more about: etiquette

The Great Smartphone Debate

My 10-year old daughter recently graduated from elementary school in Brooklyn, New York. Some scoff at the idea of graduation ceremonies for 5th graders but given the nature of the New York City public school system, it serves a great purpose. These kids who have been together since Kindergarten don’t all travel to their designated Middle School like they do […]

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Be Kind, Reply

[Note: A version of this article first appeared in the June 2014 issue of Real Simple.] How do we feel about the fact that most party invitations are now digital? I am not going to use this space to lament the decline of paper invites, although I certainly could. After all, there’s something magical about getting a beautiful invitation in the mail. […]

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Is Social Media a #Do or a #Don’t at Weddings?

While some couples embrace social media by dedicating a unique hashtag to their big day, others are turning their cheek to a digital dump of wedding photos (even attention-loving Kim and Kanye are said to have put a ban on cell phones and cameras at their May 24 wedding). According to a survey by TK, only 14 percent of brides ask guests to power down, but a hefty 44 percent believe some digital boundaries should be respected.

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Easy Ways to Combat Shyness

It seems like everyone has a friend who is effortlessly charming, ready to boldly engage any passerby in a thoughtful conversation at the drop of a hat. For the rest of us mere mortals, however, mingling at a wedding or chatting with a stranger in an elevator can bring out our most timorous qualities. The next time you feel shyness […]

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How to Spot a Liar

You learned that honesty is the best policy as a child, but it seems like some people missed that day in kindergarten. If you suspect someone of fibbing to your face, look for these telltale signs of deceit. • Scratching their nose. The adrenaline rush of lying can cause capillaries to expand, making the nose itch. • Prolonged eye contact. […]

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Reality Check: A Rallying Cry Against Faux-Perfection on Social Media

I woke up feeling sick from a stupid cold that I can’t shake, and things frankly just got worse from there. During the night the puppy, who at the age of 13 months should really know better, got into the cabinet under the kitchen sink and ate the expensive-looking tube of mystery cream my husband gave me in my Christmas […]

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Forget to Give Someone a Holiday Card?

If you received season’s greetings from someone you forgot to put on your list, don’t fret. Plenty of people never get around to sending out holiday cards (isn’t there enough to do?!).

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Wednesday Trivia: The Least Favorite People to Shop For

We all have people on our holiday list who are difficult to shop for (or, who we just don’t like shopping for)—in fact, respondents of the 2013 Valpak Holiday Survey named their top three least favorite people to buy for: coworker, mother-in-law, and mail carrier. Not too surprisingly 28% of people said they only buy for this giftees out of […]

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Wednesday Trivia: The Most Courteous States

Do you seldom hear the phrases “please” or “thank you?” Any chance you live in Wisconsin? No, seriously: Some fun research from Marchex Institute reveals the most polite states (Hello, South Carolina!) and the most foul-mouthed states (*$#&, Ohio!), and more. The data was collected from other 600,000 phone calls placed by consumers to business across 30 industries, including cable […]

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A Stress-Busting Idea for Traveling With Kids

As if travelling with children isn’t difficult enough, the people who sit next to you for long trips on trains or planes may not always treat you with holiday cheer. To get off on the right foot with your nearby passengers, Mauria Finley, CEO Citrus Lane, recommends befriending would-be Scrooges before takeoff (and temper tantrums): “I once showed up with […]

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