Etiquette

Caitlin Moran Gazes into Your Soul to Solve Your Problems

After solving the world’s problems one sauna at a time, the columnist takes aim at our listeners’ etiquette woes concerning bumbling yoga classmates, holiday cards for the single set, and more.

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In a previous chat with us, Caitlin Moran shed some light on how she made the switch from writing about pop culture to politics and mused on some of her unconventional methods for solving the world’s problems. Now she turns her lens on our listeners’ questions on how to behave.

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Brendan Francis Newnam: Our listeners submitted some questions for you, they want your advice. You seem like you’re not shy about giving it. Are you ready? Are you ready for these questions?

Caitlin Moran: Oh I love giving advice, I’m the oldest of eight children, I’ve spent my entire life giving advice to people who were walking away going, “Actually I don’t want to hear your opinions!” This is great. I’ve got a captive audience. I am so stoked.

Rico Gagliano: Yeah. There’s nowhere for people to go. No other choice’s in the media world.

The annoying yoga classmate

Rico Gagliano: Here’s something from Pandi in Raleigh, North Carolina. And Pandi writes: “Here’s the situation; A tall, lanky guy who is new to yoga and new to my yoga class showed up late to his first class totally disrupting things. Then, he began to sing along to the lyrics of the teacher’s new wave bluegrass music. During the same class, I almost grazed his forehead with my foot while doing the tripod pose. My question; should I have apologized in the moment? Or apologized after class? Or not apologized at all because he’s a clueless singing jerk taking up loads of space in my class? Complex.

Caitlin Moran: Well, I’m triangulating out of this because I’m seeing two big issues here. The first one is: when did it become socially acceptable for new wave bluegrass music to be played in yoga classes?

Brendan Francis Newnam: Yes. I was thinking the same thing!

Caitlin Moran: That’s something you need a certificate for.

Brendan Francis Newnam: And how does he know the lyrics? Do they have lyrics in new wave bluegrass?

Caitlin Moran: I’m 41, I’ll admit I don’t know what new wave bluegrass music is, but it sounds like a new thing and I’m probably not for it.

The big thing I’m hearing here is, I mean, I have very particular tastes. But if I hear of a tall, lanky guy, he’s coming to yoga, but he’s late to it, and then he has the sort of unselfconsciousness to sing along to new wave bluegrass music — he’s scoring about a nine out of 10 on hotness for me.

I think the real issue here is that this is your classic Hollywood meet cute. In a script, the lanky guy who turns up late and sings along, that’s the guy you’re gonna marry. So, Pandi, don’t apologize to him, just simply say, “I do.” That is in your future.

Rico Gagliano: Nice. That’s a scene that was missing from the movie “La La Land,” I think.

Caitlin Moran: Exactly!

Can singles do holiday cards, too?

Brendan Francis Newnam: So, our next question comes from Jenny in L.A. And Jenny writes: “I’m single. I receive more and more holiday cards from friends that are full of family photos. These are often so over-the-top they’re like magazine spreads. I feel like it’s turned into a competition. Can I, the single person, participate somehow?”

Caitlin Moran: Well, first of all, Jenny, I’m so sorry to hear you’re single. If you go to your doctor you can be cured of singleness with a single injection of man, if you pay the right fee. So that is something to look forward to later.

Brendan Francis Newnam: Well, goodness.

Rico Gagliano: It’s covered under health care, I think?

Caitlin Moran: We get men all the time on the NHS [National Health Service, the publicly funded healthcare system in England] here. It’s fabulous over here.

But you’ve gotta remember with these cards is that the reason that people include lots of pictures of their children is it’s a pictorial way of explaining why nothing else has happened in their lives that year. Whereas you, as a single person, footloose, fancy-free, with time on your hands and control in your life and excess money, will have traveled around the world and gone up mountains and maybe stolen a boat. They will have sat at home just picking mashed potato off their legs.

Rico Gagliano: Well, what about the people who also send along a letter that actually also lists all the wonderful things that they’ve done as a family? How can you counteract that?

Caitlin Moran: They’re all lies. I’m a writer [laughs]. [When] people write things down, it’s usually a lie.

Brendan Francis Newnam: There you go, Jenny. I’m not sure what the advice is. So should Jenny send a picture of herself stealing a boat and dancing in Machu Picchu, etcetera, or?

Caitlin Moran: I think go full Kanye, like the video to “Fame” (NSFW). Where it’s like him in a bed with the famous people. Just simply cut out your head and the heads of other famous people that you like or admire and collage them onto a bed and send it off with, “Yes, yes, this really happened.”

Rico Gagliano: Sure. And we’ll translate for the older folk in the audience, you’re suggesting something like the cover of “Sergeant Peppers.”

Caitlin Moran: Yes. Exactly. But with Kanye, yes.

Comfort vs. Fashion

Rico Gagliano: Here’s the last question. This is from E in Kittery Point, Maine. I love the name of that town. E says: “When is comfort over fashion not OK?”

Caitlin Moran: Never. Never. It’s always OK. It’s always OK to have comfort over fashion. I would attend a funeral in a onesie.

Brendan Francis Newnam: Nooooo.

Caitlin Moran: I would attend a funeral in one of those heated onesies that they keep your feet warm. I would attend a funeral in a heated onesie even if I were the priest doing the sermon.

Rico Gagliano: Wow.

Brendan Francis Newnam: Nope. Nope. Now I see the source for your sauna vacation of the house of commons. You just want people to walk around in towels because it’s more comfortable.

Caitlin Moran: Exactly!

Brendan Francis Newnam: I think this is the beginning of the end of civilization is people showing up in onesies to funerals.

Caitlin Moran: Snuggling is our future. If we all had slightly more comfortable outfits, and we weren’t worried about our waistbands digging into our bellies or our bras being too tight, we would be much more reasonable people.

Brendan Francis Newnam: But we wouldn’t meet other people!

Caitlin Moran: We would because we’d all be lying on the floor really, really relaxed just rolling around like babies and bumping into each other and smiling at each other. It would be amazing!

And the way that you dress does not say, how you respect someone or what that social situation is. The warm, compassionate, noble look in your eyes is what conveys respect. And of course if you don’t have warm, compassionate, noble eyes, then maybe you do need to wear a suit and a top hat.

Brendan Francis Newnam: What if you can’t see someone’s eyes because they’re wearing a hoodie and their face is obscured by a 32 ounce like soda because they’re being comfortable.

Caitlin Moran: Then we need to invent it being necessary to cut an eye hole so that we can look deep into people’s souls.

And I think if you lead across to someone with a pair of scissors and go, “Sorry, I’m going to cut a hole in your hood so I can look into your soul,” that would be fine.

Rico Gagliano: All right. We could all agree that the best fashion accessory is your eyes, at least. And thank you so much, Caitlin Moran, for telling our audience how to behave. It was a joy.

Caitlin Moran: My absolute pleasure, boys. Thank you very much.

  • Last To Know

    Never cease to be amazed at how Caitlin Moran can speak coherent sense on any topic at the drop of a hat.