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04.25.2002

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04.25.2002: Etiquette Schmetiquette
common-sense manners for real-world living |
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continued from page 2

what to wear to a wedding, cont. 
As for black, Iíve seen many a young lady turn up in black at the weddings Iíve been to, and for the most part, the general consensus seems to be that thereís nothing wrong with it. Of course, thereís always a danger you could run into someone like my mom, who remains adamant about the idea that black is for funerals, and decidedly inappropriate for any joyous celebration, even though modern conventions have loosened the old rules.

road trip etiquette
Q:
In a few weeks, Iíll be going on a long road trip with friends. My friend L. has offered her car which makes sense since itís the most reliable of the available cars. Unfortunately itís also a stick shift and Iím the only one in the travel group who canít drive stick. I feel really badly that I wonít be able to drive any leg of the trip. Any advice on what the best thing to do is to make sure there are no bad feelings?

A: First of all, be upfront with all your travelmates about your lack of stick-shift skills. Tell them youíd love to learn how to drive stick, if anyone has time to teach you before you all embark on your exciting road trip, 
and if any of your brave buddies is willing to take you up on the offer Ė and take on the potential risk of letting a stick novice strip their gears or ruin the clutch Ė then by all means grab the opportunity to learn a useful new skill. (Of course, Iím being a total hypocrite here, as I lived an entire year in Australia without being able to drive because the only car I had access to was manual Ė and the two times I tried I was too traumatized to continue my stick shift education. But Iím a wienie.) If you havenít acquired the necessary lessons by the time your trip finally arrives, then the best thing you can do is offer to pay a little more than your fairshare of gas, and show up with road trip snacks and beverages aplenty to ensure that your drivers will be happy and sated throughout the trip.

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