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Modern Manners + Etiquette: Cigar Smokers, Beach Issues + More

Thursday, July 26, 2012


He's enjoying those cigars out on his deck, but you're certainly not. Can you tell him to stop, and how? Photo: I woz ere/flickr.

Neighbor etiquette and pesty dilemmas for beach-goers, as well as "Newport Casual" dress code and how to limit underage guests, all at Didi Lorillard's NewportManners.com this week.

Dear Didi,
What's acceptable beach etiquette? What do you do when someone plops their cooler, beach mat and chair next to you while you're reading and turns on his boom box too loud? Then to add to the torture, he walks away and is gone for over an hour leaving his boomer blasting and flies circling his McDonald's Big Mac bag.  J.N., Middletown

Dear J.N.,
Chillaxing on a crowded beach can be less than comfy on a hot, sunny day. I'm surprised the seagulls didn't attack your beach blanket buddy's lunch. It's too bad you couldn't have dragged your equipment a few yards away before he returned. A recent survey of 1,200 beach-goers found that on a crowded beach a three to six foot distance between neighbors was necessary; on a less crowded beach, ten to fourteen feet were more preferable. You can ask a fellow beach-goer to, "Please, turn down the volume or turn it off."  Next time, as far as their lobster roll is concerned, say you had to put it under their beach towel to protect it from pesty winged creatures.  ~Didi

Dear Didi,
We live in a modern climate-controlled condo with a nice balcony. Our new neighbor sits out on his balcony and smokes cigars.  I don't mind occasionally being around a man with a cigar, but not every day all summer long. The cigar odor drifting our way evenings and weekends is really annoying. How can we be good neighbors, but tell him his smoking on the balcony makes it unbearable for us to sit out on ours?  A.Z.  Boston

Dear A.Z.,
Invite the neighbor over for a drink on your balcony in the early evening. Mention how much you enjoy sitting out on your balcony cooling off and relaxing over a nice dinner. As he's finishing his first drink and agreeing with you about how cool it is to sit out there, say, "We wanted you to understand how much we enjoy sitting out here before asking you to kindly not smoke on your balcony. When you smoke a cigar outside the smoke comes our way. When we open the door onto our balcony, the odor comes into our apartment. We did some research and found where you can purchase an OdorFree Ozone Generator that will keep your condo fresh when you smoke inside." Hand him the information on a piece of note paper as you escort him to the door. ~Didi

Dear Didi,
I'm finally moving away from home and getting my own place. To celebrate and also to celebrate my 22nd birthday, my parents are giving me a party. My parents mailed invitations to their friends and I emailed mine. Most of my friends have been here before and know that it's a large house with a big pool and terrace. My problem is that I know my friends. They will invite their friends to the cookout, not understanding that my parents will be inviting their friends, too. Another bad situation is that the single guys are bringing dates and I don't know what to do because the single girls I've invited won't be bringing dates. How do I politely ask these guys not to, especially if they bring girls under 21, who legally can't drink?  C.W., North Stonington

Dear C.W.,
Four days before your party, send all of your single male friends a text or email saying, "FYI: Bartender won't serve anyone without an ID. Please, nobody under 21 at my party Saturday at 7." That way you're gently saying, yes, this is a party for me, but my parents don't want the liability of serving my underage friends alcohol—plus, there will be lots of single girls your age.  ~Didi

Dear Didi,
What is "Newport Casual"? This is for a 60th Birthday party for a friend (female). I am also female, but would like to know for both my husband and myself. If age is a factor we are both in our mid-fifties.  Name withheld, Newport

Dear invitee:
The dress code "Newport Casual" emphasizes the quality of the clothing and jewelry and not the dressiness of the outfit. Assuming this is a summer evening party, you would wear either a casual cocktail dress, a well-made skirt and pretty blouse, or lovely tunic with well-cut pants and beautiful shoes or gold sandals. Carry a small, chic clutch bag for your lipstick. Your husband would wear dress khakis, or colored or white trousers, with a collared shirt and a navy blue blazer or a colored lightweight jacket.

The older the hosts and guests, the dressier one would dress—out of respect for the "birthday girl." Therefore, a gentleman in his mid-fifties wouldn't necessarily wear a tie, but he would certainly wear a jacket and leather shoes. Socks, however, are never a must in the summertime.  ~Didi

Didi Lorillard researches shifting etiquette at NewportManners by answering questions on relationship dilemmas, wedding etiquette, dress codes and manners. Or find Didi on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn after reading her earlier GoLocal columns, some of which are listed below.


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