Graciously Responding to Someone Who Has Treated You Poorly In The Past

Cherished readers, The Lady Hooper-Brackett received an anonymous email asking for advice on a subject that I am sure we all deal with in our lives.

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett, 

Recently I was in a restaurant and I noticed a man kept looking over at me. I didn’t recognize him and kept on with my conversation. Suddenly, I noticed he was approaching the table. He stood near my seat and said ,”I wanted to come over and say hello. Do you recognize me?” I didn’t. He then said , “Weren’t you in the class of 1996 at Stamford High School? Didn’t you go on the senior trip to the Jersey Shore?” It was then my heart dropped. This was the guy that I had a huge crush on in school, the man that I childishly pursued. His way of handling it 20 some odd years ago was to humiliate me and make fun of me publicly. 

I was polite and made small talk for a few minutes. He seemed really happy to see me and as though he forgot all of the strangeness from school. Also, I  felt bad for him because time wasn’t kind to him and he has lost his looks. But I wonder if I should have been less than polite to him? 

Thank you

Dearest Emailer, The Lady Hooper-Brackett is more concerned about the way this man approached you in public than with how you handled yourself, but perhaps I will touch upon that in another post. To answer your question about your own reaction, this is what I have to say as far as dealing with this situation:

It will never be incorrect to be polite to someone in the circumstances that you detail. No doubt, in the two decades since you have left high school, you have grown as an individual and would never remake the mistakes of youth. You were right to give him the benefit of the doubt and be polite, after all he has no doubt moved on from the follies of his youth. He may not remember the situation from school the same way that you do. The Lady feels that since he made an effort to come to speak to you, then he was happy he had seen you. I feel you handled things nicely in a surprise situation.

The Lady does believe, however, that there is nothing wrong with taking secret delight in the fact that someone who was once rude to you “lost his looks” as you say. In fact, The Lady believes you should be most pleased that you looked enough the same that someone who knew you so long ago would still recognize you.

Best Polite Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

Send your own questions to The Lady!


Mobile Manners:The Etiquette of Cell Phone Usage

Cherished readers, The Lady cannot begin to list how many times she has been out with Lord Hooper-Brackett and while enjoying a meal, having the peace shattered by a big mouth at the next table having a loud conversation on his cell. Of course these vociferous exchanges are usually precipitated by an obnoxious ringtone playing a vulgar song about liking large derrieres and not being able to lie.

The Lady has pretty much had enough of cell phone use in public and has compiled a list of things that will help you in not being one of ‘those people’ who annoy others when using your cell phone.

  1. Etiquette and manners are about consideration of those around you. If you remember nothing else about manners, remember this: Do Nothing That Will Draw Attention To Yourself. (The Lady says: Please reconsider your public ringtone)
  2. Speak softly and speak quickly.
  3. Do not discuss private topics or other people in a public place. Voices carry.
  4. Do watch your language and do not curse or swear. The Lady hopes you will do this on or off the cell phone!
  5. Do not repeatedly glance at your phone, text, or check the web while you are conversing with others.
  6. Do not be a distracted driver and use the cell while you are driving.
  7. Silence phones in theaters, libraries, churches, schools, meetings….anywhere that people can be disturbed.
  8. If it annoys you when you see others doing it, it annoys others when you do it. Remember that people and relationships matter; be mindful of your habits and control them.

Technology is a wonderful thing…after all, it allows you to read this blog! How we handle the technology is another thing entirely.  The Lady is hopeful that a day will come when everyone in restaurants looks up at the person they are seated across from and not down at their phones.

Best Cell Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

The Masculine Graces: Chivalry Part 2

Cherished readers, let us celebrate the fact that today is Friday by taking a look at Part 2 of my chivalry series. The Lady Hooper-Brackett hopes that it will inspire you this weekend. The Lady was most distressed to read this article whilst browsing as she enjoyed her cup of tea. One sincerely hopes that chivalry is most certainly getting all of the resuscitation efforts that can be mustered.

To continue on with our look at the Gentlemanly Art of Chivalry:

A gentleman may order for a lady if they are out to dinner. I find this to be such a nice old-fashioned custom (I happen to like old fashioned things). The lady glances at the menu, makes her selection, tells her escort what she would like and he orders for her.

When going to a movie, concert , or theater, a gentleman allows the lady to go first when going into the row of seats.

While walking together on a sidewalk, a gentleman places himself on the side that abuts the street.

Gentlemen remove their hats while indoors.

Gentlemen open car doors for their ladies. Ahh, the Lady does so love this. Lord Hooper-Brackett does this when we go out and even though we have been together for many years, it still makes me smile.

It is exceedingly gentlemanly to be sure that all ladies are served first if you are the host and passing drinks, appetizers, etc.

And there you have some more on the subject of chivalry…and I am quite sure I will have more to say on this subject.

Best Mannerly Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

The Masculine Graces: Chivalry Part 1

Cherished readers, The Lady Hooper-Brackett is blessed to be surrounded by male friends and family members who have learned and developed their skills as chivalric men. Now, whether this is due to fear of offending the Lady Hooper-Brackett, I cannot say, however I have heard others give them compliments on their manners, so I am hopeful they are chivalric because it is the correct and mannerly thing to do.

So…what are some chivalric habits of the cultivated male? We will be looking at these habits this week. To start, we will look at these few:

Gentlemen should rise when a lady enters or leaves the room. This rule of chivalry extends to ladies also when an older person of some person of great esteem enters and leaves.

Gentlemen should open doors for ladies. I can hear the groans from the independent factions of females who feel they do not need a man to do this for them. To this I say: Let the gentleman be gentlemanly and open your door. You merely have to utter the words “Thank you” when he does so. It is a nicety. Let him be nice and let you be gracious in accepting the niceness.

Gentlemen should give up their seats on public conveyances to ladies. He should also assist with any packages or luggage she might be trying to stow. I realize there are some women who think they can handle things fine. Just accept the courtesy shown to you. Remember that the etiquette is to make everyone feel at ease. He is trying to put you at ease. Your refusal, righteous indignation, anger, offense etc…will not put him at ease, nor will it put the spectators around you at ease.

Should a gentleman ask a lady for a date or to accompany him to some entertainment, he picks up the tab. I should say that this is also a vice-versa situation. If the lady asks, she pays.

We will look at more situtations tomorrow….

Best Chivalry Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett