Etiquette Hell = Where the ill-mannered deserve to go


Main Page/Home

The Faux Pas Archives
Wedding Etiquette

Bridesmaids and Beastmen
Bridal Showers
Bridezillas and Groomonsters
Faux Pas of the Year
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme
Guests From Hell
Tacky Invitations
Wedding Rugrats
Just Plain Tacky
Tacky Toasts
Thank You Notes From Hell
Tacky Vendors
Wedding From Hell
Wicked Witches of the Wedding
Perfect Bride
Bridesmaid Dress Incinerator



Everyday Etiquette

Baby Showers
The Dating Game
Ooops! Foot in Mouth Disease
Funeral Etiquette
Gimme Hell
Holiday Hell
Just Plain Tacky
It's all Relatives
Every Day RugRats
Road Rage

Business Etiquette

Bad Business Etiquette
Merchants of Etiquette Hell
Bad Bosses

Faux Pas of the Year




Press Room/Contact


The Dating Game

2002 Archive
Jan - Jun 2003 Archive
Jul - Dec 2003 Archive
Jan - Jun 2004 Archive
Jul-Dec 2004 Archive
Jan-Jun 2005 Archive
Jul-Dec 2005 Archive
2006 Archive


Okay, so I'm not sure if this qualifies as hell or not, but its definitely something young men seem to have growing issues with...

I'm in college, and I just broke up with a long-term boyfriend. Another guy displayed interest fairly quickly, and he seemed nice. We didn't know each other terribly well, but we exchanged numbers, and then went on a date of sorts (nothing formal was declared: he didn't pick me up, flowers and dinner were not involved. We went for a walk around my area's upscale historic district.)

Now, I'm very busy (heavy school workload and a job), so I didn't see him for a few days. He, however, called me again, and again, and again.. I told him I was busy, told him I'd call him on the weekend, when I'd actually have time to see him. The calls kept coming, usually while I was at work or finishing projects for class.

Finally, I get a text message-- not even a grammatically correct text message-- along the lines of "hey if u want we can get drunk and have sex." when I didn't respond immediately, he sent me an email of the same thing. This is new etiquette, but etiquette nonetheless: flat-out propositioning a girl via a badly written text message is not a good idea.

Ever! Needless to say, I broke it off, feeling cheap and uncomfortable.



Several years ago, during my undergraduate study, I went out on a first date with a guy I had just met.  I did not really know him, and was nervous that he would turn out to be as undesirable as others I had recently run across...   When he picked me up in a regular, clean car wearing regular, clean clothes, acting politely and looking quite handsome, I was relieved.  My sorority sisters peeking out the windows before I came downstairs and giving me the thumbs-up made me feel better, too.  He immediately complimented my outfit and told me I was more beautiful than he had remembered.  So far so good...   

The first red flag was when we exited the car at the restaurant where we were to eat dinner and he oh-so-casually unwrapped a stick of gum and blatantly tossed the wrapper onto the pavement, AS we were making eye contact and having a conversation.  I paused, staring from him to the wrapper, and back, but he was oblivious.  The second red flag: he orders for both of us a relatively expensive dinner and several drinks.  Conversation throughout the meal is easy, but when the bill comes, this guy suggests that we do a "dine-and-dash" - i.e. run quickly from the restaurant without paying!!!    I offered to split the bill, and he simply shrugged and didn't respond, obviously preferring his own suggestion.  I pulled out my credit card, paid the whole bill while he sat silently, and we exited the restaurant.  He THEN had the nerve to suggest that we have a drink at a nearby bar he knew - apparently he thought the whole night could just be on me!  (I guess better that than to go to jail for not paying for a meal you ordered and consumed!)  But I was done - I told him in no uncertain terms to take me home, which he did immediately.  The funniest thing was that he persisted in calling for weeks afterwards.  I never called him back.    



This isn't so much a dating story since I never actually went out with the guy, but it was pretty weird all the same.   When I was in college some 20 years ago, I worked for a retail store in a local mall.  Our "store" was actually a kiosk in the middle of the mall, so you saw everyone who walked by and they also saw you.  When someone made a purchase at the store, we would hand write a receipt, which was printed with the store name and telephone number.  On the receipt we would include the normal information (product, price, etc.) as well as our name.  Well one Saturday I get a telephone call at the store.  It's a male and he asks for me by name.  He tells me he had bought something from me that day and he thought I was really pretty.  Being a Saturday, I had made sales to probably 75 people, many of whom were men.  I try to get the caller to tell me his name, to no avail.  (For the rest of the story I will call him "S".)   

A few days later, a worker from another store in the mall walks over to my store with a box.  He says a guy had purchased something and asked him to deliver it to me.  I'm starting to get a little freaked out at this point, and I open to box to find a glass unicorn figurine.  Of course I'm not going to keep it, so I give it back to the person who delivered it.  I explain to him what is going on and ask him if he can describe the guy or can see him anywhere.  He can't, so I go on with my day, being completely nervous the entire time.  Just before closing, S calls me again and asks me how I liked my gift.  I tell him I didn't keep the gift and that he's making me very nervous by not telling me who he is or letting me see him.  He tells me basically that I will find out who he is in time.  By now I'm really freaking out, so I call security and ask for an escort to my car.   

The next few days nothing happens, no phone calls and no more gifts, so I figure maybe he's given up.  Wrong!  I get a telephone call and it's S, but this time he says, "I walked by your store a few minutes ago and you look really good in that purple shirt."  At this point I'm really scared, knowing that he has been watching me.  Again, I have security walk me out to my car when I get off work.   I was scheduled to take the following week off for vacation and was glad I wouldn't have to deal with S.  I had called our corporate office and let them know what had happened, and we had talked about a transfer to another store.  We decided I'd go work at another store at least temporarily and that everyone at my old store will tell anyone who asks simply that I no longer work at that store.  Fine, if he's really a psycho he might find me anyway, but maybe it'll take him a while.   

Unfortunately, since I was on vacation for a week the corporate office didn't immediately inform everyone at the old store not to give out any information.  Even so, NO ONE should EVER give out personal information about an employee.  Most of the employees, however, were young and not well versed on proper business procedures.  So while I'm home on vacation my phone rings, and it's S!!  Apparently he had called the store to talk to me and was told I was on vacation.  He then convinced the girl working that day that he was an old friend of mine who was in town for a short time and asked if he could have my home phone number so he could get in touch with me.  And she gave it to him!  I talked to him for a while and agreed to meet him for lunch at a restaurant near the mall where I had worked.  I called my best friend's brother, who was a police officer, and asked him to go with me.  

I had two reasons for wanting this meeting...1) so my police officer friend (POF) could politely (or not) inform him to leave me alone, and 2) so I could actually see what he looked like and be able to at least keep an eye out for him.   Well, we get to the restaurant and I see a guy at a table near the front of the room stand up, and he's holding a bouquet of flowers.  Apparently this is him.  He's probably about my age, 20 or so, and he actually looks a little nerdy.  My first thought is that he doesn't look capable of harming anyone, but then I think of Ted Bundy (ok, so my imagination has gotten the best of me by this point :)  He's all smiles until he realizes that POF, in uniform, isn't just a casual passer-by.  We get to the table and POF, in no uncertain terms, tells S that he'd better leave me alone or he'll find himself in deep and unpleasant trouble.  S is genuinely surprised and confused by this.  He looks from me to POF disbelievingly and starts to look ill.  He tells us that he didn't mean to scare me, but he was shy and apprehensive about asking me out.  By now he has tears in his eyes and he says he's never had a real girlfriend (gee, I wonder why!) and that he wanted to ask me out but didn't know how to go about it.  POF assures him that stalking a girl is NOT the way to go about it and tells him he needs to have courage next time and just ask.  I'm standing there stunned the entire time, and now I'm beginning to feel sorry for him.  S then turns to me and says "so will you go out with me?"  I almost fell over!  I told him that I was sure he was a nice guy (thinking "nice" as in "you're so clueless as to be simultaneously pitiable and creepy") but that I couldn't go out with him because I had a boyfriend...POF.  (I didn't even have a boyfriend at the time, but I figured thinking I had a large boyfriend who could legally carry a gun might dissuade him any further.)   I never heard from or saw him again, and I can only hope that his social skills have improved since then! 


I had recently relocated to a new city when an old high school acquaintance e-mailed me to let me know that he would be in town for a job interview.  Though I didn't much care for him and would have rather spent my evening doing anything else, I accepted his dinner invitation and suggested that we dine at a casual restaurant near my house.

I knew that he would not offer to pay the bill, nor did I expect it of him.  However, he arrived at my house much earlier than expected and before I had had the chance to visit an ATM machine.  He boasted at least three times during the meal that the company for whom he was interviewing was paying all costs associated with the interview, and he twice mentioned that the meal allowance was quite generous.  After hearing that he had a considerable sum left to spend on food that day, I stopped worrying about finding cash to contribute. 

When the bill came, I offered to split the cost of the meal with him, fully expecting him to remind me that he would be reimbursed for the meal and that I had been his guest for the evening.

Instead, he accepted my offer.  I informed him that I didn't have enough cash on me and would need to find a nearby ATM in order to pay him back.  He followed me for 10 minutes while I tried to find an ATM, and he accepted every dollar I gave him. In the end, the company reimbursed him for the full cost of the meal, and he ended up making some extra money. Needless to say, I haven't spoken to him since.


This is one of those situations where you cannot say one thing but actually mean another.  Instead of offering to split the bill, I would have waited to see if he was going to pick up the bill to pay it considering that he had just explained how generous his per diem was.  If it sat there on the table with him ignoring it for a considerable amount of time, then you offer to split the bill.  By that time, you would have no doubt that he is not an honorable gentleman and your expectations would have been in line with reality.  


This is not actually about a date, but about a request for one that was the creepiest I have ever experienced. 15 years later it still gives me the shivers.

I was 23, a couple of years out of college, and had been pleased to find an apartment I could afford, even though its low rent and Section 8 Housing status meant that some of my neighbors were ... unscrupulous. For example, my newspaper kept getting stolen from in front of my door.

To save money on air conditioning, when weather permitted I slept with my bedroom windows cracked from the top. One night, I was lying in bed, 90% asleep, when I heard "Pssst! Pssst!" coming from outside. Instantly awake, I shot up in bed and found a mustachioed man in a sleeveless undershirt and camouflage pants standing at my window. I guess he was a neighbor.

Now that he had my full attention, he said, "You're pretty. I want to go out with you." My heart pounding, I said, "Go away or I'll call the police." Crestfallen, he slunk off and I closed and locked the window. Then I went and slept in the bathroom, since the living room also had windows.

I've never liked ground floor apartments after that. 



In my senior year of high school, I belonged to the Goth/Punk clique, and dressed accordingly, unless I was attending a wedding, birthday, or other special occasion. Well, I had just started dating a young man who shared my same interests, and our first few dates were fun; movies, clubbing, things like that. 

One afternoon, "John" called and asked if I wanted to go out that same night. I said sure, and I would pick him up at 6. I had a car, he didn't, so I did all the driving. So that evening, thinking of another fun filled night clubbing, I dressed carefully in ripped leather pants, spiked jewelry (come on! I was in high school!) and a rather obscene music group T- shirt. After I picked him up, he told me we needed to stop off for something before we went clubbing, but was really vague on what he needed to do. Okay. So he gives me an address in a rather upscale, quiet residential community. I find the house, and before I could ask why is there a hearse parked in the driveway, he pulls me inside. Once inside, he quickly announces, "This is Ana, my girlfriend!", pushes me into the arms of a mortuary worker and bursts out crying! The house is filled with grieving older family members, who usher John into an open room next to me, where he proceeds to throw himself sobbing across the chest of an elderly lady, who is clearly deceased. His family all turn to me, and I am mortified! I had not met any of his family before, and there I am standing there 10 feet away from dead Grandma, dressed for a Rave! 

One of his uncles kindly hands me a plate of pizza (who orders pizza for an impromptu wake?!) and leads me into the backyard, to sit with yet more family. They all sit there uncomfortably as I do my best to hide what exactly the two nuns on my T- shirt are doing. Thankfully they all understood that this was not what I had in mind for tonight's date, and were very nice. They just didn't know why he didn't warn me, since they had called him that morning about his grandma passing!  After John and I left (two hours later! They really kept the removal personnel waiting!), I dropped John off despite his protests, and went home. We didn't last too long after that!



A few years ago I was dating a guy and he told me he wanted to introduce me to his mother. I told him that I would be glad to meet her, and to let me know a date and a time so I could prepare myself. Well, this happened in 2003, at the same time of the huge blackout in New York City that left everyone in the dark for about three days. The blackout was a Thursday, and I had a hair appointment for the next day. Well, because of the blackout, my hair appointment was canceled, obviously. Well, my boyfriend's section of town got their power back before ours did, so I decided to go hang out at his house. Since my hair wasn't done, I took a silk scarf and made a wrap out of it and wrapped my hair in it. Then I put on some makeup and earrings to try to fix myself up. I even got a few compliments on my wrap, including compliments from my boyfriend. 

So he's driving me back to his place and he goes, "We're going to meet my mom." So I thought she was going to be expecting us. Nope. He just decided at the spur of the moment to just take me over there. So we get there and he just walks in her house with me trailing behind. No announcing that he's bringing someone in. No phone call ahead. She's standing in the kitchen in a nightgown (at like 3 in the afternoon, no less). He says, "Mom, this is my girlfriend Alison." I say, "Nice to meet you, " and I smile and shake her hand. She takes one look at me and says, "What's wrong with your hair?" So, embarrassed, I attempt to explain that I was unable to get my hair done due to the blackout. She then looks at him and says "Why you bring her over here to meet your mother without her hair done?" She said this right as I was standing there! I had never felt so uncomfortable and humiliated in my life!



My sister "Liz" has had a rocky relationship with her (now ex) boyfriend, "Idiot." This whole thing began when she made a bad mistake. Freaking out that their relationship was getting serious, my sister got drunk one weekend and had a heavy make-out session with another guy. In tears she confessed to Idiot and he broke up with her. Not an entirely unreasonable thing I must say (even though the pain it caused my sister made me want to do something bad to his car). This classy guy breaks up with her over AIM (AOL Instant Messaging)!!! 

A few months later Idiot assures her that he's over it and he forgives her and they get back together. Six weeks after that he dumps her again for the same incident. This time at least he does it over the phone. More drama for a few weeks. Then they get back together. 

Now to get to my point. They've been together for about 8 weeks when I get in a car accident. I was driving to my grandmother's house about 6 hours away and at the halfway mark I was run off the highway by a semi. The accident was bad. I was going  70mph when I went off the road and my car flipped at  least three times. Fortunately I got away with only minor injuries, but my family was freaking out. I make the call to my family and Liz is dispatched to come to the ER where I was taken (the rest of my family is across the country and grandma's on her way too). By the time she gets there my broken thumb is secured, but I've only been cleaned up enough to ensure that I didn't break my skull. I have dried blood all over my face and neck. Of course by this point I'm out of my gourd on painkillers so I can't tell her I'm much better than I look. The hospital releases me (with only a broken thumb there's no reason to keep me overnight) and my sister takes me to a hotel. 

I apologize for the detail there, but I just want to paint the picture. My sister is in a strange town in a two bedroom hotel room. I'm lying on the other bed, high on morphine and hydrocodeine. I alternate between sleeping and giggling at the TV. I'm still covered in dirt and dried blood. And it's three AM. She calls Idiot, leaving a message on his voicemail to the affect of "It's late, but my sister was in a wreck and she's okay, but I really, really need someone to talk to."  Idiot gets the message but doesn't call her back. Instead he IMs her. He was thinking about the incident where she kissed that other guy (still the same incident) and he doesn't think he's over it after all so . . . . it's over.  Liz is begging him not to do this now. She tells him that she can't deal with it right now, could they please just play nice for the night? Idiot logs off and doesn't respond to any of her messages. She stays up until the morning partially because she desperately wants to talk to him (or anybody for that matter) and partially because she has to wake me up every thirty minutes to make sure I'm not concussed. Idiot doesn't get back in touch with her for three days. When he does he yells at her for being too wrapped up in 'drama' to discuss the state of their relationship and her fidelity. (Bear in mind that it was *kissing* another guy, and only *one* incident now many months ago.) Ugh, it upsets my stomach just thinking about it.


Here’s my story about a bad first date. To make matters worse, it was my first date ever. I have since gone on to many more bad dates, but none compare to this one.

  I had just turned 16 and a boy (we’ll call him Bubba) asked me out on a date. It would be my first date ever. Permission had been hard to obtain from my conservative parents so I was overjoyed. I’d had a crush on Bubba since the year before but I didn’t rate a blip on his radar until the first day of my junior year in high school. I was on the varsity drill team and was decked out in our uniform that had a short skirt. I guess this was enough to now get me noticed. He started a conversation, then asked me out. 

After getting the parental permission, we agreed that he would pick me up at my house at 7:00 p.m. that Saturday night. Envisioning dinner and maybe a movie, I was dressed in a nice “Sunday School” type dress and could hardly wait for him to arrive. He showed up (late) in his 15 year old Dodge Dart and we drove to the other side of town and pulled up in front of his parent’s house.  Okay, maybe he just forgot his wallet. Nope. Maybe we were going to have dinner with his parents. Nope. They were in the kitchen washing the dinner dishes. He told me to have a seat on the sofa and we could watch some television. He hadn’t even bothered to  rent a movie. 

But wait, it gets much better. His younger brother is sitting across from us in the recliner chair. (His brother was 2 years younger and as a result of cancer had his leg amputated below the knee. This had been several years before and by all accounts he was doing fine now.) Younger brother had on a pair of cut-off shorts and a t-shirt. Bubba asks younger brother to go change into long pants because he considered it rude for his “stump” to be on display in front of company. I assured them both that this was not necessary. Younger brother refuses to change. Bubba continues to yell at him. Younger brother continues to yell back. I am mortified. The disagreement escalates to profanity laden screaming until they both get into an all-out brawl, knocking over  the coffee table and 2 lamps with arms, legs, and stumps flying everywhere while I cowered in the corner. The parents run in from the kitchen, yell at everyone and tell Bubba to take me home. The whole “date” lasted 30 minutes and he tried to kiss me on the porch.




Page Last Updated September 18, 2008