Posts filed under ‘Manners and Grammar’

Pre-Marital Ring Woes

As Heidi and Spencer illustrated with their extremely surface level relationship on The Hills, not all engagements pan out. No good friends of mine have ever called off their wedding but I did have an acquaintance in college whose engagement went sour. She was a 19-year old looking for an “established” man and she found him at the Belmont, most likely in the complex hot tub. After two weeks of impressing her with his car DVD player and other such fineries, the deal was done. He proposed with a 2.5 carat ring and she accepted wholeheartedly. After getting to know one another, in say, two months time, they came to the mutual realization that they were extremely incompatible in almost every area that counted. Then the war began over who was going to keep the ring.

Out of vengeance she declared she would keep it, sell it and buy a red sports car with the proceeds. He demanded that it was given with the expectation of a contract being fulfilled, and since the contract was voided, the goods had to be returned. After some plentiful involvement from attorneys, it was determined that she would have to return the ring.

In this article debating the ring-return question, Emily Post says that regardless of who breaks off the engagement, the ring should always be returned. But beware to any IRF readers on the verge of proposing to their Valentine this year: if a ring is given on Valentine’s Day or Christmas, courts generally rule that the ring is classified simply as a gift.


January 10, 2008 at 9:17 pm 11 comments

Just Enjoy the Brownie

Over the weekend, I too had a disturbing encounter, though it certainly had nothing on LeMare’s encounter with lewdness on the Red Line. Mine involved a mom on a mission to prevent her daughter from one of life’s great pleasures–Ghiradelli triple chocolate brownies–and offend the creator of the dessert bar for an event for sixty girls in the fourth to sixth grade age range.

Pizza pockets had underwhelmed the girls at the activity earlier in the year, so for this final activity we went all out with a sundae bar featuring a gigantic platter of 96 gooey, fudgey brownie delights, vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, colored sprinkles, chocolate syrup and maraschino cherries for good measure. Sugar Mom as we shall call her, was gracious enough to assist in serving as the girls made their way through the bar, but reprimanded me for providing such an “unthinkable” amount of sugar to girls so close to their bed time. (Do nine year-olds really go to bed at 8:30pm on a Friday night?)

She instructed her daughter that she wouldn’t be allowed to have a brownie as it wasn’t healthy and would keep her up. Stupefied by her comments, much as I was from watching the demise of Britney’s career, she continued her sermon and alleged that we have a gluttony problem in our church. She then proceeded to deny 80-lb. girls the right to seconds. No doubt contributing to the future psychiatry bills of these future women. Despite the sugar running through my veins from the half dozen unservable odd-shaped brownies I ate that afternoon, and knowing that I could vent here amongst friends, I was able to keep my cool. I didn’t dare tell her that my mother had suggested providing an equal sized platter of chocolate chip cookies for variety.

Posted by JL

September 11, 2007 at 8:38 pm 16 comments

Be Thou Generous With Thy Tupperware

A social epidemic is abounding where people are letting their frugality interfere with their manners. I’m specifically talking about loaned Tupperware. When my older sister had given birth to her son, neighbors and church friends graciously volunteered to bring meals for the first few days home from the hospital. (LeMare’s family philosophy finds fault with this practice, as Papa LeMare points out that women know they’re having a baby for nine months and can take steps to prepare some frozen meals themselves, but there will always be those who insist on bringing in a mystery casserole that they love to make, but their family will never eat).

Anyways, some of the side dishes in one meal were stored in disposable Ziploc containers. The kind that are of such a flimsy material they’re only meant for a few uses at most before trashing. Two weeks after the meal, the medical school husband appeared at the back door unannounced, requesting that my sister find and return the three disposable containers. Needless to say, with a three week-old and four other little kids, my sister a) couldn’t have located them at that point if she tried and b) had already pitched them after the meal, seeing as how they were clearly of the disposable variety. Flustered and surprised at his request, she told him she would have to dig them up at a later time. He told her to drop them back at their house, which resulted in my sister having to buy three new small containers for $3.99 or some nominal cost, unopen them, and return them to the House of Stinge.

This is the worst case scenario but I’ve seen people get testy about Tupperware returns. As I see it, you can’t be frugal with Tupperware. What you put into the universe of Tupperware, you’ll only get back two-fold. A friend over for dinner last week was too full for dessert so requested her peach pie to go. She took her slice home in a small (undisposable) container and do I ever expect to see that exact container again? No. The point is, I’ll no doubt be getting one from her or another friend in the next month and it all evens out in the end. But to get branded a psycho over getting my Tupperware back is something I’m not willing to do.

On a side note, during a church lesson on frugality in college, one of my neighbors suggested to the group that we stretch our dollars by using Ziploc bags multiple times before disposing of them. She accomplished this by putting them in the dishwasher and could make it a whole semester on one measly box. To this I say sick.

August 24, 2007 at 12:05 pm 6 comments

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words #2

On a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles, this is a passed out, hung-over honeymooner’s foot resting on my lap.  What would Miss Manners say about such a hideous act?


The main benefit of being single is not having to touch men’s feet.

July 24, 2007 at 1:37 pm 2 comments

Revolving Door Etiquette

Last year, my boss and I were going to lunch and I mentioned after going through the revolving door, “You know, you’re allowed to go through these doors first.”  He said, “I know that, but most people don’t and I don’t want them to think I’m rude.”  My reply:  “Well, you know and I know, so let’s stop living a lie.” 

Peggy Post confirms this protocol:

 Traditionally, a man enters first. The thinking is that the male of the species, being physically stronger, should have an easier time starting the door spinning. While this is still a courteous thing to do, most people don’t know about the custom nowadays. 

Then yesterday, a new revolving door issue surfaced.  I entered the office through the revolving door with my cowoker,  and he asked me, “Are you a revolving door freeloader?”  With total honestly, I looked at him and replied in the affirmative.  I then took it as an opportunity to remind him that the gentleman is supposed to enter first to push the door for the lady.   

In my opinion, a lady in a revolving door with men is perfectly justified being a freeloader and exerting no force.  However, if it is all ladies going through the door, the Revolving Door Freeloader is an abomination–every lady must do her part.

So, while these rules may be little known, I know.  And now all of you know.  So, as I said to my boss:  Let’s stop living a lie!  Ladies, enter the revolving door behind the gentleman so he can do the heavy lifting.  However, if you are a lady entering with another lady, freeloading is not an option!  You’re going to have to roll up your sleeves and use your muscles. 

May 16, 2007 at 10:30 am 6 comments

Myrt’s Blurts: Rob with Oldtimer’s in Walla Walla, Washington

Seven years of the “tell him I’m not here” routine with the Myrt nickname, and it resurfaces like the pesky ex who always seems to craft one more scheme to inch back in. Alas, I’m choosing to embrace this old friend rather than flipping off the lights, hitting the ground, and belly-crawling around until he finally gives up and goes away. So without running that hyperbolic metaphor further into exhaustion, I give you my column. Myrt’s Blurts: meanderings, musings, and maybe nonsensical but mostly inane mishmash of life as I see it. Frightened as I’m sure you are to read on, my only defense is this: blame JL and LeMare. 

Rob with Oldtimer’s in Walla Walla, Washington 

In my middle school health class, we were discussing neglect, and I relayed the news bit about a man with oldtimer’s disease left to fend for himself. Back in college, my mother read an article in Ricks’ newspaper about a student excited to make his first voyage to the Big Apple. On his list of things to do: see the newly hyped Broadway play, Lame Is Rob. 

I understand and often forgive these gaffes, blunders, and phonetic mishaps. Until only a few years ago, I thought a quick bite could tie me over. All too frequently, I hear or read “for now on,” “I could care less,” “first come, first serve,” and a plethora of other misused idioms and mixed metaphors.  

But nothing prepared me for this. Working on an article submitted to the publication for which I am the editor, I came across this gem: “After you review the information, you will click the “accept” button and WALA!  You are done.” 

What do you even do with that?

April 27, 2007 at 4:21 pm 2 comments

Etiquette Epiphany: Coat Checks

In my leisurely weekend perusal of Judith Martin’s masterpiece:  “Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior“.  If you don’t have it handy on your end table, like I do, I suggest you stay tuned for future Etiquette Epiphany posts because her advice is not only based on proper protocol, but it is also worded in a witty manner.

 The most recent blunder that I realized I have been making, willy-nilly, is to check my coat at restaurants, thinking that I was adhering to proper protocol!  I’m disgusted to think of all the cold winter nights I could have eaten out, not knowing this rule.  Miss Manners exposes the truth:

“It is true that the old-fashioned rule is that a lady does not check her coat… The coat is gently peeled back from the shoulders and hangs nonchalantly over the back of the chair.”

I have been a fool for too long.  NO MORE!  To think, every time I kept my coat was because I had no cash to tip the host, and thought that I was being tacky by keeping my coat “nonchalantly over the back of the chair.”  NEVER AGAIN!  From now on, I will cast all sheepishness to the wind drape my coat with confidence, knowing that a lady does not check her coat!

April 22, 2007 at 1:55 pm 4 comments

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