Newport Manners & Etiquette: When Harry Met Meghan, Best Secret Santa Gifts & A Son with Three Dads
Wednesday, December 06, 2017
Curiously Outdated Manners and Etiquette of the British Royals
Q. Why does Prince Harry's wife-to-be, Meghan Markle, have to curtsy to baby Princess Charlotte, Prince William's daughter? There is something wrong with that picture. Charlotte is like two-years-old. Shouldn't Prince William or the queen give Meghan permission to treat the two-year-old as a toddler? Not good for the kid. No wonder the royals are so screwed up! SS, Raleigh, NC
A. I agree, there is a lot wrong with that etiquette.
At last, there will finally be royals who are real people. Harry and Meghan's first public appearance finds them at an AIDS event on World AIDS Day. Unlike Kate Middleton after her engagement, Meghan's not out shopping for her trousseau. Harry's two big charities are HIV/AIDS awareness and youth crime, both of which Meghan appears to understand and care about.
Harry met Meghan and that's it.
They're magnetic and very affectionate in public, unlike William and Kate on display after their engagement was announced. Meghan is charming, with a delightfully genuine smile. Leaning into him as she does she shows tender affection in her respect for him. The uncanny thing is the way Meghan shows great charm in public churning up memories of Princess Diana.
For a better understanding of the depth of British protocol, watch Belle, a 2013 movie directed by Amma Asante. (View it online for free at 123moviesfree.ac/watch/belle).
The movie Belle is an 18th century biographical period drama based on the love affair of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay, the mixed-race daughter of a British aristocrat, that paves the way for the abolishment of slavery in the British Empire through a court case. You think Meghan has a difficult time ahead! Belle was not allowed to dine with her father's family or their servants. She dined alone in a proper separate dining room.
Practical Top Very Best 2017 Secret Santa Gifts
Q. For approximately fifty dollars what should I give as a "Secret Santa" present to my administrative assistant, who also receives a Christmas bonus from the company? Lewis, Chicago
A. On my personal wish list, number one is the Tile Sport and Style Tracker, because they are louder and easier to hear compared with other trackers, and they stay paired to a phone at longer distances. Sturdy and waterproof, they are the latest in item-finding innovation for $25.-$35.
Second place, also online at thewirecutter.com, you'll find the absolute best choices in headphones. On my list (if I actually had one) would be the Jabra Move Wireless, for between $40-$60.
please leave space between the two Q&As
What to say when you are not having children?
Q. What I dread most about the holidays is fending off nosy relatives who feel compelled to warn me that, "The clock is ticking." I've never wanted to bear children. My husband and career are enough for me. What can I say that will close the door for good on these tedious inquiries? I'm seriously considering being sterilized, but there are stumbling blocks. Requirements such as waiting periods and psychological evaluations that are much like the abortion legislation impacting women who wish to terminate a pregnancy! Elizabeth, West Hartford, CT
A. You are not alone, research the growing "childfree movement" for support. In particular, on Reddit there is a forum that is "childfree-friendly."
It just isn't fair that it is far easier for a man to find a doctor to perform a vasectomy than one who will perform a tubal ligation, or even, if you qualify, for an endometrial ablation.
Answer: "I don't want to bring a baby into this world."
The topic of conversation can then quickly move forward to politics or climate change.
Three Dads and A Son
Q. Soon I'll be picking my step-son up at the airport to spend his Christmas vacation with his father, my husband, who left his mother for a gay man ten years ago. My hubby's ex married a man who has been an extremely good step-father. I've briefly met my step-son four times, but since he lives in Orange Country, CA, we rarely see him. Not that my husband hasn't tried.
When I greet my fourteen-year-old step-son in the airport baggage claim area, I'll want to hug him, but I don't know if that's appropriate.
We're also squeamish about whether my husband and I should sleep in different rooms? The second of our two bedrooms has twin beds. My husband won't be home from a board meeting in Dubai until late that night and I'm having to deal with this entry into fatherhood solo. The Third Dad, Manhattan
A. Hold back. Test the waters. Stretch out your arm first to shake hands. If your step-son is sporting a smile, genuinely warm and happy to see you, try the less intimate half-hug (where you reach one arm around his shoulders, rather than both arms -- as though you're posing for a photo).
- Then there's the bro-hug that is especially quick and physically reserved. The hug that made Obama so popular.
- Whichever, don't linger. Let go.
Make it all about your step-son's father to start. Say, "Your dad's been looking forward to your visit and is coming back late tonight, so you're going to have to hang out with me until he arrives."
Your step-son will be groggy from the flight and may become silent as a shy defense.
- You don't want to be overbearing.
- Make it clear that he and his dad will be sharing a room.
- During the course of his visit, facilitate having father and son spending blocks of time together alone.
- Don't let the worst outcome be that your step-son becomes depressed. A morose fourteen-year-old is hard to get to know.
Be yourself but observe his body language.
- If he touches his ears, he doesn't like what your saying.
- If he places his hands near his eyes, he doesn't like what he's seeing.
- If his hands are on his forehead, nose or chin, he's either contemplating his life or wondering where to the find the cookies and milk.
Didi Lorillard researches manners and etiquette for her forthcoming book at NewportManners.
Related Slideshow: 50 Ways to Give in Central MA This Holiday Season - 2017
484 Main St., Worcester
United Way of Central Massachusetts helps many local organizations gain funding to help community efforts.
Each year they post a wish list for their organizations that easily allows you to choose where to donate or volunteer this holiday season.
Photo: United Way of Central Massachusetts
125 Providence Street, Worcester
For 100 years, the Girls Inc. of Worcester has aimed to dedicate themselves to empowering young women, ranging from ages 5 to 18 to achieve their goals and dreams. The organization supports these women to become healthy, educated, and independent figures.
Points of emphasis that are translated from Girls Inc. of Worcester faculty to its clients include, appropriate ways to confront challenges, resisting peer pressure, and viewing college as a tangible facet in their lives
120 Thomas Street, Worcester
Founded in 1891, VNA Care Network has helped people of all ages cope with illness or injury while living at home. Our exceptional visiting nurses; physical, occupational, and speech therapists; social workers; and other professionals have helped us earn accreditation by The Joint Commission.
335 Chandler Street, Worcester
Since 1878, the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children is dedicated to leadership in protecting and promoting the rights and well-being of children and families.
300 Barber Avenue, Worcester
Holy Trinity is a non-profit facility serving individuals who require a broad range of social, nursing and rehabilitation services in an atmosphere of quality care and Christian love, without regard to a person's race, color, religion, creed, sex, age, national origin, disability or Veteran's status.
222 Harrington Way, Worcester
We all know it as the EcoTarium and for all the fun and education.
Founded in 1825, the Worcester Natural History Society is a great place to play outside, play on the imagination playground and learn about the natural history of Worcester.
4 Mann Street, Worcester
Founded in 1973, The Bridge now serves over 1,200 individuals in residential and community settings.
Supports compassionate, evidence-based human services for those with mental health challenges, developmental disabilities, acquired brain injury and complex family problems.
321 Main Street, Worcester
Mechanics Hall is the premier event venue and concert hall in Central Massachusetts. Renowned for its elegance and sound qualities, the Hall's cultural significance, its stunning décor and architectural detail have earned it a listing on the National Register of Historic Places
81 Gold Star Boulevard, Worcester
The mission of the Girl Scouts is to build girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.
65 Tainter Street, Worcester
The mission of the Boys and Girls Club of Worcester is to help youth develop the qualities needed to become responsible citizens and community leaders, through caring professional staff who forge relationships with our youth members and influence their ability to succeed in life.
10 Brookline Place West, Brookline, MA
The Jimmy Fund is always looking for people to donate blood and platelets for those undergoing cancer treatments and trauma victims.
You can also become a dedicated volunteer for Jimmy Funds many councils and promote their mission by hosting fundraising events.
Photo: The Jimmy Fund
100 Front St., Worcester, MA
Reliant Medical Group is an organization focused on improving the health and well-being of everyone in Central Massachusetts.
Donate to volunteer or participate in a 5k to help support the many other non-profits that they are engaged in.
Photo: Reliant Medical Group
85 Green St, Worcester, MA
AIDS Project Worcester provides housing for those who are HIV positive and in need of financial assistance.
They also provide educational services to teach the community about AIDS and STD prevention.
Volunteer to help with their educational outreach or donate to support their cause.
1152 Pleasant Street, Worcester
Donate your car or volunteer to help support families affected by childhood cancer at Why Me and Sherry's House.
You can even help provide a family with meals or emergency childcare during their hardship.
Photo: Why Me and Sherry's House
14 East Worcester St., Worcester, MA
Ascentria Care Alliance is one of the largest community service organizations in the area and allows you to reach out in many different ways.
Volunteer as a tutor or skills trainer to help members of your community reach their full potential.
Photo: Ascentria Care Alliance
629 Salisbury Street, Worcester
The Jewish HealthCare Center is one of New England’s most respected HealthCare facilities, providing innovative long-term care, short-term rehabilitation, hospice services, home care services, and Alzheimer’s care to the community since 1916.
10 Prince Place, Newburyport, MA
Fraxa Research Foundation is on a mission to help to find a cure for Fragile X - a disease that affects intellectual abilities, and makes sufferes hyperactive, hypersentitive to light and noise and prone to seizures.
You can donate or tribute a gift in honor of someone suffering from Fragile X.
Photo: Fraxa Research Foundation
2000 Century Dr., Worcester, MA
American Red Cross of Central Massachusetts is always looking for volunteers to donate blood, organize fundraisers, and donate non-monetary items like credit card rewards and goods.
The Red Cross prevents and relieves suffering to those in the community including military families in need.
One Clarks Hill, Framingham, MA
Advocates Inc. assists the disabled and elderly with home ownership and sustaining satisfying work and personal relationships.
Intern, or donate online when you do your personal shopping on Amazon, overtime you shop Advocates receives a percentage of your total purchase - making it easy to give and receive.
Photo: Advocates, Inc.
One Salem Square, Worcester
YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.
766 Main St, Worcester
It is where the community comes together. The Y offers programs for youth development, to promote healthy living and to promote social reposibility.
Four locations throughout the region
Boroughs Family Branch
Central Community Branch
Greendale Family Branch
Montachusett Community Branch
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