Cherished readers, today’s question is an interesting one and one that The Lady had to think about just a little in order to answer.
Dear Lady Hooper-Brackett,
We recently had dinner at a friend’s house and she served the most delicious dessert! I asked her for the recipe and she seemed taken aback and flatly refused to give it to me. I can’t help but feel slighted…just who was at fault here?
Dear Dessert Lover,
The Lady believes that asking for a recipe for a meal or dish that you truly enjoy is not rude. Quite truthfully, it is a sincere form of flattery. The host should never be insulted to be asked. However, The Lady believes that the host is justified in refusing to divulge the recipe in the following circumstances:
They received the recipe from someone who made them promise never to give it out.
The recipe is a family heirloom (of sorts) and is handed down with the expectation that it will remain a family secret.
The Lady also looks at the situation in this way:
What if your host PURCHASED the dessert and served it to you under the subterfuge that it was their own creation. In this instance, there would be no recipe to pass on. (What a tangled web we weave!)
Best Dessert Wishes,
The Lady Hooper-Brackett
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
Cherished readers, The Lady had an interesting discussion with a friend on the subject of personal questions. She was amazed that her daughter-in-law actually answered when someone asked her age. I could sympathize with her surprise, but I also acknowledge that the younger generations are generally much more open about things than we ancients are. (The Lady is not really ancient…but she likes to pretend to be of a different era.)
Even with these more open, free social customs, The Lady believes that the following examples fall into the category of personal questions:
-How much money do you make/have/plan to inherit?
-How much did this cost? How can you afford this?
-When are you going to have children/stop having more children/discipline the children you have?
-What exactly is wrong with your health?
-Why are you getting divorced?
-How much do you weigh? (Ha…you knew that one was going to make the list!)
-Did you have some work done? (Referring to plastic surgery, not work on the house or car)
-Is it real? (Whatever it is…a gemstone, bosom, derriere, hair, etc…)
In all things, cherished readers, discretion is your friend. No probing questions.
Best Manners Wishes,
The Lady Hooper-Brackett
*The Lady apologizes ahead of time for the allusions to curse words in this post*
Cherished readers, as The Lady has stated in an older post, mail time is a favorite event in the course of the day. Mixed in with the usual correspondence today was a catalog. On its cover a large banner proclaimed “MIX AND MATCH RED BOX SPECIAL Tees! But 2 or more for $18 each” Next to this was a photo showing just a few of the 96 different varieties of T-shirts available. One of the T-shirts in the sample photo had emblazoned across the front “I would like to thank my middle finger for always sticking up for me when I need it.”
Some other statements that you, too, can make with your clothing for the low price of $18 included:
- Friday is my second favorite F word.
- I’m up, if you’re expecting bright-eyed and bushy-tailed go catch a fr&#$ing squirrel.
- And yet despite the look on my face you’re still talking.
- I turn beer into pee. What’s your super power?
I could list more, but I won’t. I am sure most people see these as being jokes and funny, novelty items to stick in a drawer and never wear. I cannot help feeling that impressionable people would see them listed in a catalog and think that it is perfectly fine to go around offending people. Yes, I do think that outside of the privacy of one’s own home these are offensive. By their very design they are made to shock and offend and I cannot help but be dismayed to see these things for sale.
Best Clothing Wishes,
The Lady Hooper-Brackett
Cherished readers, forgive my absence yesterday. It was a travel day for me as I made my way from The South to The North. (As a non-etiquette related aside, I will say it is hotter and more humid in New England today than it was in Southern Mississippi! A rare occurrence!)
Now, I try to be an easy-going traveler as we are jammed into the Aluminum Tube and we must make do in a small space with hardly any leg room. In those circumstances, we are all suffering and I realize we cannot all be at our best. However as I observed and shared space with my fellow travelers yesterday, it was clear that my flight was to be a lesson in poor manners, indeed.
After being seated in my window seat, a trio of males (two college age and one who was their father) sat in the row behind me. They were speaking loudly and sounded as if they were all well into their cups at 930 AM. (So be it) One decided that he wanted to play cards and proceeded to shuffle the cards and bang on the tray table behind me….repeatedly and loudly. My seat was jarred over and over. He also cursed and swore as he talked about their recent trip to Miami. His seatmate now decided to pull out his tablet and play a video without earbuds so that any and all around him had to listen to the movie he was watching.
In our small section, we (which included three young girls traveling with their parents) were subjected to listening to a tirade which included profanity and vulgar names to call women. It was, to say the least, mortifying. And maddening!
My seatmates, an older couple, arrived. Within 20 seconds of being seated, the lady turned around and sternly told the young man to please turn off his movie or use earbuds because listening to the video was annoying and degrading to women. He turned it immediately off. I thanked the woman for her gumption. (Turns out she is a former Catholic School principal!)
Remember how I always say that really the only thing you have to keep in mind about manners and etiquette is CALL NO ATTENTION TO ONESELF? These young men had not learned this lesson yet. Everything they did called the most negative attention to themselves!
I became disheartened to think that the ways of our modern world seem to be all about selfishness and people doing exactly what they want without regard to others comfort or feelings. I sincerely hope that this will change in the future.
Best Travel Wishes,
The Lady Hooper Brackett