more about: Michelle Slatalla

Are the Rules Changing for Addressing Envelopes? Yes!

A Real Simple reader named Milea Joy posted this question on the magazine’s Facebook page:

What is the proper way to address a letter/envelope to a couple where the woman has her doctorate and the gentleman does not?

First, I love the fact that you are actually addressing an envelope, Milea. For readers who are unfamiliar with the practice, it’s something we used to do fairly often back in the Dark Ages before the Internet, involving things we called “paper” and “ink”— and requiring the use of penmanship skills we painstakingly acquired in elementary school.

Read More

The Case of the Racist Roommate

Earlier this week, a reader named Allison posted a dilemma on Real Simple’s Facebook page that is as much about ethics as etiquette:

“I have a prejudiced roommate to be. She sublet from another roommate. How should I handle other people who want to rent rooms?…At first she didn’t want to live with any more girls, which seemed strange, but then it was African Americans. She uses the phrase “she totally jewed me,” and she does not seem to have many kind things to say about Greeks or anyone of Asian descent. Ahhh! We have sublet the rooms for May only to a bunch of Caucasians (female, much to her actual chagrin), but we have to go through the whole process again in June.”

How should Allison handle this sort of talk…and the roommate’s unwillingness to rent to “other kinds” of people?

Read More

Are Handwritten Thank You Notes Becoming Obsolete?

Part of me can’t believe I even have the gall to ask that question. My grandmother would be turning over in her grave if she read blogs. But the other night, at a restaurant where I was sitting at a big round table with six other women—a mix of old friends and new acquaintances—the topic of thank you notes came up and …

Thank you note

Read More

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.


Read More