Modern Miss Manners

Emily Post for the dazed + confused NYC twentysomething

Month: November, 2012

Ask MMM: Subway Flirtation

Name: The socially awkward romancer
Comment: Dear Miss Manners,
When, if ever, is it appropriate to flirt with strangers on the subway? What are the rules of decorum for such an interaction?
Awkwardly yours,
L train romancer


L Train Romancer!

This is an age-old yearning, as old as the subways. How to talk to a stranger who makes you blush within .25 seconds of seeing their pretty-ass mug stroll onto the train.

I say: if you feel Immediate Public Transportation Flirtation Feelings (sexy, romantic or both), let them know before your life becomes a series of sad Craigslist Missed Connections. (Unless you’re planning on making an award-winning series of short stories based on your poetic odes to people you will never sleep with. Then pine away.)

Be overt. Say hello. Ask them what they’re listening to. What they’re reading. If they want to get married later. How many children you should have before the inevitable divorce.

There’s no time for subtlety. Write your number down and hand it to them before you walk off the train (only serious advice I’ll have to insist you stick to is to drawing a heart around your name, because there is no other way).


Sneezes Are Opportunities

When someone sneezes within a five-foot radius of you, bless them. Or gazunteight them, if you’re not into all that biblical shit.

If they’re cute, then this will definitely happen:

It’s the Night Before Thanksgiving

I’m guessing you’re at your parents’ house right now, milling about, feeling that general sense of malaise everyone does when they’re in a place they no longer belong.

This restlessness will lead you to a place you know you should not go tonight: the hometown bars.

Seeing who got fat and whose life is more depressing than yours is a relatively solid pick-me-up. But then you’ll get drunk. Quickly, because you’ll see too many people who still make you nervous. And you’ll say things you didn’t mean to say to people you probably shouldn’t ever speak to again. You’ll end up furiously making out with that person you always had a crush on but never had the balls to speak to before, who’s now a shadow of whatever you dreamed them to be when you were sixteen. You’ll call your younger sibling to pick you up. You’ll sleep on your parents’ bathroom floor. (All of which makes for a killer story once you’re safely back in the arms of the city, and friends who didn’t know you before you were a “real” person.)

But this year, you’re better than that. This year, you’ll order a whiskey on the rocks and laugh at everything everyone says and give only the vaguest details of your life away. Stand by the bar alone, wait for them to come to you. Wear all black. Go home early.

Now get out there and make everyone you’ve ever met fall desperately in love with you.

Ask MMM: Four Opinions on Unrelated Topics

Loyal Reader’s Name: Engin

Website (Rad company he started that provides a visual diary of your belongings):


Loyal Reader’s On-Point Series of Valid Cultural Questions:

1. Spitting?

Not unless you’re running in public. In jogging gear.

2. Leather pants? 

Like most things, they look undeniably hot on humans with no body fat. If you’re worried you might have to cut them off of yourself with surgical scissors, don’t put the leather pants on. Don’t do it.

3. Sleepover etiquette?

If you’re referring to the adult kind of sleepover, allow me to direct you to an earlier post on (drumroll, please) Adult Sleepover Protocol. Also, the answer to every sleepover question is “build a pillow fort.”

4. Almost-bald-on-the-sides-but-lotsa-hair-on-top type of haircut?

That is some devastatingly handsome shit.

Takin’ Yer Queries


Ask me anything, babycakes.


Here’s the thing: you are not Steve Jobs. You’re probably an asshole, but unfortunately that fact alone does not make you Steve Jobs.

Stop rocking the neck sweaters. Unless your definition of “neck sweater” is a cool beard. (I’m talkin’ to you too, my ladies. No one is safe.)

Air Guitar

Only allowed if you’re that embarrassing uncle at a family wedding. In the eighties.

(BUT GUYS: any and all otherwise-unacceptable dance moves that rear their ugly heads during karaoke are beyond okay. It is a safe space. Get weird.)

Election Day Protocol

Pt I: Vote. You’re an adult now. Plus: you can wear a cool sticker and a smug sense of satisfaction for the entire goddamn day!

Pt II: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, DO NOT ASK EVERYONE YOU SEE TODAY WHO THEY’RE VOTING FOR. THEY PROBABLY DO NOT WANT TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT IT. And if they do, you’ll VERY likely regret having started this oddly charged conversation on election day. Even if you find yourself in agreement, feelings are runnin’ high. You’ll be AGGRESSIVELY AGREEING with each other. Gonna end badly no matter what, feeling as though you’ve accidentally made out in public and neither of you know what to do about it. Walk it off, tiger. Stop being such a busybody.

Pt III: Dress to impress at the polls today. Tonight’s the night to seek comfort (or sexy high fives) in the arms of a fellow voter. Reach across the party lines, or whatever? There’s something undeniably sexual about election night.

To the polls! Then: to the bars!