Sunday Ask The Lady: Football Fracas

Cherished readers, Happy October and Happy Autumn! Today’s question comes from the host of football parties and The Lady feels that this just might be a situation that is quite common this time of year.

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett,

Please give me the best advice you can on what to do about my cousin. She comes over every Sunday to watch football (we have about 20 people here each week as we enjoy watching the games). She is fine at first, but boy, once she has her fourth beer in her, she becomes a belligerent jerk. She thinks she is being funny with people, she picks on people, but she calls it ‘busting chops’; she is really rude and crass. She is hurting the feelings of everyone who come here. My problem is, I am completely a non-confrontational person. The thought of dis-inviting her is keeping me up at night. What do I do? 

Stressed Hostess

Dear Stressed Hostess,

The Lady certainly doesn’t advise speaking to her about this while she well into her cups. The Lady shudders to think what would happen. The Lady must admit that she cannot understand those types of people who feel the need to ‘bust chops’ as you said. How does it contribute to a pleasant time to pick on others?

When she is sober, talk to her about her behavior. If you are still scared to do this and it  still gives you insomnia…omit liquor from the Sunday get-togethers completely and see if  the same thing happens. If she is no longer jerky, then fine…all is well. But if she is still rude, The Lady fears you must tell her that she is no longer welcome.

No guest has the right to behave in the manner you described. She is showing disrespect to you, your home, and your other guests.

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

Sunday Ask The Lady

Cherished readers, I am back with a new Ask The Lady.

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett,

My lady, I have two questions.

  1. Is it appropriate for me to attend the wake of a neighbor that I only knew in passing? I would wave at this man and his wife every day when I would come and go from work, but I never said more than hello. I’m not sure if it would be uncomfortable to see his wife and I worry about saying the wrong thing.
  2. Are you all right? Where have you been? I missed your wit.

Courteous Neighbor

Dear Courteous Neighbor,

The Lady thanks you for your questions. and will start by answering your last one first.

The Lady has been busy on a consulting job and the time available in the day has been scarce.

Now to question two: Of course The Lady believes that you should attend the wake. It is the neighborly thing to do. While you did not say if these people were older folks, The Lady makes the assumption that they are. Think of how your neighbor’s widow must feel right now after losing her husband. Your presence and support, I am sure, will be a comfort to her. And if The Lady may offer further advice…there is nothing wrong with checking in on her in the future to see how she is doing.

Best Neighborly Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

Sunday Ask the Lady: Dealing With Overly Friendly Pets

Cherished readers, The Hooper-Bracketts are definitely dog people. The Lady loves her little mixed-breed rescue dog (sometimes more than she likes people!) Today’s question comes from someone who doesn’t particularly like pets.

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett, 

Full disclosure: I think most pets are smelly creatures and can’t stand when I am visiting a friends house and I am bombarded with attention from their pets. How can I politely let my friend or the host know that I do not like to be around their pets? 

Not Pet Friendly

Dear Not Pet Friendly,

The Lady can assure you that not all pets are smelly creatures. With that being said, The Lady believes that the most polite way to explain why a pet cannot be around you is to simply say, “I’m so sorry, but I am allergic to your dog/cat/ferret/octopus/beetle.” A good host should immediately remove their animal companion so as not to cause the guest undue discomfort. The Lady is also sure that the pet will also be thankful to be removed from your presence since you object to them so strongly.

Best Pet Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

 

 

Thursday Ask The Lady: Badmouthing An Ex

Cherished readers, The Lady presents today’s question. She advises at all times to Never Call Attention To Oneself

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett, 

Here’s my real life question. What do you think of people who bad-mouth their exes in public? 

Ex-Ex-Ex

Dear Ex-Ex-Ex,

The Lady presumes that you mean ‘ex-husbands’ ,’ex-wives’ , ‘ex-boyfriends’ or ‘ex-girlfriends’, though she assumes you could mean ‘ex-bosses’ or ‘ex-colleagues’.

The Lady has a very good piece of advice for anyone who may be tempted to spout-off publicly: DON’T.

To publicly speak ill of someone that you were once in a relationship with is bad form. The Lady understands that most people do talk about their unfortunate experiences, and there is nothing wrong keeping these conversations in the family circle or between friends. It is when you blab away to all and sundry that it becomes a social faux pas. After all, people can understand that things may not have worked out and it is always better to at least give the impression that things ended on friendly terms.

If the ex is an ex-boss, The Lady fears you will risk any future employment opportunities. People can be reluctant to hire someone for fear that they will in turn talk badly about the new boss.

Silence is Golden.

Best Ex Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

Thursday Ask The Lady: Eavesdropping Over The Cubicle Wall

Cherished readers, firstly The Lady begs your pardon for being absent from the blog this week. Some tasks came up that needed her attention and she needed to focus on them. She is heartily sorry for not posting.

Secondly, Today’s question. Many years ago, The Lady was employed at a large insurance company and had her very own cubicle. She can relate to the writer of today’s question. Enjoy!

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett, 

I work in a large office on a floor with approximately 100 other people. We work in our own little cubicle villages, but as you can imagine there is very little privacy. There is one co-worker who is ridiculously obnoxious to all of us around her. She listens to every conversation, both business and personal, and pokes her head over the wall and comments or advises without invitation. While I realize anything you say on the floor can be overheard, I find the fact that she makes no bones about letting us all know she knows what is going on and seems almost proud that she is an eavesdropper. So what do we do? I am writing not just for myself but for the group of us who are forced to sit near her. 

Frustrated in Cubicle Purgatory

Dear Frustrated,

Oh my.

The Lady prefaces her answer by acknowledging that this person may be lonely and just looking for something to talk about. Also, she might not even realize what she is doing is rude because of the expectation of no privacy on the floor. If she is one of these people and you will know it usually, The Lady advises kindness. Just smile at her when she comments or thank her. Maybe even taking a break together and being friendly will help. Steer subjects to things other than work. The lonely and the clueless can generally be rehabilitated.

If you suspect that this is not the case with this person and you find she just enjoys feeling in charge and in control, when she starts to advise you about business, cut her off and say “Thank you, SoandSo, I have it covered.” If you all do this, The Lady believes that this will stop.

If it is a personal conversation, again cut her off and pointedly say, “That was a private matter that I do not wish to discuss it with you.”

The problem with eavesdroppers is that they only hear one side of things and their advice (and the gossip that they pass) only applies to their one-sided listening. If this is truly bothersome and disruptive to work, The Lady is sure that HR can call a meeting on the matter and address it as a department or company issue.

Best Work Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

Thursday Ask The Lady: Handling a Nosy Fellow Traveler

Cherished readers, The Lady sympathizes with the sender of today’s question as she has much experience traveling with the general public and dealing with them.

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett, 

On a recent flight, there was a man who was one of the last to get on the plane and of course, he sat in the seat right beside me (the middle seat in a row of three). He had a faint odor of liquor, also, so I think he knocked back a few before boarding. I was on a business trip and once it was safe to do so, I began to work on my laptop. The man began to look at my screen and comment on the report I was working on! He went so far as to suggest edits!!! While it was nothing confidential (like a medical or financial report) I was taken aback by the ballsiness of this person. In frustration, I slammed the laptop shut and put it away. He then said in this ridiculous high and mighty tone, “Gee, I was only trying to help.” I said nothing, pulled out my eye shade, and pretended I was asleep. As an aside, I missed getting the pitiful drink and snack they serve because I just wanted him to think I was asleep and not deal with him. Any thoughts on this situation? Should I have told him off? 

A Good Passenger

Dear Good Passenger, The Lady commends the restraint you showed and feels that you were wise to behave so. In the confined Aluminum Tube, it is best to control your temper. Bad enough to have a heated exchange with feet firmly on the ground, but at 33000 feet….well, one has seen the news about these types of things.

Obviously, it goes without saying that you did nothing wrong. While one wishes to not deal with these types of people, in the circumstances you found yourself in, it is best to ignore and be silent to the best of our ability. One never knows how volatile a person can be after a few drinks (as you stated) and it was best not to find out. So, let him be pompous, after all, after a few hours, you won’t see him again.

The Lady is also sorry you missed snack service, although with the meager servings they give you these days, she is sure your nutrition didn’t suffer that day.

Best Travel Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

 

Thursday Ask The Lady: Leaving a Lasting Impression

Cherished readers, this seems to be the time of year when high school seniors are taking their senior portraits. Some seem to be driving their parents crazy as evidenced by this electronic correspondence the Lady received.

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett,

I am at my wit’s end trying to convince my daughter that the outfit she has chosen for her senior picture is all wrong and is not the type of thing she will want hanging on the wall for years to come. She is trying to emulate a popular singer and wants to look like one of her recent photos that was plastered all over the news. Help me convince her this is not smart, we have been fighting over this for a week. The photography session is scheduled in two weeks.

Desperate Mother

Dear Desperate Mother,

Oh how The Lady does sympathize with your plight. It is difficult to get through to a headstrong teenager. One hesitates to demand that she dress according to what you feel is best, so let’s try to convince her in other ways.

You could try to explain to her that this picture will live on, not only in your hallway or living room where family portraits are hung, but in the yearbooks of all those she is graduating with and in the school libraries. Basically, this statement she is about to make in her senior picture will live on in perpetuity. The Lady feels that this fact will not sink in with most teenagers because they feel that we ‘old people’ don’t know what we are talking about.

Here is a way that might drive your point home:

When your high school senior is home, take out your yearbook, get a hold of your parents’ yearbooks, any yearbook you can find. Make a game out of looking at all the senior portraits. When you find a fashion victim from the era the yearbook was published, laugh uproariously and point at it and make fun of it. Say something along the line of: “Look at this guy who thought it would be fun to look like Elvis! Bet he wishes he didn’t wear that rhinestone leisure suit today!” or in the Lady’s case, she could find several Blond Ambition-era Madonna wanna-bes in her yearbook and say “I remember poor Phoebe wanted to look like Madonna so bad she wore the missile shaped bra even though you can’t see it in the picture. I bet she wishes she didn’t wear that long fake ponytail now.” What I hope will happen is that the stubborn teen will see rather than be told how ridiculous it is to wear anything in a portrait that pays homage to the popular figures of the moment.

The Lady would suggest that the best outfit for your daughter to wear in a senior portrait is a classic top with a conservative neckline in a solid color. Jewelry should be simple and understated. The young lady shouldn’t make such a fuss if you insist she wear this. I’m sure that she and her friends are all taking selfies of themselves in all manner of costumes. Let this in-good-taste portrait be her gift to you for helping her along as she made her way through the rigors of education. One day, I am sure, she will look back and be thankful that you spared her the embarrassment of a bad decision.

Best Senior Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett.