Champagne, Lipstick & Manners

Our very own Mr. Manners, Jake Gaines, is on the scene to help some of the little conundrums that can pop up into modern day life. His remedy? Use your instincts and well, best manners to solve issues like these…

Dear Mr. Manners,

I was recently at a close friend’s house and a fellow guest whispered to me that the champagne was burned. What does that mean and what should I have done at the time?

Puzzled in Pemberton

Dear Puzzled and Bubbly,

Based on your question, when did you take a time machine back to a dinner party in Season Four of the 80’s soap, Dynasty when Dominique Deveraux told Alexis Carrington the same, snide remark? Burned champagne is real and means that it was frozen in the bottle at some point. How was the caviar instead? Seriously, one never points out an error to a hostess as a guest. Next time simply put down the champagne and ask for something else, saying the bubbles go to your head and be done with it.

Mr. Manners

Dear Mr. Manners,

I only went to a few weddings this summer, yet many are planned for this fall and winter. Am I supposed to attend every single event during my friend’s jam-packed wedding weekend?

Mystery in Monte Vista

Dear Marriage Guest in Monte Vista,

I recall when there was only the wedding, and if I was in the wedding party, the rehearsal dinner, too. As if that isn’t enough, now weddings have grown quite elaborate beyond that with an out-of-town guest tennis tournament, post marriage brunch on Sunday and what not. Mostly that is for guests who are visiting for the nuptials, and for destination weddings. These are “event weddings” and the trend is becoming more popular. A bride (and her family) feels obligated to provide activities for her guests for every minute of the big weekend. Nonsense.

Memo to the bridal family: we wedding guests are all adults, and even if we are at a destination location, we can manage to find and feed ourselves breakfast, without your organizing a scavenger hunt around the meal. Plus, we are just not big fans of destination weddings and have missed quite a few over the years. For those who are invited to a wedding weekend-palooza, know that you don’t have to attend every event. Select only the ones that you feel will mean the most to the bride or groom and for the others, just extend your apologies that won’t be able to attend. Then go hide in your hotel room and order room service, or work on your tan at the pool and then enjoy the actual ceremony and reception.

Mr. Manners

Dear Mr. Manners,

How do I deal with unwanted social site traffic from old high school friends without hurting any feelings? Do I confirm them with access to my profile or deny them?

Torn in Tanglewood

Dear Torn About Electronic Friends,

Ah, the technological revolution. The great re-connecting social sites were a blast the first month I signed on. Lost address books, erased hard drives and the past got a fresh start with renewing acquaintances like that old gal pal or boyfriend that you may have only seen periodically over the years at a class reunion. Did you stay in touch after that? Probably not. Why? It is hard to say, yet friendships are fluid and many times, old friends just outgrow each other and move onward. Do you really care that that they posted getting snap peas for dinner or those aggrandizing souls who check in while on an exotic trip in a country you’ve never even heard of? Again, probably not.

The rules of social etiquette are pretty much the same online as they are off. You can be nice and accept their electronic friendship and as Darwin felt, any rekindled relationships that aren’t meant to be will die a quick, painless death. Then after that, if you have no interest in corresponding with the old chum, “de-friend” them and try not to worry about hurting their feelings. It likely will not since these social sites have helped us all develop thick skins.

Mr. Manners

Dear Mr. Manners,

I wear long-lasting lipstick and sometimes leave a lip stick/lip gloss stain on my beverage rim. Do I wipe it off with my napkin, or shall I leave it?

Riled Up In River Place

Dear Beautifying Texan,

Thank you for caring about the world around you, especially at parties, yet I think this goes in the file marked “Life is really too short.” Say you are at a party (or a dinner, or a brunch, or some other function where you want to have fun and look good, otherwise you wouldn’t be wearing lipstick), then I recommend you enjoy having fun and being sociable, not doing maintenance on your glass after every sip. That would get tedious and make other guests conscious of their own lip marks, perhaps. Pros will share that there are ways to reduce the mark on the glass, such as blotting your lipstick after applying it, but aside from that, I wouldn’t go to much trouble to avoid something that’s not really noticed by others, either.

Mr. Manners