Why The Approach Was Wrong

Cherished readers, in Monday’s post I commented that I had concerns about the way Mr. Old High School Crush had approached the seeker of advice. I have received two emails asking me to please follow up. Here are my thoughts, for your eager consumption.

The Lady takes exception to:

  1.  Him staring at someone across the room repeatedly and so conspicuously that they notice.
  2. Him approaching the table and asking the lady if she recognized him. Why not say, “Hello, I am Mr. SoAndSo, I believe we went to high school together and wanted to say hello.” Doesn’t that sound better than “Don’t you recognize me?” and putting the innocent party on the spot?
  3. Him standing over a seated person. If an empty chair was at the table, he would have done well to ask permission to be seated. By remaining standing, he called attention to himself and the table.
  4. Him revealing a lady’s age in public by announcing to all gathered what year she graduated from high school. (Oh, the horror!)

Am I being nitpicky in this situation? I don’t believe so. Certainly, having a bit more polish would have been more of a credit to this man. And if he remembered the basic tenets of Putting Others At Ease and Never Calling Attention To Oneself he would have come out smelling like a rose! However, I suppose in his enthusiasm for seeing his old school chum, he forgot and according to the letter, no harm was done. In this case, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, ignoring innocent social flubs should be part of our own code of etiquette.

Best Mannerly Wishes, ‘

The Lady Hooper Brackett

Complimenting a Drastic Change In Appearance

Cherished readers, I recently had a meeting with someone that I’ve been doing business with for years. I have seen this person once per year for the last decade. Imagine my surprise when I noticed a huge change in this person’s appearance! Not only did he lose a considerable amount of weight, but he also got rid of his glasses and stopped wearing his toupee. The result? He looks years younger!

I wanted to praise the improvements, but my conundrum was twofold. How do I comment on these changes without seeming shocked? How do I comment without seeming as though his former appearance was unattractive? I had to choose my words wisely.

I decided to be cautious and not specifically mention any one of the changes he had made. I smiled and said sweetly, “My dear fellow, how nice to see you looking so wonderful!” This afforded him the opportunity to talk about his changes himself, without putting him on the spot (and talk he did! He was rightly proud of his weight loss!) Win-win….he didn’t feel put on the spot and I was able to bring a spot of joy to his day!

Best Tuesday Wishes!

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

 

 

 

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

Manners in Conversation: Dangerous Topics

Cherished readers, The Lady Hooper-Brackett presents this to you as a general guideline when you are out and about and schmoozing…those times when you may have to be around others whose views and beliefs are unknown to you. It is always better to be circumspect; remember put people at ease.

  1. Money is a dangerous topic, expecially directly asking someone what something costs, how much they earn. The person who is asked such questions, has every right to ignore the asker.
  2. Age is subject to be deftly avoided due to the sensitivity some people have about their age. Let’s face it, yes…if you are entering a contract with someone, then the question is appropriate, but not in general social situations. If someone asks you how old you are, feel free to ignore this one, too.
  3. Gossip can cause all sorts of problem. avoid being the spreader of this muck. Want to stop a gossiper? Ask them pointedly “How do you know this?” It is funny how most gossipers won’t be able to answer.
  4. Advice is only given if it is asked for, and even then, I’d be uncomfortable giving it.
  5. Religion and politics….avoid at all costs. Yes, even in this time of wicked polarization on both subjects.

Best Converational Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett