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
Jul-Dec 2004 Archive
Jan-Jun 2005 Archive


About a month ago I came home to my parents for a birthday in the family. On the way home on the train my dad who was supposed to pick me up and told me someone had hit his car so he couldn’t be there. Mom was still stuck in a meeting but she had asked a friend of hers to pick me up. Fine by me, I was just happy to come home. 

The lady who I only knew by name, picked me up which was fine and started driving me back. We made polite conversation and she asked me a couple of questions about my nursing-degree. I had just been out in practical experience in a medical ward and she asked me how I had liked it Now I have been brought up by parents who taught me to be honest and never fall in the “pretty, “good” girls never speak their minds”-trap, so I told her the truth; that I wasn’t crazy about it and would have preferred a surgical ward. She then asked my why and I told her it was a matter of personal ethics. She got more curios and asked me why. 

Now, here I hesitated… I have discussed this with my family and friends in school and have got nothing but support in my decision, but I wasn’t really ready to tell a stranger. So I told her it was my personal decision and not really something I was ready to discuss with others. She insured me she was just curious, so fine, I told her. I prefer a surgical ward over a medical ward because there are so many old people there, just basically waiting to die. It breaks my heart to see their lives prolonged for months in a strange, sterile environment, stuffed full of medicine and with lots of tubes going in and out of their bodies. I believe anyone should have the right to die in their own homes surrounded by friends or family instead of dying slowly in a hospital just because we can prolong the end. That is certainly not a way I would like to die or something I feel I can support.

 I told her this- and the woman nearly drove us of the road!!! She looked furious! Then she started SCOLDING me none the less and telling me what a horrible, horrible “nurse-wannabe” I was for “not wanting to care for anybody” and I “shouldn’t be allowed to care for people at all” I was shocked for such an angry reaction and tried to defend myself by telling her I didn’t see how it was worse than a teacher who decided he or she would be best with not so gifted students instead of gifted or average students and that it was, after all, my professional career and I would feel better spending my time and energy in helping people who would get better life quality out of my work instead of just easing the pain towards the end. She didn’t even listen but started lecturing me about how her father had a GREAT life the last few years even though he was hospitalized all the time and couldn’t move or talk. “He had a great life and had lots of life quality!” And she was really happy that the nurses who cared for his needs weren’t horrible persons such as me! 

I gave up on trying to make this angry woman understanding my point and how it was my decision and just stuck with a neutral “I’m sure your dad was very happy you cared so much for him” to try to make her drop the subject But no, for the rest of the ride I had to listen to lectures about how un-fit I was for being a nurse and how wrong I was and how happy hers father was even though he could tell her or signal her in any way I bit my tongue and tried to ignore the grown woman acting like a furious, screaming 5-year-old. It was a very long ride home….



A few months ago I was at my niece's first birthday party, which was held at a dance studio that teaches traditional Korean dance (it sounds kind of weird, but the studio's a really nice place for a party...sort of a mini Korean art and artifacts museum, daycare center, and studio all mashed together). The head teacher, choreographer, and owner of the studio is a family friend, and has always mildly resented the fact that I took martial arts, rather than dance with my sister. She's also notorious for bothering her students about their weight. (One girl, who was rather plump, was driven to tears on a regular basis, until she couldn't take any more and finally quit because of that woman.)

 I got to the party a little early, so while I was waiting for my cousins to unload some things from their car, the teacher and I were making small talk, when she suddenly said, "You know, you would look so much better if you decided to dance." My brain just froze as I wondered if I heard her correctly. The teacher's daughter nudged her rather hard in the ribs and said, "Mother! She looks just fine right now!" But not picking up any sort of hint on her radar, the teacher plowed on ahead, "Well she used to look so good, but now that she's quit Tae Kwon Do, she should dance!" (As a side note, I'm 5'5" and weigh 125, but while I did martial arts, I was down to 115...but still, I'm hardly overweight!) I guess some people just don't come with a filter installed between their brain and their mouth.



 I had a friend back in high school who was not "all there," so to speak. She wasn't a mean person, she just wasn't exactly up on proper human behavior. The first time I caught her spreading rumors happened like this: throughout the course of an entire day, several different MALE students approached me and asked if they could "see them." I asked what they were interested in seeing. "You know... THEM." After further prodding, I found out they all wanted to see the pornographic artwork they had been told I carried on me. After being informed that I had no such artwork on me, each and every one of them protested that I had to, after all, my good friend "Kate" had told them about it.   

After confronting Kate on the matter, she initially denied it but later confessed and apologized, though no explanation for her behavior was given. I asked her not to start any more rumors about me and she agreed. A few days later, she seemed to forget the agreement. I was approached by a few (again male) acquaintances (none of these were friends, just people I was slightly aware of) and offered cryptic messages of "I heard what you and "Danny" did*leer* Kinky." I couldn't get much more information than that out of any of them. Danny, a friend of mine, was not at school that day, so I couldn't ask him what everyone had thought we did together. 

Eventually, a boy who I was good friends with named "Luke" asked very concerned and very forwardly if it was true that I had given oral sex to Danny in the janitor's closet, as Kate had been telling everyone all about it, and Danny had a reputation for "getting around." I was shocked. This was way worse than the pornographic artwork rumor.   I confronted Kate again. She admitted to it and once again promised to stop spreading phony stories. 

A few days later, everyone began asking me if I really had a crush on "Randy," another friend of mine. You guessed it, Kate had been informing everyone about it. Before I had a chance to speak to Kate on the matter and once again put an end to her troublesome little stories, Randy showed up and admitted that he had always had a crush on me as well! 

Embarrassed, I explained that he was a great guy, but I wasn't currently looking for a boyfriend and that my supposed crush had only been one more of Kate's rumors.   I once again cornered Kate and demanded that she stop making up stores about me. She shuffled her feet and agreed.

It wasn't long before Luke approached me and asked if I knew why so many people thought we were sleeping together! It was the last straw. I contacted Peer Counseling, a campus group that solved other students' conflicts for class and had a remarkably high success rate for snapping people back to their senses. I imagine it's due in no small part to the embarrassment factor of being pulled out of class by two students wearing P.C. "uniforms," and being hauled into a private meeting with them and your "arch nemesis" of sorts, where you're wrangled into spilling your guts about your bad behavior.   

Under prodding from the two counselors, Kate fessed up to all her wrongdoings. The female counselor blushed. I hadn't even heard about some of the rumors she admitted to, and I was pretty glad of it. I asked why she'd spread such crazy stories, and with the counselors there keeping her from backing out of it, she finally told me. She'd gotten it into her head that I was lonely and was trying to land me a boyfriend! She thought that if she told people I was sexually active, boys would start asking me out. Can you believe it? I told her that I didn't appreciate her meddling in my love life, for one, that she was only attracting the wrong kind of attention for me, that she had embarrassed me on multiple occasions, violated my trust, and disrespected my (at least at first) polite requests. I told her I didn't think we should be friends any more. It didn't seem to be malicious, but how could I trust someone like that not to spread any more rumors?



When I was 9 years old, I attended a big weekend picnic at my elementary school. I was sitting on the lawn with some other kids and a mother whom I didn't know, but apparently she knew me. When I stood up, this obnoxious woman looked at my "imprint" in the lawn, looked at me, and said VERY loudly in mock astonishment, "Look at the big butt on Taylor!" I was so humiliated that I immediately began rubbing at the grass to make the imprint go away, and all she did was laugh. I was a shy, unpopular 9 year old, for crying out loud! I never saw her again, never found out who she was or how she knew me, but her rudeness still haunts me to this day.


I don't know how old you are now but you've obviously let this stew in you for years.  You can trust me when I say, "No one else remembers that incident," and you need to slap the crap out of the memory "ghost" whispering accusations in your ear.


This happened to me when I was 26, a college graduate, home owner and professional. Unfortunately, I look young for my age.

I was in a grocery store buying baby food for an ADULT who cannot swallow solid foods easily. Because it was for an adult and not an infant, I had to buy a very large amount. I do this regularly and have (unfortunately) become used to rude cashiers commenting about how much "my baby" eats as well as expressing their disgust at the foods I have chosen.

On this particular trip, two older female customers walked by me, the only person in the aisle, and loudly commented about how sad it was to see teenagers having babies.

I am well old enough and mature enough to have a child, but to make this particular insult even worse, I just happen to be one of those rare, rather old-fashioned women who believes in "waiting" until marriage for sex and babies. Those rude old woman couldn't have been farther from the truth regarding my age and beliefs!

Also relating to the fact that I look young, I have another experience from the same grocery store on a different day.

I have always been petite and smaller than my peers, from the day I was born, all through school, etc. It isn't my choice, and I have spent years trying to gain weight as well as lamenting my rather short stature. In contrast, I am an "old soul" with older interests, etc. I am diligently working towards a Ph.D. and get along best with people older than me. As a child, I was very uncomfortable with people my own age, and still am, because my interests and priorities are so different. I have been with my 16 years older fiancé for nearly eight years, and the age difference means absolutely nothing because we are mentally and emotionally on the same level. People who know us realize that it isn't a big deal, but unfortunately strangers can be incredibly rude. It doesn't help that my fiancé began losing his hair in his early 20's and looks ten years older than his real age while I look 10 years younger.

Now, I am rather conservative in my style, I have simple hair and wear "classic" clothing, totally avoiding trends and high maintenance. I look young, but I don't look like some ditzy teenager who decided to run off with an old man for the wrong reasons. One day, while I was grocery shopping with my fiancé, some middle aged woman, who was apparently appalled at the age difference she perceived, glared at us, smirked, made nasty faces and finally shook her head, rolling her eyes as she stared at us. The offender, though she was older than me, had huge, permed, bleach blonde hair and was dressed more like a teenager than I have ever dressed in my life.

It was a little absurd that an inappropriately dressed middle aged woman acting like a child had the nerve to glare at two mature adults in the health food section as though we were freaks.

I have met many people my own age who have met, dated, married and divorced in a shorter time than I have been dating my fiancé. Apparently something must be right!



I went to a twenty- first birthday a few years ago and the girl's best friend had an absolutely psychopathic boyfriend. My boyfriend and I were at the party at separate times, and the next fight they had was about how psycho man thought his girlfriend and my (by this stage, absent) boyfriend were hitting on one another. A screaming match ensued and at some stage he left the house and we locked the doors. 

A few months later (I don't see this girl regularly) I talk to her and realize she's finally ditched psycho and is going out with Mr. Nice guy. I'm happy for her. At our next meeting she's pregnant and I'm more happy for her, so much in fact that the next words out of my mouth are "So is it to the nice guy?" Realizing my mistake I try to cover "Or to the nicer guy?" Smooth. It's apparently to Psycho. He's changed. Realizing that she's forgiven me for the previous faux pas my brain stops me from blurting out that people never change and Psycho is always going to be psycho. But apparently he's off the amphetamines and they will live happily ever after. I hope they do. As for me, I will continue to say stupid things and be an endless source of amusement to my friends. Ps. I adore your site.



All throughout high school we had a fundraiser auction in March of every year to raise money for school activities.  I always volunteered to work at them since it was a fun excuse to get dressed up and practice my salesgirl skills.  Well since I was so good at talking people up and convincing them that they needed to buy things, they put me in charge of the raffle ticket sales. 

I had been schmoozing with alumni and parents all night, and selling tickets left and right, when I approached my friend’s father to buy some.  He had this white thread on his tuxedo jacket that stood out against the black, so in the middle of our chatting, I said, “Excuse me, I just need to get this thread for you,” and I proceeded to pull it off of his jacket.  Unfortunately it wouldn’t come, but I was pretty certain that it didn’t belong there, so I continued to tug at it for a couple seconds until he politely said, “Oh, that’s not a thread – that’s a chest hair.” 

I was absolutely mortified, but he shrugged it off, as apparently he was used to remarks about his chest hair.  But I’m pretty sure he wasn’t used to girls just coming up and yanking them out.  I sure learned my lesson about cleaning up other people.



Just a few weeks ago I was reading through the obituaries in our local paper. As I read through a particular obit it mentioned the deceased was survived by a sister "Harriet". well, it just so happened that I had worked with Harriet some years before and even though we didn't see each other much I knew where she was currently working and I sent a sympathy card to her. A few days later she calls me, confused. Her brother was alive and well. Blushing and stammering I explained that I had seen an obit in the paper and recognized her name. She stated there must have been a mistake, her brother was fine, etc. I apologized profusely and after hanging up, looked up the obit in the archive of the paper online. And lo and behold, the sister's name wasn't "Harriet" it was "HELEN". Oh boy.


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007