Newport Manners & Etiquette: Double-Dipping Etiquette, Annoying Lovers & How To Be The Best Guest

Thursday, November 09, 2017


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What's the real reason I get annoyed with my boyfriend? Would you loudly out a double-dipper, what girls fear most and how to be the perfect guest were all questions to Didi Lorillard at NewportManners this week.

Double dipping and sharing etiquette

Q.  Have you ever felt like Timmy in the hilarious double dipping scene from the Seinfeld episode when he says to George, "You dipped the chip... you took a bite... and you dipped again"? 

Despite the fact that scientists agree that double dipping is the biggest way to spread diseases, dips are a staple at our holiday gatherings. As our family's contribution to Thanksgiving dinner this year we've been asked to bring a festive dip. I cringe, imagining what disgustingly dirty places my nephews and nieces may have placed their fingers prior to dipping -- after fondling the chips. And I'm wondering what nasty diseases, including strains of the herpes virus and TB, are passed on through residual saliva lurking in dips!

Would you loudly out a double-dipper?  JC, Baltimore

A. Whether you're dipping a chip, bread stick, cracker or carrot stick into salsa, guacamole, hummus or a creamy/ cheesy veggie dip, there are always those who double dip. By taking a bite, and then making a second stab at the dip with the offended chip that leaves behind others at risk. 

You have two choices: 

  • It's your dip, so you can guard your dip. Suggest to approaching dippers that they turn their chip around for the return second dip to prevent their filthy germs from sending everyone at the gathering to the emergency room.
  • Or you can bring a nice big wedge of aged Vermont cheddar cheese and an assortment of crackers as your contribution instead of the dip. Ahead of time cut up half of the cheese into bite size squares. Arrange on a festive plate with a cheese knife. Decorate the platter with fresh radishes, baby tomatoes, or cranberries and add a bit of edible greenery.


You're absolutely right. Despite the fact that chips 'n' dips are actually 'salt and fat traps' a holiday party without a dip practically never happens. 


  • Why not skip the 'salt and fat traps' of chips 'n' dips and provide flatbread or pita instead of overly salty tortilla and chips.


Unless you're into contributing to your family's unhealthy cravings, don't make a bacteria-spreading machine as your dip. 

  • Instead provide a thick creamy, dense guacamole, hummus or cheesy dip that is less likely to slip off the bitten chip or cracker when re-dipping. A thinly consistent dip - such as a salsa - spreads more germs than a thick dip because it is harder to keep the salsa on the chip.
  • Scientists agree that if you must double-dip you should at least turn your chip or cracker around.


A survey by the Philadelphia Flip and Dip Company discovered the following about chip 'n' dip devotees and critics:

  • One in five would ask someone to stop double dipping.
  • One in ten have licked their fingers before picking up another chip or cracker out of the basket.
  • One in five say it is totally acceptable to double-dip. 
  • Six in ten adults see double-dipping as a huge no-no.
  • Sixty percent said double dipping was a big party faux pas.
  • Only one in five of those 60% would stop someone if they caught them in the act of double dipping.


63% said seeing double dipping "leaves them feeling angry, disappointed and embarrassed about their fellow party-goes."

  • If the holidays wouldn't be festive if you couldn't double dip, the consensus is to at least turn your piece of pita bread around before making that second dip into the guacamole.
  • Scientists agree that double dipping in NOT okay, NOT healthy for anyone and NOT cool.



The real reason we get annoyed with our partner

Q. As much as I think I love my boyfriend, his bad habits annoy me. I point them out -- time and again -- by reminding him to put the toilet seat back down, shine his shoes, throw his used tissues away or not to scrape his plate at the dinner table, etc. Worst of all, he's a hoarder. Will he ever break these bad habits? I sound like a broken record complaining over and over about the petty ways he annoys me. Do you think he does them on purpose to get my attention?  EB, Dorset, VT


A. Some irritation in a relationship is a good thing. It can be stimulating. But most couples would agree that it is not  okay to drive each other crazy. Being able to handle low-level conflict is an essential relationship skill. Recognizing annoyances as a sign that life could be better is frustrating, but it gives you something to work on. 

  • Don't beat yourself up about letting an annoyance get under your skin, just get back on track. 
  • Talk about what's really bothering you. 
  • Let him know what irritates you and find out what annoys him about your behavior.


Often when partners are annoying each other it can be playful. Some annoyances are pointless. Others can trigger change. Look at it this way, annoyances can be a sign of a strong relationship.

On the one hand, it might be boring to eliminate all frustrations with one's partner; on the other hand being yourself means you have strong feelings. Take annoyances as a sign that things could be better -- and work on it.



How to be the good guest who will be invited back

Q. What exactly is a good guest? I'm not particularly outgoing, but my boyfriend -- as it turns out -- is a real party animal and especially loves Christmas. I try to get into the spirit and look with envy at how easily he glad handles everyone whether he knows them or not. Any advice on how to be a good guest would be appreciated.  CH, Seattle


A.  The best guests are usually themselves the most experienced hosts. The more you personally entertain, the practice will make it easier for you to be the perfect guest.



  • arrive late
  • be a no-show
  • play with food
  • get drunk
  • take home the remainder of the wine you brought
  • eat more that your fair share of the food
  • bring an uninvited guest or plus-one
  • spend the evening staring at your phone and not mingling
  • assume everyone knows your name and relationship status



  • accept as soon as you receive the invite
  • listen to your host's requests about coats, boots, gifts
  • bring a small gift, if the invite hasn't stipulated otherwise and you know you won't be reciprocating
  • be a self-sustaining guest 
  • introduce yourself, even if you vaguely know the person
  • offer to help with the cleaning up
  • send a thank-you text, message, note, or holiday card



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What young girls fear

Q. We're worried about our daughter who doesn't go out much. She has a fear of going out whether to school or to the mall to meet friends. We're wondering if this is normal. She has an allowance, but buys everything she needs on line with a debt card. We think she spends too much time alone in her room on her laptop. How do we encourage her to socialize more?  Name and location withheld


A.  Be careful of what you wish for, especially if your daughter is college bound and is conscientiously working on her grades. The world is a really scary place right now. For many teenagers, being scrutinized by their peers while they're at school is about as much socializing as they can handle. Socializing outside of school may be social overload for her.

We found this survey conducted by Girlguiding you might like to take a look at. The research discovered that 55% of over 1,900 girls and young women ages seven to 21, say gender stereotypes affect their ability to say what they think.

The Girls' Attitues Survey found:

  • Only a third of the girls feel pressure to live the 'perfect' llfe online.
  • Only 47% feel their parents understand pressures they face on social media.


They're most worried about:

  • Grooming
  • How pictures of them will be used by others
  • Threats from strangers
  • Comparing themselves and their lives to others
  • Seeing unwanted pornography
  • Bullying from people they know


Highlight from the October 2017 Survey

  • 54% of girls aged 11-21 have come across unwanted violent or graphic images online that made them feel upset or disturbed.
  • 95% of girls aged 11-21 said the advertising industry should make sure adverts show more positive, diverse representations of girls and women.
  • 57% of girls aged 11-21 don’t think politicians understand the issues girls and young women face today.
  • 76% of girls aged 7-21 feel confident in digital skills.

Take a look at the full report, from which the above facts were culled



Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners for her forthcoming book. You can follow Didi on Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Facebook


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