Dear Ms. Demeanor,

How long is long enough to wait before stealing a neighbor's paper?

Imagine large piles outside the door of the apartment next to mine. They must be away somewhere reading the newspaper on their iPads by the pool, right?

Polly Paperwait

Dear Polly Paperwait

As tempting as those piled up New York Times' may be, I think you have to wait at least a work week (five days) then only take the oldest paper each day until your neighbor returns.  

To be extra safe and neighborly, check with the super or doorman to be sure that your neighbor is in fact away and not just trapped under something heavy inside (or worse).

See you in the funny papers,
Ms. Demeanor



Ms. Demeanor is channeled by a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur who writes under the pen name Jamie Lauren Sutton. She is here to commiserate, calm and correct. Please email your quandaries to and put "Dear Ms. Demeanor" in the subject line.

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Ms. Demeanor's Sex, Laundry & Vertical Etiquette is written by etiquette columnist Jamie Lauren Sutton, a longtime Manhattan vertical dweller and real-estate voyeur