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



Foot in mouth disease

2000 Archive

2001 Archive

Jan - Jun 2003 Archive

Jul - Dec 2003 Archive

Jan-Jun 2004 Archive

Hi!  I have just discovered Etiquette Hell in the last several weeks and have thoroughly enjoyed it.  I have a little story to tell of my own.

A few years ago my ex-husband brought my little girl home from a weekend visit.  He brought his new girlfriend with him.  I had never seen or heard about her before that day.  When I saw her she had this long, empire waist dress (this is important later on in the story).  Determined to be nice and not to cause problems for my daughter I decided that I would introduce myself to the girlfriend.  Unfortunately I really did not have time to think about what to say to her in the time it took me to walk to where she was standing.  I walked over to my daughter, hugged her and then turned to the girlfriend, stuck my hand out to shake her hand and then said, "Hi!  I'm Susie's mom, Sarah!  So when is the baby due?"  She just stood there dumbfounded!  In my zealousness to be nice and talk to the new girlfriend I mistook her empire waisted dress for a maternity dress!!  It didn't help that she wasn't exactly thin in the middle and was standing sway back so that she looked about 5 months pregnant!  All she could say was, "I'm not pregnant."  

To top it all off, I didn't even realize what I had said and what had just transpired so I continued talking to the poor girl about how nice it was to meet her, etc.  When I decided I had been nice enough I gathered my daughter up and put her in the car.  Then I looked at my mom and said, "Well, her name is Kathy and she's not pregnant."  I thought my mother's mouth was going to hit the floor!  She said, "You mean you actually asked her if she was pregnant?"  Still not realizing what an idiot I had been I said, "Sure I asked her."  My mother just looked at me (I'm sure in amazement of what a moron she had raised).  About 15 minutes later I pulled over on the side of the road, looked at my mom and said, "I asked that woman if she was pregnant?  I can't believe I did that!  I am such an idiot!"  She just looked at me, shook her head and said, "Yeah, you are." 

The girlfriend lasted for a good little bit and I couldn't have asked anyone to be any better to my Susie, but needless to say she did not like Susie's mom!


Not sure if this is a faux pas, or just an oops....   I am a pastor of a small Midwestern inner city church.  One man in our church likes to talk back to the preacher when I preach, which is okay, as it is a black cultural thing.  Some of the favorite sayings are: Amen, come on now, preach it, etc.  Being a white preacher, I enjoy it immensely, except for this one day!

I was preaching a series on the Sermon on the Mount, specifically, Jesus' teaching on adultery.  I just reached a crescendo in my delivery... "According to Jesus, Adultery is not just what you do when your away from your wife, adultery is what you do in your mind when that cute woman walks by."  At that moment, from the back of the room, I hear "HELP YOURSELF PREACHER, HELP YOURSELF."  Needless to say, the ENTIRE CHURCH went silent, in fear of someone busting out laughing.  I quickly recovered and continued to preach, but I have NEVER been caught so flat-footed as that day!

We (me and a couple others) have since informed this person that the phrase "Help yourself preacher," while we know he means "Help yourself, your preaching the truth, keep going" is probably not the best way to talk back to the preacher. 


Just over a year after we were married, my husband was called up for the National Guard, to go to Iraq.  We were quite devastated, obviously, but the whole thing was made even more difficult by the fact that he had just six weeks to go before his commitment to the Guard would have been finished. He was a dental student and his education would be jeopardized by his leaving. Additionally, we had just moved into our first home just 2 weeks beforehand.  So needless to say, the day after we got the phone call, we were quite emotional at the prospect of being apart. 

We went to church that morning, and just before the service was over, the speaker announced our news. He did it in a very nice way, just to let other members of the congregation know what was happening to us, so they could be a support.  Naturally, many of our friends came over to us when the service was over, to ask questions and to give us a hug. I was BARELY hanging on at this point, and was biting the insides of my cheeks to keep from bawling my head off,  but I could understand why they would want to get details, and so I answered the same questions over and over, “When does he leave?” “What can I do to help?”  “What about dental school?”   Our friends were all great, except for one acquaintance, who I’ll call “Susie”.  She asked me the basic questions, then asked, “What does your husband do for the National Guard?” I told her he is in an Engineering Unit, and works as a mechanic.  Her reply?  “Oh, well, that’s not so bad, then! It’s not like he’ll be on the front line!”  I’m normally the kind of person with a quick answer, but I was so shocked, I just turned away, my mouth open like a goldfish. 

There is a happy ending, though—my husband is now back, after being gone for a year, and we don’t hang out with “Susie” anymore.  But once in a while, when someone makes a big deal about my husband having gone, he just says, “Oh, well it’s not like I was on the front line or anything!” and we have a good laugh about it.


I worked for a short time in a very busy, overstaffed dental office. I didn't know many of the other girls real well, but I tried to be as friendly as I could and got along well with most. Anyway, one of the ladies had not worked on the same days as I did often, and when I saw her one afternoon, I said, " Oh, Susan, you're hair looks great! You've changed it!"  It wasn't until the next week I found out it was a wig. She was undergoing chemo and radiation treatment for cancer. Nobody had told me, and I felt just terrible! Of course, there is no making up for that one, it would have just been more insulting.



Well, I have this one person whom I have introduced to people as my "Best Friend/Almost Twin" since we met seven years ago, in high school. She introduces me the same way.

But she has never once been on time for a party or girls' night. Sometimes she doesn't show up at all, despite RSVPing. I am taking a filmmaking class in college, and she wanted to star in my short film which is 70% of my final grade, and she bloody *swore* she would be on time to every filming session. Has she been? No.

Finally, the straw that broke the camel's back, last night our group headed out to a restaurant to celebrate one friend's birthday. BF/AT begged off, saying she needed to study for her mid-term exams.

When we went to a donut shop for seconds on dessert, can you guess who was sitting there with her boyfriend, killing time before heading out to the movies?

It's not that she was spending time with him instead of celebrating her friend's birthday (most of us have boyfriends and know what it's like). We're just really upset that she decided she'd rather lie to us about it.


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007