more about: relationships

Would You Rather Interact With a Human or a Machine?

This morning on the way to work I had to stop at the bank to deposit a check. I do not—ever—deposit checks by ATM, mostly because I don’t want to learn how to do it. (I know, I know: A trained monkey could probably learn how to deposit a check in the ATM in all of 7 minutes. But I […]

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Holidays or HOLYdays?

“Ms. Slatalla, your advice on holiday hosting is not only wrong, it’s rude. First off, the holidays are HOLYdays, based on religious celebration and ritual.” This week, a reader named loschinchi wrote to say it’s not OK to skip the prayer before Thanksgiving dinner just because praying might make guests uncomfortable, disagreeing with my Modern Manners column in Real Simple‘s November issue. […]

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Modern Manners: Family Food Fight

“I have relatives who will bring raw meat to a family barbecue without being asked, and then insist on having the host cook it,” writes a reader named laureltanner. “They don’t like the patties the hosts use. I feel this is insulting. “Am I wrong?” laureltanner asks. “BTW, these are the same people who will serve homemade, but pre-frozen, chicken parmigiana […]

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Note to Noisy Neighbors: Do You Have Any Idea What I Can Hear at Night?

This week’s etiquette question comes from a reader in Florida named RSFan999, who lives year-round in a condo complex with paper-thin walls. Guess what she hears at night? “When the married couple whose master bedroom and bathroom walls are adjacent to mine are here (for half the year), I hear the man snoring and also peeing many times throughout the […]

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Are You Ignoring My Facebook Friend Request?

This week’s etiquette dilemma: “It has been several months since I have made a friend request or two on Facebook that have yet to be answered,” writes a reader named JenniferBeck. “I know them on a very casual acquaintance level, but don’t believe that either of them would be highly restricting their friend requests,” she writes. “I can see their […]

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Can I Say No to a Delicious (But Unhealthy) Gift?

A reader named EmilyMae writes: “Recently I have cut sugar out of my diet at my doctor’s request. How should I respond when my neighbors thank me for dog-sitting with a plate of cookies?” When you watched the dog, EmilyMae, you were doing a favor out of friendship, not a job for which you expected compensation. Your neighbors thanked you, […]

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Sorry, But I Don’t Want My Kids Playing With Yours

This week’s reader dilemma: “How do you politely communicate that you are not interested in play dates with a persistent neighbor with unruly kids?” asks piper002. “Our children are very different in both temperament and age,” writes piper002, “and I don’t want to force my kids into a situation they don’t want to participate in.” Don’t worry, piper002, you can’t […]

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My Best Friend and Her Husband…And Her Lover

This week’s etiquette dilemma comes from a reader, simplegirl504, who wrote: “My best friend is having an affair. She says it’s the love of her life (old college flame), but won’t leave her husband because they have a 2-year-old child. She wants my husband and me to socialize with the new guy and accept them as a couple, but keep […]

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Shhhh! Can You Lower Your Voice?

This week’s etiquette question comes from a reader named julieannag, who is tired of hearing other people’s loud conversations on the commuter bus. “I commute to and from work daily on an hour long bus ride,” julieannag wrote. “Many passengers board and immediately start making numerous loud cell phone calls. Other passengers are eager to have lively conversations with the […]

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A Reader Asks: If Mother-in-Law Chain Smokes, Will Exposure Harm My Baby?

“My mother-in-law is a chain smoker. My husband and I have always put up with it. But now we have a baby.” This week’s etiquette question comes from Quidditchgirl, who writes: “My in-laws live 3,000 miles away, so we don’t see them that often, but we are planning to visit later this year. It will be expected that we’ll stay […]

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