tinny-sounding dowloaded song. Everyone loves a crappy-quality version of "Tipsy."
  3. Answer that call -- but only after you've thoroughly annoyed everyone within earshot by letting it go that long -- and speak loudly. Be sure to include personal details: your pus-oozing sore, your pap smear results, how wasted you got last night, etc. Everyone loves a show!
  4. Interrupt everyone you speak with. Bonus points for interrupting customers!
  5. Cut off others in traffic. Make a game of it! Keep a secret tally of how many drivers you piss off. Double points if they give you the finger.
  6. Clip your fingernails at your desk.
  7. Swear in front of your coworkers, friends, family, and children. Heck, drop the f-bomb all day and punctuate your sentences with an emphatic, "Shit."
  8. Running errands? Make sure you keep up that loud cell phone conversation while someone like a cashier or barista waits on you. Then yell at him/her when you think he/she overcharged you by four cents.*
  9. Facebooking? Post medical and personal photos. Describe personal instances between you and your s.o., and post these on your wall so everyone can see! TMI is the best!
  10. Look at the calendar. 
*actually happened at target and staples this week. don't be rude to your cashier, people.

Be nice in the comments

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I'm appalled, and, frankly, pissed off at comments posted in response to the Cakegirls fire tragedy.

In case you haven't heard: a very popular, upscale bakery in Roscoe Village burned to the ground Monday morning. The Tribune has been following this story. In the comments section, while most missives are supportive ("I'll pray for you," "You'll get back on your feet," etc.) many are just heartless and asinine:




Continue reading...

The phone is your friend

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You know that thing you carry around, that little electronic thing that you email and text people with? Maybe you call it "iPhone" or "Blackberry" or "Crackberry." It's a handy little gadget, yes?

Remember its original function -- the telephone. It's still useful when it carries your voice -- not just your text, tweets, data, and websites.

Why must you remember this? Because:

  • If you're going to be late, call.
  • If you need to cancel, call.
  • If the message is personal or urgent, call.
Don't text. Don't tweet. Don't email. Effing take two seconds and effing CALL.

Just because you're addicted to your little crack-like device 24/7 doesn't mean everyone else is. Yes, in about 6 months to five years, most if not all humans will be permanently wired. But some of us don't keep our phones by the bed, nor do we care to check email at 6 a.m. to find out you don't want to show for our 7 a.m. breakfast meeting.

A phone call ensures your message was received. An email? Eh, not so sure. Make the effort, do the mature thing, and use that little music player for what it was originally intended for.

Well-mannered, stupid criminal

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I don't know whether to applaud this criminal for his manners or snicker at his stupidity. His crime-slash-good manners? He phoned ahead to let the bank know he would be committing a robbery.

Chicago is not your trash can

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This is a newspaper box...


One of my greatest annoyances in this great (sometimes I wonder) city of ours is how may of its residents seem to think that Chicago is just one big trash can. Usually it's the fine residents of my neighborhood who seem to think my front lawn is a garbage receptacle. But all over Chicago, you see detritus gracing, well, everything. I'm tired of making a grab for my paper and seeing garbage.

PLEASE put your unwanted crap, empty coffee cups and McDonald's wrappers in an effing TRASH CAN (the city has 'em everywhere!) and not on the street, the curb, a lawn, or, yes, even in the Reader (or Tribune!) newspaper boxes.

We polite Chicagoans thank you. Come join us! Move over to the dark ranks of The Polite, won't you?


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... this is not a trashcan.




CTA don'ts part 2

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Some common sense, but I rarely see that these days. More like "ignorance" is prevalent on our beloved el and bus lines.

When you're riding public transit, folks, keep in mind:



  1. No blasting your iPod so we can hear you three seats down.
    I don't care if you're using earbuds. "Earbuds" does not equal "silence outside your ears." Your ear-splitting levels of "Sexy Bitch" are annoying us. Dial it back.
  2. Ditto with the yapping on your cell phone. Quiet down.
    This is doubly annoying if you are discussing something of little to no importance -- something that can likely be discussed after you get home. You're mad at a coworker? You can't believe how wasted Sammy was on Saturday night? You can't decide which salon to get your acrylic tips done at? Shut it. Save it for later. Or at least go down to a whisper.
  3. Let 'em off first.
    Nothing like able-bodied persons pushing past the gramma or walker-user who's struggling to exit the bus. Ditto on the el. Stand aside, let 'em off, and then you can get on, genius. 

Did you miss CTA don'ts part 1? Read it here.

CTA don'ts

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I shouldn't have to tell any of you this, but apparently, according to our own CTA Tattler,  I do:

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Image courtesy of CTA Tattler.

  1. No picking your nose on the CTA.
  2. No brushing your hair on the CTA.
  3. No applying makeup on the CTA.
Hygiene belongs in the bathroom!
Continue reading...

Would a true friend rip your wetsuit?

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Hey Etiquette Bitch:

I recently had a friend interested in buying one of my bikes and an old wet suit. He is going through a divorce and is a little tight on cash, so I wanted to help him out. While he was trying to squeeze into my wet suit, the zipper broke, which is a bad thing, and expensive to fix. I have several others and hardly use this suit, however he laughed about it and said I was trying to pawn off a broken wet suit on him.

Is it cool to ask him to fix it?  Or should I let it go?
Continue reading...

Will the disgusting, rude cashier please get fired?

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I've bitched about this before, and I'm going to keep bitching until the powers that be at effing Walgreen's get a clue and learn how to train their staff. Or fire the crappy ones.

First off, a customer deserves a "hello" and a "thank you." We're the reasons you lazy, sitting-on-stock, ignorant employees have a job. Secondly: It is not cool to eat Cheetos while you wait on your customers. You then take my money with your disgusting Cheetos-orange fingers, and then hand me my change that now has your disgusting germs all over it.


On second thought, I don't give a flying eff what Crapgreens does. Two other stores now get all my money: Hello, CVS, and Target! You've got alllllll my pharmacy, greeting-cards, medical supplies, and other-crap-I-probably-don't-need business.

Parenting part 2: The good parents

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So, unlike some people (see yesterday's post), there are some really great parents out there. I was pleased to witness a few teaching manners to their kids, complete with, "That's polite/that's not polite," cues.


Continue reading...

Someone needs parenting classes

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Yesterday, I drove through the main enter/exit aisle in the Target parking lot, about to park. Outta nowhere comes this Silver Quest minivan, like a bat outta hell, about to T-bone me. I slammed on the brakes. She turns her head and looks at me -- and attached to that head? A cell phone, held in place with her hand.

Okay, minivan-drivin' bitch. Let's school ya'. Number one, it's illegal to talk on a cell phone without hands-free in Illinois.

Number two,
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Bitchin' about the Oscars

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Stunning to me how something that presents itself as a classy affair -- what with all its cheesy set-up jokes and half-hour blow-smoke-up-their-respective-asses tributes to Best Actor and Best Actress Nominees -- can still have its classless moments.

Ah, the beauty of live TV. Perhaps this is why broadcast will never die.

Top Three Rude Moments from the 2010 Oscars:


Gallery sneak peek (3 images):

View the gallery...

Bitchin' about the Oscars

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Stunning to me how something that presents itself as a classy affair -- what with all its cheesey set-up jokes and half-hour blow-smoke-up-their-respective-asses tributes to Best Actor and Best Actress Nominees -- can still have its classless moments.

Ah, the beauty of live TV. Perhaps this is why broadcast will never die.

Top Three Rude Moments from the 2010 Oscars:

Gallery sneak peek (3 images):

View the gallery...

Hop on the rude bus

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Sometimes I wish the CTA bus drivers in Chicago were a lot more like the ones I had in San Francisco.

Not that MUNI is any great shakes -- I think MUNI and CTA are tied neck and neck for "worst transit in the country." But, still, in San Francisco, you get on an overcrowded 2 Clement to go home on a rainy Friday night, and the shades-wearin' driver will get on the mic, tell you to "love your brother" and then serenade everyone with "One Love" as he chugs uptown.

"One Love" in Chicago? Hardly. Apparently, one disabled rider was told, "tough titties." Today's article by our own CTA Tattler illustrates Rude City all inside one bus.

The bus driver was a rude-ass for blowing off the State Street stop.
Continue reading...

Shopping basics

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Ages ago I polled my twitter buddies for everyday occurrences that piss them off. Scarborough Dude, like me, is sick of people who take up counter space when one is trying to check out (and subsequently force him to hold his hot coffee while waiting).

It's annoying as f**k that, in general, this "me-first" attitude pervades society. Not just out in public, but everywhere, even in business. My fresh-out-of-college new hires tell me it's okay to be casual with the CEO because, "If it doesn't bother me, why should it bother him?"

Ahem.

Because in our everyday dealings with others, it's not just (or all) about you.

So let's apply this polite thinking to our daily errands, shall we?
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Bridal advice: cover up!

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Sometimes, my readers put it best. I received this gem after my WGN appearance last week:

Brides, Please wear underwear when you come to a bridal salon to try on dresses.

Yep, you read that right! I worked in a bridal salon for almost 4 years selling gowns. It was common that brides, and other members of the bridal party, would come to select gowns and would not be wearing any undergarments.  Worse yet, many of them would be offended when we would tell them that they could not try on gowns without them. Shocking, right?
 
And if you could encourage them to wear full coverage underwear that would be even better.  If I saw 4 brides in a day easily 2 of them would be in a thong. I really don't need to see that much of anyone I just met.  I don't know what these young women are thinking. You are coming into a bridal salon to get personal attention and find a gown that is the most important and emotionally invested garment you will ever wear.  Think about the fact that you are going to need help getting into the gown, and that help will likely come from your bridal consultant.  If you choose to come in a thong, without a bra or in no underwear at all, don't be embarrassed. You earned it all on your own!


--G

To G's point, think about it: if you're going to try on a gown, do you really want to step into something that was touching another woman's hoo-hoo (or ass) two hours earlier?

Wearing a Hanes no-slip hipster for a few hours won't kill you. Promise.

Tellin' you what to do on the air

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Hi Readers!

Inspired by yesterday's post, I'll be dishing out some Office Etiquette advice today on WGN Radio, 720 AM.

Listen live from 10:00 - 10:30 a.m., listen online, or hear the podcast.


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