||03-21-2009 03:30 PM
The Worst (And Most Common) Etiquette Mistakes
Party Poopers When you receive an invitation to a dinner or party--whether by Evite, voicemail, or casual email--RESPOND. Yeah, thatís what that little ďRSVPĒ thing means. Everyone knows it, yet itís amazing how many donít respond. Even for weddings! Planning a party or event requires a lot of work, so do the host a simple favor and let them know if you're coming or not.
- Nickel & Diminí How annoying is it when you go to dinner with four or more people, the check finally arrives, and one of your meal companions begins to divvy up the check down to the last penny? Sure, we get that Sally had a shrimp salad, and Janet had two iced teas, while Beth only had water, and you ordered a slice of peach pie (a la mode, which is extra). The point is, if you go out to dinner with a group, be prepared to split the bill more or less evenly. If there's an outstanding cost differential, fine, estimate it and be done with it. The person who spends twenty minutes dividing the bill to the dime comes off as a cheapskate Ė- and kills the festive mood.
- The Line-Up Lines are a fact of life. At the post office, the supermarket, just about everywhere these days. For starters, moaners who huff and gripe about standing in a line of three people for all of five minutes are tops on our list. Get over yourself -- if you donít have a few minutes to wait to buy that loaf of bread, then pick it up another time. Another thing: Donít show your impatience by creeping up so close to the person in front of you that they can feel your breath. Crowding those around you will not get you to the front any faster, so give them some space. Finally, cutting in line or trying to ignore the fact that there IS a line Ė- stop it! Everyoneís time is valuable.
- The ME Show Itís great to hear all the crazy, wacky, wonderful things happening in the lives of others. Jobs, engagements, breakups, boyfriends, puppies, pregnancies, vacations ó very good stuff, all of it. But once youíve listened to a friend, family member, or colleague spout about their own fabulous life for an hour (or two), itís normal to expect them to ask, ďSo, whatís going on with you?Ē Those who blab on about themselves while you listen intently, then donít ask a thing about you in return are just plain rude.
- Baby Biz Changing a poopy baby diaper around others is nasty -- and we're moms. Changing the other kind of baby diaper in public is one thing, but still should only be done when absolutely necessary!
- Mobile Madness As much as we love the modern age, there are days when we long to go to a coffee shop, movie theatre, bookstore, or post office and not hear some teen queen dishing to her friend about last night's hot date with Todd or eavesdrop (unwillingly) on a screaming family feud. Mobile phones are essential, but please, people, pleeeeeeease, use a little restraint on the when's, what's, and where's. We're happy that Todd is "totally built" but we're going to have to start walking around town and slapping people with "TMI" tickets (yes, too much information).
- Smokes Everyone has a right to smoke in public, but be conscious of whose face your smoke is blowing into. Are there kids nearby? And we just might kick the butt of the next person we see throwing their burning butt on the ground without putting it out. Really, find an ashtray or trashcan where you can extinguish and dispose of it properly -- that thing is garbage, not decoration for our streets and sidewalks.
- The Pee & Flee Public bathrooms get used by everyone -- yup, they're public! So, making a mess of the toilet seat, and then prancing out without bothering to wipe it up -- not cool. Leaving a mess for the next visitor is completely unacceptable (and disgustingly unsanitary, of course). Take 10 seconds to rip off a piece of toilet paper, toilet seat cover, or a paper towel, and do your due diligence!
- Stealing...a parking spot, that is. Yeah, you know who you are. If someone has their blinker on and is patiently waiting for a spot, it's theirs. And if you've already passed a spot up, it's gone. Treat others as you expect to be treated, and the parking goddesses will smile down upon you... eventually.
- Belly Baring Men, women -- anyone who's passed puberty, everyone who isn't lounging poolside or oceanside -- resist the urge to bare those bellies. They may be beautiful, Buddha-like, jolly, but sometimes they can be flabby, hairy, and not ripe for public consumption. If you're jogging, fellas, t-shirts or tanks won't hurt your workout, so throw one on. Gals, midriff fashions are never really on our "Do" list, and that goes double if your age doesn't contain the word "teen." There are plenty of ways for all of us to flaunt what we got without sharing our tum-tums with the world.
- Spitting This gets especially yucky when it's one of those enormous globs that looks like it could be alive. Some people (males, in particular) think it's kind of a cool-guy thing to do. We're here to tell ya that no one wants to see you hock a big gooey one out of your car, onto the sidewalk, or anywhere else for that matter. Try a tissue.
- Honking Problem People who honk too often, too unnecessarily, or just to express their emotions are on our list of Most Etiquette Challenged. If you're trying to warn someone about a collision or problem, fine, otherwise it's not that serious. Give it a rest!