Can You Answer This?

While teaching a class about proper introductions at an elementary school, one of the students asked me the following question:

“What if I have to  introduce the Pope and the President some day?  Whose name is spoken first?”

I’m thrilled to see this student is setting very high goals at such a  young age.

Do you know the answer to this question in  the event you’re in this situation?

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No Gifts If You Elope – Wedding Etiquette

If you decide to elope rather than have a large wedding, do not expect friends and family to send wedding gifts.  You excluded them from the celebration so they are not obligated to send a wedding gift.

If you have a reception after you elope, gifts may be sent, but they should not be expected.

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Eloping – Wedding Announements

Q: My fiance and I are considering to elope.   How should we announce our big news to family and friends?

A: If you prefer to elope or have an intimate wedding, send announcements or invitations to a reception after the wedding has taken place.

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Go Ahead and Enjoy Your S’more

Some foos-moreds bring back childhood memories.  For that reason alone, they are just fun to eat.  The chocolate s’more is one of those foods.  The name conjures thoughts of a sticky, gooey, chocolate goodness.  When asked about the etiquette of eating a s’more, my first response is, “enjoy it and have fun”.

S’mores are traditionally a campfire dessert.  Everyone is outside and casually dressed.  It’s dark.  No one can see the spot of marshmallow on your chin.  There is no fear of chocolate dripping on a tablecloth or dropping a marshmallow on your lap.  If something drips or drops, we laugh and reach for another marshmallow to place on our stick.  When we’re done having our fun, a mother or host usually produces wet naps or damp towels for cleanup.

Recently, I’ve noticed s’mores are being introduced at less casual social events than the campfire.  It’s not uncommon to see a s’more bar at a wedding or shower.  This is where the childhood fun ends and we must become proper adults.  Here are a few tips to help with the transition.

  1. Heat your marshmallow to medium rather than well done.  It will be warm enough to soften the chocolate, but will not ooze out between the graham crackers.
  2. Use only one marshmallow per s’more.
  3. Go light on the chocolate and keep it inside the cracker edges.
  4. Hold the s’more firmly with both hands if possible.  Support the bottom cracker with your thumbs as you would an overstuffed sandwich.
  5. Take small bites over a plate or napkin.
  6. Wipe your mouth between bites if necessary.
  7. Wipe your hands with a napkin when finished.

If you’re planning an event and would like to have the decadence of the s’more without the mess, consider placing the s’more ingredients in a dessert bowl and serve it cobbler style.  Depending on the party theme, you may want to use a martini glass or mason jar.  I’ve also seen recipes for s’more balls and s’mores on a Popsicle stick.  Both recipes dip a marshmallow in chocolate and roll it in crushed graham crackers.

Menus should always be appropriate for the occasion.  Avoid merging casual with formal.  This way we can have our s’more and enjoy eating it too!

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How to Properly Eat a Chicken Wing

chicken-wingsI grew up in the Buffalo, NY area where the Buffalo chicken wing was invented.  There, chicken wings are a staple food at most casual social events.   I always thought knowing how to eat a chicken wing was an innate skill until I moved away.   It was then I discovered the rest of the world tends to be chicken wing challenged.  Here are a few tips to eat chicken wings properly.

Chicken wings should always be served in a casual setting.  Never serve them at a formal dinner.

The drumstick should be picked up with the fingers of both hands holding on to the ends.  Hold the drumstick up to your mouth and eat it clean.  Do not make sucking sounds or immerse one end of the drumstick in your mouth like a plunger and suck the meat off as you pull it out.  Wipe your mouth and fingers with a napkin when finished.

The two boned, flat chicken wing should be treated differently.

  1. Pick the wing up by the ends with the fingers of both hands.
  2. Locate the end with the larger bone sticking out.
  3. Pull the cartilage off from this end and discard or eat it.
  4. Locate the smaller of the two bones and twist to loosen it.
  5. Pull the small bone from the wing.
  6. Do the same with the larger bone.
  7. You may now eat your boneless chicken wing.
  8. Wipe your mouth and fingers with a napkin when finished.

Should meat become lodged in your teeth while eating, excuse yourself from the table and go to the restroom or private area to clean it out.  Do not use a toothpick at the table.

If you bite into a wing that is too spicy hot for your palate, eat bread or a cracker.  Water will not dowse the flames.  Do not hold your mouth open while flapping your hand in an attempt to decrease the heat.  This looks silly and will do nothing other than disgust other diners.

When you are completely finished eating, use a wet nap or wash in your hands at a sink.  Never, ever lick your fingers clean.

Enjoy your wings.  If you visit Buffalo, I hope you can stop by the Anchor Bar, the acclaimed birthplace of the Buffalo wing.




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Last Name Not Required for Royals

As the world waits to learn the name of the new royal baby born to Prince William and his wife, the Duchess of Cambridge, they are waiting for a first name only.  Royals are not required to have a last name.

The proper title for the royal newborn will be His Royal Highness Prince (first name) of Cambridge.

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Glass vs. Bottle/Can When Drinking Beer


TBeer Glasshe most appropriate way to consume any beverage is from a glass.  However, Americans thoroughly enjoy kicking back while sipping on a cold beer from a can or bottle.

Drinking beer from a can or bottle is fine if you’re casually hanging out with friends at a picnic, sporting event or casual bar.

If you’re having a beer while dining at a restaurant or sitting at an upper end bar, pour the beer into a glass and drink from the glass.

When in doubt, add class with a glass.

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Addressing The Pope





In a mailing address:

His Holiness, Pope Francis or His Holiness The Pope

In Correspondence:

Your Holiness or Most Holy Father


His Holiness, The Pope

In Conversation:

Most Holy Father or Your Holiness

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Knock Before Entering

If apdsi010013 door is closed to a space that may be occupied, always knock before entering.  This includes, but is not limited to, offices, bedrooms, dressing/fitting rooms, lavatory stalls, hotel rooms and hospital rooms.

Yesterday, I was trying on clothing in a department store fitting room and 3 women opened my fitting room door in separate attempts.  There wasn’t a lock on the door, but it would have been most polite if any of these women gently knocked on the door before swinging it wide open.  The knock would have saved embarrassment for all of us.

On the flip side, if you are in a room when someone knocks to check on the availability, respond appropriately and be polite in your response.  Be appreciative someone bothered to check before barging in.

Posted in Business Etiquette, Etiquette Tips, Hospital Etiquette, Locker Room Etiquette, Office Etiquette, Public Courtesies, Spa Etiquette | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Personal Problems in a Professional Setting

Do not bring personal problems to the office.  Leave them at home.

If your coworkers are your friends, wait until you are outside the office to discuss  your personal matters.

Posted in Business Etiquette, Etiquette Tips, Office Etiquette, Professional Image, Professional Presentation | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment