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  • April 19, 2015, 03:26:59 PM

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I too am a descendant of Boston lace curtain Irish. But I grew up in Connecticut with a Chicago-German father, so I didn't know the complete story of lace curtain, so thank you.

Sometimes it feels like formal dining etiquette is becoming "Grandma's Etiquette".  I live in Boston now and the 1st floor of many Victorian houses are being gutted in favor of the trendy open floor plan. Thus, no more dining rooms. I once said that it was a shame as kids weren't learning formal dining etiquette. Everyone poo-poohed me, but a couple years back there was a news report of parents sending kids to classes to learn formal etiquette dining so they would deport themselves properly in the world and particularly the business world.

Etiquette story about my Chicago father: one of my brother's friends was from the American South. While the New Englanders addressed my parents as "Mr and Mrs L"astname (just using the 1st letter of the last name instead of the whole name in a friendly, informal way yet still respectful), the Southerner always said "Ma'am" or "Sir". One day my Dad said to me, "I know kids down South are taught to address adults as Sir and Ma'am, but I'm from Chicago. Whenever a teenage calls me "Sir", I think he's up to something." LOL!
32 general / Re: Restaurant Weirdness.
« Last post by shortstuff on Today at 12:14:47 PM »
When I was a kid, we had an incident with a waitress in a pub in England. In those days, pence were huge (think of silver dollar size) and worth about one penny. They would really weigh you pocket down. My father was a good tipper, so after one lunch he stacked up his pence on top of a crown for a tip (a tip that was absolutely huge in those days.)
The waitress came over to get the bill, and angrily told him, "and you can keep your ruddy pence!"  My dad quietly smiled and took the hitherto unseen crown out from under the stack and said, "fine, and I'll keep my ruddy crown that you didn't see, too!"

I am of the impression that tipping in England wasn't the norm years ago (although it's becoming more common now) so I don't understand why the waitress flipped out since she probably didn't expect a tip. However, if she did believe your father was tipping her a penny, I agree that it was a mean spirited thing to do to her. Why not put the crown on top, which I assume was a smaller coin which frankly makes more sense. if I tip using coins, I'm not going to put the quarter on top of the nickel or dime. It doesn't make sense to me. Just so people don't think I'm cheap, I'd use the coins only when it's extra change.

This quote made me wonder if there's a correct or proper way to leave a cash tip on the table, since it was apparently rude to put a small denomination coin on top.  When I leave a cash tip, let's say $7, I leave the singles on top of the five, and generally put the whole stack under a plate or glass.  If I had to say why, it's probably because that's how I organize money in my wallet, and I just leave it in the same order.  And I half-hide the money under a plate so it doesn't blow away, and it's not super-visible to anyone but our server. 

If I was somewhere using Euro (and I just so happened to be playing with my money and stacking it up  ;)) I'd probably do the same, since the 1 Euro, 2 Euro, and 50 cent coins are roughly the same circumference, and my OCD would be kicking in. 
Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: Special Snowflake Stories
« Last post by HorseFreak on Today at 11:59:21 AM »
Against my better judgement I went to the laundromat on a Sunday morning. When I arrived it looked like one family's laundry had exploded into a debris field of lint, dirty clothes, lawn/leaf trash bags, dryer sheets, cigarette packs and other assorted trash. It was covering the floor, the limited seating, and filled a couple of the rolling carts. They had taken up half of the washers and dryers and half of those weren't even running.

Apparently someone called the owner because the caretaker showed up FURIOUS. Her words walking in the door were, " What the heck?!?! What kind of pigs!!!! I've never seen it THIS BAD before!" She continued to mutter while cleaning up the disaster and the guilty family at least managed to look a little embarrassed. This laundromat is normally sparking clean and it was a horror show. If I had never been there I probably would have turned around and walked out. There are several others in this small city due to the ancient buildings not having the plumbing for hookups.
All In A Day's Work / Re: Time off for an interview
« Last post by learningtofly on Today at 11:55:51 AM »
Thanks everyone. The interview was from 8 am to 1 pm. Our out of town co worker wanted to meet at 10 am. I was drained when I left, and still needed to write thank you notes to the interviewers, 9 in total, before the end of business.
...   In the Zelda incident - she was rude and mean and obnoxious and not someone i would want to associate with. Therefore, at the moment that Erica told you she is inviting Zelda, you could have said "oh, I had a falling out with her, so if you don't mind, i'll skip this one". you don't have to go into details if you don't want - up to you.

I agree with this, but it's too late for that now.  She didn't say anything and now Zelda has already been invited. 

Still, I think if this were my own personal friend, I'd call her (not email that could accidentally get passed on) and tell her about your experience with Zelda so that at the very least, if Zelda shows up and is rude, your friend will have been forewarned and will know it has nothing to do with her personally. 

I think you might also mention that if Erica really doesn't want to invite Fern, she could just tell Zelda that her 'breakfast table' is full and she won't be able to include any additional guests this time.
Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: S/O Beggars, Moochers and Scammers
« Last post by PastryGoddess on Today at 11:28:32 AM »
I added a contact "Do Not Answer" to my phone.  When I receive a call from a number I never want to answer again, I add the number to my contact.  Easy, easy.

Is that an app? I have and iPhone 4 but don't plan on replacing it soon. Thanks.

No it's just in your contacts

So go to your contacts and add Do Not Answer
Then when you get a phone call from a spammer, go into recent calls and select the little "i" on the right
At the bottom of the screen you will have the option to add it to Existing contact. 
Add the number to the Do Not Answer contact

Alternatively, if you scroll down some more, you will see Block this caller.  You can do that too
All In A Day's Work / Re: How to dissuade a colleague from "helping"
« Last post by LadyL on Today at 11:24:22 AM »
So, I've posted about my co-teacher here previously. I'm teaching the second half of the semester for a basket-weaving course. My half is the underwater basket-weaving section. My co-teacher taught the first half of the course, we'll say the terrestrial basket-weaving section. In many cases, you need to understand the terrestrial section to understand the underwater section.

My colleague isn't really a basket-weaver. I'm sure she did her best in the terrestrial section, but the students are totally confused (from the TA, who doesn't actually work for either of us - she works for the Dept.) OTOH, I've taught both terrestrial and underwater for at least 15 years, including advanced topics of both. I can teach both aspects without notes and without anxiety. This is totally my wheelhouse.

The students have not been shy about telling me how disappointed they have been in my co-teacher. And I understand. There are 200 students, as this course is required for pretty much all biology majors - particularly pre-med, pre-vet, etc. etc.

The issue right now is that we're coming up on finals. The last week of class is supposed to be review. My co-teacher has been very intent on telling me that I needn't worry about doing the whole thing myself. She will "help" by doing the review over the first half of the class. I'd much prefer to do it myself. The students would much prefer to have me do it. All of my comments that I'm happy to do it get met with "Oh, no! I'm happy to help." How do I tell her that, no, I should do it. I don't really want to say, "You are an incompetent git, and will only succeed in confusing the students more." But I don't know how to phrase that politely.


I'd blame it on the timing - "Since I've been teaching the whole second half of the class I think there'd be better continuity with the students if I did the review. I think they're more used to my style at this point." Maybe make her feel included by having her send her review materials?

I have to say, the combination of incompetent AND highly motivated is such a tough one in academia! If someone is ineffectual but lazy it's much easier to work around them...

What I've always seen is the two seperate familes hosting for their side.
I think you are over reacting because they aren't your life events, they are Sally's. There's no rule of thumb that says older sister gets dibs on hosting Sally's events. I'm surprised you want to also take over your moms place of honour in all of this.
Phone mil and coordinate that you will be cohost and offer your place. If she declines your help, let her know how much you looked forward to this. If she still declines, host a shower for your side and let mil know you will be doing so, so she doesn't invite those people to her shower.
Talk to Sally about what she wants.
Talk to your mom and see if she wants to host. It seems like you're stepping on your own moms toes in something she may want to do.
Talk to Hannah and see if she had wanted to host.

I think you're putting too much stick into what *you* want and how *you* should be featured that day. It's your sisters day, not yours. Be the best auntie you can!
Time For a Coffee Break! / Re: What went wrong on your vacation?
« Last post by SpottedPony on Today at 11:22:38 AM »
Last summer, my Mom and I took a bus trip to Titusville for a train ride along Oil Creek.  Everything was going five, nice lunch, scenic train ride through a historic area.  Then, on the train, about half way back, the train stops.  Something to do with the brakes on one of the cars about three back of the locomotive.  They weren't able to fix it there, so they unhooked the cars in front of the problem car and took the passengers in those cars back to the station and would come back for the rest of us.  Now Oil Creek runs through a deep, narrow valley, so I wasn't able to get a signal on my cell to call my sister that we would be late getting home.  Then without the locomotive, there was no lights and no heat, and it was getting rather chilly when they finally got back to us.  Then there was the poor lady who was riding in the post office/snack bar car.  She was in one of those big electric wheelchairs, and I also believe she was on oxygen too, they took her out by ambulance.  They had to carry her out on a stretcher to the ambulance and take her back to the station.  She arrived at the station in the ambulance just after we did.  I wonder when she got her wheelchair back.  An interesting trip.

Spotted Pony
Maxi dresses.  I really wish this clothing fad would pass.  Don't get me wrong, I love dresses, just not maxi dresses.  They look terrible on me and are taking over the space where other styles could be.

I think it's mostly a height issue.  I need a dress that hits just above my knees or one  absolutely no longer than mid-calf, preferably in a fit and flare cut.  I either look pregnant in a maxi dress or look like I'm wearing a muu muu.

Don't count on their going away. They have been around since the 70's that I noticed. I only wore two long dresses in my life. I had made each one and shortened them both after the events. Short Prom dress, short wedding dress.

There are plenty of real dresses around, for me.
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