Michelle Slatalla
Michelle Slatalla believes the first rule of good manners is forgiving those with bad ones, if they show a desire to improve. And she hopes everyone to whom she still owes a wedding gift thank-you note (from 1988) agrees. A former columnist for the New York Times, where she wrote for 12 years about digital culture and family life, she also has written regular columns for Time, Hallmark, Rosie and Lifetime magazines, as well as an online column for the Discovery Channel. After graduating from Indiana University with a bachelor's degree in journalism, her first job was as a newspaper reporter at Newsday. She also earned a master’s degree in English from Columbia University, where she currently teaches journalism.

She recently traded in a house and a garden in Northern California for an apartment in Manhattan, where she lives with her husband, her youngest daughter, and two little dogs with big ears. Her two other daughters, who begged her to get the dogs and promised to walk them every day and every night, have gone off to college.

Recent Posts By Michelle Slatalla

You Asked: Friends are divorcing, and the wife wants to stay with us because the husband kicked her out. What should we do?

This question came from a reader who lives in a faraway state and is probably too young to remember the seminal TV show of my childhood, “Lost in Space,” in which the robot was constantly shrieking, “Danger, Will Robinson!” to warn his human companion of looming threats. This is too bad. We all need a tinny warning voice in our […]

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You Asked: Is It Appropriate to Have a Baby Shower for a Second Child?

Actually, a reader named Susan asked this question. And to Susan, I say: of course it's appropriate, because someone is having a…baby! With little baby feet, and pearly baby earlobes, and a baby neck that smells like talcum powder. What better reason exists to celebrate? Not only is a party appropriate, the occasion also may mark the last time the mother-to-be gets to relax […]

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Etiquette: How to Retaliate Against a Boss Who Fired You

As soon as I learned I’d be blogging about etiquette, I started phoning friends and family to announce the big news: “Guess who has good manners, after all?”


Some of my brothers were skeptical (“Clearly they didn’t dig into your past,” Dan said, dredging up tired claims that I “hogged the TV” in the 1970s, forcing bystanders to “endure Mannix”). But most people were supportive, you could even say thrilled, if only because my new job presented an opportunity to get answers to questions that had been bugging them.


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