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


Tuesday Tea-Time Thoughts: Basic Manners for Children

Cherished readers, it is Tuesday once again and since we had some very nice weather here, The Lady and her friends were able to take tea in a lovely breezy and shady spot. Today the topic of conversation around our hyacinth-laden table was Children’s Manners. While some of The Lady’s friends felt that children (and people in general) have gotten much ruder lately, the general consensus is that the wee little ones take well to manners and etiquette if you teach them early. The Lady has compiled a list of basic manners that she feels all children over the age of five can practice:

-to say hello pleasantly to people they meet and to look people in the eye when speaking

-to speak when spoken to

-to get along with their siblings, cousins, and other children

-to show respect for older people

-to say “Thank you”, “Please,” “I’m sorry”, “Excuse me”

-to not interrupt others while they are speaking

-to remember the basic etiquette rule of never calling attention to oneself and to not raise merry hell, scream, or otherwise cavort in public.

-to shake hands

-to respect the property of others and not touch or play with other people’s things unless invited to do so

-to respect the privacy of others

These are the basic building blocks of etiquette that every  child needs. More instruction in this fine art and we can change the world!

Best Etiquette Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett


Wedding Wednesday: Choosing a Honeymoon Destination

Cherished readers, The Lady received this question and while not technically an Ask The Lady day, it is included here for your perusal as it pertains to Wedding Wednesday.

Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett, 

All of the preparations for my wedding are going smoothly except for choosing where to go on our honeymoon. My fiance is an outdoorsman and wants to have an active honeymoon with fishing and hiking. I would rather go to museums and relax. I’m not saying this is actually causing us to fight, but my fiance has made the point that this is the only vacation he will get this year (he just started a new job and is limited on his days off). Help, please. Do you have any suggestions?

Harried Honeymooner

Dear Harried Honeymooner,

The Lady empathizes with your problem because, quite frankly, she went through the same thing with Lord Hooper-Brackett. You ask for help and suggestions…here they are:

  1. You should choose something that you will both enjoy. This trip begins your married life together and should be one of pleasant memories and not the first battle of wills in the marriage. Remember: manners and consideration are more important than ever in a happy household.
  2. You do not say if you wish to stay in the United States or go abroad, but The Lady suggests France as a destination that will fit both of your interests in nicely. Paris a large walking city (hiking!!!) and is filled with museums to satisfy you (not to mention the wonderful food) and then you may take a day or two so your groom can indulge in fishing.
  3. If the United States is your choice: Savannah, Georgia and Newport, RI offer fishing and cultural experiences. Any coastal city on the East Coast (by virtue of being part of the original colonies) should have a mix of history and recreation which will satisfy both of you.

The Lady could exhaust herself making suggestions. Her best advice: make this trip a reflection of you both as a couple. And try the fishing excursion. Even if you only sit on the boat and cheer him as he reels one in, your togetherness is all that matters.

Best Honeymoon Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett



Manners Monday: Etiquette on Wheels

Cherished readers, there are days that The Lady longs for the easier days of horse and buggy travel. At least everyone seemed to be going at the same pace. Today when The Hooper-Bracketts venture out, it is an adventure, to say the least. Let us examine good and proper etiquette when driving our mechanical chariots.

Speeding is unmannerly. Speed limits exist for a reason and if you are one of those that enjoys running up to the bumper of the car in front of you and then swerving around, The Lady turns up her nose at your buffoonery.

Driving too slowly is unmannerly, most especially if one is driving slowly in the fast lane. The Lady says move to the slow lane.

Distracted driving….a la texting or using your handheld phone. Stop it, now! There is NOTHING that is more important than arriving safely…no call, text, Facebook post.

The Lady includes both drivers who will not allow others to merge and those that see the merge signs five miles back and merge at the last minute in the boat of rudeness. Be courteous!

The habit of not using the turn signal (blinker where The Hooper-Bracketts are from) is dangerous and rude.

Blowing one’s horn for no reason other than to hear it blare is the height of rudeness. One should only trumpet to avert danger.

Driving with the high beams on (horrors!) will earn you a stern look from The Lady if she sees you out and about.

Remember: drive courteously!

Best Driving Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett

Food Friday: Finger Foods

Cherished readers, there never seems to be a shortage of questions about food etiquette and table manners. Today The Lady will review items that may properly be consumed as ‘finger foods’. Bon Appetit.

Pizza: Except at a very formal dinner where one would use knife and fork (The Lady can truthfully say that she has never been to a formal dinner where pizza was served) pizza is eaten in your fingers with the wedge sides held together so that the cheese and filling do not come out. Have a napkin handy, just in case.

French Fries: Plain, small french fries with no gravy or ketchup on them can be eaten using your fingers, unless they are extremely greasy. Large french fries, or those served with gravy or other sauce are best eaten using fork.

Artichokes: A finger food. See post about this interesting vegetable here

Bacon: Only very crisp bacon may be eaten using your fingers.

Fried chicken: Should be eaten as a finger food on informal occasions, but this seems to perhaps be a regional preference. The Lady has had her second home in the South for just about 5 years now. The first time she attempted to eat fried chicken with a knife and fork, she received many quizzical looks. The Lady cannot recall when she was served fried chicken at a formal dinner.

Corn On The Cob: Finger food. See post here

Sandwiches: Small sandwiches may be eaten from the fingers, but large, high stacked sandwiches would be better eaten with a knife and fork. Imagine how big your mouth would have to be opened if you tried to fit a triple-decker club sandwich into it and how you would feel if someone snapped a picture at that moment. (Gracious!)

Olives and celery: Finger foods. Just a gentle reminder not to stick the olives on the ends of your fingers and nibble on them thoughtfully. The Lady admits that she did this as a child (and with great glee) but once one reaches the age of ten or so, it is no longer appropriate (alas).

Best Food Wishes,

The Lady Hooper-Brackett