The Modern Girl’s Guide to Sticky Situations

by Emily Jasper on July 29, 2010

I am a firm believer in covering your butt. Not just literally, but preparing yourself to handle those situations where your fight or flight instincts go into full gear. It’s why I secretly pour over those advice columns and embarrassing story entries thinking, “Good thing I know what to do if that happens to me.” Essentially, I’m hoping that by reading about a similar situation beforehand, my brain will automatically jump to the proper reaction instead of leaving me in the lurch.

Did I mention I hate sticky situations?

While I may be squeamish about awkward and embarrassing scenarios, I still have this compulsion to do the research and be in the know. When The Modern Girl’s Guide to Sticky Situations showed up on my doorstep, it was one of those “Ahhhhhh!” angels chorus type moments. Here it was, all the research written in one spot!

Author Jane Buckingham covers the gamut of sticky situations you might find yourself in, from entertaining company on the fly to calling off your wedding. It’s 300+ pages of what ifs, mishaps, and questions you’ve always wanted to ask but were never brave enough to spit out.

This survival guide is so hardcore, it comes with a plastic book cover.

“This is the book to turn to when you have nowhere to turn, or are simply too embarrassed to turn anywhere (publicly),” writes Jane. “A book that answers the sorts of question you’d only feel comfortable posing to your best friend, but which only your mom, grandma, or gynecologist, or cleaning lady — okay, any woman who secretly intimidates the hell out of you — knows the answer to.”

Most of us need a little help in the sticky situation department. Jane covers the biggie areas like love, home, family, money, work, and more; plus she has great sub-sections like The Ex-Files, in addition to letters written by women like us who need advice. I have to admit, some of her entries on Googling people and working with your boss make me think she’s been reading my mind.

Jane, who has been writing the bestselling Modern Girls Guide series, has a whole section dedicated to those sticky situations at work. Helpful advice for working women includes hints on what to do if:

  • Someone steals your idea
  • Your boss says something offensive
  • You have to fire a friend
  • You need to negotiate a raise
  • Someone who does a less-than-amazing job asks you for a recommendation
  • Your boss makes an unwelcome pass at you

The best part is that advice all across this book can apply to work. “Sticky Situations On the Go” covers things like ordering wine (something you may do at a client dinner) or having your hotel room changed when traveling for business. Pretty much everything in the “Beauty, Fashion, and Shopping” section can apply when building your office-appropriate wardrobe and making yourself presentable for human consumption. Face it, we all have had that bad haircut or botched self tan that makes you want to take a sick day…

What I love about this book is not only is it written to speak in the language of the Modern Girl, but the short entries fit the Modern Girl’s busy schedule. I would consider this book an excellent commuter book, easy to pick up and put down between all the trains, planes, and buses we take to get where we’re going. You can also flip back and forth, getting to what you need, and for a quick fix, the giant index will point you in the right direction ASAP.

Finally, Jane’s the kind of woman that I want to know IRL. Plus, she knows what IRL means because she includes her contact info AND twitter handle (@jane_buckingham) in the Afterward of her book. This guide is a way to start a conversation, allowing you to connect with other women (and some men), and even the author.

“Because a mess is only as sticky as you let it be, and no situation is too sticky to let today’s Modern Girl ever come truly unglued.”

Do you think you need to add The Modern Girl’s Guide to Sticky Situations to your own survival kit? You can! HarperCollins has provided me with one free copy to share with one of my readers! Leave a comment below telling us about your own sticky situation and how you go out of it. I’ll compile the entries and randomly pick the winner. All comments should be submitted by 12:00 Noon Central Tuesday, August 3rd to qualify. Good luck!

You can also find the book at, also available for Kindle.


Our winner today is Kristin!! Congrats Kristin, and I hope you enjoy the book! Thank you also to everyone who entered and tweeted!