Etiquette [NOT 17/4/22]

1980s style photo background with the word yikes written all over it

Hi, friends!

I went to the theatre last night and there were some annoying people around me, which got me thinking about expected etiquette and what bothers me vs I just shrug over.

For example, there was a lady right behind me who was sometimes singing along. But it was softly, only during chorus parts, and she was on key. Which makes me wonder if she’s just a singing person and I’ve known several folks who don’t even realize they’re singing. She didn’t bother me, although I did notice in Act 1.

Lady next to me? She was sneaking hits on her vape. I would smell bubble gum once in a while, and then I sometimes caught the light on her vape. I really don’t know what her lungs are like, because there was never an actual significant exhale. That is definitely not theatre etiquette but didn’t really impact my experience so I didn’t care. She and her party left at intermission, so that wasn’t ultimately a problem.

Most annoying thing of the night? The lady in front of me was still styling her hair like it was 1987 and I shit you not, her fucking hair blocked over half the stage from my view. I meerkated around it as best I could for most of act 1, but then there were a few seats open further down the row so we moved. Nothing about this is poor etiquette, but also was the most annoying thing of the night. She wasn’t even tall!!! The hair added about 3 inches on top and several inches on the side!



  1. The vaping would have annoyed the hell out of me. Soft singing I could have overlooked but I’ve been to way too many concerts where drunk assholes felt the need to sing scream along and that pisses me off. I always seem to get stuck behind big hair or unusually tall people. Not their fault but I’m already short, I don’t need an added disadvantage.

  2. I’m having a yikes moment. My dad’s small business posted a “Happy Easter and Passover” msg on IG. It’s a company that has nothing to do with religion and generally doesn’t post about religious holidays. I texted him that it is telling that they failed to mention Ramadan especially since this is the first time in 30 years that all three religions have overlapping holidays. I don’t think it will go over well and I didn’t really want to stir shit with him but I did.


  3. For me, the Vaping would’ve been a massive issue, and I totally would’ve gotten an usher to call it out & get it stopped… but that’s because I’m allergic to *something* in most vape juice, it makes my bronchial tubes spasm, and I start coughing uncontrollably.


    If I had to, I’d even just ask if I could stand atthe back of the auditorium, like I did when a former roommate & i went to see Wicked.

    That time i stood, because I had a tall couple seated in front of me, with the male half of the couple directly in front of me who kept on moving in his seat. They’d lean toward each other, then one would shift, he’d put his arm around her, then they’dlean together again, and then he’d put his arm across the back of her seat and shift the other way…

    Dude was well over 6′ tall, and i couldn’t shift myself far enough over in any direction, to see around him without either standing up, or leaning so far over the armrests that *I* was going to be the obnoxious asshole blocking someone else. So I got up, went to the back of the aisle, and stood, until I could catch one of the theater staff & explain the situation, checking to make sure that was an ok spot to watch the rest of the play.

    It was fine, so I went back to my seat to talk with the roommate during intermission, then watched the rest of the show from the back of the aisle.

  4. My etiquette gripe this week is about my well-meaning, but frankly frustrating aunties.

    know they’re coming from a place of love, and trying to be helpful

    But I have about 2″ of bandwidth to spare right now, between Dad’s health, Lily having recently been sick, my own work stress (lining up summer work, getting back in at the grocery store, etc), my health stuff, and getting Dad’s apartment emptied, packed up, cleaned out & given back to the landlord company…

    I asked my aunties to please help get Dad’s clothes out of the closet & washed for packing up this week….

    Annnnnd during the middle of last week, I got a text that amongst other things mentioned them having moved “some more things out to the living room for you to go through. Please just go through one box of it at a time.”

    Didn’t think too much of it, because it was a busy week…

    Annnnd then I got up here on Friday night, and promptly melted down. Called my mom in tears, completely irate & frustrated, a.f., because it turned out that my aunties, wanting to be helpful, had proceeded to do what I asked, and then took it upon themselves to do MORE, clearing everything off the bedroom dresser  (I STILL haven’t figured out where my bottle of Adderall went!🙃), bringing all of the boxes I had on the bedroom floor, (which I was in the process of sorting through!) into the living room & stacking them into one GIANT pile… creating more of a time sink, since I now don’t know where everything is, and taking it upon themselves to throw out certain things that were in the closet, and ones i’d stacked on the dresser Dad used as an entertainment center,, because they thought the papers were trash, rather than ones I needed time to sort through.🙃🙃🙃


    Then, I got a text from one of my cousins–the daughter of the Auntie i haven’t spoken directly with in WEEKS, saying that her mom (that Auntie) had told her that I might be interested in selling Dad’s freezer to her😳🤯😠😡🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

    The BOUNDARY OVERSTEPPING RIGHT NOW has me about RAGEY, y’all!!!

    And the FRUSTRATING thing about it, is that if I DO call out the overstepping, I’m probably either going to get called ungrateful, or there’s going to be years of hurt feelings to deal with.

    I’m fucking exhausted, trying to deal with the fact that dad might be needing hospice care fairly soon, and I have to fucking babysit the feelings of his siblings, because “they just want to help,” when I don’t even have the fucking time & space to deal with my own feelings about *everything,* because I have too much to accomplish in the next 7 weekends🙃



    • Oh, friend. I’m so sorry that’s such a pain in the ass.

      Also, it’s completely overstepping on their part. You asked them to work on clothing, not fuck around with everything else in the place. Especially not things like medication, paperwork, etc.

      Bare minimum they should have contacted you when there and be like “hey do you mind if we also do ____?”

      • That’s definitely what should ideally happen, and what might very well happen in a family where everyone had been taught healthy communication & coping skills….


        Buuuuut that’s not exactly the family I grew up in🙃

        We are very well meaning!

        Buuuuut sometimes many of us tend a good deal toward “bull in a China shop” if not full-out “steam roller” when it comes to “getting things done,” feelings be damned.😖😱🥴

        And as one of the few in the family who’s been on both sides of the Mental Health field (working in Day Treatment AND recieving Therapy to deal with *some* grief & loss–so who’s learned at least some healthier ways to manage & cope with my feelings), it’s just frustrating to know that if I were to say how hurtful, boundary-stomping, and generally unhelpful those actions have been lately, *I* will be the one who’s labeled “ungrateful” and/or “hurtful toward her elders!”🙃

        Because (as I just told my mom–who completely agreed!), they are “feeling like they’re losing their big brother,** but in their feelings of losing him, they are also managing to almost completely forget, that *I* am also losing my dad… 

        While i’m then having to tiptoe around, accommodate, and acquiesce to their feelings of hurt & loss about him.😕

        And that sucks a WHOLE lot of ass.🥴


        **and, frankly, they are losing him slowly! We all are.😕💔

        Eta, and THANKS Brighter, too, for understanding!💖

    • This got me wondering what the rules were across the country about vaping indoors, and it looks like it’s even more of a patchwork than I thought, and who knows how up to date this list is:

      I don’t encounter it that much — the numbers sound like they’re around 6% in the US, but I would bet that includes people who are only doing pot occasionally and aren’t looking for a nicotine fix all the time, which would explain why it doesn’t seem to be like cigarette smoking that I remember when I was a kid.

    • That’s infuriating! I’m sorry they made your burden heavier and that you haven’t had a moment to process your own emotions about everything yet. You are so generous with your time and energy. Hopefully your aunties stay out of your way now that they think they’ve done their part to “help”. You have been going above and beyond when it comes to taking care of your father. I hope that you do find some quiet moments to focus on just yourself. You definitely deserve peace to process your own feelings on all that’s been going on.

      • Thanks, Hammer!

        I don’t know if it’s really so much “being generous” as it is “autism-y/ADHD brain” and being incredibly good at both compartmentalizing and hyperfocusing in stressful situations, to get shit done…

        It’s probably a bit of a trauma-reaction to stressful situations, if I’m fully honest about it, annnnd not the best/most healthy way to deal with heavy things.

        Even if it DOES help me to get through tough stuff.🙃

        (Yes, I DO have some great friends i can talk with about this all, and my mom’s been a great source of mental/emotional support! And I AM both aware of–and in the process of– getting some real, licensed, & professional, mental-health help lined up, too!)

        I’m also basically “dosing” myself, with regard to how I’m dealing with the next 7 weeks… working hard on Dad’s stuff when I can, but then allowing myself to just take the occasional day or evening here & there to simply veg out & *not* do a damn thing.

        I’ve gotten much better, since everything blew apart with mom’s health stuff back in 2013, about knowing just how long/how hard i can push myself, before collapsing into a broken heap… I also know how full the mental-closet is, where all the traumas that’ve built since then & that i “haven’t had time to deal with.”

        There’s not much more space left in  there to hold “crap”, which is why I’m so much better about knowing the amount of bandwidth I have to operate with…

        But I also am aware of the fact that I need to reach out this week, to start getting  some appointments scheduled with a mental health provider–so I have a professional person to help me process this stuff, before it becomes *more* and bigger trauma, and leads to burnout.


    • When my friend was dying, I heard thru the grapevine a number of other friends were trying to step in and get OVER involved with his affairs.

      I was about 4 seconds away from jumping in and blowing up and telling everyone to fuck right off (even though they meant well.)

      Fortunately, I was calmed down by someone else who told me that they would take care of it. They did.

      About the only piece of advice I can give is that you should politely and firmly tell everyone to back off and that if you need their help you will call.  Any outburst however fun will not help you as they mean well, but something something road to hell. I know it’s not easy. Diplomacy and restraint (uncharacteristic of me) is necessary at such an emotional time.


  5. Vaping is awful & they seem to be even less considerate than smokers.  I hate walking out of buildings to a cloud of any toxic fumes!  My biggest etiquette beef is with idiots on speaker phones in public places.  I don’t need to hear that your sister is a bitch no matter what language you are complaining in!

    • The speaker-phone thing that gets me, is when folks are using their vehicle’s stereo system as a speaker phone…

      And they don’t seem to grok that anyone & everyone around their vehicle can hear the entire conversation!!!😬😬😬

      Like, they’ve just never realized anyone near their car can hear all the words that both they and their conversation partner are saying–no matter how private that conversation may be😖😱

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