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Newport Manners & Etiquette: 2017 Revisited, Body-Shaming & Alcoholics

Wednesday, January 03, 2018


Setting goals for 2018, what to do when a friend body-shames you, when minimum wage isn't paid and what to do when a good friend's marriage is on the rocks were all questions to Didi Lorillard this week at NewportManners.

Body-Shaming Friend

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.


Protecting An Alcoholic

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.


Paying Minimum Wage

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

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United Way of Central Massachusetts

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Photo: United Way of Central Massachusetts

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Girls inc. of Worcester

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

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African Community Education Program

Denholm Building 484 Main St. #355, Worcester

The African Community Education Program is a community-oriented educational program targeted toward African refugee and immigrant children living in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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Veterans Inc.

69 Grove Street, Worcester

The mission of Veterans Inc.’s is to help veterans re-gain control of their lives in order to eliminate homelessness among veterans.

Veterans Inc. was established in 1990.

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Why Me Inc.

1152 Pleasant Street, Worcester

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1199 Main Street, Worcester

For nearly a century Goddard Homestead has served and cared for elders. Most recently, the home was converted from a boarding house to high style private residences.

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Greater Worcester Community Foundation

370 Main Street, Suite 650, Worcester.

The Greater Worcester Community Foundation is a model of philanthropy which is dedicated to improving the community, now, and in the future.

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Worcester Art Museum

55 Salisbury Street, Worcester

The Worcester Art Museum provides various forms of art to view as well as classes for adults, kids and people of all ages.

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Worcester Campus Services

333 S St, Shrewsbury

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VNA Care Network Inc.

120 Thomas Street, Worcester

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Worcester County Horicultural Society

11 French Ave, Boylston

The Worcester County Horicultural Society is home to Tower Hill Botanical Garden. The garden is living museum of plants, a garden paradise on 132 acres

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Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children

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.

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Eastern Orthodox Managment Corporation

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.

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Worcester Center for Performance Arts Inc.

2 Southbridge Street, Worcester

The missions of the Worcester Center for Performance Arts is to foster a love and appreciation for the performing arts in audiences of today and tomorrow.

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Worcester Natural History Society

222 Harrington Way, Worcester

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Y.O.U., Inc

81 Plantation Street, Worcester

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Bridge of Central Massachusetts

4 Mann Street, Worcester

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Worcester County Mechanics Association

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Worcester Historical Museum

30 Elm Street, Worcester

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Girl Scouts of Central and Western Massachusetts Inc.

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.

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Boys and Girls Club of Worcester

65 Tainter Street, Worcester

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The Jimmy Fund

10 Brookline Place West, Brookline, MA

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Reliant Medical Group

100 Front St., Worcester, MA

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Donate to volunteer or participate in a 5k to help support the many other non-profits that they are engaged in.

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AIDS Project Worcester

85 Green St, Worcester, MA

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Volunteer to help with their educational outreach or donate to support their cause. 

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Broken Tail Rescue

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Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance

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Why Me and Sherry's House

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You can even help provide a family with meals or emergency childcare during their hardship. 

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Ascentria Care Alliance

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.

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Big Brothers Big Sister of Central MA

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Children's Friend

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Worcester County Food Bank

474 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury

Donate food, funds or volunteer your time at the Worcester County Food Bank.

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Key Program Inc.

670 Old Connecticut Path, Framingham, MA

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10 Prince Place, Newburyport, MA

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You can donate or tribute a gift in honor of someone suffering from Fragile X. 

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Pet Chance

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Families who cannot afford medical services for their pets can also apply for funding on the site.

Help someone's furry friend heal this holiday.

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Horace Mann Educational Associates

8 Forge Pkwy, Franklin, MA

Donate your vehicle, electronics, gift cards and more to Horace Mann Educational Associates.

The organization is responsible for serving nearly 3,800 children and adults with developmental disabilities. 

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Seven Hills

415 Main St., Worcester, MA

Seven Hills aids the disabled, impoverish, and those dealing with trauma get back on the road to wellness and recovery.

To donate or volunteer for one of thermally training programs visit their site. 

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Nativity School in Worcester

67 Lincoln St, Worcester, MA

Donate boys’ uniforms, sports equipment, and art supplies to support the academic programs of the Nativity School in Worcester.

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Worcester Chamber Music Society

9 Irving Street, Worcester, MA 01609

Worcester Chamber Music brings world-class chamber music to intimate Greater Worcester venues. WCMS nurtures the community through a unique combination of affordable concerts, education and community engagement.

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American Red Cross Central MA

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. 

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StandUp For Kids

114 Main Street, Worcester, MA

StandUp For Kids offers volunteer opportunities every second Monday of the month.

Volunteer to help outreach efforts and help those suffering from youth homelessness in Central Massachusetts.

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Operation Homefront

21 Franklin St., Quincy, MA

Organize a fundraiser to benefit the families of soldiers through financial relief efforts, and caregiving to wounded warriors through Operation Homefront. 

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Center for Living and Working

484 Main St., Worcester, MA

The center for living and working assists the disabled with independent living, the deaf and hard of hearing and provide personal care management to over 1000 people in Central Massachusetts.

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Advocates Inc.

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. 

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Auburn Youth and Family Services

21 Pheasant Ct, Auburn, MA

Tutor a student or participate in Auburn Youth and Family Services’ Holiday Giving Program. 

Adopt a child or family to donate food, and gifts to be delivered to needy families this holiday.

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Jeff’s Place

34 Deloss St., Framingham, MA

Donate a useable laptop, paper goods, and financial gifts to Jeff’s Place and help them facilitate healthy grief journeys for children and families experiencing loss.   

Photo: Jeff's Place

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Young Womens Christian Association of Central Mass

One Salem Square, Worcester

YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

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Be Like Brit

66 Pullman St, Worcester, MA 01606

From a terrible tragedy emerges a massive effort to help children in Haiti. The mission is "to serve the children of Haiti by establishing a safe, nurturing and sustainable orphanage in an environment where they can grow, learn & thrive."

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YMCA of Central MA

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

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Central Community Branch

Greendale Family Branch

Montachusett Community Branch


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