Kathy Posner

I don’t read Mary Schmich’s column in the Chicago Tribune because she never writes about anything that interests me. I decided to look at her column again when Robert Feder, in his blog on Time Out Chicago, named her to his list of the Ten Most Powerful Women in Chicago Journalism. I did not understand why he chose her because she does not break any news, but if Robert thought she was great, maybe I was wrong. I started looking at her column again and I still don’t understand why he put her on the list!

This past Sunday, her column was titled, “A Chicagoan's Guide to Summer Etiquette.” Since I did not find it clever or funny in any manner, I decided to write my own guide to see if I could do “better” and maybe get the attention of Robert Feder.


1. I find it disgusting when women wear dress shoes without stockings. Sandals I can barley tolerate, but pumps without hosiery? What is so difficult about putting on panty hose in the summer? Most women’s legs are pale and pathetic and I don’t want to look at stubbly legs. Plus, having bare feet encased in leather shoes without stockings creates a sweating situation that leads to smelly feet. Offices, stores and restaurants are air conditioned!! Put on stockings!

2. I can tolerate sandals without hose but, really, with the exception of going to the beach, do people really need to wear open toed footwear? I don’t want to see people’s dry, cracked heels and the corns on their toes. Have some pride! If one is going to wear sandals, make sure the feet are pedicured (men also!) and free of bunions and bumps.

3. No woman over the age of 21 should ever wear anything sleeveless in public unless they are hospitalized with IV needles in their arms or at the beach. (see note 5 on not going to the beach)

4. Capri pants are also a fashion horror! Does that missing few inches of cloth at the hem of trousers keep one cooler? No! Women look pathetic in short pants. Only Lord Fauntleroy could get away with wearing them.

5. There is no reason to ever go to the beach (see note 3 for dressing at the beach). Why would anyone want to lie out in the blazing hot sun and be forced to use a porta-potty to “freshen up.” Plus swimming in a lake or ocean is repulsive. Fish and other creatures live in the body of water one might swim in and it is not only their personal porta-potty, but where they procreate! You want to put your face in that? Might as well lick the floor at the CTA station if you want to wallow in germs.

6. Steaks and hamburgers grilled over charcoals certainly do taste better than when broiled in a kitchen’s oven. But who wants to eat outside in the heat with bugs? It is okay to attend a backyard barbecue as long as one is allowed to eat inside where it is air conditioned. My friend Karen has a yearly summer event and I love attending, but I eat my food at her dining room table with utensils as any civilized person should. Picnics in the woods are totally insane! (see porta-potty #5)

7. Avoid going outside as much as possible if one lives in an urban environment with sidewalks. Aliens land in the summer and populate cities. I know they are visitors from outer space because they are always stopping in the middle of the sidewalk and looking skyward obviously trying to locate their Mothership.

If you think about it, summer is just winter reversed. Winter is cold outside and heated inside; summer is just the opposite. No big deal! If one acts the same as they did in winter, they will not make a fool of themselves in summer by trying to do crazy things like walking on a beach or getting a tan.

In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way
I have to go to bed by day.
-- Robert Louis Stevenson