MS. BEHAVING believes that good grooming is important on the road … but so are good manners. Particularly in the air. To wit:
A READER WRITES: Halfway through my flight to Tokyo, the man next to me took out nail clippers and began to clip his fingernails - irritating enough – but then took his socks off and started on his toenails. Ugh!
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: What a shame the TSA is no longer confiscating nail clippers! And sorry about Mr. Clueless – I presume he waited until after dinner? In cases of such flagrant rudeness, Ms. Behaving believes that speaking up is the only thing to do … and don’t wait until he takes his socks off. When he starts clipping away, gently ask him with a smile if he could kindly continue his ablutions in the rest room, as some of the shards threaten to endanger the integrity of your martini. That should do it. Let’s be clear that discreetly filing fingernails with an emery board is acceptable inflight, but beyond that our manners line in the sand is drawn.
A READER WRITES: Why do my seatmates – especially on long-haul flights – seem to neglect brushing their teeth or taking a bath?
MS. BEHAVING REPLIES: My dear, they probably flossed and showered for eons, but who of us, after more than three hours in questionable cabin air, doesn’t need some freshening up? Ms. Behaving carries the following survival kit for such situations, and so should you. 1) High-end breath mints. 2) Those little put-them-on-your-finger tooth brushing pads. 3) Little antibacterial wet wipes packets … all to be kindly offered to your seatmate when appropriate. Ms. Behaving’s best tip, however, comes from the Victorians, who used to carry fragrant herbal pomanders to ward off all those awful Dickens-era street smells. Go to your local health store or pharmacy and buy a little tin of aromatic salve (eucalyptus, lavender, whatever your choice). Inflight, put a copious amount discreetly inside your nose, thus ensuring that every inhale will not only be fragrant, regardless of seatmate, but your schnozz will be hydrated as well!
WHAT’S YOUR QUANDARY? Have questions about etiquette, local or global travel customs or awkward moments on the road? Fear not! Ms. Behaving is ready to answer. Send your queries (putting "Ms. Behaving" in the subject line) .