Newport Manners & Etiquette: Mrs. Trump’s Bad Table Manners, Weddings + More

Wednesday, April 05, 2017


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Questions to Didi Lorillard at Newportmanners this week focused on bridal registries, keeping up with manners and etiquette, when and why we stand up when someone enters the room, is womansplaying a trend? and the twelve tips to teaching children table manners, including parents such as Mrs. Trump. 

When to stand, and why

Q. I'm confused about the manners and etiquette of why people stand up or don't stand up, and when to stand and when not to stand up when someone comes into my office? In particular when a boss or older person enters my space or when a woman coworker comes in.  George, Boston


A.  What's the difference between a man and a gentleman? Not all men are gentlemen. A gentleman is accountable for his actions. If the man respects women in general, he stands when a woman enters his space and is instantaneously identified as a gentleman. The exception would be in the workplace where you might talk several times in a day -- or at home when you're hanging out relaxed and casual.

Why stand?  Out of respect -- no matter the gender -- for the person entering your office and especially if the person is a bit older. 

  • I may be older than you and I'm a woman, but when you make an appointment with me and enter my office, I'll stand to greet you with a handshake because I assume I'm going to respect you. I give you the benefit of the doubt. 
  • On the other hand, If I've just fired you for lying to me and you walk into my office, I won't stand up for you because I don't respect the way that you've behaved.

When to stand: 

In business you would stand up out of respect for your boss or a colleague, although if the person has been in and out of your office recently, you wouldn't do so.

  • You wouldn't stand for your assistant, the mail deliverer or tech person, because s/he enters your office often and is part of your working team.
  • You would stand for a client, your boss's wife or a coworker's relative, even if they stopped by to chat announced.


Socially you would stand to greet or welcome any woman or man, who appears to be eighteen or older, entering the space where you're seated. You are only given an exception if you are infirm or quite elderly.

*Don't forget to button your jacket when you stand up and then release it when you are seated again.

Then if you've both sat down to talk, you would stand up when s/he started to leave.

Clueless about beverage glasses

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Q. What glasses do you use with what? There seem to be so many choices. As a soon-to-be newlywed I want to know what glasses to register for on our wedding registry?  Christina, Westwood, CA

A.  As a newlywed you're certainly not expected to have a proper glass for every kind of beverage. Jelly jars will do for most any chilled beverage!

Take into consideration the fact that the shape of the glass determines the flow of the wine when it touches the tongue's various sensitive zones of temperature, texture and taste at the same time. Unless you're a connoisseur of fine wines, the size and shape of the glass may not matter.

Here is an overly simplified guide to glassware:

  • Start off by registering for eight basic water tumblers. Versatile, because the shape of the glass can be a tall cylinder tumbler, as opposed to a bulbous shaped glass, that can be used for mineral water, ice tea, soda, gin or vodka tonics, a Dark 'N' Stormy, beer and milk.
  • Add eight all-purpose wine glasses either the traditional bulbous shape with a stem or they can be "O" shaped tumblers without a stem. 


As even red wine should be served at a cool room temperature, holding the glass by a stem keeps the wine at that temperature longer than when you warm the bowl of the stemless glass with the palm of your hand while holding it.


Better yet, ask for white wine glassware as well as for red -- eight of both.

  • What you want to keep in mind is that even though red wine glasses vary in size and can hold anywhere between 8 to 24 ounces of wine, the standard pour is only five ounces -- no matter the size of the wine glass. 
  • Although you can certainly drink white wine out of a red wine glass, there are glasses specifically shaped for different varieties of red wine. 
  • Generally, the more full bodied the red wine, the larger the glass.
  • Red wine glasses are more global in shape and are wider and taller than white wine glasses. 
  • These rounder fuller shaped red wine glasses have a narrower rim that helps to hold in the aromas longer.
  • White wines are more delicate and the white wine glass is slightly smaller and open-rimed. 


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Mansplaying and womansplaying

Q. This may sound like a stupid question but how should a woman sit? I'm noticing women sitting with their knees splayed out, is that okay?  JC, Little Compton, RI


A. Mansplaying, also called lava balling, has become quite common. Sitting with his legs spread wide for maximum testicular comfort may be alright in the coziness of his home while watching a basketball game, but it is annoying on crowded subways because the man is bullying for space. Who knows what's going on when you notice mansplaying in a movie theater. 

Seeing Mr. Trump mansplaying in the oval office during a photo op is totally gross with that bright red too-long tie dangling in front of his trouser zipper.

With women wearing pants more than skirts, its only natural that there is a trend toward womansplaying. When a woman sits with her knees touching you can't see up her skirt. When she's wearing pants there is no reason to keep her knees together. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of either mansplaying or womansplaying, and neither should it be the stance during a job interview or in a professional meeting of any kind.

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Twelve manners for children

Q.  Where do we start when teaching our young children manners, can you give us the basics, Didi?  Carolina, New York City

A.  Teach children that manners matter by having good manners yourself that you role model for them. Monkey see, monkey do. As you can see here Mrs. Trump with her elbow on the table is not a model for good table manners.


Twelve Manners Children Should Memorize

  • Don't take more than you can eat.
  • Never put your elbows on the table because you could tip over your beverage glass.
  • Keep your napkin laid out across your lap to catch food that falls, and leave it on the table when you leave your chair.
  • Don't put too much food in your mouth.
  • "Please" and "thank you" should be used all the time. 
  • Don't talk with your mouth full or the food will fall out.
  • Answer as soon as you are spoken to.
  • Teach your children to disagree respectfully.
  • Ask to be excused from the table and take your plate to the sink.
  • After opening a door, hold it open for the person behind you.
  • If you lift the toilet seat, place it back down after peeing.
  • And be sure to wash your hands.


Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners.


Related Slideshow: 24 Things to Look Forward to This Spring in New England - 2019

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Boston Red Sox Return

The arrival of spring means the return of the world champion Boston Red Sox. 

The Red Sox begin their season on March 28 when they visit the Seattle Mariners. 

Boston's home opener is set for Tuesday, April 9 when they host the Toronto Blue Jays. 

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Boston Calling 2019 

Boston Calling, the first New England music festival of the season kicks off in downtown Boston on the weekend of May 24 to the 26.

The festival features performances from Twenty One Pilots, Travis Scott, Hozier and much more. 


PHOTO: Adam Elmakias/Wikipedia

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Newport Craft Beer Festival at Newport Storm Brewery

The 8th annual Newport Craft Beer Festival is set for Friday, April 26 and Saturday, April 27 at Newport Storm Brewery. 

The event will bring in brewers from all over the region. 

It is a 21+ celebration. 

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Providence Waterfire 

One of the best parts of Spring and Summer is the return of Waterfire. 

Providence WaterFire has grown to be an iconic Rhode Island event.

Starting out in 1994 to celebrate 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. 

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Playing Golf at Harbor Lights

Tee it up at Harbor Lights Country Club and dive right into golf season. 

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Enjoy being back out on the course. Save the super serious golf for the summer. 

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Hiking at Purgatory Chasm in Massachusetts 

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, $10 for you out-of-staters), but exploring the reservation is completely free. 

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Going For Walks/Runs Outside Without Shivering on East Bay Bike Path

You can go outside and go for a walk or a run without shivering the entire time. 

Spring is a great time to exercise and the East Bay Bike Path is a great place to do it. 

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Boston Marathon

The 123rd running of the Boston Marathon takes place on Patriots' Day.

Catch the annual Red Sox early Patriots Day game, then head down to Boylston St to cheer on the runners.

It's a Boston and New England tradition.

The 2018 marathon will take place on April 15. 


PHOTO: Peter Farlow/Wikipedia

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Bicycling on the Central Mass Rail Trail 

Once the streets are clear of ice and snow and the temperatures rise, one of the most fun things to do in New England is to jump on a bike and go for a nice long ride.

There are plenty of bike paths to explore at your leisure, and many cities like Providence, Boston, and Worcester are beginning to make city streets much more bike friendly.

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Walking the Newport Cliff Walk

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. 

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Outdoor Dining at Boat House Restaurant in Newport 

Newport Restaurant Group made this a must-visit spot several years ago and now the expected accolades have followed.

The views of Mount Hope Bay are unparalleled.

Enjoy a nice glass of wine with some lobster fritters that had sweet corn and a chipotle mayo and followed that with pan-roasted George’s Bank scallops with a delightful spring pea risotto, pea greens from Allen Farm and a citrus emulsion.

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Spring Vacation on Block Island 

Get away from the hustle and bustle of the world and take a spring vacation to Block Island and enjoy all they have to offer. 

Maybe a spa? a swim? Some shopping? there are plenty of options. 

If Block Island doesn't do it for you, Newport is also a great place to take a break.

Or maybe do both. 

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Visiting Arcadia National Park in Maine

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.

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Visit Acadia and hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.

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Fishing at Brenton Point State Park in Newport

Get your rods and reels ready because with the approach of warmer weather comes the return of fishing seasons. While some New England states allow for fishing year-round, many New England states have opening days for trout fishing that begin in early April.

Although there is still a plentiful amount of snow on the ground, fishing season is right around the corner.

photo credit: Grand River Conservation Authority/Flickr

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Playing Tennis at Slater Park in Pawtucket, RI 

Time to break those rackets out and hit outdoor courts because Tennis season is here. 

No need to go hard right away, ease into the season. 

Have a great Tennis season. 

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No More Winter Coats 

It is time to shed those big bulky winter coats. 

Instead, grab a vest or a sweater and put those coats deep in a closet.

Good riddance. 

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Summer is Next 

A reason to look forward to Spring? 

Because summer is next and soon we will all be sitting by the pool with a summer cocktail. 

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April Fools Day 

Time to start planning out what pranks and tricks you are going to pull off on April 1. 

April Fools Day is always an exciting day because you never know what is going to happen. 

While you are planning your pranks, beware of any that may be played on you. 

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Planting Flowers 

Get the gardening tools ready because gardening season is just about here. 

Head to your local garden shop, find the best flowers you can and plant away. 

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Lower Heating Bills

As winter will come to a close New Englanders could look forward to spending less money on heating bills.

Although the bitter cold is hitting New England hard, and also therefore hitting their wallets hard, this brutal cold streak will soon come to an end and we'll be able to turn down our thermostats save some cash.

photo credit: Images Money/Flickr

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Sun Dresses

Sun dresses. Sun Dresses. Sun Dresses. With the approach of spring, it means that sundresses are almost back! Sundresses are a fun way to show off how hard you've been working to keep the weight off all winter long.

photo credit: jessejamesjake vintage

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Easter Egg Hunts 

Easter is a great holiday. It is always great to spend time with friends and family and of course for those with kids, it's a great day for Easter egg hunts in the backyard or around the neighborhood. 


PHOTO: Ross Mayfield/flickr

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Goodbye Snow 

While this winter was not all that bad as far as snow is concerned, it will be nice to know it is gone for awhile and there is no need to worry about it. 

Well... we can only hope. 

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Road Trip!

Say goodbye to the black ice, the five foot snow drifts, and (hopefully) the potholes.

As the ice melts and we reclaim our streets from the snow, we're looking forward to rolling down our windows and going for a cruise.


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