Newport Manners & Etiquette: Same-Sex Weddings & More
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Same-sex wedding with disapproving parent
My fiancé and I are putting together our invitation list for our same-sex wedding and we have an unsurmountable problem. He hates his father and his father hates him. His father phones Jimmy to berate him and says hideous things that aren't fit to repeat. Jimmy dearly loves his mother and is distraught because he wants her at our wedding. How do we finesse this? T.O., Washington, DC
Obviously, nobody is going to change the old man's mind at this stage of his life, so forget about him. Nevertheless, invite them both. Send the invitation to Mr. and Mrs. (Jimmy's parents), but before sending the invitation meet with his mother privately to invite her to come on her own. Make it clear that if she accepts, you'll have her picked up by a good friend of yours, escorted, and taken home when she wishes to leave. The crotchety dad can't complain too much when the invitation was addressed to both them. It is his choice not to attend his son's wedding. ~Didi
Addressing same-sex doctors
We have two doctors on our invitation list who are married, gay, and share the same last name, so how do we address the envelope? J.W., Providence
Simply address the envelope to:
The Doctors Darlington (Use just their last shared name, no first names.)
Above their address ~Didi
Sweet seventeen dress code
Hey, I need your help. Next Saturday I will attend my best friend's Sweet Seventeen Birthday Party. She said the color of the dress code is beige. I really need your help to give me some advice on what outfit I'm gonna wear to the party. Thank you so much, and I want to hear your advice really soon. Withholding name
Go to the website Lulus.com and click on 'dresses,' scroll way down to the sixth page and there is a beige dress called 'Sweet Escape Light Peach Dress,' that looks more beige than peach. As you'll see while scrolling, beige is so trendy that you barely see a beige dress available. Your hostess is a trend spotter. My favorite is at abercrombie.com by typing in 'dresses,' you'll find a beige and gold dress called 'Renee Dress' reduced from $88 to $35.20; again pair it with beige shoes. ~Didi
Aging mom and her boyfriend
My mom, 85, has been difficult to deal with these last few years. To me she's always in a bad mood—knocks me down emotionally—negative—really nasty—doesn't let me talk to calm her down or reason with her. She lies and only calls me when she needs something. Her boyfriend is bedridden now & she is codependent on him. Her life these last 7 years has been only about him. She never has time for me or my kids. She has no hobbies and few friends—she says no to everything. I'm a happy, kind, considerate person--the way I deal with life and others is completely opposite. I know she's not dealing well with being older. By the way, she's been like that to me most of my life. I have always been kind & respectful to her & I try to deal with it. That is how she is...I've tried always to be nice cuz she's my mom—but I told her off the last time she was horrible on the phone. I'm not playing this game anymore. I suggested we see a therapist together. She always says no. How do I deal with her now? Name withheld
Your mother resents the fact that you are young and capable. At 85, she sees the future and it looks grim. You can try saying things such as, "Now, be nice, there is no reason to be rude (mean, unkind)." However, if your tone is condescending it will irritate her even more. To put it bluntly, she is probably jealous of you.
It sounds as though you two have a longtime pattern that a little therapy is not going to cure. If she outlives her boyfriend, she'll transfer her need for co-dependency on to you, or onto whomever else is around. You will need to protect yourself from further abuse. Focus on your own family and don't let her patterns creep into your relationship with your children and husband. Don't take the unkind things she says personally. Much of this is a dwindling dementia on a downward spiral. There may be medications to make her happier, but that is between your mother and her doctor.
As I am not qualified to help you in this area, I can only recommend that you seek understanding of your mother's irrational behavior with a geriatric specialist, who can recommend books and online support groups where adult children with the same problem share information and resources. You are not alone. As each generation lives longer, the care of elderly parents is as much about their mental state as their physical one. Moreover, there are professionals online. Through such sites as psychologytoday.com, you'll find information, advice, and support. ~Didi
Do you have a question for Didi? Visit her at NewportManners.com. We can withhold your name and location. Didi researches etiquette and all matters of manners for her book,"Newport Etiquette." Previous weekly GoLocalProv.com columns may be found by typing in Didi Lorillard in the above righthand search.
Organizing Products For Your Closet
Flip flop organizer
How many flip flops do you own? Are they thrown all over the closet floor? How long does it take you to find a match to one of them? Bed Bath and Beyond has a $9.99 flip flop organizer that holds 6 pairs of flip flops and hangs nicely in your closet. This is a must-have if you have more than 5 pairs of flip flops. I’ve purchased these for my clients and they work great!
You love your scarves, but it takes you forever to locate one and you have to throw 5 around to find the one you are searching for. Use a scarf organizer and you will be able to see all your scarves and find them at a moment’s notice. Bed Bath and Beyond has a few different types of scarf organizers, including this one for $9.99.
Did you know people who didn’t own shoe racks were 7 times more likely to show up late for an event? Are your shoes in piles on the floor? Get them off the floor and contain them in a shoe rack. There are many options out there, like this one from Bed Bath and Beyond. Choose the shoe rack that is going to fit what you need to hold and fit in the space you are working with.
How are you storing your handbags? Are they stored all over your closet? Are they in bins or crumpled up on the floor? It’s time to organize your bags. There are many options depending on the space you are working with. You can stand them up on a shelf, you can hang them, or if they are small, you can store them in a canvas bin. The choice is yours. Think about how you function and develop a system from there.
Baseball cap organizer
How many baseball caps do you own? How are they organized in your closet now, and how long does it take you to find one? The Container Store (pictured here), Bed Bath and Beyond, and other stores sell this baseball cap organizer. I have a few clients that have purchased them and they love them!
Function over flash
There are many variations on these products. Choose the product that is right for you. There are some organizing products I would never use, but other people might choose to use them. Choose the one that is going to be the most efficient and productive product for you and your family. Don’t choose a product because it’s pretty, choose it based on functionality. Search online for different products before you rush out and purchase a product. You may find that one store is more expensive than another. Don’t forget if you are going to Bed Bath and Beyond to use their 20% off coupons. If you don’t want to purchase these items, get creative and re-purpose items around the home, or make your own!
Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. She has appeared on air on Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio and her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. Kristin's CD, Organizing Basics, is a 1-hour guide for the person who wants to get organized but doesn't know where to start. She is also available for organizing workshops. Tune into her weekly radio show, Organize, Energize! on Mondays at 8:30am on www.talkstreamradio.com.
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