Relationships are kind of like plants. You can give them a pot that’s only so big and expect them to grow to that size and no bigger, but sometimes that’s not going to work out for you.
On The Hazards Of Love
Some people are so frightened of burning their fingers that they cut off their hand to prevent it.
On Exit Strategies
It’s all very well to pour salt on your bedspread to lift spilled red wine, but make sure you have a way to get the salt off too.
“Atticus had said it was the polite thing to talk to people about what they were interested in, not about what you were interested in.” -Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
Got lipstick on your collar? Whether it’s yours or someone else’s, dish soap is what you want to get it out. Dab it on, let it sit for a couple minutes, and rinse. As usual, don’t rub! Lipstick is grease-based, and of course dish soaps are geared towards cutting grease. Pip hasn’t tipped in a while! Hello again, everyone!
On Being Glamourous
Always remember that people can tell when you are trying or not, and also when you are trying too hard. Too much effort reeks of desperation.
On Social Media
The three cardinal sins of social media are these: the Pointless Correction, the Picking of a Fight, and the Overshare. Be wary of these crimes, dear friends.
Before you hit send, take the extra moment to review your message and make sure it’s well written out. Texting is a form of communication, and misspelled words, missing words, and garbled strings of words that require greater feats of translation than the Rosetta Stone make you sound dim even if you aren’t.
On Dry Cleaning
Dry clean, shm-y clean. To create an impromptu steam cleaner in a pinch, toss a wet towel and a dryer sheet into a regular dryer and run on low for half an hour or so.
On Tattoos, Part Two
As the owner of a somewhat-oblique tattoo, I will say that I find it difficult when someone asks me to explain what my tattoo means. A tattoo is often an intimate thing, and it may be that you are not the audience who it is intended for, anyways.
On Favors, Part Two
When asking someone for a favor, be specific about what you’re asking for. Don’t leave it up to them to awkwardly guess at your requirements, or you’ll end up not getting what you want and they’ll end up upset that the favor didn’t turn out well.
It’s probably best not to stand leaning against opaque doors that open out. I wish I didn’t have to say this, but alas.
Emily Post always said that the most important part of etiquette is consideration for others, not following a rulebook rigidly and unthinkingly.
On Subway Platforms
Please see On Walking. The point is, get out of my way.
While good sense dictates that you walk down the sidewalk the same way you would drive down the street (i.e. keep to the right), I’m willing to let it slide as long as you keep to one side or the other and stop blocking the entire sidewalk by walking in the middle. I’m a hardcore pedestrian; I walk to get around this city, not just for recreation or shopping. I’m also a fast...
On Single-Person Gendered Washrooms
When cleaning up thick liquids, sawdust or kitty litter is an invaluable help.
On Social Media
When culling either Facebook friends or Twitter follows (and their equivalents elsewhere) there is no need to announce it either before or after the fact. Chances are, the people you quit probably won’t notice, and the people that remain will feel no sort of triumph at retaining the connection.
On Pressure Points
You guys, you really can stop a headache by pressing that fleshy place between your left thumb and forefinger. There’s a…I don’t know, a muscle flap? - and if you pinch it that pain that just broke like a thunderstorm across your forehead will go away. THANK YOU CHRISTIAN MURRAY!!!!!! You saved my head from exploding before the show today.
On Wine Drinking →
It’s fucking science.
We all know that people lie when they break up with you. Let’s all stop calling people out for these lies and accept them as what they are: an attempt to make a shitty situation less vomit-inducing.
Do not expect a wine you bought that afternoon to be at its best if served that evening. To arrive at your house, that bottle has been shipped on several different modes of transportation, jostled onto shelves, and then carried home in your backpack. After such a journey, it needs to rest a bit before consumption. Ideally, one should keep a modest stock of wines that have been resting for two or...
If you don’t know, ask.
The straight iron you use on your hair is just the thing for pressing between buttons and creating crisp collars on blouses.
What kind of bookmark you use depends on what kind of bibliophile you are. I, for instance, am a big re-reader, so my books need to keep in good shape (no dirty spoons or over-thick silver-plated decorative sticks); but reading is also an everyday, everyplace part of my life, so any slip of paper close to hand can be pressed into service (oh, the Polaroids and receipts I’ve lost over the...
Sometimes when I feel tempted to kneejerk-react to whatever stimulus - a text, an email, a bit of news - I make myself sit down and paint my nails. That way I pretty much remove my ability to immediately email or phone or what have you, and force myself to take time to think about how I’d like to respond.
On Book Buying
When buying books, I find that the description on the back is only a small part of what makes me decide to bring a volume home. Here are some of the other things I look for: - The binding: Specifically, the cover. And not just the art (although if the cover is so garish I would be embarrassed to be seen reading it, that’s a problem). How is the book bound? Will it fall apart easily? Does...
While cats are wonderful companions, they also happen to be wonderful companions who routinely walk in their own poo. As such, they should be kept off counters, dining tables, and out of appliances and cupboards (though this may be easier said than done).
On Gift Giving, Part Four
A no-strings-attached gift is extremely hard to pull off. Approach it with great caution.
The difference between flirting for fun and flirting with intention is a matter of physical proximity. In my experience, people have three zones of space around their body: Stranger Zone Friend Zone Intimate Zone Once you enter the intimate zone, do not be surprised if your partner in flirt either becomes uncomfortable (if your advances are unwelcome) or assumes that you are serious in your...
If you find yourself in need of a washroom but do not have one close to hand, stay active. Walk around. Sitting still only makes the urge worse. If you’re in a theatre, well, sorry suckers. Marie Fewer does not believe me when I tell her that running a two hour show without intermission is going to be a problem. Don’t worry, she’ll find out the truth soon enough.
To test if your nail polish has set, tap it with a fingernail instead of pressing it with your finger. This prevents you from leaving fingerprints on your beautifully painted nails. Sue Edworthy, you’ve created a monster. Thanks for my first manicure!
A leg from an old pair of tights filled with rice or sand makes an excellent draft stopper under a drafty door.
To make an impromptu funnel for dry goods, take a piece of card (any piece of junk mail will do), roll it on a bias, and insert it into the jar mouth. It will unfurl to fit, and you can easily spoon in the dry goods through the flaired end. A visit to the Bulk Barn inspired today’s tip.
On Introducing Significant Others
Because there’s really no clear and satisfactory term for the person you are dating but not yet married or engaged to, probably best just to stick to a basic exchange of names. Your relationship will likely be clear without you belabouring the point. If you feel the need to clarify, it’s more graceful to do it in conversation.
On Online Dating
Emily Post’s Etiquette suggests that one should reply to every message one receives from potential suitors via online dating sites, which in turn suggests to me that the writer of said book never received messages from Hornee4U69 complimenting her on her “sweet bootie” and suggesting they meet “4 fun tiomes no strings but no playa neither”.
On Buttons, Part Two
To prevent yourself from sewing buttons on too tightly, insert a toothpick between the button and the garment while sewing. Lots of button tips! These ones I came across in Real Simple magazine, sometime ago.
A little bit of clear nail polish on the threads holding on a button will prevent them from fraying.
The key to successful small talk (or really, any kind of conversation) is listening. If you just pay attention to what your conversation partner is actually saying instead of scanning the room looking for a better opportunity, you may find yourself having a truly delightful conversation before you know it. Emily Post ain’t wrong, y’all.
On Jars, Part Four
A rubber band wrapped around it will allow you to get a better grip on a stubborn lid.
On Gift Giving, Part Three
An inappropriate gift is worse to give than no gift at all. If you find yourself approaching a potential gift with trepidation beyond the normal will-they-like-it, than perhaps better not, you know?
On Moving Forward
Gentle readers: You may have noticed that Tips From Pip had been silent for a while, and that is for a couple of reasons. First of all, I’ve been very busy, both in the world and in my own mind. So there is that! Yay! But also, I’ve been feeling pretty depressed for the past couple of months. Not for any reason, or at least not for any one good reason; just a lot of little things...
On Flowers, Part Two
Flowers, anytime, for any reason. Fixes everything. - Kate Porter.
On Cleaning Jewelry
My preferred recipe for homemade jewelry polish is: equal parts white vinegar, flour, and salt. Get a toothbrush and just scrub it, then rinse it off. This works great for silver and copper, but it will take paint off as well, so be aware. Also, it’s not a great idea to try to brush your teeth with the toothbrush after, because it tastes gross, and it lingers.
Sometimes it is more effective to point out good service/treatment than it is to complain about bad. It’s harder to fire someone than it is to promote someone. If you never go out of your way to praise someone who is consistently good to you to their superiors, is it any wonder that mediocre or bad service sticks around? Today, I challenge you to find a person who has done well by you in...
Never break up with someone at your favorite restaurant, bar, or park, or at a place you know they frequent. I like to have a specific place that I go to when I need to do this, one that I never really visit for any other reason and that’s geographically close to my house. My old breakup bar was Sneaky Dee’s, but unfortunately everyone got wise to it which kind of took the element of...
For the love of Pete, move down on the streetcar already! This is remedial, people.