Posts Tagged ‘etiquette’

Domestic Glamour Tip #547: Cook to Intimacy

how to make your mate happy

Find your mate’s favorite childhood comfort food, and learn how to cook—and serve—it the way he or she likes. Tomato soup and grill cheese delivered on a tray in bed, accompanied by a gazillion smooches on his face and head, when he is sick. Strawberry pancakes loaded with fresh whipped cream on your girl’s birthday, because that’s what her mother did for her every year. A homemade milk shake made with chunky ice cream served to him in an oversized mug. Home-cooked chicken soup made with the tiny, star-shaped pasta.

This domestic glamour move will make your mate happy. It will make him or her feel like you care about them. This in turn will make you feel happy. Good ole’ rational self-interest at work.

Tip 1: To learn about your mate’s favorite comfort food, be crafty. First, speak naturally and enthusiastically about yours. They will most likely offer up theirs as part of the conversation. If not, oh-so casually ask them outright. Casually. Listen carefully to their answer.

Tip 2: This domestic glamour move works best on somewhat established relationships. By somewhat established I don’t mean the 2nd or 3rd date. There should be a basis of friendship, romance and intimacy involved, lest the move come off as contrived, or worse, as an unwelcome push towards an intimacy that is premature or not desired.


The Fine Habit of Holding Doors

I’m a huge fan of door-holding for a few reasons. It’s a potent and quick way to lift the civility of a place. It’s a fine way to communicate who you are (a lady or gentleman), and it bestows a nice and immediate positive feeling to both holder and recipient. There’s really no reason to not hold doors, and often.


*If someone in front of you stops to hold open the door for you before entering an establishment, do pause once inside to give them the opportunity to step ahead and get in line. In other words, do not take this opportunity to get in line in front of the person who was in front of you, but stepped aside to open the door.

*Be democratic in your door holding. I hold open the doors for young and old, women or men. Probably pets, too.

*Holding doors, on top of their above-mentioned rewards, is an investment in your community. It  is one of those public customs that is excellent to establish because it quickly gives others a sense of the place. I may be passing through, but if I happen to be in an area where I observe a lot of door holding, I know it’s a place that I’d probably like to visit again. Like attracts like. Conversely, mean or crass people are less likely to feel comfortable and stick around a community of nice, civil folks.

So go forth and hold doors, civility crusader. And don’t be discouraged if some recipients are oblivious to your nice gesture. Unfortunately, in some corners door-holding is so foreign that people just don’t know what to do.

A Stand Against Swearing

Exhibit A: Foul Mouthed Hooligan

Though physical altercations are far from glamorous, I couldn’t help but feel a little Hip-Hip-Hooray when I heard about the woman and man who confronted a foul-mouthed hooligan about his language in the stands of the U.S. Open this week. The hooligan’s response was to step up his vulgarity.

In short, a deserved beat-down of said foul-mouthed hooligan ensued.

If you have been out and about for longer than a decade, you may have noticed that there has been an increase in this kind of behavior–usually young men (but more and more, girls) who swear in public. And not just a word or two, but long, loud belligerent monologues of filth-flying-filth speak that destroy the dignity of any environment.

When confronted, today’s response is not that of the past–a quick and sincere apology–but a step-up in the belligerence and filth talk.

I suspect the rise of such behavior has everything to do with the fact that it is allowed to exist. Unchecked and unabated, it is flourishing and becoming more and more the norm. Those who hate it but tolerate it–or confront it–are decent people who are offended but hate to make a scene.

The hooligans know this–hence their “make me” response when told to stop.

This behavior, if confronted like this–boldly and often and backed up by the rest of the crowd–will result in bratty, weak louts like this to shrink, check their conduct. Or, at least, revert us back to the not-distant past, when being told to stop resulted in a swift halt and an apology.

Me On Patch

I am now writing a weekly column for AOL’s hyper-local site, Patch Redondo Beach. The column, Local Glamour, focuses on (what else?) grooming, style & etiquette, and can be found here.

A Practical Hand Kiss

how to kiss a woman's hand A lovely mannered Italian designer I met recently passed along an interesting tip–this one for the males in the audience.

It is traditional in Europe to kiss, not shake, a woman’s hand when being introduced socially. This man, however, says he feels it is untoward to make lip-to-hand contact with a stranger.

To this end, he politely takes the woman’s hand, turns it over, palm down, bows his head and air kisses the hand. Close to the skin without making contact, this kiss looks (and to the woman, feels) just as courtly as the original, but without the potential for ick among giver or receiver.