more about: relationships

Glad You’re Here! Now, Leave (yawn)

The other night, when my husband got home from work at 8 p.m. (new job at a startup company), he was surprised to see the table set for seven people. “Don’t you remember?” I asked. “I invited Ted and Amy and Rahel and Greg and Emlen over for dinner.”Before he could answer, the doorbell rang. It was the next-door neighbors […]

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Tips for Vacationing with Extended Family

Last week, three generations of my family converged on a single house on Cape Cod. It was the first time we rented a house together and I’m sure we all carried in some anxiety about how it would work. Could active little kids, moody teenagers, grown sisters and their husbands, and nearly-retired grandparents all live peacefully under one roof for […]

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Reply All? Email Etiquette Tips

We had a neighborhood potluck dinner the other night. We all got email assignments about what to bring. My friend Tina (cheese and crackers, veggies and dip) showed up with two big platters — and was shocked to see that the host had already laid out a spread of the same stuff. “I thought you said I should bring that,” […]

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Modern Manners: Same-Sex Weddings

Last week, New York joined five other states and the District of Columbia in legalizing same-sex marriages. Wedding planners, take note: As early as July, same-sex couples may begin marrying in the Empire State. Finally! This is terrific news—and gives us a whole new set of wedding etiquette questions to ask (and answer). In many ways, the next same-sex wedding […]

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Who Should Pay When Friends Go Out Together?

Sometimes at a restaurant, you end up doing “the bill dance.” The check comes, and three friends reach for it in synchronized motion, and then the argument starts: You got it last time, hand it over. No, my turn.  No, it’s mine, because you threw that Taco Tuesday party for me six months ago and bought all that tequila! This […]

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What’s The Most Annoying Sound Ever?

I love, love, love it when scientific research confirms what I already know. In this case, researchers at SUNY-New Paltz have determined that yes, the sound of a child whining is The. Most. Horrible. Sound. Ever. In the experiment, reported in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary and Cultural Psychology, participants had to endure various sounds (an infant crying, a table […]

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Readers Suggest a Few Etiquette Rules to Break

Last week, I started a list of outdated etiquette rules I am ready to say goodbye to. This week it’s your turn. Readers agreed with a few of my suggestions, found others to be controversial (OK, OK, I get it, you’re not ready to give up handwritten thank you notes) and chimed in on Real Simple’s Facebook page with more […]

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Four Steps To Sanity When Living With Someone Who Is Messy

Living with someone else — roommate, spouse, child, partner — can be difficult, especially when that person doesn’t have the same expectations of orderliness as you do. If you’re in a position where you are constantly upset with your housemates for being messy, consider taking these steps to reduce your frustrations: Schedule a time to have a conversation about your […]

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Modern Etiquette Means Saying Goodbye to Some Old Rules

There was a time when good manners meant following specific rules. Lots of stern and formal guidebooks described the “proper” way to behave in any imaginable social situation. Where to put the salad fork when you set the table. How to address a wedding invitation to married guests with different surnames. When it is permissible to have a baby shower […]

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Why You—Yes, You—Should Be Writing a Blog for RealSimple.com

When I was in second grade, I received a report card that my mother will apparently never forget. It wasn’t the grades that were memorable; it was the teacher’s comments. “Has trouble waiting her turn,” “calls out the answer,” “interrupts others”—you get the picture. It was, in short, all about me, me, me. I blame genetics: My father calls out the answer, and so on. So do two of my sons. There is a well-intentioned but decidedly obnoxious show-offy streak that runs through my whole family.



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