Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Etiquette Wednesday: Wedding (Guest) Etiquette

In light of a few upcoming weddings, I will post some nice tips on how to be a proper guest:

(1) Salutations: Traditionally, one is supposed to only say "congratulations" to the Groom and greet the Bride with "best wishes!"

(2) RSVP stands for répondez s'il vous plaît or Please respond. Please just respond on time. It's stressful enough for the bride and groom to have to trail guests that haven't responded.

(3) Attire: There are some rules that depend on the kind of ceremony.
-For weddings where the bride will wear a white dress under no circumstances should lady guests wear a white dress.
-For Indian weddings: do not wear white (for funerals), black (too gloomy) and red (for the bride)
-Depending on whether the reception follows the ceremony or not use your judgment on color scheme. If the ceremony is in the morning then pastels are most appropriate for ties and dresses. For suit coat/pants: grey and khaki are appropriate in church/temples. Black and navy are acceptable too.
-For receptions following the service immediately it depends on if it's a lunch or dinner/cocktail. For lunch-stick with lighter tones for ties/dresses. For evening do black tie and a darker dress color (black is ok in this case if you're not wearing it to the wedding ceremony and just for the reception.)
-Females should aim for an appropriately cut dress for the wedding ceremony (esp. if the ceremony is in the morning.) Appropriate cut really means that this is a religious ceremony for the bride/groom. God does not want to see your cleavage. That's for the cocktail/reception--esp. if you're single. I think shoulders are ok if it's super hot outside.
-Men:always coat and tie. Pastel if it's day time, black tie at night.

(4) Presents: Depends how well you know the person/type of relationship.
-Stuff off the registry is perfectly fine (although I have had my qualms recently regarding the expensive luxury items on some registries.)
-Check is acceptable too depending on age $75 is acceptable if you're a young single person that's friends with the bride or groom. $100.00 is also fine if you know the people well. If you're bringing a date and you're young then $100+ is appropriate.

(5) It is rude to leave early unless you are on-call or some sort of emergency.

*Weddings are a great place to meet people and celebrate. I like the concept of marriage very much and regardless of my own plans on spending time/money planning a wedding, I think it's fine however individuals choose to celebrate their new lifestyle.

Bottom line: Just have fun and celebrate!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


Jay-Z-Holy Grail (Little known fact, I LOVE Jay-Z)

(1) In botanical news, my orchids are blooming! Surprising since my windows are frosted but there appears to be one benefit of the lack of ventilation system in my bedroom: the very muggy/tropical climate in my room appears to be perfect for Phaeleonopsis growth.

(2)  Obviously a very sad day for Detroit becoming the largest city in American history to file for bankruptcy. I had a feeling when I read this article in the times last week. I'll address this further when I have more time, but I sure hope something breathes life into this city. Not just because it's my home state, but more so because it becomes an eerie warning of how political corruption can lead to an entire major city's demise.

(3) A very interesting discovery after Michael Douglas's confession about the origins of his own throat cancer.

(4) An interesting piece on how physicians sometimes treat different patients differently.

(5) And just for fun from PK, apparently you can get fired for being too cute.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Trayvon Martin's legacy

I've considered this case and its implications on society a lot lately as the trial has proceeded over the past few weeks. What has been especially disheartening is the reality that a 17-year old teen is dead and the community he came from most likely has even less faith in the justice system or even the faith in any opportunity to prosper/express themselves in America without being profiled.

Tonight I watched Trayvon's friend (the girl who testified for him in court) Rachel Jeantal on Piers Morgan. (Please watch Part 1 and Part 2). I can't imagine being 19 and having to testify in court over the murder of a close friend. Most of us are not prepared for that reality even well into adulthood, so the fact that this young lady has been the recipient of exorbitant amounts of criticism based on her style of speech and her demeanor during her testimony is inappropriate and those critics need to be ashamed of themselves (especially since she has a speech impediment.) When did it become acceptable to openly demean someone to that level of disrespect? (Let alone a minor?) There are many great things about twitter but i think a good and bad thing is that it allows everyone's opinion to be publicized and matter. Piers played a clip from AC's interview with a juror who called this girl uneducated an said she "felt sorry for her." After watching Piers' interview, Ms. Jeantal (in my opinion) communicates effectively so I'm not really sure what the juror's basis is for thinking she is uneducated (if that isn't also profiling in and of itself.)

Unless you've been living under a rock, you probably know by know that George Zimmerman was acquitted and one of the major points of the defense was that this case should not consider racial profiling as an aspect to incriminate Zimmerman and his motives that evening. The thing that I consider the most is that if the races between George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin were reversed would the outcome of not guilty still be the same. Perhaps this article provides some basis to answering that question: (

Just something to think about.

Update 7/16/13:

Please ready some of these articles from the NYTimes on this trial

Saturday, July 13, 2013

This week's lessons learned

(1) Once again, people are insensitive because of their own lack of awareness and need to fulfill their own insecurities. Don't be fretted over trivial nuances (especially from those that are unaware of their own egos.)
(2) Some people just abuse the system. For the rest of us please remember that without your own moral code you really can't live a life of integrity. How will you measure your life?
(3) What may seem like a daunting task can turn out to be a useful and painless activity of self-discovery!
(4) Despite being born and brought up in the states, I still find some western traditions bizarre: fireworks. my kids will celebrate their first publication in a peer-reviewed journal...over cake.  
(5) email is a terrible indicator of tone. 
(6)with that said, some people are electronically abrasive
(7) always prepare more than you think you'll need to. 
(8) my salon is filled with bozos and has terrible customer service. Time to relocate.
(9) Not a lesson learned, but I think something that ought to be more publicized: What NOT to say to someone who is grieving. 
-->Please pay attention to #1. Good grief!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A word about weddings and registries

We are in the middle of wedding season and many of my classmates from high school have decided to get married this year. Excellent. Wonderful. Wish you all a lifetime of happiness.

Ok, pleasantries are over. I feel compelled to comment on what I believe to be simply insane requests found on these wedding registries. Firstly, more and more individuals in my generation believe cohabitation with their significant other is a good idea. In fact, the number has increased to over 1500%. This nytimes piece has also stated that "couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not." Take from that what you will, but what I want to address is the fact that wedding registries used to be for items that neither person owns and will need when the couple starts their lives together--moving into a new house after marriage. Since most of these couples are already living together, this renders the question of whether the things found on these registries are actually needed. I have a minimalist friend who put this wonderfully: "registries have become a place for couples to upgrade to much nicer stuff." I'm sorry, but do you really need Vera Wang wine glasses-12 requested at $45 in three different styles amounts to over $1600 worth of wine glasses you most-likely already have and will probably never use???? (I have another friend that requested 3 sets of 12 Baccarat crystal goblets at $110.00. Having guests spend close to 4k on stemware is nuts.) When the case is made that cohabitation is necessary and helpful to minimize costs (or more crassly put-it's a good way to split the bills) why on earth are guests expected to shell out $125 for a crystal sugar dispenser when you feel the need to split a $70.00 cable bill with the apple of your eye?

I guess it is ok to purchase those things for yourself. It is quite another ordeal to request those things so shamelessly from your guests in this economy. There was a recent TIME magazine article that asserts that my generation has grown up to become more narcissistic than previous generations. I think these registries alone prove that fact. I'm not immune to this affliction of over-indulgence either, but I think my awareness of it enables me to correct the attitude and transform it into one where service to others is most important. I don't think I'd be writing this if any of the registries had included a donation to the Gates foundation or any other charitable organization.

I'll close this post by saying that not all my friends have displayed such gluttony in its finest form.  Another close friend of mine is getting married soon and has requested that no boxed gifts be sent because she will be moving to London afterwards. Perhaps the choice was more logistical, but I know her quite well and even if she were staying in the States I doubt she'd find a need to make her guests spend astronomical amounts on designer frilly bed covers and pillows. Just some food for thought while you munch on some canapés  at the next wedding you attend.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Etiquette Wednesday: Elevator Etiquette

I'd like to spend this post discussing elevator etiquette. The good news is that my elevator experiences are rather pleasant and I have not had much experience with rudeness so perhaps I am lucky (or perhaps the prospect of being in an enclosed space heightens the likelihood that others are more courteous.) Here goes:

(1) If you jump to be the first person on I find it of the utmost courtesy to press the 'Door Open' button to ensure everyone else gets on safely and also offer to press the floor button for others. This is situational, however, since in my residence I do this no problem but I find it more than awkward and unnecessary in my hospital.

(2) To talk or not to talk: I suppose if you don't know the other person the choice is up to you. I have made many friends in elevators but then again I make friends anywhere. I think remaining in silence is just as acceptable. Use your best judgment.

(3) To continue your conversation: If you are having a conversation with someone and then stepping on to an elevator, I think it's ok to continue the conversational so long as it's not extremely loud or inappropriate and that you're not talking over others. In that case, just hold off and continue when you and your friend/colleague get off the elevator.

(4) It is nice to hold the door open if you see someone running. I am, however, guilty of often not making the effort because more often than not I find that the 20 secs of silence in the elevator is nice. Rest assured, however, I have been taking the stairs more and more often (trying to get my 12,000 steps!)

(5) No one does this, but I find it extremely obnoxious that random people get on the elevator to go only one or two flights. I really just cannot comprehend the rationale behind this other than the fact that these people are lazy (especially if they're going down.) The elevators in the hospital take forever so I find it completely bizarre that people wait 5 minutes to get on the elevator when they easily could have taken the stairs. Typically I'll see the other floors that are lit up and if it's +/- 2 or 3 flights I'll get off on a different floor and then take the stairs. It's a little gift of time that I like to give the person who is getting off on floor 14 when floors 12 and 10 are already lit. There's no need for me to press floor 11. Come on people, use the stairs!

(6) Phone convos in my opinion are a big no-no and so rude. Please just talk outside.

Enjoy this Larry David clip: