Holiday Manners…A Primer

All that holiday smiling, visiting and small talk can exhaust a girl’s manners. Need a primer?

So many parties, so little time. Some revelers forget we have work in the morning or that we’re just not that friendly. If that’s you, my doll, buck up and make the best of it. Show up. Bring a gift, Make small talk. Be nice. And make an Irish exit. What’s an Irish Exit you ask? Well, just between us. Wait until the party’s crowded and you’ve seen, and spoken to, everyone you must. Quietly slip out the door.

This differs from leaving without thanking the hostess in that, well it really doesn’t you’re just mindful of her feelings. The holidays is the only time this is permissible and it’s because we can drink only so many days in a row and eat so many cookies and cakes with liquor inside. The rest of the year, or with your besties, you are required to stay, make nice and thank your favorite host and hostess when you exit.

Dress appropriately. We all know you’re tired. We all know you don’t like to dress up. Blah, blah, blah. If the party calls for antlers, get some goddamn antlers, paint on a smile and sing carols. Same with dressy parties. A sparkly dress won’t kill you and you will survive a night in heels. No one ever met her next husband wearing sensible shoes.

Grandma’s a bitch. Or Auntie or Cousin or In-Law. She’s judgy, crusty and has never swallowed an opinion in her life. It’s family duty. Kiss her on the cheek. Listen to her stories. Hand her off to cousin Joey. She’ll be gone soon enough and you can talk about what a pain in the ass she is—and laugh. Every situation does not require a reaction. Bitching about her says more about you than it does about her. Even though you want to smack her.

Mind your space. Christmas is crowded. Mind your space at the mall, in line and at Starbucks. Pushing into my backside does not make the line move faster. And I might have to bow up on you. Saturday night, Middle Chicken and I need coffee for Sunday’s party debrief: About what people wore, about the undercurrent and about who had the best shoes. It was Sisterella. See photo.


We have coffee, a frozen pizza, ice cream and cat food. The man in front of us, about my age, should know better. He looks Middle Chicken up and down. He could not have been more blatant were he Red Riding Hood’s wolf.

On a good day I look good, but it’s clear I’m this girl’s mother. He gives a little wink and says, “Hi, How you doin?” to my daughter. My eyebrow stretches skyward and I shoot the mother look known to wither receivers, as I reach for a Butterfinger.

“That’s my life. A pizza and a Butterfinger,” he quips. So clever.

Perv Man gathers his bag and turns to wave. “Have a good night girls.” He gives Middle Chicken one more once over.

Final holiday tip: Guys, at midnight, in the grocery store, flirting with a 25-year-old in front of her mother? Not a good idea. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, Easter, Flag Day—bad choice.



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