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Newport Manners & Etiquette: Regifted Damaged Goods Etiquette

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

 

Have you ever re-gifted a Christmas present?

Starting off the New Year when your 15-year-old is pregnant, and your gift is a damaged regift. New Year's Eve wedding etiquette dress code, and boundary setting for too much family togetherness, all questions to Didi Lorillard this week at NewportManners.com.

Telltale signs of the regifter

Dear Didi,

My question is about re-gifting at Christmas time. I am so at a loss. A good friend gave my husband a lovely red cashmere sweater for a gift. After opening the box what was revealed was dog hair and a gravy stain on the sweater. Does one just keep a tight lip? Many thanks. Name withheld, Newport

Dear anonymous,

Ugh! Here's hoping you didn't give the sloppy regifter a swell present. Send a pro forma thank-you note. Two lines max. Should your husband otherwise like the sweater and it fits, as soon as possible, take it to an upmarket dry cleaner. Fine cashmere should clean well. But then, there's always Goodwill. ~Didi

Pregnant at age fifteen

Dear Didi,

My daughter is 15-years-old and her boyfriend is 16. She is pregnant and they agreed on keeping the baby. Then her boyfriend's parents sent us a message on Christmas morning saying they had sent him away for 8-10 months and he isn't responsible for the baby until he's eighteen. We have gone to family court to get things started but don't know what else we can do. They sent him into another state and to a different school and won't tell us where and won't let us communicate with him. This isn't the boyfriend's choice, his parents planned this and ambushed him last Friday when he got home and even his own brother doesn't know where he is. What should I do? I have to bring him back somehow? K.N., Location withheld

Dear K.N.,

My heart goes out to you, but most of all to your daughter. She is far too young to be a mother. If it were my 15-year-old daughter, I would help her get an abortion. This baby will ruin her life. If she has it and puts it up for adoption, she'll always wonder if that handsome boy in the checkout line ahead of her, or the nice young man bagging groceries, is her child, because he somewhat resembles the father.

Don't let your daughter ruin her life. Your daughter is only 15 and you are her parent. Be brave and do what you have to do because this isn't a situation anyone wishes to be a part of. Even if it is too late for an abortion, your daughter has options. She's making poor choices at the moment. Firstly, in getting pregnant, secondly, in agreeing to keep the baby, and most importantly in the choice of a boyfriend. You need to set her on the track of making good choices for the rest of her life. The right choice here could be the choice that saves her life. Allowing her to make the right choice to save herself will make her a stronger woman and a more responsible adult, so that one day she can be a good mother, when she's educated and ready to take on such an enormously huge responsibility.

Forget about bringing him back. His family has already told you that they aren't taking responsibility. This is 2014, we have birth control and the morning after pill, etc. Ask yourself, why would you even want to be associated with the boy or his family after the way they've behaved? They have humiliated your daughter and your family. Why would you want to become a part of a family that already hates your family?

Be brave. Save your daughter or otherwise it will be a downward spiral for your family. As soon as physically possible, take your daughter to your local Planned Parenthood for further advice. Google in plannedparenthood.org for a location near you. You'll find sympathetic professionals to help your daughter, who are kinder than me. ~Didi

New Year's Eve wedding dress code

Dear Didi,

New Year's Eve wedding at hotel outside of Boston - ceremony at hotel as well, approx. 7 p.m. I have a black lace ruched dress, above the knee, sleeveless. What color shoes and nylons (if any) should I wear? Black patent open toe with no nylons? Deep red closed toe with nude nylons? Black closed toe with nude or black sheer nylons? I haven't worn nylons in at least 10 years. And do shoes have to be closed toe if everything is indoors; i.e. not going outside as you normally would to get from a church to a reception site? Thank you. L.A., Boston

Dear L.A.,

Unless your legs are buff, toned and shiny, wear legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shine or shimmer to dress up your legs. Usually, peep-toed shoes are worn in a warm climate without legwear. They are a kind of sandal when you think about it. Sandals and naked legs with a short dress on a cold New England evening may send shivers up your spine walking from the car into the hotel, and again on the way home. If your dress were long, you could get away with it.

Should you decide on the red shoes, wear legwear a tone lighter than your skin tone. With black heels wear either a skin tone or black legwear, but they have to be sheer. Not opaque black tights worn to do pilates. Just so you know, legwear has gone to a whole new level in terms of comfort and style. At better department stores look for brands such as Wolford to see how greatly legwear has improved, even in terms of durability. ~Didi

Holidays with too much togetherness

Hi Didi!

Charles and I are 71 and 65, married only 10 years, so happy, two grown daughters in DC, married to great guys all with fabulous jobs, one grandchild who's 2. We live in NC. The girls' in-laws live 4 hours away from them. So my (our) daughters like us to all get together at their husbands' houses respectively, sometimes spending the night. Whew! Way too much togetherness. We love our daughters and little baby Henry, but with that many people around we really don't get to talk to anyone very much. Oh, did I mention four dogs? I'm worn out. I don't want to do this anymore. Can't Charles and I just stay home for Christmas and if they want to see us, they can come here like they did for Thanksgiving. I bet you've gotten this question hundreds of times. But I'd love to hear from you! V.S., Durham, NC

Dear V.S.,

You and Charles can set boundaries with your daughters and their extended families. Just say, "We've gotten to the stage in life where we would rather have you visit us. To put it bluntly, we would rather sleep in our own bed, but you are welcome here any time." They may feel that they have to include you in all the holidays and that you'll feel neglected, if you don't join them. Let your daughters off the guilt trip hook. You don't even have to be gentle about it. Tell them how you really feel and they won't feel "guilty" about not sharing holidays. More importantly, you won't feel guilt-ridden in doing something you really don't want to do. After all, it's your holiday, too. ~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 GoLocalProv.com columns can be found by typing in Didi Lorillard in the above lefthand search.

 

Related Slideshow: 13 Biggest Food Stories in 2013

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Read GoLocal's coverage of the Zagat's Best Pizzas in New England Here.

Another publication, The Daily Meal, released a list of the 101 Best Pizzas in America for 2013.  On their list, 12 pies came from New England, with 6 coming from the Bay State. 

Read GoLocal's Roundup of the 12 Best Pizzas in New England here. 

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12. Best Restaurant

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11. Best Burger in MA

The third week in October was Burger Week at Zagat, and in honor of the legendary sandwich, they released their list of "50 States, 50 Burgers"; naming an "official" burger for each state.

Their pick from Massachusetts came from Cambridge, at Craigie on Main. According to Zagat:

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Read GoLocal's coverage of New England's State Sandwiches Here.

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GoLocal's Susan Wagner had the pleasure to speak with Covino in 2013, read what he had to say here. 

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7. Cupcakes for a Cause

After the tragic bombings at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in April, most of New England (and much of America) sought a way to help... and one Millbury woman found her own way to pitch in. 

With a goal of raising $1,000 by selling cupcakes, Anne King of Queens Cups Bakery was able to raise $2,350 in four days; giving $1,000 to the One Fund Boston, and the other $1,350 to Technology Underwriting Greater Good (TUGG).

Read GoLocal's Coverage of this Cupcake Hero Here.

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6. Alina Eisenhauer

To those with a sweet tooth in Worcester, they know the place to go is Sweet, the dessert bar created by Alina Eisenhauer.  Alina has established herself as one of the biggest names in pastry in America after being part of several Food Network productions; Chopped, Cupcake Wars, as well as winning their Sweet Genius competition in 2011.

2013 was a big year for Alina.  She expanded her business at a new location, and saw her invention, the cronut (she called them Dosants) explode, and she sat down with GoLocal's Susan Wagner in December. Read their conversation here.

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5. NE Best Food Towns

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To assess its concentration of top restaurants, researchers utilized a set of awards and ratings: AAA's Diamond rating system and Mobil/Forbes' Startle Star rating system formed the basis for the pool. Restaurants that rated 4 or 5 diamonds/stars in the last 4 years were collected and filed by their location. From there, researchers logged every James Beard Foundation award winner for the last 4 years as well as the 2013 semi-finalists and applied those restaurants to the base of cities of towns.

See Which Towns Made Our List Here. 

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4. #4 Ice Cream State

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Read more on the states and cities that consume the most ice cream here.

For GoLocal's list of great Central Massachusetts ice cream and froyo spots, click here

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3. Worcester's Best Pizza

The best thing about pizza places is that no two are the same. But that also makes it hard to narrow down which spots are best to grab a great pie or slice.  So luckily, GoLocal's Emily Davies put out her list of the best pizza joints in Worcester this February. 

Do we leave out your personal favorite? Let us know about it!

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2. The Cronut War

Cronuts? Or Dosants? 

Whatever you choose to call them, they are delicious. But these tasty doughnut/croissant hybrids brought Worcester into the spotlight in 2013 over who made them first -- and GoLocal was there to get the scoop.

New Yorkers were flocking to a SoHo bakery owned by Dominique Ansel to get their hands on his new creation, the Cronut.  However, Worcester's Alina Eisenhauer had been making the same pastry for years, though she called them Dosants. 

Read about the delicious controversy here.

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1. Health Code Violations

GoLocal's biggest food story in 2013 was not necessarily a positive one. GoLocal went through all of Worcester's restaurant health inspections and organized a list of the dining establishments with the most health code violations.  

GoLocal created an proprietary interactive map that shows the health inspection records for all of Worcester's nearly 700 restaurants.  Be sure to check this out before selecting your next spot for a meal. 

 
 

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