Miss(ed) Manners

October 25, 2007

Ask Dave! Vol. 15

Filed under: Advice,Ask Dave,Humor — missedmanners @ 11:18 am

Dear Dave,
This is my dilemma: My birthday is coming up this month. I want to have some friends join me at a restaurant for dinner, but I am in no financial position to pay for everyone. Would it be rude to invite them and expect them to pay for their own meal? If not, what should I say when I invite them?

Perplexed in Pensacola

Dear Perplexed:

Money ruins everything. It’s a shame, but it’s true. You name it, and money’s dragged it into the street and laid a steaming hot turd in its mouth, which, unless that thing is a Japanese porn star, would effectively render said thing ruined. It is at the center of every single geopolitical crisis since the beginning of time. Even all the things we love to blame on the ugliness of fanatic religion is really about money.

I don’t mean to try to diminish the importance of your question, but rather to just put in perspective the galactic level pain in the ass that financial concerns place on things so simple such as friendship and birthdays.

In a perfect world everyone would know it’s your birthday and flying puppies would jump out of the ground with magical little cupcakes and serve you and your friends fancy vittles as you sing Feliz Cumpleanos to lutes and various fantastical instruments. But we don’t live in a perfect world, puppies don’t fly and cupcakes aren’t magical. Unless you get them in Amsterdam.

Inviting people out to a group dinner is well within the realm of politeness even without the special occasion of birthday. People do it all the time. The only thing that manners and taste dictate is that if you’re not in the habit of rolling with millionaires you should pick a restaurant that is competitively priced. Meaning that if your friends are anything like the rest of the suffering middle class of this country you should stay away from places that require credit checks upon getting a reservation.

The only time it’s expected that you foot the bill for your own birthday is if you’re having a party at your house, or at a special location. I had a brief run in over the summer with a group of extremely well off individuals. We had dinners, a few parties, etc. It was a pretty interesting situation because they all came from money, so money did not enter into situation. There was no splitting of the check, someone always picked it up. They didn’t have birthday parties at dirty little dives like the rest of us mere mortals, they rented yachts and circled Manhattan. In cases like that, it’s definitely assumed that the thrower of the soirée is going to cover all costs.

In your situation, you can most definitely ask people to pay for their own dinner. In fact, I’d go so far as to assume that they’d probably be expected to pay for your dinner as well, though that’s just generally the case with the people I know.  You don’t need to offer any extra information, except perhaps mentioning in your invitation that the restaurant you’ve chosen is “very affordable” or something like that (which it ought to be).

Happy Birthday!

October 23, 2007


Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 9:57 am


You guys rock. Sorry I’ve been absent, though to answer your questions as to where I was I’ll start off with a list of things I was NOT doing:

Languishing in a hole of drug use, barely able to move, contemplating time and carrots.

Trying to come up with a Halloween costume (already did that, and it’s quite possibly the best one ever).

Getting sponge-baths from redheads (I prefer loofas and blondes, thankyouverymuch).

Recovering from a fall off a roof (The only thing that scares me more than roofs is redheads with sponges).

Dating someone (I’m not allowed to have a girlfriend until 2009. Trust me, it’s in everyone’s best interest).

I was actually on location at an event for about a week, working my tookus off. Directly following said slave-galley assignment I was upstate with my bestest friend in the whole wide world, Sunshine, at my parents place, decompressing. And drinking. And eating.

But I’m back now and I’ve got a ton of super awesome Ask Dave! columns starting tomorrow and some even better slightly humorous observations.

Thanks for all the love, emailed and otherwise. You warm my frigid cockles.

October 9, 2007

High Infidelity

Filed under: R&B — missedmanners @ 4:41 pm

So I’m having a barbecue at my house this coming weekend. Sort of a “buh bye summer” event (of course this weekend looks to be the first rainy/chilly one in like six months, but I digress where we’re going to grill on our roof in Brooklyn all day, and drink really really cheap liquor and listen to smooth smooth R&B.

We’re calling it “The R&BBQ” (nice right?). The idea was spawned a couple weeks ago when we had one by accident. A friend had brought over some flank steak, a pineapple, white wine and a radio, which we tuned to 98.3 I think. There’s something magical about listening to a baritone talk some serious love at a microphone while you chow on some grilled meat and look at the sunset. Seriously. I suggest you try it. So enamored with the effect, we decided to have everyone over and force them to do the same.

For the last couple days I’ve been collecting all the bad ass smooth soul and R&B that I can find. I’ve been listening to it so much that my voice has dropped a full octave and I speak about fifteen percent slower. I refer to everyone as “baby,” even babies.

One thing that I’ve noticed, and I thought it was weird, R&B songs are, on average, 8 times out of ten about infidelity.  If you listen carefully, almost every time a guy is wailing and crying about how his woman left him, it’s because he messed with some other chick. Or, if it’s about a woman that he loves, it’s usually someone else’s woman, who he’s got to let go because their love ain’t right, no matter how sad it’s going to make him. And it WILL make him sad, belieeeeeeeeve me.

R&B singers are cheatin’ bad asses.  If you ever go back in time with your wife, watch out for Teddy P., any of The Dramatics and especially Isaac Hayes (I think present day Isaac Hayes is probably cool, he’s all into Scientology now).

October 8, 2007

Cheap Ass Building

Filed under: Humor — missedmanners @ 9:45 am


Apparently because Columbus sailed the ocean blue five hundred years ago we get a day at my building where they don’t turn on the air conditioning and I get to sweat like Marion Barry three days into a crack binge.  I feel a little like a wilting flower, only I smell like man instead of rose.

Anyway, I had an amazing weekend. Spent a lot of time with my namesake, my grandfather, David. No matter how much time I spend with that guy I’ll never cease to be amazed by him. Talk about really living life. For the past year or so I’ve been working on getting his story down on paper, as it’s way cooler than fiction and I got a lot done this weekend.

Anyway, Dave, coming to you live from a puddle of his own sweat (not the good kind), signing out.

October 2, 2007

The Death of Subtlety

Filed under: Idiots,Journeyman,Kevin Mckidd — missedmanners @ 12:39 pm

Fall TV premier season is upon us like a pee soaked blanket at Summer camp. One of the shows I was most excited for was NBC’s Journeyman. I didn’t really know anything about the plot, but I was amped to see Kevin McKidd get a shot at big time American TV stardom. He played Lucius Vorenus in the HBO hour long awesome-fest that was Rome.

The idea for the show is a little hodge-podge. The main character jumps around in time, ala Quantum Leap fixing the past, saving lives, etc. I definitely wanted to get into this show.

However, and this sucks, the writers of this show are simply lazy. They employ the most tired and lame technique for showing what time era the main character is in: music.

Here’s an example, Dan, McKidd’s character, goes back in time to 1995 and runs into this little girl that he’s apparently following around through time. She’s in line outside of, you guessed it, a grunge rock club. She’s wearing a flannel t-shirt and the song, “Today is the Greatest” by the Smashing Pumpkins is playing in the background.

WE GET IT, HE’S IN 1995.

When he was in the 70’s on an airplane, everyone was smoking, wearing leisure suits, the stewardesses were in miniskirts and Disco was playing. Overfuckingkill.

In the 80’s some new wave bleepy shitcan of a song was muted in the background and a mohawked punk walked through the foreground.

COME ON. I’m not an idiot, you can be subtle about it. You know what other show uses music to describe their time flashbacks scenes? Cold Case. Yes, that’s a derogatory statement.

When did writers become so lazy? Give your audience a little credit. We’re not ALL that stupid.

It sucked falling out of love with this show after only two episodes. Sorry Lucius.

October 1, 2007

Breakfast After an Epiphany

Filed under: Epiphanies — missedmanners @ 1:16 pm

Have you ever had one of those moments where you figure something big out? Where after you do, you divide your life into two parts: all the time before that moment, and all the time after it? It’s happened to me three times, the latest time being last Friday night.

It had been a really long time since I’d had such profound moment of clarity, I’m guessing because of all the muddled noise that adult life brings to one’s head. When I was younger and life was so simple, I often spent time just sitting around, thinking, staring at nothing until the answers to all the questions that I wasn’t asking myself would pop up. People usually call this meditation, but for me it was more like unblinking-drool-time.

Then for the longest time I assumed I had everything figured out and stopped looking. Until the other night when it seemed an answer came looking for me.

I love these little moments. The simple truths that so many people usually ignore are always out there waiting to be stumbled on. The ones that I find shape the way I live, my attitudes toward everything from money to success to fulfillment and everything in between.

There is a downside though. I always get so excited whenever this happens that I want to tell everyone about it, but the problem is that the subject matter is so deeply personal that it wouldn’t make sense to anyone else. Actually, I kind of tried when it happened on Friday night and my friend asked if I was high. So I’ve been walking around with an unexplainable ear to ear smile on my face since, and I’ve just been telling people that I have gas. It saves time.

It’s just so satisfying to know that you’re that much more enlightened than you were the day before.

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