Newport Manners & Etiquette: Picnic Tips, Handling Guests, + Women’s Short Shorts
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Q. Four of us have had a weekly tennis game for a dozen or so summers. This past June when we started up again something extremely humiliating happened. While cooling off at the water cooler after playing, the youngish clerk in the pro shop approached us to announced to our friend that her tennis fees had not been paid. The look on our friend's flushed face went from red to stark white. It was excruciating to witness. In unison we quickly turned our heads pretending we hadn't heard the accusation. The incident is haunting. We're still wondering how to assure that nothing as mortifying ever happens again.
Unbeknownst to the rest of us, one of our doubles group took the clerk aside to reprimand her and tell her how upset we were at seeing our friend humiliated. Apparently, she said that her boss had sanctioned such action. It is hard to believe. At the very least the clerk should have taken her out of earshot of her tennis buddies. Should we report the incident to the club president? Instead,wouldn't it have been more gracious if someone from accounting had called our friend to gently remind her that her account wasn't up-to-date? Name Withheld, Stonington, CT
A. The question is whether to let this mishap slide or try to rectify it? An apology to the maimed primary victim is in order. The damage is done. On the one hand, you wouldn't want the scapegoat clerk who was following orders to get fired. So that leaves the culpability to the culprit, the person who ordered the clerk to embarrass the member in front of her friends.
It is best not to put such a complaint in writing because you never know who's going to see it. Tell someone close to the president your story and let them deal with it as they may. It sounds like a matter of policy. How to inform a member that he's not paid up.
Women's Short Shorts
Q. My business partner and I have been arguing over the waitstaff dress code at our family-style restaurant. He's all for having college girls wearing short-shorts that look like undergarments. My wife and I feel it is humiliating for the girls to show off so much flesh in public, let alone in a family restaurant. Additionally, it makes the vetting process more about whether the young woman has a good figure, than if she is a smart waitress. He's not hiring women who don't look well in short-shorts.
He says it's good for business. I say it makes the waitresses feel self-conscious when they have to expose their upper thighs. PO, Newport
The key to short-shorts is balance. They say that short-shorts are the Yin to Sports Bras Yang. Athletic short-shorts for sports are another matter. The wearer isn't looking for tips.
Suggest that your partner gets over objectify women and adheres to the standard dress code of black slacks and shoes and a white top with a collar and either a short sleeves or long sleeves.
Whether the short-shorts are high waisted or low rise, if the length is shorter than where the tips of her fingers touch her thigh, they are too short for restaurant waitstaff.
Tips for A Newport Picnic
Q. We're planning an August picnic in Newport, RI and need some tips on how to make it work well. Please give us some dos and don'ts. Jennifer, Providence
A. When planning a picnic think about what guests will expect and surprise them. But at the same time make your picnic stress free by coming up with a short list of things guests can bring to contribute. As well as a long list for yourself. What should guests bring? At the very least, their own water for consumption.
- Organize ahead of time, plan the menu and do the advance work.
- Base the picnic food around a signature drink: Pimm's cup, Dark & Stormy, Cosmopolitan and craft beer from a local brewery.
- Even if you're serving sandwiches or prepared food from a local eatery, pack colorful napkins, bamboo flatware and plates, tubs for ice, spices, salad dressing, and colorful tablecloths or light weight blankets.
- Include prep tools for putting the picnic together: a sharp knife and cutting board, serving spoons, opener for bottles and cans, trash bags and paper towels for cleanup. Be safe about spoilage and take a thermometer for the coolers to keep track of the temperature of any salads with mayonnaise, egg dishes and meats.
- Plan blankets for everyone to sit on and have a fully charged wireless speaker.
- Text the location dropping a pin in a map app with the location.
- Ask everyone to bring water, those with food allergies and restrictions should bring their own food.
- Know who is bringing what.
Not everyone will want to eat at once, so keep it casual. Don't stand on ceremony serving everyone with a sit down time, it's a picnic. Let people help themselves as they arrive. Don't over season because as hot food cools down its seasoning becomes saltier and in some cases more flavorful.
Q. When addressing a letter to the secretary of state of your home state, do you address them as the Honorable ….?
–HB, Torrington, WY
A. When addressing a letter, message, or thank-you note to an elected or appointed official. you would address the Secretary of State of your home state as The Honorable. Whenever you use the honorific The Honorable always make the T in The Honorable upper case.
Addressing the envelope
- For official business:
The Honorable Ed Murray
Secretary of the State of Wyoming
- Socially, a personal thank-you note:
The Honorable The Secretary of State of Wyoming
Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners for her upcoming book NEWPORT MANNERS & ETIQUETTE.
Related Slideshow: 20 Free (or Almost Free) Things to do in New England This Summer - 2017
The Cliff Walk is one of Newport’s most famous attractions is its gilded age mansions lining the coast. Entry to the mansions will cost a fee, but with the Cliff Walk, you can enjoy views of the mansions with amazing views of the water all for free.
The 3.5 mile long path runs behind the mansions on the eastern shore of Newport. It is a National Recreation Trail – the first in New England! The majority of the walk is easy, but be sure to wear good shoes; the sand can make the path slippery.
PHOTO: Connie Ma/flickr
The Freedom Trail is a two and a half-mile walking tour that connects 16 significant Boston landmarks.
Interior access to the Freedom Trail's sites is also free, except for the Paul Revere House, the Old South Meeting House and the Old State House.
The Freedom Trail is a great way to get exercise, explore Boston and learn about history, all at the same time.
If you buy tickets online they are discounted at $12 for adults, $10 for students and $6.50 for kids ages 6-12.
Old North Church, located on Salem Street, is Boston's oldest surviving church, and it's also the place where Paul Revere gave the signal that the "British were coming," on April 18, 1775.
Once he gave the signal, two lanterns were raised high, meaning that they were coming by sea to Lexington and Concord, not land.
This event began the American Revolution.
Providence WaterFire has grown to be an iconic Rhode Island event. Starting out in 1994 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of First Night Providence, it has grown to run continuously, once a month, from May-November and boasts over 80 blazing fires in the middle of the Providence River.
WaterFire is a not-for-profit organization that aims to creatively transform Providence – and they do! Each event is accompanied with music by artists from around the world, varies food stands and art stands to browse as you stroll along the river.
People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park.
The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast.
Visit Acadia and hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.
The park entrance fee is FREE from August 25th to the 28th.
Besides that, admission is $12 while those 15 and under are FREE of charge
Merrimack, New Hampshire
The Budweiser Clydesdales are the most recognizable mascots in the beverage industry and a visit to the Clydesdale Hamlet at the Anheuser-Bush Brewery will get you a free meeting with them.
For this 21 and over, you can take a tour of the brewery and see it result in free beer at the end.
If you have kids who are not 21, they can visit the horses who are there year round. They will get a huge kick out of it.
PHOTO: Billy Zoom/flickr
Take a hike at Purgatory Chasm and see the unique landmark that formed naturally approximately 14,000 years ago. Theory has it that the chasm was formed near the end of the last Ice Age with the sudden release of glacial meltwater that had been dammed up. Pretty neat! The chasm is ¼ mile long and runs between giant granite rock, sometimes standing at 70 feet high! You do have to pay to park ($5 MA residents, $6 for out-of-staters), but exploring the reservation is completely free.
Take a 30 minute tour of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory in Vermont and see where your favorite flavors of ice cream are made. It is just about ice cream season after all.
The factory is open year round and admission is just $4 for adults, $3 for seniors and kids 12 and under are FREE.
If you want a little bit of an outdoor adventure, hike to Royalston Falls in Royalston, MA. The hike itself isn’t too long, but it can be challenging. It leads you to a remote gorge created by prehistoric glacial meltwater and 45 foot plunging waterfall within a half-hidden ravine. If you’re up for the adventure, the destination is far worth the trek.
See a replica of the world's firs submarine and learn about it through films before heading about the USS Nautilus for a free audio tour.
Nautilus was the first nuclear-powered submarine and the first vessel to travel 20,000 leagues under the sea. The ship is now open to the public year-round and is free.
Rhode Island’s own version of Boston’s Freedom Trail, follow the painted green line for the Independence Trail. The 2.5 mile tour of historic Providence “takes you over four centuries of history, architecture, culture, and folklore.”
Don’t worry about where to begin, the route is circular so you can start anywhere! Along the painted green trail on the sidewalks you’ll find red emblems with a phone number and a location number.
Worcester’s Canal District is home to eleven buildings that originate from the early 1800s. Preservation Worcester wants you to enjoy the history available to you, for free! They offer a Canal District Walking Tour, By the Canal, to expose you to the stories of the people and historical events that created Worcester. You can pick up a free tour brochure at the Preservation Worcester office on Cedar Street, download a printable version of the tour and tour map, or download audio files to phone to do an audio tour.
Runs from Worcester to Providence
The idea behind the Blackstone River Bikeway was to create a bike path running 48 miles, from Worcester to Providence along the National Heritage Corridor. It links the Blackstone River and the Blackstone Canal and will eventually connect with the East Bay Bike Path in Rhode Island. The path isn’t completed yet, but riders can enjoy the segment that is, free of charge.
Listen to some great music during the NIMFest Concert Series at King Park Beach in Newport.
NIMFest concerts are held Sunday afternoons from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the King Park gazebo on Wellington Avenue.
Concerts are presented free by the City of Newport featuring the best in regional and local talent.
The 2017 series celebrates women artists in folk, bluegrass, jazz, blues, rock, and everything in between.
Head to Concord, Massachusetts and then to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where you will find "Author's Ridge."
Author's Ridge marks the final resting place of legendary writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Louisa May Alcott.
New Haven, Connecticut
Take a free tour of Yale University and while you are there be sure to walk through the Yale Art Gallery and the Yale Center for British Art.
If you time it correctly, you might even get to attend one of the Yale School of Music’s nearly 300 annual performances.
The Sprinkler Factory is not actually factory, but rather a gallery. Though, its namesake does come from the real-life sprinkler factory started by Howard Freeman in WWII. Why? Because he embodies “the spirit of innovation.” With the aim of providing the public with a place to display and enjoy the visual arts, the Sprinkler Factory hosts exhibitions once a month, and they’re always free.
South Deerfield, Massachusetts
Yankee Candle Village headquarters are located in South Deerfield, Massachusetts, where they call themselves “Scenter of the Universe.”
Walk around the store for hours, exploring all the different showrooms with varying scents. The complex is something to see.
Be warned though, you may be tempted to buy a candle or two.
Runs from Providence RI to Bristol RI
If you’re looking for a dose of natural beauty and healthy activity, try going for a spin on the East Bay Bike Path. The first bike facility to be under the State, it is a 13.8 mile trail that connects 8 different parks from Providence to Bristol. Do the whole thing or just a stretch and cross over bridges and by coves on the Narragansett Bay shore. The bike path is open year round.
Photo: Michael St Jean/Flickr
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