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Tuesday, June 27th, 2006
11:52 am

Dear Raynorgrace,

My desk sits in an area that has become a defacto pass through. On my desk sits a box of tissues. There is one student that has taken to grabbing a tissue on her way past my desk. She says nothing. There is no, "thank you" nor "may I?" She grabs the tissue and continues on her merry way. This bugs me. I don't mind her taking a tissue. I mind her not even asking. Am I being uptight? I have moved the tissues to an opposite corner that would require her reaching past me to get one.

While on the subject of my desk, I have many juicy items. One of my co-workers will pick up any old object and ask me, "Hey, what's this?" This too bugs me because I feel they are invading my personal space.

Again, am I being uptight or were these folks just born in a barn?


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Tuesday, February 28th, 2006
1:21 pm

Dear Raynorgrace,

I am hoping that you can help me. I can kill a conversation in a heartbeat. I don't mean too, I don't want too, but I tend to have word vomit. For instance, I'll be at a party talking to a group of people and they are having a rather intelligent conversation. I will then insert the most asinine comment that no one can respond to, even if they wanted too. I have also noticed that sometimes I get distracted by shiny objects and sometimes, at the party, I will be talking to one person and just walk away to check something out. While they are in mid sentence! I have tried counting to 10 before I say something, I have tried to not drink in social situations, nothing I do works! I don't want to not be invited!

Thank you,
Sucks in Social Situations

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Monday, September 26th, 2005
2:37 pm - to read or not to read?

Dear Raynor Grace,

I have a co-worker who is a prolific writer. Also, I think he's pretty cool. He has recently finished his second novel and is looking for readers. I expressed interest because I am interested and, well, it's what friends do. So, now it's waiting for me to read. The first section, anyway.

So, "What's the problem?" you ask. Well, I am a notoriously slooooooooow reader, even with great literature. I don't have much faith in myself to get through a lengthy thriller-type novel. Not that my co-worker/friend isn't a fine writer. He is. We've just got different aesthetic concerns when it comes to writing.

Anyway, he's given me an easy out, telling me not to feel obligated, but I want to be supportive. He's written a novel fer chrissakes! And I feel like he'd read my novel if I ever wrote one. So, what should I do? Be embarrassed now (when I don't take the manuscript) or later (when I've had it for months and still haven't read it)?

Shoud I give it a shot? I want to be a better friend all 'round, so this may be a step in the right direction.

pokey peruser of penned pages

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Sunday, September 18th, 2005
8:23 am - Falsies

Dear raynorgrace,

I am on the horns of a dilemma.

A woman I work with (who is also a longtime dear friend) dropped her dentures this week, and they shattered. She went in to a cheapie "One Hour Dentures" shop to get them fixed, but they were irreparably damaged. Instead, they made her a new set of dentures. She was not planning on this (as she is very tight with a buck), but was overall very pleased to have new teeth.

I understand that new dentures will cause a person's overall appearance to change somewhat, but my goodness; this woman now looks freakish. The teeth are extraordinarily long, and they push her upper lip out to a point that, even at repose, her lips are parted and her mouth hangs open. They make her look like a braying donkey. Her "eye teeth" arrive in the room minutes before she does.

Being that she and I are good friends, I thought it wise to suggest to her that perhaps the dentist could grind down the dentures so the teeth did not appear so long. My assistant (who agrees that the teeth are unflattering to her) said, "Don't you dare! The dentist told her that the new teeth made her look 10 years younger, and she's very pleased with them. You'll hurt her feelings." It's not as though I am a denture snob...I have a partial myself that was necessitated by an accident that knocked out some teeth. Dentures are a fact of life, and goodness knows those poor effervescing folks at Polident have kids to feed as well.

I even gave strong consideration to calling this woman's sister on the sly and suggesting SHE break the news that these teeth just don't have the bite they should, but have stopped short. Then, remembering that there was an advice-giver extraordinaire on my LJ friends list, I decided to call in an expert.

What should I do, RG, what should I do?

current mood: distressed

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Wednesday, May 18th, 2005
9:48 am - Hold Your Nose and Tell the Truth

Dear Raynor Grace,

I have not used any deodorant or antiperspirant since I was seventeen years old. I have eaten meat more recently than that. It has never, to my knowledge, been a problem for those who share close quarters with me.

I gave it up because it caused my armpits to erupt in nasty red postules that resulted in what I can only describe as aggressive skin erosion. Later, my decision to abstain from such products was reinforced by my opposition to capitalism/patriarchy/environmental destruction/what have you. I believe underarm cosmetics to be designed to alienate us from our own bodies and to provide grist for the mill of insecurity that consumer capitalism has fashioned as an engine for our lives.

Unfortunately, I may have fallen victim to this very insecurity. Recently, a Close Friend mentioned that I have noticeably stinky armpits. I objected that I smelled like a human being. My Friend retorted that I smelled a little too much like a human being. Everyone, this Friend contends, should wear deodorant. Because of the intimate nature of our Friendship, I am now plagued with nagging doubt. Am I a human stinkbomb? Should I abandon what is left of my tired and tattered principles and seek out a hypoallergenic deoderant? Am I alone in my opposition to such hippie products?


Dick Umbrage

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Thursday, January 6th, 2005
2:56 pm - netiquette indiscretion

dear raynor grace,
an aquaintance recently sent out a mass email addressing the members of a group to which I belong. while I admire the altruistic intentions behind said email, I am slightly dismayed that I was not advised first, and would have preferred the message been sent to me only so that I could forward it.

I admit that the sender's access to these addresses is due to my own negligence, and realize some recipients may not appreciate the message despite its' philanthropic purpose.

so, should I apologize to the members of the group for unwittingly channeling spam, charitable though it may be?

and should I ask the sender to refrain from further activity?

failed filter

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Sunday, December 26th, 2004
9:13 pm - question about etiquette

i spent well over $125 to send my friend and her family Christmas gifts and they do NOTHING to thank me, not even make a 10-minute phone call to me on a Sunday afternoon. my friend's mother told me she'd call me on Christmas but never did.

my question is, how should i respond to this rudeness? i don't understand people these days. this is absurd. should i just not even bother sending them gifts next year if they clearly don't appreciate it? or would that me *me* the rude one?

thanks in advance.

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Wednesday, December 22nd, 2004
3:53 pm - What Is Happening to My Body?

Dear Raynor Grace,

I have had too much tea today. I was jubilant, moments ago, and very productive at emailling. Now, I feel low, and can bearley fockus to right this too you. I have a two part question:

1) Should I drink more tea? That is what my body wants me to do.

2) How can I become a tea snob like you?

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Monday, November 15th, 2004
10:37 am - How much is too much?

Dear Raynor G.

How much is too much when it comes to homemade knitted items? Most of my hat-scarf-mitten items are not made of the same or even a coordinating yarn. For instance, my hat is black, my scarf is olive and my mittens are red. Does it look ridiculous to wear it all at once? Are people pointing and mocking me or are they impressed with my fancy lace stitches on my scarf?

Thanks ever so...

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Monday, September 13th, 2004
1:17 pm

How did people make cream of asparagus soup before food processors? Could they? What kind of horrifying lives did they lead if they could not? What kind of bleak future waits for us on the other end of the energy crisis?

Are bananas really going extinct?

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Wednesday, September 8th, 2004
2:09 pm - the multiple uses of yarn?

dear RG,

i am turning in a dissertation on knitting in 48 hours. it actually has to be finished in about 36. it will be about 50-60 pages long.

would it be a complete mistake to bind it together with yarn? i'm thinking this could look rad if i do it right.

as a bookbinding master, please advise me if this would be appropriate and if so, the best way to go about this so it a) doesn't fall apart and b) the first and last pages won't rip.

your slacker friend,

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Tuesday, September 7th, 2004
5:08 pm

dear raynor grace,

i am poor, bored, and sometimes picky. i need some new knitting pattern ideas but i need them to be free online. and it would be great if they are cute.

any suggestions for good places i should be checking out? right now i pretty much do knitty.com and magKnits.

slip slip knit,

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Thursday, August 26th, 2004
11:24 am - how to: yard work

Dear Raynor Grace,

I am befuddled. I have no skills related to plants or yard work. Now I have a yard, with plants, even, but am clueless how to maintain it. Where should I begin? Dig everything up and start over?

The spiders are overtaking everything! Ick. Cobwebs everywhere! And vines! Morning glories are strangling the rest.

Oh, I'm at a loss.

I know bulb-planting season is fast approaching. And I want to be ready to plant when the time comes. But right now things are a mess!

Please help.


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Wednesday, June 30th, 2004
9:12 pm

i thought that harriet37 was joking when she mentioned this community...but no, it's real.

so, here i am.

as most of you know, i've been wanting to come back to the chapel hill/durham area to do some arty/crafty stuff in the area. part of me is freaked about coming back and buying a house, but another part of me is stoked because i think that there are people in town that are committed to making chapel hill/carrboro even better than it already is. (sometimes i daydream about the cohesion i saw in olympia, wa)

i don't really have so much of a question as a ponder...are there others in town like me? or am i stuck in some sort of 'good old days' mentality?

i'm going to paris to do some knitting stuff this weekend. and it all seems so distant and catty and although exciting, somewhat icky. i'm thinking that there is more goodness to be done at home. have i gone completely insane?

sorry that was kind of philosophical.* maybe it has something to do with me fast approaching 30.


*i also want to know...are the tomatoes in season at home yet?

current mood: ehhhh...

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Monday, June 28th, 2004
10:25 am - gift-giving update

Those baby hats I made for my co-worker ended up being very well received. The babies came early and there was a bit of a scare, but everyone is now doing just fine. The shower was postponed and we had it later when everyone was feeling better. I missed the actual unwrapping as I got called away to deal with a student question, but when I got back everyone was tittering about the hats. So, yay! And I just received a very sweet thank you note from my co-worker.

So, raynorgrace, your advice was dead-on! Thanks so much.

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Thursday, June 17th, 2004
10:13 am - A Work Related Poll about T-shirts

Dear Raynorgrace,

While I know your area of expertise is in the etiquette arena, I have some work related, consumer oriented questions for you. I hope you don't mind me using your forum for market research. Since you are so hyper-correct in all other matters, i thought you and your readers would give me more valuable insight into the mind of the fashionably hip than any other forum on the internet or even the radio.

A current project at work has me trying to determine the buying habits and fashion sensibility of young indie rockers everywhere with the limited tools of an aging pseudo-hipster. It is proving quite difficult. I'd like to keep the kids happy - but there are so many pit-falls. So, I humbly ask you (and your readers):

- White T-shirts? Does anyone wear them anymore?

- A very pale blue? Better than white?

- Are ringers played?

- What about brown? Is it really the new pink (which was last year's new black)?

- Barring pictures of kitties, can a t-shirt really be "too cute" for an adult indie rocker?

- Will the new demographic of "Hipster Mommies" really buy ironic "too cute" onesies for their babies (or themselves)?

Thank you in advance for helping me through this difficult process.

Best regards,
Lumpy J. Onion

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Wednesday, June 9th, 2004
1:48 pm - america's most wanted

dear raynor grace,

thanks to lots of planning and incredible foresight on my part, not to mention an uncanny ability to both predict and sensitively handle the ins and outs of human interaction, i am glad to report that i currently have no problems and do not expect to encounter any in the foreseeable or even distant future. instead, my question to you is practical and mundane.

i'm going on a plane tomorrow and i'd like to bring some knitting needles in my carry-on. they're bamboo number 17 circulars. they will have active knitting actively hanging from them. am i going to have problems at the security checkpoint? it's been a long time since i've been on a plane.

burgundy underscore bike

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Wednesday, May 26th, 2004
2:44 pm - more wedding *^$#%$*&^%

Dear Raynor Grace,

As you know from my earlier question, I have been invited to the wedding of an acquaintance from whom I have drifted away in recent years. With your guidance, Mr. bean3 and I have determined that there is no graceful way for us to decline the invitation.

The matron of honor, who is a co-worker of mine, forwarded me a link to the bride's wedding website (email me for the URL), which contains a link to her gift registry. All I had to say was HOLY FUCKING SHIT. This woman is registered for platinum-trimmed fine china and platinum-rimmed crystal. The wine glasses are $56.00 EACH, and she would like 8. The only items on her list that are in my price range are the hand-towels, which also must be woven from God's pubic hair.

Would it be terribly gauche of me to deviate from the gift registry and give her a cute teapot or something? WWRGD?


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Thursday, May 13th, 2004
9:08 am

Dear Raynorgrace:

One of the women that works here went on vacation for a couple of days and came back married. She and her husband had been together for 20 years and it wasn't a whim, she just didn't feel like telling everyone in the office. She mentioned it casually when she returned. She just didn't want a big to-do from people in the office. So what are they planning now? A big ass freakin' suprise cake.

Since I have impending nuptials, am I going to have to actually make a verbal point that I don't want a party or a cake or gifts or any kind of public acknowledgment in the office that I am getting married? Or would that be rude?

I await your wisdom,

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Wednesday, May 12th, 2004
11:11 am - A Conservative in the House

Dear Raynor Grace,

I know it is customary to not discuss politics or religion in mixed company. However, in these trying times, I find that politics comes up more frequently. It is an election year, after all.

Last night I discovered that a relative approves of GWB as a person. I was stymied. I didn't know how to respond other than, "Are you crazy?" Perhaps not the most polite response. If she had said anything concrete about a certain policy, I might have cut her a little slack. As a person, I find GWB morally reprehensible.

Usually, I would try and be polite and let it go. However, this is a younger cousin and I feel a sense of responsibility to educate her. What can I do? Give her a subscription to some wacky left wing periodical? Get off my sanctimonious, patronizing, high-horse and let it go?


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