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.


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.

RSVP Semantics


Jaya: This Facebook thing is freaking me out. Like, no, you don’t get to assume that if my plans open up I’ll be there. I think it’s very emblematic of the way we expect people to RSVP now. That if there is an event, unless they have previous plans or are deathly ill, they will come. Whereas no, you can just turn down an invitation and never have to give a reason, even as small of a reason as “I have other plans”

Victoria: Is that an expectation?

Jaya: I think it’s getting to be one. More like, if you say you’re not going, there has to be a reason. Sometimes you just don’t want to go!

Victoria: Hmmm interesting

Jaya: Or sometimes there is a reason but you don’t want to say it.

Victoria: I guess I don’t get invited to much that I don’t want to go to. Or like, it’s not a real invitation.

Jaya: Omg I get so many random FB event invitations.

Victoria: Haha

Jaya: And I know a lot of those don’t come with the same expectations.

Victoria: I think I have my notifications for events like that turned off?  Cause I just went to my events page and I’m like hey, a million events!

Jaya: Ahhh. But yeah I think it’s a difference. “Not going” is more vague. “Can’t go” suggests there is something preventing you from going.

Victoria: Yeah, definitely. Although, I suppose it’s just semantics. I can’t go [because I don’t want to go] still works. But yeah, I do think Not Going is a bit more neutral. I’ll get Mark Zuckerberg on the phone and let him know.

I did actually have a weird thing recently- I couldn’t go to an because I was out of town, but once I replied “Not Going” I didn’t seem to be able to post on the wall the reason why. But maybe that was a FB app issue.

Jaya: Hmmm weird. That might be a phone thing yeah.

Victoria: So that was much more annoying to me, that I couldn’t actually give a reason why I couldn’t go when I did have one.

A Plea: Be Clear With Your Name Use

Even if your name is very popular you should be clear about it. [Via]

Even if your name is very popular you should be clear about it. [Via]

We’ve already discussed the problems some people face when changing their names after marriage (or divorce, or just because they feel like changing their names because you’re an adult and can do that whenever you damn well please). But one issue we keep running across is people who go by one name in some places and a different name in others. This can get really confusing.

There are many legitimate reasons why someone would want to use an alias in public, and you should be allowed to do that! Perhaps you’re a writer who uses a pen name, or a public figure who doesn’t want people to find your personal Facebook page, or are trying to hide from an abuser or stalker, or maybe you just go by a nickname. These are all fine and entirely understandable. What gets frustrating is when, for instance, you have someone who has kept one name in public spheres and uses another “officially,” but expects you to know this without them telling you. I mostly see this with people who have changed their name after getting married, continue to go by their original names on Facebook, email, and other areas, and then are frustrated when you address an invitation or a check to their maiden name.

Okay, so nothing is actually stopping you from doing this. You can do this. Go by 10 different names on 50 different platforms, whatever. But at this point we don’t use at-home cards, and we certainly don’t assume anything about someone’s name unless we’ve been told. So, if every correspondence is telling us your name is “Janet Smith”…we’re gonna go with that. And if it turns out you changed your name when you got married and you can’t cash a check unless it’s make out to “Janet White,” it’s on you to let everyone know about that.

I am perhaps speaking too much from experience, thinking back on  sending out wedding invitations and figuring out who was named what. Most of my friends emailed me their preferred titles when they sent their addresses, but others I just went off what was on Facebook and other platforms. I mean, why wouldn’t I? Maybe I’m just self conscious and coming to terms with living in a world where I do not actually know my friends’ “real” names, and rely on a website to tell me what they are. Where asking someone if the name attached to their Gmail is accurate is a thing. Where you can know someone so well and intimately, well enough to invite them to your wedding, and not know this extremely basic thing about them. And maybe I can just remember that names don’t hold that much importance for everyone, and that knowing the person is more important than knowing their name.

You should still be clear with your name use though.

What You Can and Cannot Conduct Over Social Media

Good lord just don't be this person [via Jezebel]

Good lord just don’t be this person [via Jezebel]

It’s easy to use social media. It’s too easy. I can think of at least three friends with whom I make plans entirely over social media, because I do not have their phone numbers or email addresses. I know, I’m a millennial, go ahead and yell at me or whatever. [Ed note: Millennial used to not show up under spell check, and now it does. Progress.] We’re not here to judge you for how you get in touch with your friends. However, there are some interactions that should not be conducted in a public place. Let’s go over some. (And remember, most of this varies depending on who you’re connected with. It may look different if you’re friends with 2,000 people v. 20).

1. Don’t ask someone on a date– This doesn’t even have to be a romantic date. Any question of “when are we hanging out” should be taken to a private conversation, whether it’s Facebook messaging, DM on Twitter, private snapchat (???), anything. The whole world shouldn’t see you debating whether you can make the 8pm showing of Lucy or if you should go to the 9:45pm one just to be safe. On Twitter you might be able to get away with this more, since if you message someone only the people who follow both of you can see it, but after a while it’s probably easier to switch to email anyway.

2. Don’t RSVP on someone’s public page- If you’ve been invited to a Facebook event or something like that, RSVP through that page. Don’t write out why you can’t come on the host’s page, because maybe they wanted the event kept private, and definitely don’t RSVP on social media for an invitation you got in the mail. Similarly, don’t try to host a party through your public social media pages. Saying “come to my house for a BBQ on Saturday” will either get you hundreds of people asking for your address, or you having to explain to a bunch of strangers that you don’t actually want them there. YMMV depending on privacy settings, etc., but if you have 20 people you want to invite, just invite them.

3. Don’t ask people to be part of huge life events– It’s already known that it’s a bit tacky to talk endlessly about your wedding or baby or other events on Facebook, considering you don’t want to broadcast a party that most people won’t be invited to. In that same spirit, do not ask people to be part of these events in public. Recently, my husband showed me something that popped up on his Facebook feed, where one girl wrote on another’s wall, asking her to be a bridesmaid, and naming three other women who were already on board. Would you have this conversation in a room of 50 people with everyone listening? Then don’t do it on Facebook.

4. Don’t post disgusting pictures– Pictures of you and your new baby? Awesome. Picture of your new baby covered in its own vomit? Maybe not.

5. Don’t post anything super judgmental- As usual, this is a case of “know your audience,” but posts where you’re judging a large group of people on their actions, or acting really sanctimonious about your own, are just inviting trouble. Even if you think you’re really close to all your Facebook friends, you never know what someone else’s personal life is like, and you may inadvertently be insulting a good friend.

6. Don’t be passive aggressive– It gets really, really tempting to subtweet and hint at some larger drama in your life, and you may think that by avoiding naming names, you can get away with this. But chances are, someone in your feed knows who you’re talking about and will figure it out. Plus, etiquette usually dictates you confront anyone about personal issues directly and as soon as possible, so you’re probably not even letting this problem escalate to the level where you’d need to do this, right?

Don’t worry, there are still plenty of things you can do! For instance, you can post fun or interesting articles, promote yourself, create events or just make a lot of bad jokes. You can actually keep in touch with people and have funny and inane conversations with people you live thousands of miles away from.

Should We Even Bother With Social Media Etiquette?

What Would Tom Do?

What Would Tom Do?

I keep thinking that there needs to be a guide to social media etiquette, because there are some people that are just insufferable, but I can hear the backlash now: “If someone’s annoying just stop following them!” “You can block people you know.” “I found a complicated way to mute everything someone says but still make it look like you’re listening.” Yes, we all know that social media is pretty optional and if you don’t like looking at a hundred photos of your elementary school best friend’s new baby you can just unfriend her. But social media has also wedged its way into our lives to a point that I felt actively left out of my chosen career by not being on Twitter. Since many of us feel strong societal pulls to engage in social media, let’s see if there are ways to make it a slightly nicer place.

  • Try not to post all the time– Of course one of the main reasons everyone is on Facebook or Twitter is so we can share articles, photos, and thoughts with each other, but you never want to clog someone else’s feed. This happens on Twitter a lot, especially when someone not only posts a lot, but retweets every single response they get.
  • Don’t get into arguments on Twitter – This sort of goes for Facebook, but at least there you don’t have character limits, and can let your arguments be as wordy and thought out as you want. I have never seen an argument on Twitter turn out well for either party, no matter how intelligent the argument, because there is just no way to achieve any nuance in 140 characters. You’re going to come off sounding like you don’t know what you’re talking about, even if you do, so just avoid it. No one ever thinks “wow, he’s super smart, but I wish he would argue more on Twitter.”
  • Don’t be a mommyjacker– This doesn’t just go for moms! We all know that person who turns every post into something about their baby, but people do this for all sorts of topics and it’s frustrating as hell. Try not to comment on photos or statuses with something completely unrelated to the topic, or to make it all about you.
  • Ask permission before tagging photos of people/quoting people– I know you desperately want to post that photo of you and your little brother in the bathtub together for Throwback Thursday, but not everybody wants everything they do online. I’ve been really frustrated when people post something on Twitter that I’ve said to them in private, or posted tons of unflattering photos from a drunken night out. And yes, you can always untag yourself, but the photo is still there. So maybe send your friend a quick text asking them if it’s okay, or don’t get mad if you post something and they ask you to remove it. This goes double for posting photos of babies and children, since they can’t really tell you they don’t want their photo broadcast to the world.
  • Don’t be on your phone/computer/tablet all the time– This expands a bit to general social etiquette, but the number of times I’ve been out to dinner and something funny happened in the conversation and someone whips out their phone and says “omg I’m tweeting that” is entirely too many. This is not the fault of social media or millenials or anything–my grandfather was the type to constantly make us re-enact candid moments so he could take photographs, instead of just living in the moment. But if you’re with other people, try to stay engaged with them, instead of turning to your phone or tablet or camera.

What happens on social media that frustrates you? Tell us!