When I teach dining etiquette I often tell a story that my neighbor shared with me. When she was a teenager she went to her boyfriend’s house for dinner. She picked up her bread roll, cut it in half with her knife and buttered the whole piece. Her boyfriend loudly announced that she was eating her bread wrong. My poor neighbor was mortified. She had no idea there was a right or wrong way to eat bread. Perhaps her boyfriend thought he was being helpful. But actually, he made his girlfriend feel very embarrassed. Yes, she will never eat bread that way again, but the fact she shared that story with me tells me she still feels the shame of being told she was doing something “the wrong way.”
The concept of etiquette and civility has been around for a very long time. I recently finished a novel called “Rules of Civility” that included mention of George Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behaviour in Company and Conversation. Apparently, at age 16, young George (yes, eventual first president of the United States) copied by hand for a penmanship exercise 110 rules of civility written by French Jesuits in 1590. Those rules were then made into a book by Mr. Washington. Continue reading “What George Washington knew about etiquette” »
I first had the thought of teaching etiquette classes when I worked for Washington Mutual. My job at the time was managing sponsorships for non-profit events like breakfasts and lunches. Because the company often received a table at these events I had to fill them with willing WaMu employees. Not always an easy job. Inevitably, there would be a few people at the table who would look panicked at the multitude of utensils, plates and glasses. They weren’t sure which bread plate and glasses belonged to them at the crowded tables or which utensil to use first. I always felt badly for them. I knew if they learned a couple of etiquette tips they could feel more confident and would never be panicked again.
Can you hear it? It’s the sound of busy hosts shopping, prepping and cooking Thanksgiving dinner. I’m thankful my sister is one of those hosts. She usually hosts Thanksgiving because she has the bigger house and bigger family. The rest of us get to enjoy the gourmet bounty and family gathering in exchange for bringing a dish or two. Lucky us.
Whether you’re hosting or attending the Thanksgiving gathering this year you may be challenged by a few etiquette dilemmas. Let me answer some of the common etiquette dilemmas that apply especially to the holidays but that are also useful for other gatherings. Continue reading “Thanksgiving (and other meals) dos and don’ts” »
This is a guest post by Stacy O’Daffer, Clise Etiquette Associate.
“She will finally appreciate you after she lives without you.” It’s a mother’s universal salve for the wound of a child leaving for college. That this loss will be filled at some later, undefined moment does little to sooth the heartbreak.
But then, it’s time. Not the emoticon hints via text or insinuation during a phone call, but the Mother’s Day Brunch moment. My family gathered together–Ali, my college freshman girl, teen boys Will and Henry, and dad Eric. Eric serves up the traditional holiday prompt to the group. “Tell mom what you appreciate about her.” Continue reading “Read the situation or risk losing business” »
Some great tips and information in this infographic by Quill.com.
Click to Enlarge Image
Infographic by Quill.com
Spring is here! It’s my favorite time of year. I love the blooming flowers and trees and hearing the birds chirp and sing. I also love the longer days, especially here in dark, rainy Seattle. And, I love having a reason to get together with family to celebrate Easter. (Okay, and I admit I like any reason to eat chocolate. Dark chocolate bunnies please.)
I love Thanksgiving. Not only are turkey, gravy and all the fixings my favorite foods but I love being with family and friends celebrating our blessings. However, with most gatherings over meals there are often manners mishaps and misunderstandings. To keep the peace I thought it might be helpful to share answers to some common dining, hosting and guesting (I made that word up, like it?) dilemmas. Continue reading “Avoiding Thanksgiving manners mishaps and misunderstandings” »
My husband and I love to have friends over to dinner. Whether a casual spur of the moment get together or a planned out dinner party, it’s always nice to enjoy the company of friends over a meal.
If you are planning to invite friends or business associates to dinner keep these tips in mind to ensure a successful event. Continue reading “Dinner party dos and don’ts” »
If I had a dollar for every time someone complained to me about the service they received at a restaurant I would be a rich woman. It does seem to be a rare occurrence to get great, attentive service at a dining establishment these days.
Here are some of the complaints I’ve heard.