Tag Archives: etiquette

Women hog the hug!

Have you noticed when a man hugs a woman that in the vast majority of cases, the woman actually hogs the hug?! The man, in fact, does not really get a hug at all, he does all the hugging with the woman receiving the hug doing very little hugging back, just simply putting her arms around the man’s neck. In this modern age of equality, this seems rather unfair don’t you think?

You might argue this is not a gender issue, but merely a matter of height as on average men are taller and so it is easier for men and women to hug this way. Utter nonsense. It is much easier for the shorter person to hug around the other person’s body rather than to reach all the way up high and put arms around the neck and, similarly, it is easier for the taller person to reach over the other person’s shoulders than to reach lower around the body.

No, it is another of those silly social conventions that favour women over men, just like men are expected to pay for dinner on the first date. When men do a ‘man hug’ it is all very fair and equitable as one arm goes over the shoulder and one around the body in more of a sideways hug and the other man does the same thing. There is no reason at all for men and women who are friends not to use this approach, rather than the normal one-sided hug technique.

However, when in a relationship the sideways ‘man hug’ style approach to hugging is not quite intimate or close enough in some situations so the traditional one hugger, one huggee method is used, but why must the man be the hugger all the time?

Don’t get me wrong, giving the hug is fantastic and sometimes is better than receiving, but women why must you always hog the hug? It’s interesting to see women hug each other as the rule seems to be whoever gets their arms up first, gets to have the hug from the other person.

So ladies, instead of your seemingly pre-programmed need to be the huggee, why not try next time and be the hugger? And gents, don’t be afraid to lift your arms up higher and get the hug you deserve.

I am not bitter or a misogynist, maybe I just need a hug?

Jake McMillan

Related Posts:
Social Etiquette
1 or 2 Kisses?
I Hate Weddings
Internet 1st Dates

Where is your RSVP?

Is it just me, or is everyone just too damn busy? Do you remember a time when you arranged your weekend on a Friday night? It’s probably just that I am old (or maybe it’s just my friends are old?), but I now have to arrange a drink with a close buddy weeks in advance. Well, I’ve been trying to organise a party with only, wait for it, two weeks’ notice. They said it could not be done.

Spontaneity has disappeared as our lives are now so full with meeting up with friends, weddings, parties (30th birthdays, stag nights, house-warmings, leaving dos), client drinks, quiz nights etc. Actually, that all sounds quite fun, so what am I moaning about? And just how many more rhetorical questions are there going to be? (Only two more.)

Organising this party has made me feel like I’m in Challenge Anneka, except that I am not wearing a bright jump suit (I don’t have the cleavage thankfully). I have been calling in favours, twisting people’s arms, sending out texts and Facebook messages, and using all the sneaky, devious tricks I know to get my friends to show up at the party.

However, I’m resigned to the fact that a significant proportion of my close friends will not be able to make it, and many have already said that they cannot be there.

Now, it could be that I am very unpopular (probably a good theory), but I am offering a great venue, free booze, food and music. Because everyone has such busy lives now, I am having to persuade people to come along, to change their plans, to bring their friends. I even have a secret superhero theme and a prize for the best superpower. Cool, huh?

OK, maybe it’s not that cool, but it sounds fun to me. I’d be interested in a party like that.

I accept that people’s lives are quite busy and they have a lot of commitments. Even I’m quite busy and have had to turn down a few friends recently – but I did at least have the decency to turn them down.

It seems to be accepted now that not RSVP-ing is OK. A kind person has generously offered to entertain you for the evening, so isn’t it a simple common courtesy to respond to them?

By the way, if you’ve not got the email, then you’re not invited!

Jake McMillan

Related Posts:
The Unwritten Rules of Modern Communication
The 24hrs Rule
How Often do You Say Sorry?
Women Hog the Hug!

London Underground Etiquette

Some people mistakenly believe they are sitting comfortably on the London Underground, but in actual fact they are in a war-zone, with hundreds of silent battles in progress where even millimetres of territory are fought for. Why are so many people on the tube so inconsiderate?!

Even though they may be little acts of consideration, they are significant and important to us. For example, take arm rests (one of my personal bug bears), these are to be shared between TWO people and not to be monopolised by one person. It’s not rocket science and you don’t need a manual to figure this out, it is just good manners.

Then there are those men who must have elephant-sized testicles as the insist on sitting with their legs spread as wide as they can and don’t seem to care that they are taking up more space than they have been allotted or that they are touching the person next to them? I know there is not a massive amount of space, but in a big city of millions of people surely we have to be considerate to each other?

I am sure you will have experienced a crowded platform, the doors open, lots of people get off and then the first person gets on the carriage and just stops, instantly forgetting the 80 people behind also waiting to get on?! Or those people who try to get on whilst others are getting off. If we are not careful we will end up with the Paris model where it is accepted to just push each other out of the way getting on and off the train. This is hardly what I think is acceptable behaviour for modern civilised society!

Don’t get the impression I am a perfect tube gentleman, I am guilty, like we all have done, of forgetting my surroundings. I have been so absorbed in my pocket PC and ipod that I have not noticed someone needing a seat more than me. The person sitting next to me then offered their seat which is when I looked up to see 8 or so faces looking at me disapprovingly.

I have also been one of those annoying people with a big rucksack who has no awareness of bumping into others. My girlfriend once had to point out I was bumping into a man sitting down and being quite an apologetic person I swung round to say sorry and took out the woman sitting on the other side!

We all seem to, and I am not sure if there is actually a rule against this, collectively frown upon those eating fast food on the underground. What about those people with the worst earphones in the world? Or those who reach behind two people to grab one of those free newspapers?

None of us are perfect, but surely we can do better at showing a bit more consideration to our fellow 7 million Londoners. And if we do
fall short from time to time, not to bite the head off someone who kindly and politely points out an indiscretion. I promise I won’t bite your head off, but I still might accidentally hit you with a ruck sack.

Jake McMillan

What a load of crap!

Huge apologies in advance for the trivial nature of this posting, especially with all the serious problems the world is facing at the moment, but I would like to bring to your attention a new form of profiling based on how you wipe your bottom! I know, I know, this sounds ridiculous, but did you realise that how you buff your behind is different to other people and that your method could reveal something about your personality?

Toilet Paper

This revelation in differing posterior polishing methods occurred whilst out drinking with an Australian lady. From nowhere she asked me, “Do you scrunch or fold?” I had absolutely no idea what she meant. She explained that people either folded the toilet paper or scrunched it before applying it to their dirty derriere.

After some polling and the setting up of a Facebook group, I discovered this was true with nearly a 50:50 split amongst friends and colleagues. The neat, sensible and more cautious tended to (not always) be Folders and the lazy and carefree tended to be Scrunchers. Both argue that their method achieves better access and is a softer feel. However, Scrunchers suggest their method is quicker, more efficient and keeps their hands further from the ‘danger zone’, whereas Folders believe Scrunchers are not able to clean as thoroughly.

Another drunken party, this time with no Australians present, but with a large proportion who had been there(!), revealed that there is another division of people: those who stand and those who sit during a crevice cleansing sessionSitters lean to one side to gain access whereas Standers actually get up off the seat to sanitize their sphincter. Standers think sitting and leaning is weird and cannot achieve good access, whereas Sitters think standing will lead to extra mess from squishing!

There seems to be no correlation between those who sit or stand with those who prefer to fold or scrunch. Therefore, we all fit into one of the following 4 profiles:

  • Folder-Sitter: You seem an open and fun person, but are also quite private and guarded
  • Folder-Stander: You are tidy and neat, but also quite practical and like to do things your way;
  • Scruncher-Stander: You have a healthy perspective on life and have a good balance of work, play and friendships as well;
  • Scruncher-Sitter: You are a lazy so and so, but are actually quite happy with life and a great friend and companion.

So which are you?

Jake McMillan

Further Info:
Do you Scrunch or Fold? (A blog dedicated to the debate)

Timing the 2nd Date Request

You’ve had that great date, or met someone cool at a party or a club. You felt a good connection and definitely want to see them again – but when do you send that text message to propose a follow-up get together?

Too soon and you will be seen as too eager and desperate, whereas if you leave it too long they will think you’re not interested or someone who is probably just after a shag. Why do we play this silly game in which the timing of the message seems to be more important than the content?

We have no rule book explaining when it is the right time to communicate, and this leads to incessant analysis of how interested the other person really is, based on the timing of their SMS message. If I had a pound for every time a female friend has asked my opinion in the last few months on whether a guy is really interested based on a text message received, I would be able to afford an iPhone.


In particular, why is it such a social no-no to text someone straight away if a date has gone well? Of course, texting several times will make you seem like a stalker, but a single message conveying that you had a great time and would like to meet up again is seen as “too keen” if it is sent within 24 hours. Yet, it seems it would be cherished after 48 hours.

My female friends apparently think that men are rubbish at texting, and find it very difficult to interpret the guy’s interest in them. They are turned off by over-keenness and confused by delayed messages, particularly from guys they are really keen on. Women think more carefully about their communications, whereas men are much simpler in their approach. It is our simplicity that confuses the hell out of women and it is women’s complexity that confuses us men folk.

It’s really, really easy, ladies – if a guy hasn’t contacted you within three days, then he just isn’t that into  you. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t like  you or doesn’t want to meet you again, he just hasn’t felt that super connection or desire. No excuses can hide the fact that if a guy really likes you he will want to get in touch again straight away.

It is only the fear of being seen as desperate that will cause us to wait to communicate. But why should we wait?

Jake McMillan