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Newport Manners & Etiquette: Relationship Dilemmas + More

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Time to find a different job?

There is new sexual politics etiquette for everything from office relationships to paid paternity leave when it comes to keeping New Year's resolutions. How do you correctly introduce someone with a silly nickname? More questions this week about 2014 wedding etiquette and guest dress codes for a winter wedding to Didi Lorillard at NewportManners.com.

Keeping that first resolution

Dear Didi,

My first goal in 2014 is to find a new job and get away from my creepy boss. I work for the state and hear about job openings in other departments, but I know my badass boss will prevent that from happening. Our offices are spacious but my boss is always in my space eating up my time with small talk and busywork. How do I apply for a new job without him finding out? Name and location withheld

Dear anonymous,

Unless it's a mandatory policy for state employees to disclose to their boss that they are applying for a different job, you shouldn't have to mention your goal to anyone in your department. Chances are the word is out about your creepy boss and you're not the first cohort looking for a fresh start. Don't you dare talk about a new opportunity until you know you've got a new job. Go for it and take credit for all that you're doing. ~Didi

Working toward paid paternity leave in 2014

Dear Didi,

My wife and I are happy to be having our first child. Because I can work from home and my wife can't, it makes more sense for me to be the stay-at-home dad with the help of a part-time caregiver and apply for paternity leave, but I'm not sure how to negotiate this with the corporation I work for because they don't offer paternity leave. Thus the dilemma? C.N., location withheld

Dear C.N.,

As you no doubt know, nonbiological parents of adopted and even surrogate babies are all entitled to ten weeks of paid parenting leave, so as the biological father you're the outlier on this one. Talk to your boss. Explain that biological fathers are treated like second-hand parents, but that's changing fast. Currently 15% of the corporations in this country offer paid paternity benefits and the demand is growing. Your employer will know that you could file a costly charge against your company with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, should the corporation be unwilling to work with you on paid paternity leave. ~Didi

Wedding reply card and introduction etiquette

Dear Didi,

How do I fill out a wedding reply card that begins with M followed by a line to be filled out when it was addressed to Mr. and Mrs. and my husband is a Dr. (PHD)? This is my nephew's fiancée addressing us and she probably doesn't know this. What is the proper way to respond? Cross out the M and replace with Dr. and Mrs. Adam Jones? Or Mr. and Mrs. Adam Jones?

And while I'm on the subject, even though my nephew knows me by my nickname Aunt Bitsy, I go by Elizabeth and I don't like to be introduced with my nickname. How do I handle that at their wedding? E.B., Providence

Dear E.B.,

You are correct. With a pen draw a gentle slash through the M and write in 'Dr. and Mrs. Adam Jones.' Although in a social situation such as this one (when only medical doctors use Dr.), technically you would write Mr. and Mrs., but Dr. and Mrs. isn't incorrect.

Usually when someone doesn't want to be introduced as Didi or Bitsy to strangers, you put out your hand during the introduction and say, "Elizabeth Jones." You can take your nephew and/or his fiancée aside and say, "I introduce myself as Elizabeth, if you don't mind, Bitsy is just for family." ~Didi

Winter wedding guest dress code

Dear Didi,

I am attending a 1:00p.m. wedding on January 19th in Connecticut. I live in Florida and I'm freaking out because I have never attended a winter wedding where it is going to be so cold. I have no idea what to wear. Please help!! S.O., Coral Gables, FL

Dear S.O.,

Don't freak out, a one o'clock wedding is not formal. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify 'Black Tie' or 'Formal Attire,' you can assume the dress code is 'Suits & Dresses.' Ideally you would wear a nice snuggly knee-length wool or jersey skirt-suit or long-sleeved dress, or a mid-weight pantsuit. Since I don't know anything about you, try looking at various websites online such as: what2wearwhere.com, renttherunway.com, and halsbrook.com. At Rent the Runway you can rent or buy an outfit for the wedding. Halsbrook is for women over forty and What2WearWhere is helpful for all ages looking for a special occasion outfit. Take a look at the different styles:

• Wedding boutique/Daytime
• Rachel Roy's Mix Media Combo Dress

• Winter Chic
• Red Valentino Lace-Detailed Wool Dress

• Daytime
• Sweater Dresses
• Knit Dresses

If renting or buying is not an option, wear a black knee-length pencil skirt with a beautiful sweater or jacket, cozy Wolford legwear and black leather or suede boots or leather pumps, and do carry a small clutch bag. Don't forget that you'll keep even warmer with a pair of gloves. ~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 weeklyGoLocalProv.com columns can be found by typing in Didi Lorillard in the above lefthand search. Didi Lorillard does not endorse the slideshow below.


Related Slideshow: 10 New England Wine Getaways

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Hardwick Vineyard & Winery

Central Mass’s own Hardwick Vineyard & Winery, open March-December, is a close to home treasure that produces 3,000 gallons of wine each year. The winery, which grows 6 varieties of grapes, is built on a quiet road in Hardwick that abuts the Quabbin Reservoir. Located on the property is a majestic 200 year old mansion. This weekend, take the trip to the vineyard to enjoy a wine tasting. Favorites include Massetts Cranberry and Yankee Girl Blush. If you head out on a Sunday; you’ll be in luck—the winery is hosting Sangria Sundays for the rest of the month.

3305 Greenwich Road, Hardwick, MA. (413) 967-7763.

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Westport Rivers

Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery

Tucked away on the southern coast of Massachusetts, Westport Rivers Vineyard & Winery, located about an hour’s drive from Worcester, is worth the trip. For only $10, you can take home a special edition etched wine glass and enjoy a tasting of up to six of their award-winning wines. While the tasting room is open Monday-Saturday, free winery tours are also offered to the public every Saturday from 1-3pm.

417 Hixbridge Rd, Westport, MA. (508) 636-3423.

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Coastal Vineyards

A relatively young addition to the Massachusetts family of wineries and vineyards, Coastal Vineyards in South Dartmouth opened its doors in 2004. Coastal Vineyards grows eight varieties of grapes on their property, including Riesling, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and more. For a special treat, head over on Sunday for their Ugly Sweater Wine Party featuring acoustic musician Ryan Thaxter. Don your ugliest sweater to get 35% off your purchase—and a chance at a prize.

61 Pardon Hill Road, South Dartmouth, MA.

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Amherst Farm Winery

Head out to one of Massachusetts’s favorite college towns this weekend to check out Amherst Farm Winery. Enjoy a wine tasting set in a cozy 19th century post and beam dairy barn. For only $5 receive a logo glass and a taste of 5 of their 15 wines, including unique flavors like chocolate raspberry, pumpkin frost, cranberry, and more. Bring a picnic and cozy up on their leather sofa by the fire to enjoy your wine with a snack.

529 Belchertown Road, Amherst, MA. (413) 253-1400.

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Nashoba Valley WInery

Take the bite off the winter chill this weekend and take a drive to Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton. The winery hosts tasting events everyday from 10am-4:30pm For $5, receive a free tasting glass and samples of up to five different wines. Some favorites include Strawberry Rhubarb Wine, Holiday Special Cranberry Apple (a new release in November 2013), and New English Cider. If you are in the mood for something other than wine (if that’s possible), check out their beer selection as well!

100 Wattaquadock Hill Road, Bolton, MA. (978) 779-5521.

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Mill River Winery

Mill River Winery, located in Rowley, is the perfect wine destination for a mini-getaway. Enjoy the gorgeous winter scenery of Western Massachusetts as you wind through country roads to the winery. Mill River’s tasting room is housed in a refurbished cider mill, complete with eclectic décor that provides for an excellent tasting and shopping experience. Try their delicious Naked Chardonnay, a full bodied chardonnay with aromatic notes of lemon zest and pear. If you would like to get a “Dirt to Bottle Tour,” make sure to be at the winery at 2pm or 4pm Saturday or Sunday.

498 Newburyport Turnpike, Rowley, MA. (978) 432-1280.

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Black Birch Vineyard

For only $6, get the full Black Birch Vineyard experience—tasting and a tour! Enjoy the great mix of contemporary and rustic décor of the tasting room and the local culture of this Massachusetts winery. While you’re in, be sure to try their award winning selection of reds and whites.

155 Glendale Road, Southampton, MA. (413) 527-0164.

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Taylor Brook Winery

Located just over the border, Taylor Brook Winery in Woodstock, CT, is a hidden gem. This winery tends to over 2,000 vines of the finest grapes in the region. Head down to enjoy the country hospitality of this great local business, which offers tastings, bottles of their wine, and other great gift items for purchase. For a delicious winter wine, try their Winter Pomegranate.

848 Route 171, Woodstock, CT. (860) 974-1263.

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Obadiah McIntyre Farm

Obadiah McIntyre Farm Winery

The Obadiah McIntyre Farm Winery is located on the Charlton Orchards Farm property. The winery is owned and operated by a family that has been in the business of growing fruit for over 50 years, and began making wine in 1999. They are dedicated to making the best tasting wines around. Every weekend until the end of December, join them for a tasting and see for yourself.

44 Old Worcester Road, Charlton, MA. (508) 248-7941.

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Puttney Mountain Winery

Just over the Vermont border, Putney Mountain Winery located inside Basketville, has been making delicious local wines since the 1990s. All of their wines are crafted from local produce, which makes for the best tasting wine possible. If you’re toting the kids along for the day, the winery also sells juices made from locally grown produce, like their Putney Bubbly Vermont Sparkling Black Currant.

8 Bellows Falls Road, Putney, VT. (802) 387-5925.


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