Newport Manners & Etiquette: 2017 Revisited, Body-Shaming & Alcoholics
Wednesday, January 03, 2018
Q. The morning after seeing an old friend at a New Year's Eve party, she forwarded me an email ad featuring a loose weight quick product along with a personal message from her saying, "Great seeing you last night, hope this product helps you in the New Year." How would you respond to such body-shaming? For the record, I'm personally OK with my weight and I'm not unhealthily obese, just pleasantly plump and I exercise several times a week. KB, Providence
A. Don't respond. Whether fit-shaming or fat-shaming, it's body-shaming. With friends like her, you don't need body-shaming enemies. Drop it. Bringing up her email in conversation would fall on deaf ears. You have significantly different values.
Q. During the holidays I found myself in an excruciatingly difficult social situation with the husband of a good friend. I am not paranoid, but at a Christmas party he followed me out of one room and into another where he cornered me to give me a message. He asked that we sit down to talk. Hearing kindness in his voice, we sat down and shot the breeze about our careers and our kids. After the ice was broken, he put me on notice. But didn't say what I was to do about it. If his wife doesn't stop drinking, he told her he would leave her even though he loves her. He clearly can't watch her deteriorate further. Name Withheld
A. You cannot take sides. Your good friend needs your support. Her husband needs you to listen to him. He's already given her the ultimatum. If she is a reallygood friend, the best you can do is offer to go to AA with her. You can tell him that you would be willing to participate in an intervention, but he has to organize and set it up.
Q. My parents have help with their daily care, but don't pay a minimum wage. They are needlessly tight with their money, how do we get them to pay these loyal and devoted caregivers a minimum wage? We find it embarrassing to even talk to them. When we try to discuss the injustice with my parents, they say, "We've always paid them that, why should we pay more?" Name Withheld
A. Find out the minimum wage in your state and explain so that your parents will listen, that prices have risen and their caregivers' current salaries should be based on the legal wage, whether it is fifty cents or a dollar more an hour, it will make a difference in their lives.
Reflecting on 2017
Q. What did you learn about yourself in 2017? With the prevalence of #MeToo and the Time's Up movement, what can you tell us? CL, Peabody, MA
A. Just to give you the heads up, I'm not a life coach.
A couple of years ago a childhood friend called me from Thailand, where he lives as an expatriate, to tell me that he was sorry that he had assaulted me sexually and he wanted to make amends and apologize. Quite frankly, I had tried to put that nightmare behind me and hearing from him opened the wound, but at the same time gave me closure. He didn't rape me, but it was quite a struggle trying to control his drunken aggression. The best news about him is that he hasn't had a drink in forty years.
That embarrassing incident taught me to watch for signs when someone is loosing control and walk away immediately. Get out. Tell someone, anyone, what happened so that the two of you are not the only people who know about what happened.
Beauty-wise, the easiest to talk about:
- Makeup you've been using for decades starts to fail as skins fall and doesn't hydrate or illuminate the way they used to. No matter the price, liquid makeup is not your friend. After the first half hour, it makes wrinkles look deeper. It is more enlivening to highlight eyes, lips, and cheekbones.
- Nothing is less flattering than a man or woman over sixty who dyes their hair darker to look younger. It doesn't work because we know you dye your hair, so stop fooling yourself. You're not fooling us.
- Having been body-shamed as a child scars you for life, so let go of fretting about your weight and accept a body image that is less stressful.
- The sun is not your friend. Wear sunscreen year-round.
Money-wise over the years, the hardest to talk about:
Education is the key to success. It is constructive knowledge. If you don't fully understand the economics of a well-lived life, you will never be satisfied with your situation.
- There is nothing more important in life than family. Life is too short to hold grudges. When you role model taking great care of your family, family doesn't forget the quality time you spent just on them.
- Education, education, education. Pushing children to reach their potential will make them happier citizens.
- Choosing a woman mentor, who was probably much harder on my job performance than a male mentor would have ever been -- because male mentors usually have alternative motives for mentoring -- was far more beneficial to my career.
- Generally speaking, people with a passion for a life-long sport are healthier physically and mentally.
- Dress your age.
- Darker solid colors are more practical and complimentary.
- V-shaped necklines and vertical stripes and lines are the most flattering.
- Try wearing a push-up bra.
- If you have a long neck, good legs and/or arms, flaunt your assets.
- Lecturing people on the fact that meditating will make them ten percent happier, or being gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, exercising and practicing yoga more, and fad diets usually backfire with people who make excuses why they don't do it.
At the end of the year, set goals for 2018, but making New Year's resolutions you probably won't keep can be self-defeating. Only 17% of resolutions made are kept. On the other hand, if you turn the goal into a resolution, you have a ten percent chance of success, especially if the goal is specific. For instance, use the goal meditate as your password.
What to fight for in 2018: Top Seven
- National children's health care and dental care funding
- Higher minimum wage
- Obama Care
- Social Security and Medicare
- Funding for HIV/AIDS
- Funding for Alzheimer's research
- Defending climate control
Didi Lorillard is not a life coach. She researches manners and etiquette for her upcoming book at NewportManners where you, too, can ask a question or find answers to social dilemmas.
Related Slideshow: 50 Ways to Give in Central MA This Holiday Season - 2017
484 Main St., Worcester
United Way of Central Massachusetts helps many local organizations gain funding to help community efforts.
Each year they post a wish list for their organizations that easily allows you to choose where to donate or volunteer this holiday season.
Photo: United Way of Central Massachusetts
125 Providence Street, Worcester
For 100 years, the Girls Inc. of Worcester has aimed to dedicate themselves to empowering young women, ranging from ages 5 to 18 to achieve their goals and dreams. The organization supports these women to become healthy, educated, and independent figures.
Points of emphasis that are translated from Girls Inc. of Worcester faculty to its clients include, appropriate ways to confront challenges, resisting peer pressure, and viewing college as a tangible facet in their lives
120 Thomas Street, Worcester
Founded in 1891, VNA Care Network has helped people of all ages cope with illness or injury while living at home. Our exceptional visiting nurses; physical, occupational, and speech therapists; social workers; and other professionals have helped us earn accreditation by The Joint Commission.
335 Chandler Street, Worcester
Since 1878, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is dedicated to leadership in protecting and promoting the rights and well-being of children and families.
300 Barber Avenue, Worcester
Holy Trinity is a non-profit facility serving individuals who require a broad range of social, nursing and rehabilitation services in an atmosphere of quality care and Christian love, without regard to a person's race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, national origin, disability or Veteran's status.
222 Harrington Way, Worcester
We all know it as the EcoTarium and for all the fun and education.
Founded in 1825, the Worcester Natural History Society is a great place to play outside, play on the imagination playground and learn about the natural history of Worcester.
4 Mann Street, Worcester
Founded in 1973, The Bridge now serves over 1,200 individuals in residential and community settings.
Supports compassionate, evidence-based human services for those with mental health challenges, developmental disabilities, acquired brain injury and complex family problems.
321 Main Street, Worcester
Mechanics Hall is the premier event venue and concert hall in Central Massachusetts. Renowned for its elegance and sound qualities, the Hall's cultural significance, its stunning décor and architectural detail have earned it a listing on the National Register of Historic Places
81 Gold Star Boulevard, Worcester
The mission of the Girl Scouts is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
65 Tainter Street, Worcester
The mission of the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester is to help youth develop the qualities needed to become responsible citizens and community leaders, through caring professional staff who forge relationships with our youth members and influence their ability to succeed in life.
10 Brookline Place West, Brookline, MA
The Jimmy Fund is always looking for people to donate blood and platelets for those undergoing cancer treatments and trauma victims.
You can also become a dedicated volunteer for Jimmy Funds many councils and promote their mission by hosting fundraising events.
Photo: The Jimmy Fund
100 Front St., Worcester, MA
Reliant Medical Group is an organization focused on improving the health and well-being of everyone in Central Massachusetts.
Donate to volunteer or participate in a 5k to help support the many other non-profits that they are engaged in.
Photo: Reliant Medical Group
85 Green St, Worcester, MA
AIDS Project Worcester provides housing for those who are HIV positive and in need of financial assistance.
They also provide educational services to teach the community about AIDS and STD prevention.
Volunteer to help with their educational outreach or donate to support their cause.
1152 Pleasant Street, Worcester
Donate your car or volunteer to help support families affected by childhood cancer at Why Me and Sherry's House.
You can even help provide a family with meals or emergency childcare during their hardship.
Photo: Why Me and Sherry's House
14 East Worcester St., Worcester, MA
Ascentria Care Alliance is one of the largest community service organizations in the area and allows you to reach out in many different ways.
Volunteer as a tutor or skills trainer to help members of your community reach their full potential.
Photo: Ascentria Care Alliance
629 Salisbury Street, Worcester
The Jewish HealthCare Center is one of New England’s most respected HealthCare facilities, providing innovative long-term care, short-term rehabilitation, hospice services, home care services, and Alzheimer’s care to the community since 1916.
10 Prince Place, Newburyport, MA
Fraxa Research Foundation is on a mission to help to find a cure for Fragile X - a disease that affects intellectual abilities, and makes sufferes hyperactive, hypersentitive to light and noise and prone to seizures.
You can donate or tribute a gift in honor of someone suffering from Fragile X.
Photo: Fraxa Research Foundation
2000 Century Dr., Worcester, MA
American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts is always looking for volunteers to donate blood, organize fundraisers, and donate non-monetary items like credit card rewards and goods.
The Red Cross prevents and relieves suffering to those in the community including military families in need.
One Clarks Hill, Framingham, MA
Advocates Inc. assists the disabled and elderly with home ownership and sustaining satisfying work and personal relationships.
Intern, or donate online when you do your personal shopping on Amazon, overtime you shop Advocates receives a percentage of your total purchase - making it easy to give and receive.
Photo: Advocates, Inc.
One Salem Square, Worcester
YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
766 Main St, Worcester
It is where the community comes together. The Y offers programs for youth development, to promote healthy living and to promote social reposibility.
Four locations throughout the region
Boroughs Family Branch
Central Community Branch
Greendale Family Branch
Montachusett Community Branch
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