Good manners and funereal attire aren't incompatible at all. Nor are the extreme use of eyeliner and working at Starbucks. But Goths can be misunderstood

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Best Advice From a Goth

Jillian Venters

Good manners and funereal attire aren't incompatible at all. Nor are the extreme use of eyeliner and working at Starbucks. But Goths can be misunderstood by friends and family and in the workplace. That's where blogger and advice maven Jillian Venters steps in. Her wry, funny Gothic Charm School: An Essential Guide for Goths and Those Who Love Them (Harper, $13.99) is a compendium of tips and cautions on subjects including: why friends don't let friends dress like The Crow; the difference between snarkiness and cattiness; and how to reassure people you aren't a Satanist, drug fiend, or psycho killer. The book, illustrated by Venters' husband, Pete, should also be reassuring to parents whose kids are going through that, ahem, phase. And beneath the pasty-white makeup and Morticia Addams outfit, the lessons imparted in Venters' book (and Web site) translate quite well to those of us outside the pallid tribe—e.g., "Being polite to people you don't like is important" and, in the workplace, "Being good at what you do is vastly more important to managers than looking like everyone else." In fact, Venters confesses that, when not adopting her Goth-authorial persona, the Lady of the Manners, she works in the software industry. You see, Redmond is more diverse than we it give credit for. Maybe she should write a career guide next.—Brian Miller

 
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