If Jay Z makes a pass or offers to make you his “side chick,” there’s no need to share that information publicly, says New Brunswick-based etiquette expert Jay Remer, who believes you can be the other woman politely.
Clearly, the rapper Liv skipped Other Woman Etiquette 101. After tabloids speculated that she was Jay Z’s mistress, she responded by writing the song “Sorry, Mrs. Carter,” an open letter to Beyoncé about the alleged wandering eye of her man. The video, which she posted on August 4, has already been watched by over 2 million people.
Remer’s rules of etiquette for the other woman don’t just apply to the overtures of famous married men. If anyone who is already attached hits on you, simply indicate in no uncertain terms that you’re not into it, he says. (He doesn’t advocate a slap in the face for emphasis, but he doesn’t disapprove, either.)
Unlike Liv, you should not share your experience—especially with the wife or partner of the person who made the pass. Nor should you taunt said wife or partner as Liv did with her line, “When I stepped out of his life/I took a piece of his heart,” or call her out directly in this manner: “You are a married woman/Why don’t you tell these girls how to be wives/Why don’t you tell these girls how to act around your husband/Why don’t you talk to these young ladies?”
If these lyrics, which come off like a brazen bid for airplay and tabloid drama, make you feel a little bit sad, that’s a good thing, says Remer. He believes the song, and the unhappy gossip it stirs up, actually reinforce traditional principles of etiquette. By airing other people’s dirty laundry, “Sorry, Mrs. Carter” reminds us of the virtues of clean sheets, so to speak. “If we were going to try and find a silver lining to this song,” says Remer, “it’s that it shows exactly why privacy should be respected.”