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Friday roundup: "Today Show" Edition

Posted by Robin Abrahams  March 22, 2013 09:24 PM

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today1.jpgAnd then all of a sudden, I was on "The Today Show" hosting an etiquette quiz game show with Hoda Kotb and Whitney Cummings, and they gave a copy of my book to the loser as a booby prize.

I kept expecting my teeth to fall out, because that's how that dream usually ends.

The producer called Wednesday afternoon to see if I could come down for the following morning, and write up a bunch of questions on etiquette for a segment called "Push Comes to Shove." Yes! Drink lots of coffee. Write questions. Decide on logistics. Pause for a moment in wondering gratitude to modern technology and ancient evolution that my dog can actually hold it for as long as it will take me to fly to New York City, appear on a television show, and fly home again. Isn't that kind of amazing when you think about it? 

Plan outfit: Must be comfortable, wrinkle-resistant, flattering cut & color for television, feminine and fun but authoritative. 

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(Hypothesis: Sweating through Best TV Dress Ever on a local Fox affiliate increases odds of subsequent offer for a national appearance, in a corollary to the established Carwash-Precipitation Correlation. Look how perfect that red print dress to the right is. Upbeat, flattering, modest, perfect for all seasons. As Troy Barnes once rightfully said of  monkeys, "Why do I not have ten of them?")


Choose polyester Calvin Klein leopard-print sleeveless dress with full skirt. Black kitten heels, sheer hose, 3/4-sleeve black cardigan, gold and crystal starburst earrings, gold and white resin bracelet. Decide to ask for Dita Von Teese - inspired dark red lips and black eyeliner for and an updo for a dramatic ladylike look.


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(Operation Ladylike Authority a success.)

The updo was actually so dramatic, and so extraordinarily well scaffolded, that I got patted down at the airport on my way back home. Not all of me, just my head. "Excuse me, ma'am, I need to pat down your bun," the TSA agent actually said. Though initially rattled by this, I later understood why, as I spent the night picking metal out of my hair like a friendless, nitty gorilla. If that thing had gone off I could have taken out the entire commuter jet.

And that was my week.

Here's the segment again in case you missed it, because, hey! -- "Today Show" appearance! -- and in order to point out the amusing fact that they headlined it with one question I didn't ask: Whether or not it is appropriate to read 50 Shades of Grey in public. (I stand by my assertion that it is not.) One commenter on the Globe Facebook page wrote, hilariously, "I actually saw a receptionist -at a nursing home of all places - reading 50 Shades of Gray! Mind you she was very young, but you would think she should know better." Given her job, perhaps she thought it was about diversity in the senior population?


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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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