A 17th Anniversary Best of Etiquetteer

The end of January unofficially marks the launch of the Etiquetteer website, so why not just celebrate all 17 years with a toast? Thank you, readers and viewers!

To observe the occasion, a few "Best of Etiquetteer" selections:

"Gaping Maw of Bridal Need:" "So many brides believe all they have to do is receive, receive, receive (but not in a receiving line): receive congratulations, receive compliments, and especially receive gifts gifts gifts (but only from the registry that has been shamelessly advertised) and money. And that they don't have to GIVE anything but orders: orders to give parties, orders to buy gifts, orders to buy ugly dresses, orders to lose weight, orders constantly to satisfy the Gaping Maw of Bridal Need."

'Quagmire of Specificity:" "There's nothing to stop you from replying "And a Merry Christmas to you!" What Etiquetteer finds tedious is lengthening what is supposed to be a brief greeting -- "Merry Christmas!" "And a happy holiday to you, too!" --  into a drawn-out discussion about what holidays one does or does not celebrate and why. It doesn't matter! Can't you all just wish each other well without getting lost in a Quagmire of Specificity?"

Look at the Eyes: "Etiquetteer has heard from enough ladies to know that too many men would rather look at other parts of them than their faces. Left to their own devices, lanyards can hang anywhere from directly over the bosom to dangling below the navel, providing too much opportunity for Inappropriate Appreciation. A lady's eyes are not down there. A lady's eyes are not down there. Look up at the eyes, and keep looking there!"

"STAR SIX!" "Know your mute button. Background noise where you are is magnified on a conference call, and has the power to drown out the words of other participants. If you aren't speaking, mute your phone. Unmute when you wish to speak."

"Potential of One's Largesse:" "There's a difference between a strictly social invitation and an invitation to a fund-raiser. One is invited to the first solely for the pleasure of one's company, but to the latter for the potential of one's largesse."

"It's a Machine, Not a Coat Rack:" "It's a machine, not a coat rack. Don't leave your stuff about on those Weightlifting Things. Especially don't try to "reserve" one by hanging a hoodie or a towel over it. This inevitably leads to confusion and a lot of tiresome Alpha Male Posturing."

Gaping Maw of Bridal Need II: "You invite friends (or the friends of your parents) to a wedding for the pleasure of their company, not because you expect them to cover the costs of their own entertainment."

Don't see your favorite? Review the index to find it, and then by all means send Etiquetteer an email to ask about writing another favorite column on a Topic of Your Choice.