Tuesday, March 11, 2003
Darren McKeenan from sends an e-mail to say...

I don't know if Caitlin told you, but we have a previously unpublished
short story by her up at -- I thought your readers
might want to know. Also, Jilli Venters was picked to be a YAHOO PICK OF
THE WEEK for her site -- and of course, it
all started out on too.

Which I'm happy to plug, if only because both Caitlin and Jillian are old friends. (Jillian adds a touch of class to all signings and events in the Seattle area by looking, well, perfect, and has, in the past, been the only bodyguard I've ever had with either a top hat or wings. So if I were you, I'd be inclined to take whatever gothic miss manners advice she wants to hand out...)

Also, of course, it's good advice... (I'll cut and paste a delightful sample.)

Rule the First: do not break up with someone over email. Tacky, tacky, tacky. However, even WORSE than that is to not bother breaking up with someone, but let them discover your affections are moving elsewhere via reading a web journal or blogger.

Now, Gothic Miss Manners is sure that ALL of you are horrified to find that she even has to spell that out. Goodness knows Gothic Miss Manners was horrified when she heard about this sort of thing happening. It is her very sorry duty to report that yes indeed, there are shallow and clueless people out there who obsessively update their web journal with their every thought and emotional whim, but seem to forget to tell others in their lives about the thoughts and emotional whims that might have an impact on those others.

Which brings us to Rule the Second: after the break-up, do not post personal details and habits about your ex on your on-line journal. Don�t. That sort of venting and carrying on should be strictly private, and only indulged in where various semi-acquaintences and bored strangers surfing the web won�t run across it. Catharsis is all well and good, but PUBLIC catharsis can be messy. After a romantic flame-out, both parties concerned should try to appear as calm and rational as possible (in public, that is. In private, feel free to vent your spleen, cry, denounce the other party as a loathsome cad. But ONLY do that IN PRIVATE, or in the company of friends who can be trusted to keep their mouths shut).

Why is this such a big deal? Part of it is the Golden Rule of �treat others the way you would like to be treated.� In the event of the dissolution of a romance, would you want the other party to be posting things such as, �My ex was stupid, smelled funny, and laughed at only their own jokes?� Would you want that posted in a forum where anyone with a connection to the internet could run across it and read it?

(Wait, wait, Gothic Miss Manners can see one of you waving a hand. No, leaving out the person�s name doesn�t make it any better, and is a coward�s excuse. Or are you going to try and tell Gothic Miss Manners that you and your ex had no mutual acquaintances or friends who might read your webpage? Oh, you don�t care what they think? Then perhaps you shouldn�t be allowed to have romantic entanglements.)

Read and enjoy.


And it's astonishing the number of FAQs that have arrived in the last few minutes that began "I have a Dell Latitude as well, and...."