Archives for posts with tag: rules

 

Image“Now…. dance!”

Today I want to talk about deportment. I know, I know, it’s a old person thing to say,  but the more I observe people (and since I appointed myself Lord and Mistress of how everyone should behave, I observe people A LOT), the more I realise that looking good is 1 part your physical appearance and style and 2 parts how you carry yourself. I’ll often find myself admiring someone for their great outfit or beauty only to find, when I really look at them, that they are wearing something totally bland that many others are wearing or that they are actually quite average looking. The difference lies in their bearing, in the way they sit, stand, hold their head up etc.

So, here are the 6 basic rules of excellent deportment for modern ladies (and gents):

1.) No fidgeting! Do you ever see the Queen picking at her nail varnish, twirling (or worse, chewing) her hair, absent-mindedly scratching her boob or pulling on her lips? Can you picture how incongruous that would look against her regal stature? Can you imagine the terrible photos we would have of her if she did? Now, I’m not saying that if you have an itch, you shouldn’t scratch it. I’m not Hitler. But I never realised before quite how much trouble people have with staying still. So, please, try to be aware of your body when you’re out and about and remember that continuous and repetitive motion is distracting, annoying and seldom elegant.

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2.) No slouching. Now this is a tough one and one that I am still learning to enforce upon myself. But slouching looks so dumpy and ungraceful. It gives the impression of a person who has lost all hope and given up. Sit or stand up straight! Gone are the days of learning to walk with books on our head (unfortunately, I always thought that looked kind of fun. Way better than double chemistry anyway…) but the reasoning remains the same. You not only look so much better when you are tall and open but you feel so much better. Just like smiling when you are grumpy can actually cheer you up, so forcing yourself to adopt good posture can make you feel lighter and lifted.

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3.) Close your legs! Pants are awesome. I love pants. I would be lost without pants. Truly, I bow down to pants. However, pants are for the wearer and selected (lucky!) others to view. Pants are not for the visual delight of every single other person on the train. I would say that I have seen the knickers of every single woman I share the commute with, at least once. Ladies (and Scotsmen/other skirt enthusiasts) – if your skirt falls anywhere above the knee (even just the tiniest bit) and is not super floaty, then you must keep your legs together! And I mean together. It can be a bit of an effort, legs do naturally fall outwards, but nevertheless, one has to try. Failing that, you can put your handbag on your lap or rest a jacket/scarf there. Grace Kelly never flashed her gusset at strangers and neither should you.

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4.) As well as your body, do try to remain aware of your face when you are out in public. It’s very easy to get lost in your own world and lose sight of the fact that there are others around you, but people make the funniest faces when they zone off. They pick their teeth with their tongue, they yawn without covering their mouths, they wiggle their noses instead of just scratching a tickle, they murmur to themselves, they play with their facial expressions like children just learning how to frown. It’s not offensive, but nor is it elegant. Everyone should have the words “I am the Queen I am the Queen I am the Queen” on a constant loop in their heads. (Or is that just me? :-0)

5.) No looking suicidal. It freaks people out. Yesterday (which admittedly was A Level results day I think, so could have potentially been a bad day for several people) I sat next to a young boy on the train and almost followed him home to make sure that he wasn’t heading past any bridges. He was slumped over, with his head in hands, sporadically rubbing his face and raking his hair back. And sighing. Loudly. A more vivid picture of depression (or, maybe just really dramatic teenage angst) would be hard to come by. I get that everyone has bad days and I know a lot of people follow the mantra that hiding your emotions is bad for you. And I agree, to a point. I am happy to let my feelings out at home. By myself or to my sister (who claims not to but I’m sure secretly loves my rants! :-D) But the average Joe doesn’t need to know. Game face, people, game face. And as I said before, looking miserable and allowing my bearing to crumple actually makes me more miserable.

6.) Food = good. Dazedly wiping Wotsit dust off your chest and picking popcorn out of your bra = less good. Again, this is just about awareness. Don’t lose yourself so thoroughly in a magazine or your ipod that you don’t realise that you are chewing with your mouth open, or making a mess all over yourself and the floor. Hide behind your hand to pick your teeth. Repeat after me: I am not the Tasmanian Devil I am not the Tasmanian Devil I am not the Tasmanian Devil because I am the Queen.

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So there you have it. Back straight, head up, gaze lifted. We are poised, we are graceful, we are proud and we are elegant.

And we are wearing knickers with Spongebob Squarepants on them. ;-p

Thank you!

Love,

 The Etiquetterie

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Image “Hot damn, we’re wise”

Life can be challenging, we can all agree on that, right? However much you think you’ve got the hang of it, something will always crop up to stump/embarrass/annoy you. With that in mind, here are just a few of the random things (some etiquette-related, others less so) that I have learned that help me on this rocky road called life.

 Ooh rocky road…

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– Don’t run over cyclists. I know it’s hard sometimes, but you’re not meant to.

– The person who is nice to you but rude to the waiter is not a nice person.

– If a man stands up to let an elderly person sit down, he’s a keeper.

– If you’re sitting next to a table with children, don’t swear.

– If you’re at a crossing and there are kids there too, wait for the green man. It’s not worth the evils you’ll get from their parents.

– Don’t go out in holey tights (unless you are one of the VERY rare few who can make it look like a fashion statement. NB. If they are clear tights, no one can.). Always carry a spare pair.

– Don’t yell at your kids/partner/sibling/friend/fish in front of their friends, it’s not nice.

– Also, don’t yell at people for spilling things, and other accidental happenings. Some people are just clumsy. (It’s not our fault! I try! I just can’t make it from one side of a room to another without collapsing and/or dropping something and/or stepping on someone’s dog.)

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– Don’t borrow trouble. Not all fights have to be your fights.

– Sometimes, being unreliable is as bad as being mean.

– Do not leave the house with chipped nail varnish.

– Honesty is always the best policy (except for when it isn’t).

– Don’t tell someone something bad about their outfit if it is too late for them to change it.

– Don’t complain that it’s too hot in London, do you want to scare the sun away?! Do you??!! (Too late, you already did, grr)

– Be graceful in defeat. A bad loser is the loseriest of all losers.

– Be graceful in victory, one day you might not be victorious and it will help if people don’t hate you.

– Don’t forget about your friends as soon as you get a boy/girlfriend. They loved you first and they’ll love you after.

– Never trash talk someone in a different language on the tube. They will invariably be from that country.

– Don’t take pictures of strangers without their permission. Even if it’s just because you think they look cool, or because you can’t believe that anyone would actually wear those trainers with the stuffed poodles on them out. It’s an invasion of privacy and it’s not nice.

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– Don’t ignore homeless people. You don’t have to give them money or buy a Big Issue but failing to acknowledge other people is rude.

-Apologise. If you bump into me in the street, if you make a mistake at work, say sorry! (I actually read an article recently debating whether or not a boss should ever apologise at work. How is that even a question!? If you make a mistake, however big or small, acknowledging it and apologising is always the correct response. You are a grown up, not a sulky child! Of course, I am a bit excessively English about this and do tend to apologise even if I had nothing to do with what went wrong. You don’t have to do that!)

– When dealing with awkward moments, speed is everything. Someone sits on your hand on the bus, move it/mention it immediately. If you let even 3 seconds go by, you are that weird person who was touching their butt this morning.

-Give shy people a chance. They are frequently hilarious.

-Don’t talk about money (at least, never give specifics). It’s uncouth.

-Couth is not a word. But it should be.

-Wearing high heels to make you look better is moot if they also make you walk like a dinosaur with a dodgy hip.

-Never put anything in writing that you wouldn’t feel comfortable showing everyone you know. Otherwise you’ll end up having to make your mother drive you to school in the middle of the night (which she won’t be best pleased about) to beg the caretaker to let you search for a “text book” you lost that was actually a book with hundreds of drawings and explicit poems about your teachers shagging in it. In your handwriting. (Which your mother also won’t be best pleased about).

-There is no point in letting previous relationships/experiences colour new ones. You’re the one who misses out.

-Sisters are awesome. They know all your secrets but have to love you anyway.

-If you can’t cook, try to befriend/love others who do. Trust me, it’s handy.

-Dancing and doing karaoke half-heartedly is more embarrassing that throwing yourself into it even though you suck.

-Crocs are for kids. And Jesus-sandals are for Jesus.

-If you don’t think you are awesome, who will?!

If anyone else has any pearls of wisdom that they live by, please chime in. I could use all the help I can get!

 Thank you!

Love,

The Etiquetterie

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I am all for technology and the sharing it enables. No really, I have a blog now and everything. I love the interweb and everything you can do on the line! I love that I can look up a restaurant and read reviews about the service. I find the overly-invested-in-the-situation readers’ comments underneath articles more fascinating that the articles themselves. I love knowing where my friends have been, what they’ve done and how much fun they’ve had (without me? Ahem…) So, it goes without saying therefore, that I love Facebook.

I didn’t at first. I was dragged into this virtual community kicking and screaming by friends who were sick of having to email me all the pictures of our nights out and call me to tell me where we were meeting. (Really, was it too much to ask, I’m sure we used to do it that way?) Nevertheless, just like everyone else, once I entered, I was hooked. Imagine- a world where I can know what the people I didn’t like at school are doing, all the time! A world of pictures and information and bragging! A world where you can post a picture of your “homemade all by yourself FROM SCRATCH” bacon sandwich and 15 people you hardly know will rush to call you the next Heston. A world where you can mention that you’re having a bad day and 30 people will tell you that you’re awesome and gorgeous and they love you, and is there anything they can do to help?

What’s not to love?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

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