Newport Manners & Etiquette: Picnic Tips, Handling Guests, + Women’s Short Shorts
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Q. Four of us have had a weekly tennis game for a dozen or so summers. This past June when we started up again something extremely humiliating happened. While cooling off at the water cooler after playing, the youngish clerk in the pro shop approached us to announced to our friend that her tennis fees had not been paid. The look on our friend's flushed face went from red to stark white. It was excruciating to witness. In unison we quickly turned our heads pretending we hadn't heard the accusation. The incident is haunting. We're still wondering how to assure that nothing as mortifying ever happens again.
Unbeknownst to the rest of us, one of our doubles group took the clerk aside to reprimand her and tell her how upset we were at seeing our friend humiliated. Apparently, she said that her boss had sanctioned such action. It is hard to believe. At the very least the clerk should have taken her out of earshot of her tennis buddies. Should we report the incident to the club president? Instead,wouldn't it have been more gracious if someone from accounting had called our friend to gently remind her that her account wasn't up-to-date? Name Withheld, Stonington, CT
A. The question is whether to let this mishap slide or try to rectify it? An apology to the maimed primary victim is in order. The damage is done. On the one hand, you wouldn't want the scapegoat clerk who was following orders to get fired. So that leaves the culpability to the culprit, the person who ordered the clerk to embarrass the member in front of her friends.
It is best not to put such a complaint in writing because you never know who's going to see it. Tell someone close to the president your story and let them deal with it as they may. It sounds like a matter of policy. How to inform a member that he's not paid up.
Women's Short Shorts
Q. My business partner and I have been arguing over the waitstaff dress code at our family-style restaurant. He's all for having college girls wearing short-shorts that look like undergarments. My wife and I feel it is humiliating for the girls to show off so much flesh in public, let alone in a family restaurant. Additionally, it makes the vetting process more about whether the young woman has a good figure, than if she is a smart waitress. He's not hiring women who don't look well in short-shorts.
He says it's good for business. I say it makes the waitresses feel self-conscious when they have to expose their upper thighs. PO, Newport
The key to short-shorts is balance. They say that short-shorts are the Yin to Sports Bras Yang. Athletic short-shorts for sports are another matter. The wearer isn't looking for tips.
Suggest that your partner gets over objectify women and adheres to the standard dress code of black slacks and shoes and a white top with a collar and either a short sleeves or long sleeves.
Whether the short-shorts are high waisted or low rise, if the length is shorter than where the tips of her fingers touch her thigh, they are too short for restaurant waitstaff.
Tips for A Newport Picnic
Q. We're planning an August picnic in Newport, RI and need some tips on how to make it work well. Please give us some dos and don'ts. Jennifer, Providence
A. When planning a picnic think about what guests will expect and surprise them. But at the same time make your picnic stress free by coming up with a short list of things guests can bring to contribute. As well as a long list for yourself. What should guests bring? At the very least, their own water for consumption.
- Organize ahead of time, plan the menu and do the advance work.
- Base the picnic food around a signature drink: Pimm's cup, Dark & Stormy, Cosmopolitan and craft beer from a local brewery.
- Even if you're serving sandwiches or prepared food from a local eatery, pack colorful napkins, bamboo flatware and plates, tubs for ice, spices, salad dressing, and colorful tablecloths or light weight blankets.
- Include prep tools for putting the picnic together: a sharp knife and cutting board, serving spoons, opener for bottles and cans, trash bags and paper towels for cleanup. Be safe about spoilage and take a thermometer for the coolers to keep track of the temperature of any salads with mayonnaise, egg dishes and meats.
- Plan blankets for everyone to sit on and have a fully charged wireless speaker.
- Text the location dropping a pin in a map app with the location.
- Ask everyone to bring water, those with food allergies and restrictions should bring their own food.
- Know who is bringing what.
Not everyone will want to eat at once, so keep it casual. Don't stand on ceremony serving everyone with a sit down time, it's a picnic. Let people help themselves as they arrive. Don't over season because as hot food cools down its seasoning becomes saltier and in some cases more flavorful.
Q. When addressing a letter to the secretary of state of your home state, do you address them as the Honorable ….?
–HB, Torrington, WY
A. When addressing a letter, message, or thank-you note to an elected or appointed official. you would address the Secretary of State of your home state as The Honorable. Whenever you use the honorific The Honorable always make the T in The Honorable upper case.
Addressing the envelope
- For official business:
The Honorable Ed Murray
Secretary of the State of Wyoming
- Socially, a personal thank-you note:
The Honorable The Secretary of State of Wyoming
Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners for her upcoming book NEWPORT MANNERS & ETIQUETTE.
Related Slideshow: 20 Cool Things to do in New England Before Summer Ends - August 2018
Go Karting at R1 Indoor Karting Entertainment Center
The R1 Indoor Karting Entertainment Center recently opened in Lincoln showcasing fast electric karts with top technology.
The karts can go up to 45MPH but they are “smart” karts, so you work you way up to that speed.
R1 features a “Junior” track for ages 6-15 and an “Adult” track, both with four-speed levels. All karts are electric and powered by green technology.
Free Admission at Old Sturbridge Village
Old Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts is offering free admission for the entire month of August.
During the month, Old Sturbridge Village offers the following events:
- See the Charlotte's Web Experience - watch as live actors/musicians tell the classic E.B. White tale at the Village's own Freeman Farm.
- See Redcoats & Rebels, the largest Revolutionary War battle re-enactment in New England, on August 4-5.
- Meet costumed artisans, farmers, and historians who will make your visit come to life!
- Explore more than 40 historic homes, trade shops, meetinghouses, covered bridges, and barns.
- Ride a horse-drawn stagecoach through the countryside and explore the Quinebaug River by boat.
- Meet our family of heritage breed animals including cows, sheep, chickens, pigs, and oxen.
- Visit the new exhibition, Early New England Quilts: Repurposed, Refashioned, and Reused, and introduce kids to this practical art.
- Enjoy ice cream and homemade cookies at our famous bake shop.
Since 1983, the Boston Fire Museum has operated in the old firehouse on Congress street showing off the history of the Boston Fire Department. The Museum shows off antique fire equipment, fire alarm displays, photo displays, and artifacts.
Admission to the Museum is FREE.
PHOTO: Boston Fire Museum
Visit the Newport Tennis Hall of Fame
The Newport Tennis Hall of Fame offers plenty of cool exhibits for everyone to learn about the history of tennis.
Their newest exhibit titled "50 Years of Open Tennis" just opened and celebrates the anniversary of the Open Era.
PHOTO: Newport Tennis Hall of Fame
See a Show at Cape Playhouse in Cape Cod
Cape Cod, MA
Take a ride to Cape Cod and visit the oldest summer theatre in the country, Cape Playhouse. Cape Playhouse was first opened in 1927 by Raymond Moore.
The theatre has been home to some of the biggest stars to ever grace a stage like Bette Davis, Humphrey Bogart amongst others.
See a replica of the world's first submarine and learn about it through films before heading about the USS Nautilus for a free audio tour.
Nautilus was the first nuclear-powered submarine and the first vessel to travel 20,000 leagues under the sea. The ship is now open to the public year-round and is free.
Who doesn't love Teddy Bears? Assuming that you do, plan a trip to Vermont and take a tour of the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory and see how the bears are made.
Tours run seven days a week and children under 12 are FREE. The tours take about an hour and 15 minutes.
Spend Time at Biomes Marine Biology Center
North Kingstown, RI
Check out the cool Marine Biology Center in North Kingstown.
It is a great place for both adults and kids to enjoy.
"The Biomes Center is New England's only private marine education facility and the most hands-on aquarium in the region. We've been providing interactive marine biology programs for schools and families since 1989.
We specialize in teaching children and adults about the marine animals of Narragansett Bay and the Atlantic Ocean," writes Biomes on their website.
Chocolate lovers this is for you.
Take a free tour of Lake Champlain Chocolates and even get some free samples. What is better than that?
The tour takes approximately 30 minutes and is seated. There is no walking involved.
Tours run Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.but are limited to 35 people.
People have been drawn to the rugged coast of Maine throughout history. Awed by its beauty and diversity, early 20th-century visionaries donated the land that became Acadia National Park.
The park is home to many plants and animals, and the tallest mountain on the U.S. Atlantic coast.
Visit Acadia and hike granite peaks, bike historic carriage roads, or relax and enjoy the scenery.
The park entrance fee is FREE from August 25th to the 28th.
Besides that, admission is $12 while those 15 and under are FREE of charge
Eat Ice Cream at Brickleys
Brickley’s simply has to be one of the best ice cream shops in the state. Why else would anyone wait in the long lines that form on a hot summer afternoon?
This family-owned Mecca to all things creamy, sweet and delicious is a must-stop before the ride back home from the beach. This is old-fashioned ice cream at its best.
Looking for something new and exciting? Head to the Berkshires and get yourself on a zip line, maybe even do a canopy tour.
There are three different tour options, starting with the base area tour which lasts an hour or the Moutain Top or Valley Jump tour which takes three hours. Both of those are sure to shoot some adrenaline into your day.
Visit Mark Twain's House, Maybe Take a Writing Class
Mark Twain is one of the greatest authors to ever pick up a pen and not only can you tour the house where he wrote famous works such as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, you can take writing classes there.
Writing classes, in Mark Twain's house? How do you turn one of those down?
Classes are offered at various times throughout the day and week.
The New Hampshire State House, located in Concord is the oldest state capitol building in which legislature still meets in is original chambers.
The building was completed in 1819 with additions made in 1866 and 1910.
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