Modern Miss Manners

Emily Post for the dazed + confused NYC twentysomething

Month: October, 2013

Halloween of Horrors


This is the best holiday of the year, provided you don’t fuck it up.

The math is simple.

(Low Party Expectations + High Costume Enthusiasm) x Friends + Making Out In Public With Strangers (Also In Costume) = Best Holiday of the Year

Let’s break it down even further. I know you have questions.

Low Party Expectations: Don’t spend a million doll hairs on “this party has EVERYTHING”… it will not have everything. You can’t rely on the party to make your dreams come true (see: NYE). You will absolutely be disappointed, be it by the jams, the singles, the venue… you name it. Your night will end only with pizza and dashed dreams (so nothing new there).

High Costume Enthusiasm: Your whole heart’s gotta be in this. Do not pull any of that “but I haaaaate dressing up” crap with me, kiddo. There’s something you love and could dress up as down to the last perfect detail, and a stranger out there just waiting to love you for loving it. Go niche. Go flashy. Go bloody. The dead version of whatever you’re thinking of dressing up as is always a good idea. The sexy version of it very likely is not (see: “sexy pizza”… actually, I’m kinda into that, nevermind). Anything that comes out of a bag and involves garters makes me feel sad for you. Unless a dude is wearing it.

Friends: The more weirdos you love that you can wrangle into one place, the merrier. Get dressed together, start drinking immediately then help each other paint weird stuff on your faces (coed, dudes, ladies, whatever… we all need a bit of help squirming into latex bodysuits and painting our faces blue). A crowd will always encourage you to take your costume way too far, which is precisely where it should be. There is no shame on Halloween, unless you’re actin’ ashamed.

Making Out In Public With Strangers (Also In Costume): If you’re acting totally cool with your face full of goth makeup or your giant banana costume, a cute human is eventually gonna tap you on the shoulder and make a sassy comment, or just grab your face and slobber all over it. There’s hope for whatever you’re into. As usual, confidence is key. THERE ARE NO APOLOGIES ON HALLOWEEN. Seriously. Make one lame, self-deprecating excuse for how weird you feel in costume and you’re toast. You get to be someone else for an entire night, a version of you hidden behind a very literal mask– hopefully a version of you that approaches strangers and enters costume contests and gives zero fucks. Do that. Halloween is basically therapy. Now stop weeping and put on that Freudian slip. It’s good for you.


Ask MMM: Presidential Fetishes

Name: To be truthful..
Comment: Who would you rather sleep with: Michelle Obama or Barack Obama, GO!

If I had to guess, Michelle probably works harder in the sack.

But honestly, the answer is neither. I don’t like imagining myself sleeping with the “parents” of my country. It feels gross. You’re gross. (And I don’t hate that about you.)

Ask MMM: Wanna Watch a Movie?

Name: Daisy
Question: So i ruled out dating in NYC all together, it’s like a fucking “jungle.” anyways the question is, Is it appropriate to say yes to “seeing a movie” in someone’s house on the first date?


“Wanna watch a movie?” Dude, that is a timeless line. Classic, highly successful and nostalgia-inducing all at once. I’m into it.

As with most questions that make you feel all fluttery and weird inside, the relative “appropriateness” of heading to your new piece’s house for a “movie” on the first “date” is up to you. And the approximate movie watching to sexing ratio is also up to you. The thing that ruins all of this, of course, is deciding beforehand exactly how the night is gonna go down. That is Anxietyland, population you. Whatever bonkers expectations you put on this night before actually experiencing it can only lead to dashed dreams. How DARE things not go down exactly as you imagined them? What do you MEAN your new boo didn’t turn out to be exactly the way you’d idealized them in your head beforehand?

My only hard rule for “watching a movie” is a two-parter: 1) GO if you wanna go, and 2) Do whatever feels right in your heart and your downtown mixup once you get there.

Don’t overthink this. If you get there and you want to spend two hours watching your pinkies inch slowly toward each others’ in an awesome, agonizing dance of teen longing, do it. If you wanna watch the first two minutes of the movie as a precursor to near-immediate nudity, do that instead. If you wanna do some combination of the above because that’s what usually happens when you don’t know someone all that well but it’s fun and funny to joke around and make out with a new human in the dark, then fucking do that, too. You’re the boss.

There’s no wrong answer, and anyone who tells you that there’s only one way to “play” these dating games is a pussy. And a judgmental psychopath who hates fun. Obviously.

(Of course, if you’re not into any of this and would feel more comfortable meeting on common ground like an “adult,” then head to a bar like the rest of us idiots and disregard all of my advice. Just don’t rule out dating altogether. The war stories alone are worth it.)