Life Is Like A Box Of Chocolates

SeesToday is my birthday, and honestly, my ideal birthday present is a pound of Sees chocolates with a custom assortment of my favorites, all for me!

It turns out that there is actually etiquette for chocolate boxes if you are inclined to share them (I am not inclined)

  • Don’t poke holes in the bottoms of the chocolates so you can see what the flavor is (apparently this a thing people do. I have heard about it. These people are MONSTERS.)
  • Obviously, also don’t bite into a chocolate and then PUT IT BACK if you don’t like it.
  • The little frilly papers. These are a problem. Generally, I will say that you should take the frilly paper when you take the chocolate and throw it away. HOWEVER, with boxes of chocolates that have a little map on the bottom telling you what the flavors are, it is apparently better to leave the wrappers in place so you don’t mess up the placement of the chocolates.
  • When a box is passed around for sharing, don’t take too much time to deliberate. Just chose a chocolate and move the box on to the next person.

What are your favorite kinds of chocolates?

Etiquette In The Apple Orchard

Fall means it’s apple picking season, and apple picking season means it’s war. Oh, you thought you’d have a photo opportunity with your toddler where you can get them to wear a fuzzy coat and sit on barrel? That’s cute. Have fun with that while you’re left with all the mushy McIntoshes, loser. We pick to win where I come from. But you do have to be subtle, lest some helicopter parents accuse you of making things not “fair” and you’re banned from all the apple cider donuts.

  • Plan ahead. If you’re going just for “fun,” whatever, but if you actually want the good apples that means knowing which weeks are their peak seasons. Being prepared is never rude.
  • Get one of those picker sticks that looks like a lacrosse thingy. I don’t know what they’re called but you know what I’m talking about. They give them out at the orchards so it’s totally fair game.
  • Learn to climb for those apples on the insides of the tree no one can reach.
  • If you see a child reaching for an apple, let them struggle. It’ll build character. But do tell their parents the kid is adorable so no one gets suspicious.
  • Know how much you need, and don’t take more than that. Apple picking is about quality, not quantity. Okay, it’s a little about quantity, but be careful otherwise you’ll end up with 20 pounds of apples, which turns into 20 pounds of applesauce when you can’t eat them in time, which turns into 20 pounds of applesauce that stays in your freezer for a year because applesauce is sorta meh.
  • Don’t cut the cider line.

The Second Episode of 3rd Rock From the Sun is All About Etiquette

This has nothing to do with this episode, I just thought it was great.

This has nothing to do with this episode, I just thought it was great.

3rd Rock from the Sun is on Netflix, and if you missed it’s original run in the 90s, it has held up pretty well and is worth going back and watching.

I (and my giant crush on Joseph Gordon Levitt <3<3<3) did watch it regularly when it was on, but due to being a fairly young child at the time, much of it went over my head.

Then it came on Netflix, and I was watching it while folding laundry, and realized that aliens coming to Earth is the perfect foil for talking about etiquette. And the second episode is especially full of it.

In this episode, Mary’s date for a wedding cancels, so Dick agrees to fill in. He is excited because it is the first wedding any of the aliens have attended and he is eager to observe an important human ritual. It sounds ridiculous as he describes it:

Dick: It’s really a very fascinating ritual. The ceremony begins with the bride being given away.

Sally objects to the idea of a woman being given away like an object, because she is the best.

Unfortunately, all the aliens come down with a cold. Dick decides to attend the wedding anyway, after taking quite a lot of cold medicine, and hijinks ensue.

  • He asks questions all throughout the ceremony and engages in a shushing war with other guests
  • He battles the maid of honor to catch the bouquet
  • He steals a present from the “prize table” and gives it to Mary
  • He stands up and proposes a toast, not to the bride, but to Mary
  • He then tangos Mary around the room, pushing other people out of the way

However, Dick is so endearing that Mary forgives him for embarrassing her and has a great time at the wedding anyway.

While this kind of behavior wouldn’t fly normally, the aliens in this show are show charming and innocent about human culture that we are really rooting for them to succeed in their mission to study us, pointing out how weird the human experience is along the way.

*Martha Stewart guest stars on this episode, in a dream Harry has, so it’s basically perfection.

Musing On Future Etiquette: Music With No Headphones

Ahhh, those were the days

I really don’t want to think listening to music in public with no headphones (and not in the carrying around a boombox in the park style, I mean blasting music out of your iPhone in a crowded subway) is going to be a thing, but all signs are pointing to it being a thing. Over the past few years I’ve increasingly encountered people playing loud video games, having FaceTime conversations, or listening to music without headphones, and at this point I believe it’s just something we’ll have to deal with. There’s a silver lining though: A BRAVE NEW WORLD OF ETIQUETTE.

Let’s say you’re sitting on the bus, listening to the Hamilton cast recording (like we have been for the last two weeks) with no headphones. Someone comes on the bus listening to another song at a similar volume, and sits next to you. Who is in the position of power here? On one hand, you can say you were there first, and thus deserve to continue listening to your music while the other person has to turn theirs down. On the other, perhaps the rules should go by turns. You had your time, and now this person has theirs.

I hope it will continue to stand that, if someone asks you to turn your music down or to put on headphones, you will. After all, it is still against the rules on most forms of public transportation or in public areas to play amplified music without a permit. But as much as etiquette is about comfort and being a social lubricant and all that, I also think it’s about having some sort of guidelines for everyday behaviors, and those change often. Fifty years ago pulling out your phone during dinner would be incredibly impolite (largely because you shouldn’t flaunt technology you got via your time machine like that), but now we understand that sometimes it happens, and there are polite and impolite ways to check your email with company. Things change, and etiquette needs to change with them.

But also, please use headphones when listening to music in public.

Our Best Search Engine Terms

We went over this before, but it’s been a while and we have some great new search engine terms that have been pointing people to this blog!

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