Modern Miss Manners

Emily Post for the dazed + confused NYC twentysomething

Month: May, 2013

Ask MMM: Our Parents’ Sex Lives


Name: Silent Observer


Ms. Manners,
What is the best way to know whether your parent’s sex life is going okay with out seeing it yourself or asking them?
Kind regards,

My dear little weirdo, there isn’t a best way. Because there’s no way. At all.

Short answer? It’s none of your fucking business.

Longer answer: asking your parents vague, probing questions about their overall happiness is a much less jarring method of checking in on them. If you think one (or both) of your parents are unhappy, help them examine their day-to-day experiences by asking them – really asking them – how they’re doing. Often.

Then see how long it takes them to unfriend you on Facebook because they “need their space.”

They were adults before you. Cool your jets.


Voicemail Veto

Let’s talk about the general travesty of leaving a message on the person you’ve been dating’s voicemail – regardless of whether you’re doing so with good or bad intentions.

No, wait, let’s not. Let’s listen to an example of a message left with terrible intentions!


I’ll be honest: leaving the world’s most disastrously embarrassing breakup voicemail is a more effective, oddly heartwarming and generally hilarious option than a slow fade into obscurity any day of the week. Not to mention that leaving a breakup message is basically handing the final debris of your failed relationship to your ex-whatever, thereby granting them the ability to play it publicly, on repeat, at their leisure. That’s a pretty delightful goodbye gift.

However, if you’re not actually planning on breakin’ it off with someone in the pussiest of ways: do not, I repeat, do not call the object of your affections on the phone.

I’m not sure why I have to tell you this, but I just know that I do.

When someone other than one of my parents actually calls my cell, my first and only instinct is to pick up immediately and scream “WHO’S DEAD?” Not great.

I know you miss your superboo. I know you want to impress them with your roguish and/or carefree attitude. I know that calling a romantic interest on the phone and then leaving a voicemail when they inevitably don’t answer feels like something adults in a 90s romcom would do – because it was definitely something adults in 90s romcoms did. When they didn’t have cell phones.

Text or die.

Unless your mom calls. Always pick up when your mom calls.


(Special thx to Robbie Rines for calling this #relevant #dating #dilemma to my attention. Gem of a gent.)

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