Jun 3, 2015
6:45 pm - 8:45 pm


It’s been a long time since etiquette simply meant reaching for the correct fork for salad or mastering the art of the perfect “bread-and-butter letter” (aka a thank-you note).  As how we interact and communicate in everyday life has become far more complicated (a decade ago nobody wondered if it’s OK to end a romance in a text or on Facebook), so too have manners.

Unfortunately, though, trying to maneuver that ever-changing social—and increasingly digital—terrain is a challenge that’s often frustrating, if downright bewildering. The consequences can be harrowing, too, especially since a faux pas on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media can’t be erased with a sincere handwritten note of apology.

Journalist Steven Petrow has deftly stepped into the role of Mr. Manners for the 21st century. He brings plenty of experience to the role: In addition to five etiquette books, including Steven Petrow’s Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners, he writes the Civilities column for the Washington Post, as well as Digital Life for USA Today. He previously wrote the Civil Behavior column in the New York Times, Medical Manners for Everyday Health, and Digital Dilemmas for Parade magazine. 

In a lively conversation with Bob Witeck, founder and president of DC-based Witeck Communications, Petrow takes on manners quandaries small and large that can surface in our digital, social, and medical lives: How do I respond when my boss wants to be friends on Facebook? What can I do when my doctor keeps me waiting even longer than usual? How do you look for love online? Can I manage my digital identity without revealing too much about myself? What should I expect at my first gay wedding (and how do I refer to the newlyweds)? How do I request that my doctor not call me by my first name?

Witeck is a former Senate press secretary, and his questions will be drawn from his experience working with politicos, pundits, business leaders, and the rest of us who are searching for signs of civility in the nation’s capital. Come prepared to share some dilemmas of your own—Mr. Manners is ready to offer the answers.

For tickets, click here.