Saturday, November 21, 2015


And we're off and running. The holiday season kicks off next week with Thanksgiving. Some of us will spend the most time we've ever spent all year round in our kitchens basting, chopping, stirring and hoping that it all turns out well. We thought we'd whip up some dos and don'ts for both hosts and guests.

For hosts...
  • Do be honest, if a guest asks what should they bring, tell them. Nothing worse than seeing your supply of wine and champagne dwindle, sparkling cider just isn't the same.
  • Be ready to receive guests, they shouldn't see you sweating over the bird. Don't make them feel compelled to help out with the dinner - they came to eat, not prepare.
  • Try not to give a blow by blow of the dinner's preparation. e.g. "I made the stuffing at midnight! I got up at the crack of dawn to boil the sweet potatoes." There is an excellent book, Timing Is Everything by Jack Piccolo.
  • Speaking of timing, if you've asked guests to come at five o'clock don't make them wait until seven o'clock to eat.
  • Do plan a balanced, well rounded menu. You want your guests to have enough food, but ten different things to eat could turn into a mishmosh of mismatched flavors and actually begin to look like mush on a plate.
  • Let guests eat in peace. No need to keep asking them if they need anything.
  • Be gracious when your cooking is complimented. No one will know you left out the thyme unless you tell them.
  • If you discover that someone is a vegan, don't make a big deal out of it. They'll know to skip the macaroni and cheese.
  • When it's time to clear the table, try not to enlist the help of every guest at the table. And don't disappear into the kitchen to wash the dishes. This looks like you're trying to get a leg up on things. That's rude. (If you have a small kitchen, loading the dishwasher is okay but don't run it.)
  • Toast your guests, thank them for being part of the day.
  • Try not to yawn in front of your company. This may look like you're bored or sleepy.
For guests...
  • Don't be late. There is no excuse.
  • Even if your hosts said they don't need anything, take a bottle of something or a small gift.
  • If you've offered to bring a dessert, bring dessert not a platter of deviled eggs as a surprise.
  • We like flowers but if you're being hosted by someone who's doing all the work, consider an arrangement so that they won't have to stop and tend to the flowers.
  • Offer to help but don't barge into the kitchen and start doing things.
  • Don't just grab a seat at the table, your host may have a seating plan.
  • Before the meal, wash your hands without making a general announcement.
  • Turn off your cellphone.
  • Don't talk about how much you love dressing with oysters when there is no oyster dressing on the table.
  • Let your host know in advance if you have dietary restrictions. Don't talk about your diet and how you're being a bad girl as you butter your second roll.
  • Dress appropriately, not every day is a jeans day.
  • If you have a lonely friend with no place to go, don't invite them along hoping that your host will understand. Your friend will only feel lonelier when there's no seat for him/her at the table.
  • Give thanks and toast your hosts.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


People you like, do it. People you don’t like, definitely do it.  I don’t. But maybe you do it, too.  You ball up your cocktail napkin and leave it on the nearest surface. It could be a granite top, fine teak, oak or mahogany – it doesn’t matter. Litterbugs don’t care.  It’s not their party, but they'll do what they want to.

How would you like to be the one who has to pick up that ball of mess?  Were you just too busy to tear yourself away from cocktail chatter to find a receptacle for it?  Apparently, that was the case the other night at a wonderful book party in a beautiful apartment.

Never hand your used cocktail napkin to a staff member without wrapping it in a clean napkin.  If there’s no one to hand it to, find a place to put it in, trash cans are usually found in the kitchen or bathroom.  A host shouldn’t have to tell his/her guests what to do with a cocktail napkin. A good guest should know better. Cheers!

Saturday, October 10, 2015


There's a whole lot of hair flying around these days and it's not mine.

I never had much hair to flip and when I tried, I almost suffered whiplash. There is nothing more annoying than someone’s hair flying around in a public space, like on a bus. The woman in front of you is totally oblivious of her dander (okay, dandruff, but she got my dander up) going all over the place along with a strand or two. Recently, I sat near someone who did a scratch and flip. I tapped her on the shoulder and said, “I’m getting some of your hair in my face.” She apologized and stopped. 
That was easy.

Grooming so that you can be presentable in public, shouldn’t be performed in public.

What do you think?

Sunday, September 27, 2015


From what I gathered, someone was about to get their feelings hurt. My fellow elevator passenger, a neighbor (we don’t know each other) was advising that they keep the ring until they’re sure.  Something about me must’ve seemed trustworthy as she proceeded to put someone’s business out on the street in an elevator. Beware, you never know who’s on the elevator with you, she could be an etiquette blogger!

I couldn’t figure out who was on the other end or how upset they were.  That’s the problem with halfersations; you’ll never get the whole story, she went on and on with her half.  She didn’t even bother to whisper an apology.  If you have to take a call, keep it brief and let the caller know you’re on an elevator. To continue a conversation while others are on an elevator is a downright diss to them - they don't matter.

Chatty Cathy remained on the elevator and continued to advise the ring bearer. I'll never know the outcome and I don't care.  All I do know, she is one rude neighbor.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Mind If I Don't Mind My Manners? By Yvonne

What happened to the civilized world while we were on sabbatical?  Such horrors!

A wonderful dip being assaulted by shameless double dipping! 

Men and women becoming motionless doormen as they block exit doors on buses and look at you funny when you say, “Excuse me." The nerve!

A woman sitting in the window of a sandwich shop, flossing her teeth!

Younger men looking at their feet as elderly women and men stand on their feet!

The list goes on and on. 

Pictured, a young woman, so tuckered out from her weekend, decided to make herself at home (no doubt, in her home it was fine to put your feet on the furniture with shoes on) on a crowded train.  When the conductor asked her to sit up, it didn’t occur to her to wipe off the seat for a fellow passenger.

Have you seen any good or bad manners recently?  Do tell.

To respond just click on comment and post anonymously.

Saturday, August 15, 2015


We were on sabbatical and then the summer came along.  Mind your manners until we come back in the fall, when we will attempt to mine them for you.

Quick Tips:

  • Remember to take your makeup off so you won't leave your mark on the pillowcase.
  • Even if you don't want to, offer to help.
  • Don't bring your cell phone to the table with you. (if your host is that boring, you shouldn't be there)
  • Until you're invited to help yourself to food and drink, always ask. 
  • Leave poolside the way you found it.


Friday, May 15, 2015

When Your Lunch Becomes Rude By Yvonne

Last week, at a doctor’s office, the receptionist greeted me looking suspiciously like a cow. She appeared to be chewing on something and then commenced to clean her lunch away in her mouth with her tongue and making noises clearing food between her teeth all the while asking me questions.  It seems to be a common habit in small shops – the lone salesperson serving customers and polishing off lunch at the same time.

This awful, rude practice must stop immediately. A cow would never think of imitating you.