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Today's column, and a note

Posted by Robin Abrahams  December 16, 2012 06:15 AM

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... is online here, on a couple of basics -- hosting and thank-you-note-writing. A sample:

A gracious host must communicate clear expectations to his guests. People often don't want to do that because it feels too authoritarian, but guests can only relax and be comfortable if they aren't constantly second-guessing themselves. People should know how to dress, how much they will be getting to eat, whether any activity other than conversation will be required of them, what they ought to bring, exactly who from their household or retinue is invited, and so on. All sorts of answers to these questions are acceptable, but the point is to be clear.

On Friday, my holiday-themed posts ran because I forgot they were scheduled in the system. I apologize if that struck anyone amiss. Aside from that, I'm going to keep business as usual on this blog, because I simply don't have anything valuable to say about the shooting in Newtown. Whatever is wrong with American culture right now, some part of it has to do with a 24/7 media cycle that simply cannot shut up. And I don't want to participate in that hyper-reactivity, that franticness. Not if I'm only raising my voice for the sake of hearing it.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About Miss Conduct
Welcome to Miss Conduct’s blog, a place where the popular Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams and her readers share etiquette tips, unravel social conundrums, and gossip about social behavior in pop culture and the news. Have a question of your own? Ask Robin using this form or by emailing her at missconduct@globe.com.
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Who is Miss Conduct?

Robin Abrahamswrites the weekly "Miss Conduct" column for The Boston Globe Magazine and is the author of Miss Conduct's Mind over Manners. Robin has a PhD in psychology from Boston University and also works as a research associate at Harvard Business School. Her column is informed by her experience as a theater publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and English. She lives in Cambridge with her husband Marc Abrahams, the founder of the Ig Nobel Prizes, and their socially challenged but charismatic dog, Milo.

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Curious if you should say "bless you" to a sneezing atheist? How to host a dinner party for carbophobes, vegans, and Atkins disciples—all at the same time? The finer points of regifting? Ask it here, or email missconduct@globe.com.

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