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Newport Manners & Etiquette: Making Up Made Easier Online + More

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


Do you need couples counseling? Well now there's an app for that. Photo: Flickr/Ed Yourdon

Making up online may be a civilized option for getting your relationship back on track. An old-fashion question about corsage etiquette, mother-in-laws setting boundaries, and what to wear when your daughter's being married on a boat? All question to Didi Lorillard this week at NewportManners.com.

Making Up

My wife and I find ourselves fighting more and more. Over the children, over money, over house chores, over things grave and small. We talk about counseling, but we both work and can't make the time or financial commitment. What does today's etiquette say about fighting? Are there guidelines for issues like arguing, trust and communicating? H.W., Providence

There is an app for that. No, seriously, if you're not in crisis mode and cannot get to a real-life therapist, apps such as Couple Counseling & Chatting, (and Romantimatic, Embre, and the older Fix a Fight and Love Maps) are out there to help. Counseling & Chatting could well bring a calming balance, an emotionally effective tool, into your life to help you and your partner communicate to ease conflict when it raises it's ugly head. The point is to acknowledge those everyday stressors and bad habits, all of which we seem to take out on our partner, and get back on board to working as a team. When you're not feeling good about your mate, you're probably not feeling good about yourself. Couple Counseling & Chatting even has the option of free texting for professional personal feedback.

It's still too soon to site studies on the use of relationship software apps, but a recent Pew Research Internet Project found that technology is being used more and more in relationships, and not just for online dating, but for online making up. The apps help to identify the reasons for conflict. The study of 1,428 adults in committed relationships found that the 25 percent who texted their partner when they were together had an easier time calming down anger and communicating their issues. Apparently, 21 percent of those who used the Internet and cellphone admitted to feeling closer to their partner through their digital exchanges. Furthermore, nine percent said they had resolved problems online and through texting that they weren't able to fix talking one on one. ~Didi

Corsages and boutonnieres

I'm attending a 1940s dance with a 58-year-old lady. Should I present a wrist corsage to her? I am 64-years-old. D.L., Brooklyn, NY

You've asked the wrong person. I'm not a fan of corsages. It would be chicer if you wore a red carnation in the lapel buttonhole of your jacket. Often called a boutonniere. A corsage is a sign of affection and the colors would have to go with her dress. The dress would most likely be a prom dress. The safest thing to do when giving a corsage is to include a pin and ribbon, so the woman has the option of wearing it on her wrist or dress. What's more, be sure to give her permission to leave the corsage in a small vase with water as a remembrance upon her return from the dance. ~Didi

Mother-In-Law Dilemma

MY daughter's mother-in-law signs her cards----Love, Mother!!!!!! I am my daughter's only mother and I feel that she is trying to be pushy!!! What should I do and what is proper here? A.H., Fairfax, VA

You're annoyed when your daughter's mother-in-law signs her emails Mother. Tell her how you feel. Just say, "My daughter has one mother, last I checked you're not actually her mother." It is all in the tone of how you say it. Have fun with this and let it be spontaneous, not critical.

My guess is that she comes from a family where all mothers were called 'mother.' There was a Mother Bee, Mother Alice, Mother Didi. Don't take this personally, but this coziness is culturally engrained in many women. All mothers are mothers, but not all daughters are ours. Gently, ask your daughter's MIL to call herself Mother Bee, or whatever second name she choses to use. ~Didi

Boat wedding

My daughter is getting married this July on a boat at the Chelsea Piers in Manhattan. It's daytime noon till 4. What is the appropriate kind of dress I should be looking for. It's a crowd of about 100 people. A.S., Grosse Pointe, MI

This wedding sounds like great fun. The earlier in the day, the less dressy the attire. Even if the wedding party wear formal attire, you want "Suits & Dresses" for your guests. It's more about the quality of the clothing than the dressiness of the outfit. It will be hot and humid, so tuxedos would be ghastly to wear. I like white dinner jackets, if you're looking for a cooler alternative for the men. Otherwise, let the men wear "Jackets & Ties," that they can always take off.

As the mother-of-the-bride you want to be looking elegant and dignified, as well as cool and collected in a beautiful knee-length summer dress with a lovely hat.

I use the Halsbrook website to illustrate looks for women over forty, take a look at halsbrook.com under 'dresses' for:

Lyn Devon New Betty Stretch Cotton Sheath Dress
Elie Tahari Beverly Printed Silk Dress
Elie Tahari Bernadette Double-Knit Dress
Les Copains Periwinkle Stretch Cotton Dress
Maxmara Simone Cotton-Blend Dress
Armani Collezioni Turquoise Jersey Twist Dress
Maxmara Morris Floral Jacquard Dress

There are a couple of nautical-looking dresses but the MOB needs to be a bit dressier, which is why I love the Maxmara Morris Floral Jacquard Dress best. ~Didi


Do you have a question for Didi? Visit her at NewportManners.com. We can withhold your name and location. Didi researches etiquette and all matters of manners for her book,"Newport Etiquette." Previous weekly GoLocalWorcester.com columns may be found by typing in Didi Lorillard in the above righthand search.


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