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Newport Manners & Etiquette: Holiday Survival Tips, Lecherous Teacher & Midnight Toker

Thursday, November 30, 2017

 

Hosting holidays in stride, lecherous teacher (#MeToo,#BalanceTonPorc), smoking neighbors, and cats in the sandbox were all questions to Didi Lorillard at NewportManners this week.

Great Tips for Surviving Holiday Houseguests

Q. I'm already feeling overwhelmed about houseguests coming for Christmas (family) and New Year's (friends)!  Everybody wants to stay in our new house, but I feel like taking off and letting them take care of themselves. My husband did the inviting and I'm now stuck planning meals and worried that I don't have enough towels and what to do with the guests during the day! Help!  AG, Winthrop, MA

A.  Take it in stride when hosting out-of-town guests with whom you may or may not actually want to share space. Most importantly don't get tired. Tired can make you feel overwhelmed and irritated. Keeping the vibes good and even-keeled is the key to being a successful host.

  • Ahead of time, suggest that they bring ice skates, snow shoes, swimming trunks, bikes and helmets, etc.
  • Ask about any food or pet allergies before they arrive.
  • Short on linens? Before they arrive, ask them to bring towels, pillows and comforters. Rent cots or purchase blow-up beds.
  • Make sure you have fresh linens, soap and lots of toilet paper.
  • Be home to greet your guests and show them to their room.
  • Ask them if they need anything such as bottled water, more coat hangers, etc.
  • If there are tricks to turning on the shower or lights, clue them in.
  • Have on hand a local paper with a map of the area to encourage your guests to go out on their own and explore.

 

Yes, they are your guests -- but don't be shy about asking them to make themselves useful:

  • To pickup bread, beer, paper towels, ice, wine or milk when they go out.
  • Delegate certain chores around the house like laying the fireplace, setting the table, reading to your six-year-old, taking the dog for a walk or putting out the garbage. 
  • Bring out favorite board games, puzzles and cards.

 

Believe it or not, most guests like to feel helpful. So don't hesitate to ask them to help you with the dishes. Say, "I'll wash, you dry," as you toss the dish towel their way. Or you rinse and they load the dishwasher.

Best yet, if they invite you out breakfast, lunch or dinner, go for it. 

 


My Teacher Favors Me Unpleasantly

Q. My physics teacher treats me differently than the other girls. There are only three of us girls in the class. He embarrasses me when he favors me. Sometimes he puts his hand on my back, shoulder or arm and it totally makes me feel really uncomfortable. It freaks me out. The other two girls giggle and tease me about him and that really annoys me. It's an advanced class and I cannot drop out half way through the year. What should I do? I have nobody to talk to.   Name Withheld

A.   Dearie, you should be able to talk to a parent or other adult about your wretched situation. The good news is that you're half way though the year.
I want you to be very brave. 

Ask to speak to that teacher after class. It would be nice to have a buddy who could hang out at the door and listen to you, but if that's not going to happen, be extra brave.

  • Tell him that it makes you very uncomfortable when he favors you. 
  • Ask him to please stop touching you. 
  • Try to look him in the eye as you say, "Please don't annoy me in class because it is very awkward for me. 
  • You're the teacher, I'm the student. You're not supposed to be showing favoritism toward me in any way." 
  • Then walk out. 
  • This is not up for discussion. 

 

Try talking to an older sibling or cousin, if no adult has time to talk to you. Then the two of you should find an adult who will listen. We adults are not good listeners, but some of us try harder than others to make time to listen attentively.

 


Neighbors' Annoying Cats

Q.  So what we do we do? I've been on good terms with our neighbors for ten years. Now they have five cats up from one. I recently built a playground for my kids in our backyard. The neighbors' cats now use our wonderful sandbox as their personal litter box. 

I tried talking to the neighbor, but he brushed me off saying that his father used to rid his sandbox of their neighbor's kitty poop with a shovel. He said, "What's the big deal?" GD, Newport Beach, CA

A. I do hate answering pet questions that bring on a barrage of comments, but perhaps other pet lovers have dealt with your problem successfully. Feel free to comment, pet lovers!

There are organic safe-products to deter cat paws from mucking up your sandbox. Look for them in your area and online.

Alternatively, it may be less expensive in the end to create some kind of wire netting to place over the sandbox when your children aren't playing outside.

Midnight Toker

Q. What to do about our new neighbors who smoke? By the way, they're night birds that smoke out on our adjacent balconies every night! We can't open our windows without smelling tobacco smoke. TY, West Palm Beach, FL

A.  Invite the new neighbors over for coffee or a drink. Over the course, of twenty minutes let them know how you feel about smoking. If they fully understand how disappointed you are at having neighbors' tobacco smoke drifting into your bedroom, they may start smoking inside with the air conditioners blasting. Tell them that:

  • On average, smoking kills 1,200 smokers every day.
  • Every year, more people die from smoking than murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car accidents, and alcohol combined.
  • Smoking causes heart disease, emphysema, acute myeloid leukemia, and cancer of the mouth, esophagus, larynx, lung, stomach, kidney, bladder, and pancreas.
  • Smoking also causes reduced fertility, low birthweight in newborns, and cancer of the cervix.

 

Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette for her forthcoming book at NewportManners.

 

Related Slideshow: 50 Ways to Give in Central MA This Holiday Season - 2017

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United Way of Central Massachusetts

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

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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

Founded in 1985, Why Me Inc supports families that are dealing with childhood cancer.

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Goddard Homestead Inc.

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

Worcester Campus Services Inc. is a Educational Institution Supporting Organization in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.

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VNA Care Network Inc.

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.

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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

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.

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Y.O.U., Inc

81 Plantation Street, Worcester

Y.O.U Inc. is dedicated to providing  services that help put a bright and productive future within every family’s reach.

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Bridge of Central Massachusetts

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.

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Worcester County Mechanics Association

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

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Worcester Historical Museum

30 Elm Street, Worcester

The Worcester Historical Museum is home to exhibits that display all parts of the histroy of Worcester. The museum includes an Alden Family Gallery, an artifact collection gallery and a salisbury mansion gallery.

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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

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.

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The Jimmy Fund

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

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Reliant Medical Group

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

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AIDS Project Worcester

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. 

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Broken Tail Rescue

160 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, MA

Broken Tail Rescue saves dogs and cats from euthanasia at their rescue center.

They need volunteers to foster rescues and donations for care and goods. 

Photo: Broken Tail Rescue

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Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance

6 Institute Road, Worcester, MA

Donate gently used home goods to Central Massachusetts Housing Alliance to benefit the homeless and  at-risk.

Photo: CMHA

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Why Me and Sherry's House

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

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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.

 Photo: Ascentria Care Alliance

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Big Brothers Big Sister of Central MA

484 Main St., Worcester, MA

Become a mentor for an at-risk child in your community through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Massachusetts/ Metrowest. 

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JHC Assisted Living Corp

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.

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Children's Friend

21 Ceder Street, Worcester

Children's Friend benefits children and families whose lives have been affected by difficulties including abuse, neglect, family instability, death, substance abuse, and mental, emotional and physical problems

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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.

Worcester County Food Bank (WCFB) is the region’s leading anti-hunger organization distributing over 5 million pounds of donated food and grocery product

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Key Program Inc.

670 Old Connecticut Path, Framingham, MA

Key Program Inc. in Framingham seeks to assist troubled youth and their families. 

The organization is always looking for food items, apparel, bikes, and gift certificates from donators.

Photo: Key Program Inc. 

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Fraxa

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

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Pet Chance

PO Box 448, Northborough, MA

Pet Chance allows you to fund medical services for animals in shelters who need care.

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. 

Photo: Seven Hills

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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.

Photo: 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.

Photo: StandUp for Kids

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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.

Photo: Center for Living and Working 

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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

Boroughs Family Branch

Central Community Branch

Greendale Family Branch

Montachusett Community Branch

 
 

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