Is It Okay to Attend an Acquaintance’s Burlesque Show?

I saw Burlesque in theaters and definitely wanted it to be better.

I saw Burlesque in theaters and definitely wanted it to be better.

Hiya,

I have friends from high school, etc. who are now burlesque artists. We only see each occasionally, but I like supporting their careers with likes on Facebook. However, what is the etiquette on seeing their shows? Is it weird to have people you know in real life attend your burlesque?  I don’t know if you two know, but I trust you both to have a thoughtful answer.

Many thanks,
Don’t Want to be Weird

Victoria: Okay, so I don’t think it’s a big deal to go and see the shows.

Jaya: No. The whole point of public performance is, you know, public. But it may be different depending on whether the LW was invited to the show, or just saw it on Facebook.

Victoria: Yeah, that’s true. Being specifically invited is more welcoming. If you just see it, go once and see how the person reacts.

Jaya; Even if it’s one of those mass invites where you send it to all of your Facebook friends

Victoria: Yes, I think that signals that they don’t care who comes and are welcoming everyone.

Jaya: Yeah, and it makes it seem like LW it as least at an acquaintance level with the burlesque folks. I think it’s weirder if you haven’t talked to someone in 10 years and show up like “I saw this on FB”

Victoria: Hahah yeah, unless they are like, omg I just moved to town and I thought it would be great to see you again. Although, I suppose you could ask them to get coffee with you too. I’ve gone to plays and stuff for people I haven’t seen in a thousand years and it can be a nice way to meet up again. Just don’t monopolize their time at the event.

Jaya: Definitely, and I think some standard burlesque etiquette applies here–don’t objectify anyone, don’t make weird comments about their bodies or sex lives, etc.

Victoria: Yeah, and I would give the caveat that it’s going to be a lot weirder for a man you haven’t seen in ages to come to a random burlesque show than a women.

Jaya: Absolutely, if you’re a single man coming to a female FB friend’s burlesque show, consider bringing a woman along. And you know, doing your part to dismantle the patriarchy so women don’t have to be concerned about a single man’s presence in the first place.

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Regional Wedding Traditions: Stag and Doe Parties

Previously: Cake Pulls and Cookie Tables

A stag and doe party is a regional tradition found mostly in certain areas of Canada. The purpose of the party is to be a fundraiser for the wedding.

The basic premise is that the bridal party (including groomsmen) will throw the party, which charges an admission fee, charges for drinks, and has games and raffles and things, also for a small fee. The funds raised should cover the cost of the party and leave plenty left over for the bride and groom. The guest list is open to anyone, not just people who are invited to the actual wedding.

Despite my general hatred of people expecting their wedding guests to give them lavish presents, cover their plates, pay for drinks at a cash bar, money dances, and all other kinds of greedy wedding hoopla, I…actually think this is a pretty great idea if it’s already common in your social circle and people know what to expect (ie don’t spring it on your New York City friends who have never heard of such a thing.) Here’s why: while the event is connected to the wedding, it’s not thrown by the bride and groom. Also, I imagine this kind of thing might be more common in areas where there’s not a whole lot of nightlife, so this is probably a good way to get out of the house, have some fun, have some drinks, maybe win a raffle. However, not all Canadians are fond of this tradition.

Of course, like anything, there are polite and rude ways to go about doing it:

  • The party should always be thrown for the bride and groom, not by them.
  • Use it as a substitute for other wedding events, not in addition to them (say do a Stag and Doe but skip the engagement party. People get burned out on attending many events for the same couple)
  • Make it a really fun event that people WANT to attend so they don’t feel like it is just about the money. Have actually fun games and nice prizes.
  • Charge for booze, but have plenty of simple food and drinks for free.
  • Keep the ticket price fairly low or make it by donation.
  • Thank people for coming- maybe even do a big announcement during the event
  • Only only only have such a party if they are already what your social circle does. This is not going to come off well to people who don’t know what it’s about.
  • By no means pressure anyone to come or to spend more money than they are comfortable spending
  • If you are attending the party, keep in mind that it is a fundraiser, so come prepared to spend at least a little bit of money. Don’t just pay the entrance fee and then gorge on the free food/music/dancing.

For places where Stag and Does are attending by the whole community, it seems like a really nice way for everyone to support the couple, even if they wouldn’t be invited to the wedding, while getting a fun time in exchange. And honestly, it sounds way more fun than a shower where you are also spending a bunch of money, but instead of dancing, drinking, and playing games, you are sitting around politely watching someone else open presents.

Please tell me about other regional wedding traditions! Either in the comments or victoria@uncommon-courtesy.com!

 

Is An Irish Exit Rude?

Sepia Dancing Off StageThe Irish exit, Dutch leave, French goodbye, whatever mildly ethnic slur you want to call it, is when you leave an event without saying goodbye to anyone. Is it rude? Well, yes, often, but it can also be a relatively low level rudeness depending on the circumstances.

Unforgivable circumstances:

  • On an actual date with another person (unless they are being abusive, etc etc, caveats)
  • Small gatherings where your absence would be easily noticed
  • Any hosted event (you must always thank and say goodbye to your hosts- even at something as big as a wedding)
  • When you are supposed to be giving a ride to someone (unless you ghost away into the night together)

Forgivable circumstances:

  • A large, casual gathering such as 20ish friends hanging out at a bar
  • Casual, group oriented events such as a end of school picnic (though I would consider this just…leaving)
  • Anytime trying to say goodbye would disrupt the event (such as a religious service or when there are speeches happening. Though you should try to avoid leaving in these instances except when you are ill or have other extreme circumstances.)
  • When it’s a large family gathering where goodbyes take an hour (jk! love your family!)

When else do you find Irish exits acceptable/unacceptable? Let me know in the comments!

Always Thank You Note Questions

If I had infinite dollars, I would only buy  fancy stationery.

If I had infinite dollars, I would only buy fancy stationery.

Dear Uncommon Courtesy,

 

I know that thank you notes, specifically wedding thank you notes, are a hot topic on the site! I’m getting married next month, and–don’t worry!–we plan to send thank you notes promptly after the big event. 
Here’s where modern wedding arrangements and technology complicates things. We’ve been living together for years.Our family and friends are located all over, meaning that more than half of the wedding guests are traveling out of state (some out of the country) for this thing. The wedding is actually an 8 + hour drive for us. Nobody wants to transport heavy housewares around the country. So, we set up a housewares/honeymoon registry on SimpleRegistry.com. Which yes, we know is controversial, but our guests seem into it for convenience.
Anyway, here’s what I don’t know how to navigate. I’m getting a bunch of notifications that people are sending us gifts through the site. Some of whom are coming to the wedding, some of whom are not. Should I wait until after the wedding to send thank you notes? 
More complex: we’re taking our honeymoon three weeks after the wedding. Some of the cash gift categories on the site are for specific honeymoon experiences (meals, boat rides, etc.). Should I wait until after the honeymoon to send these thank you notes so they can be more specific and we can talk about how we enjoyed the experiences? I know that promptness is encouraged, but “Thanks Cousin! Your cash gift enabled us to enjoy some delicious treats on our honeymoon. We had the most fantastic macarons at an adorable cafe overlooking the Seine.” is a lot more personalized than “Thanks Cousin, for supporting us through a cash gift as we begin our marriage.”
I’d love to hear your thoughts!
Sincerely,
Promptly Thankful

Jaya: Okay, so there’s a lot here! So first off, transporting heavy things across the country. I wouldn’t worry about this.

Victoria: Yeah, people will figure it out. Plus, BTW to EVERYONE, you are supposed to ship the gifts to the couple/the bride’s home! Don’t bring it to the wedding. Because thats a pain for you and its a pain for the couple to get it home.

Jaya: That is a plus side of registries. People don’t want to schlep a stand mixer to a wedding, and I don’t want to schlep one home!

Victoria: Exactly, I mean, even if you buy off the registry, you should ship it to them. The registry will probably even tell you what address it should be sent to.

Jaya: Definitely. Unless there are explicit instructions otherwise.

Victoria: Yeah, always follow directions.

Jaya: But with thank you notes, I think everyone should be doing them as they get the gifts, even if some of them are cash to be used for specific honeymoon activities.

Victoria: Definitely, always always always send thank you notes as you receive the gifts. This way the giver knows that you received it and doesn’t have to wonder. Plus it cuts down on the amount of work you have to do after the wedding.

Jaya: Definitely. And if it’s for something on the Honeymoon, you can just word it about the anticipation. Instead of “Thanks, Cousin, for your gift that let us eat some delicious treats on our honeymoon” you can say “we can’t wait to eat some delicious treats on our honeymoon.”

Victoria: Yeah! And when you get back, there is nothing stopping you from sending them a quick email with a picture of you doing the activity that they gifted!

Jaya: The one I was always the most awkward about was thank you notes to people not invited to the wedding

Because there is that aspect of like…why are you sending me a gift? I know gifts are gifts etc, but it’s weird!)

Victoria; Haha yeah, that would weird me out too. I guess you just say, thank you so much for the [gift]. It is so kind of you to be thinking of us during this special time and we value your support.

And then…let it go?

But yeah, I think its easier to deal with when its older people. I think it would be really weird if a peer sent something and you weren’t inviting them to the wedding.

Jaya: Yeah, and short and sweet always works. Just try not to mention the wedding itself.

I’d like to take this time to encourage people not to send gifts for weddings they’re not invited to, unless it was a courthouse wedding/explicitly very small wedding. Maybe not all people getting married are like me, but you’ll probably be making the couple feel really guilty.

Victoria: And if you ARE a peer who wants to send a gift, please include a card that says “I know you are having a small wedding and I am very happy for you, so I really wanted to give you a little token of my affection with no strings attached.”

Jaya: Yesssss. That’s good.

Victoria: Except try to make it not sound passive aggressive. But if you are close enough to send a gift, you are probably close enough to get the right tone in.

Jaya: Definitely.

 

How to Buy a Wedding Gift

We’ve talked about this before, but I have some seen some startling things about wedding gifts on blogs lately, so I thought it would be good to do a refresher.

I was prompted in this by seeing several times over the last few weeks, wedding guests lamenting that the only things left on the wedding registry were super expensive so they were *forced* to spend so much more than they had been planning.

RECORD SCRATCH!

What?!?!?!

Um, no. My friends, a wedding registry is a suggestion of items that the happy couple would like to have. Granted, if you want to buy them a toaster and they have a specific toaster listed, you should PROBABLY get them that one since it probably has particular features that they like. But you are perfectly well within your rights as a guest to get them something that is NOT on the registry. If that seems too risky for you, EVERYONE likes checks! And honestly, people get all silly about a $25/30 check not being “enough.” But honestly, $25 is still $25 they didn’t have before and they know that their mixing bowl set is $25 so if you had gotten them that, they would still know what you spent. Don’t be embarrassed!

And if they have a honeymoon fund but only set it up to accept certain denominations (ahem, couples, do not do this. Do not start your honeyfund contributions at $75. Start them at like $10 and go up from there.), send a check with the amount you would prefer to give anyway. Honeyfunds are a total racket that deduct a percentage of the gift anyway.

So please, go forth and be joyous without destroying your budget. And honestly, if you are paying for airfare and accommodations for the wedding, your presence is definitely a present and a very sweet card or token gift should be fine. And couples who bitch about it should get over themselves.

Deal With It Devil Wears Prada