The NEW Modern Etiquette – Social Distancing

We are living in the most uncertain of times, and something no one could have ever imagined happened. Many had planned on traveling to sunny beaches to swim and surf, or snow-capped mountains to ski the slopes for spring break. However, we are now at home wondering when it will be safe to leave again. Schools, restaurants, gyms, and theaters closed their doors this week, and everyone has been encouraged to practice social distancing so as to flatten the curve and not overwhelm hospitals.

Readers, my heart breaksfor our world to experience this new normal and as with all change, we need to adapt and do what is best for everyone. So what exactly is social distancing? At its core, it means staying 6-10 feet away from others, and ideally staying at home except for trips to the market or pharmacy. I wanted to answer some common questions that you might have, as I know this is an entirely new landscape we are learning to navigate. See below, and email me if you have a question that I didn’t address!

Remember everyone, this too shall pass. While you have the opportunity to be at home, think about fun and fulfilling activities to keep busy – working remotely, baking cookies, tending to your garden, organizing closets, having a backyard picnic, doing a puzzle with your family, and the list goes on. And I’ll be posting some great recipes and other ideas soon, so keep an eye out for those. I hope you all stay safe and healthy!


 

Can I have friends or extended family over for dinner or host a small playdate?

It’s so hard not to see our friends and extended family, however the best thing to do for everyone is postpone dinner parties, playdates, and social gatherings until this period is over. Staying home and away from others not only helps you, but helps them too, plus it’s the considerate and responsible thing to do. Show your love by practicing social distancing!

 

Can I take my kids to the park?

COVID-19 can live on park equipment for days, and since these structures are not regularly cleaned, it’s best to avoid parks for now. Instead, take your kids for a walk, to ride bikes, or do sidewalk chalk in the driveway.

 

Is it ok to go to the grocery store?

Yes, as of now it is ok to go to the grocery store. Be sure to wipe down your cart with a disinfecting wipe, keep your distance from others, and try to limit your trips as much as you can. Lots of grocery stores offer delivery options or curbside pick up too, so that is a great alternative if you can’t make it to the market or would prefer not to.

 

If a shop (clothing, decor, etc,) is open, can I stop by? Or go out to eat?

It’s best to shop remotely for now  – online, via social media, texting with a store owner, etc. Many local shops will even deliver goods to you, so buying from them right now is a fantastic way to support small businesses in your community! The same goes for restaurants, as many have closed down throughout the country as more and more cities are under lockdown. However there are some delicious spots that will deliver food, so check with your favorite eateries to see if they are offering this service.

 

Can I go on a walk with a friend?

Even though you’re outside, you and your friend are still making yourselves vulnerable by being together. Walk with your immediate family or on your own (listen to a great podcast!) and look forward to a walk with a friend soon.

 

Do I need to stay away from elderly relatives and parents? 

Yes, it is best to steer clear of elderly relatives and parents for now. FaceTime is a great way to see loved ones during this time.

 

Can I get my hair or nails done? 

Most salons are closing, however if yours is open, it’s still best to wait until this time has passed and it’s safe to go again. And when you go, you can generously tip your hair dresser or nail technician since you haven’t seen them regularly.

 

Do we need to cancel our child’s birthday party next month, wedding, etc.?

As of 3/5, the CDC is recommending that all gatherings involving 50 people or more be canceled for at least the next two months. That said, any social engagements planned during this time need to be canceled or postponed.

 

Ask B: No-Shoe Dilemma

 

Dear B, 

We have a “no shoe” policy in our house (we have young babies who are crawling and always touching the floor), and while our immediate family abides by it, we are having a hard time with extended family and friends. They all wear their shoes, and we feel awkward telling them to take them off. What is the best way to ask guests to not wear shoes in our house?

Sincerely, 
Q


 

Dear Q,

We strive to live by this policy in our house as well, and so I know how tricky it can be when guests come over and don’t always pick up on the visual cues of seeing your bare feet and basket of shoes at the entry. However, keep in mind, that most people wear shoes in their homes, and so they aren’t trying to rebel against your protocol but rather just following their own house rules. And of course you always want your guests to feel welcome in your home, so handling this situation takes a bit of finesse.

Here is my advice: If you’re entertaining a large group and it’s a formal setting (cocktail party, baby shower, etc.), it’s best to leave this policy at the door and just let your guests wear their shoes. Do a deep clean of the floors post-party, and they will be as good as new.

If you’re just having a friend or family member over, try gently reminding loved ones by saying, “We try not to wear shoes in the house, would you mind taking yours off? Thank you!” Unless there is a medical condition preventing them from taking off their shoes, I promise your guests will be happy to oblige!

How to Graciously Get a Parking Spot

Gal Meets Glam

 

Have you ever found yourself in a crowded parking lot or garage, only to circle and circle endlessly for that precious parking spot? Or maybe you discovered a coveted spot snuggled up to the storefront, and realize that someone else is going to challenge you for it.

I experienced this last week during school pick-up. I circled the lot trying to find a spot and thankfully found one very quickly. I turned on my blinker, waited for the oncoming traffic to drive past, and just as I was about to turn into the spot, a fellow school parent whipped into the spot and didn’t even look back. Thankfully I found another spot and picked up the boys on time, however the experience inspired me to write a post about what to do (and not do!) to graciously get a parking spot. No one is perfect and I’m sure this parent didn’t mean to snag my spot, but nonetheless less it was a good reminder that being polite in the parking lot is just as important as everywhere else in life. And so, here are a few tips!

Do drive slowly in a parking lot

Do turn on your blinker if you find a spot and wait patiently for the car to back up

Do relinquish a spot if the other car was there first

Do ask someone if they are backing out if you notice they are sitting in their car with the brake lights on

Do not steal a spot from someone else just because you are late or short on time

Do not text and drive

Do not drive quickly through a parking garage trailing a person in the hopes to take their spot. Be patient 🙂

Do not take a spot from another car that is already waiting