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Newport Manners & Etiquette: Utterly Casual Yacht Wedding, Whatever Gender Restrooms, No-Show Guest

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

 

Nothing could be more fun than an utterly casual yacht wedding, although I can't say whatever gender restrooms are fun for all, doctor-patient confidentiality and what to do about a no-show guest, were questions to Didi Lorillard at NewportManners this week.

No-Shows

Q.  At a seated dinner recently the man whose name was on the place card next to me didn't show up. It was a table of ten seated boy-girl, boy-girl, etc. His date didn't show up either, so there were two empty seats at our table of ten. A gate crasher took one of the vacant seats. He was the bride's hairdresser and was an entertaining fill-in. Someone suggested I move over a spot. I did but at a big table like that it is hard to equally talk to the person on your left and the person on your right when there is an empty space between you. I was impressed that the host came over right after we sat down to say he was sorry that the missing couple had to leave because of an emergency, and asked if it was alright if he sent over a gate crasher. 

The hard part for me was that the only actual person I sat next to was stuck with me and I with him. What would you have done, Didi?  AV, Newport, RI

 

A.  At some point before the entree was cleared, you could have suggested that the one person seated next to you switch seats with a person across the table. You could say, "Let's shake up the table a bit and switch you with George when the wedding cake is served." It takes social skills to make such a switch, but if you take the lead you can make it happen gracefully, if not humorously.

Doctor Patient confidentiality

Q.  My husband and I are currently without health insurance and he's been taking an over-the-counter anti-depressent called SAM-e, which makes him irritable and at times either whiny or overly-anxious -- or both. His primary physician doesn't know he is taking SAMe. But I feel I should tell him. My husband insists it is as good, if not better, than any of the expensive prescription antidepressants he took when we had health insurance, pre Obamacare. Should I just be happy that he is no longer depressed and grin and bear the whining and anxiety.  Long-Suffering Wife, West Bath, ME

 

A. The US Food and Drug Administration doesn't sufficiently regulate over-the-counter herbs supplements, so the jury is still out on whether antidepressants such as SAM-e are totally safe. What you can do is to persuade your husband to talk to his primary care physician about SAM-e to see if any medication he is also taking works with the SAM-e, or against it. For instance SAM-e could possibly affect bleeding risk if your husband is also taking any drug that affects bleeding, such as aspirin or blood thinners. Or if he takes a drug to control his blood pressure.

What you can say to your primary care doctor is this:  I'm concerned that SAM-e may not be working well for Jack. Can you please talk to him about what he's taking, how much he's taking and how often, so that he can get a reality check on his mood swings. 

His doctor may not know he's taking SAM-e, so you want to assume for the safety of your husband that his doctor knows about the SAM-e.

Utterly Casual Yacht Wedding  

Q.  My boyfriend and I are invited to a wedding taking place at sea on a yacht. What do we wear? What should we know about a yacht wedding? The dress code is Utterly Casual. Since there are 150 guests we don't want to be underdressed or overdressed. We're not sure what Utterly Casual means for a wedding on a boat!  PH, Manhattan

 

A.  You can assume that the bride and groom will be dressed casually, but more formally than their guests. They want everyone to relax and have a good time. 

  • Most important is footwear. Shoes should be broken in so they won't slip or slide on slippery high polished flooring. Don't wear spiked heels that could damage any wooden floors.  
  • Your boyfriend would wear a navy blue blazer or any lightweight linen jacket, a collared open shirt and dress khakis, colored or white trousers with possibly a rubber sole shoe. A tie would be optional.
  • As the bride will be dressed super casually, you wouldn't want to wear anything that might be dressier than what she's wearing. A jumpsuit would be terrific or any dress that moves well in the wind and on the dance floor that's not puffy with fabric or tacky with sequins.

 

It goes without saying that sunscreen and a hat are a must for a daytime wedding at sea.

Whatever gender restroom

Q.  In an all-gender bathroom, is it OK to ask if the people on either side of you could pass you toilet paper? In an outdoor all-gender restroom at a concert, I wasn't sure if I should intrude on other people's privacy. I know now that I would certainly try to help the person out.  Name Withheld

 

A.  Yes, say it loud and clear: "Do either of you have toilet paper you can share?" Chances are good that one or the other will listen to your need.

Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette at NewportManners.com for her upcoming book NEWPORTMANNERS.

 

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