Judith Martin is awash on the stormy seas of etiquette and just as frequently, she is awash on the gorgeous canals of Venice where she makes her second home.
She is a Washington expert, having covered the White House before creating her advice column under its famous byline “Miss Manners.” This amusing but sternly correct taskmaster has written 14 books on how to behave, and has also done two novels, and her most recently-published work of nonfiction entitled No Vulgar Hotel: The Desire and Pursuit of Venice. She is married and has two children.
Do Venice and Washington, as the twain, ever meet? Well, President Bush minded his manners long enough to give Judith a 2005 National Humanities Medal.
Dead to Me:
- Boredom, non-specific guilt and envy. They were forbidden me as a child, and I found I could get along quite well without them.
- Daniela Ghezzo at Segalin a Venezia
- Home cooking by my husband, especially the caviar blini with which he courted me.
I Love(d) Listening To:
- That awful Mr. Wagner’s “Ring Cycle” (although I am ashamed to admit it).
I Wish I Lived In:
- The house I do live in, but with a less crowded attic
I Want to Own:
My Dream Experience Would Be:
- Singing the great soprano roles in the major opera houses to grateful audiences who would then unhitch the horses from my carriage and pull it through the streets. (If only I could carry a tune.)
I Love(d) Watching:
The First Thing I Do in the Morning Is:
- Try to remember the amazing idea that I had during the night
- The offices of our government, if not always the office-holders.
I Love(d) Reading:
- The ability to memorize Italian, French and Spanish verbs so as to produce the right tense at the right time.
What Wows Me:
- Disinterested kindness
I Don’t Care What They Say:
- I still won’t shorten my skirts.
- For any ailment whatsoever: going to Venice, Italy