Have you had that experience when you said something and you wish you did not? Have you said some obvious blatant lies and you got found out? Have you said something so tactless that you wish the earth would shallow you that instant?
I am sure you have, as I have done a few times.
Saying or doing the wrong thing at the wrong time can make you a social outcast or not being popular for a period of time, if not forever.
Often when we have a foot in our mouth, we also try to put the other foot too. We have been caught mightily with the gaffe and yet we continue to spin, until we are out of control. Learn to zip it. Just bow your head gracefully and be quiet!
Gaffes – Big Time Social Blunders
Below are some of the gaffes that are guaranteed to offend so take care that you do not become an habitual offender.
- Never assume a woman is pregnant if she has a bigger than usual tummy. Mind the congratulations and felicitations. 🙂
- Never assume that an older man with a younger woman or older woman and younger man to be father and daughter or mother and son. 🙂
- Think twice or thrice before you post anything in Facebook or twitter (or other social media) something that you feel strongly about at the heat of the moment, this is especially important if it is about your boss or job. Remember those friends you have in the social media.
- Check who are on the recipient line when sending emails.
More and more people, especially celebrities, are choosing to have that most romantic of occasion – popping the question – to be recorded, seen and observed by the masses as it was happening.
Philippines’ Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes (with the sobriquet of Royal Couple), who have been going out for a number of years and have been secretly engaged since 2012 couldn’t help themselves from indulging their sense of romance, and right in front of several millions of television viewers and internet users they went through the whole caboodle of being officially engaged, which was initiated by Dingdong going down on one knee brandishing an impressive Harry Winston bling to his lady love, who giggled and teared up throughout the preambling proposal.
Awww They are now slated to get wed towards the end of the year.
Not to be outdone, Senator Chiz Escudero popped the question to Philippines’ sweetheart, Heart Evangelista, a couple of days ago in front of blazing cameras of the press, family and friends as well. Heart with her heart on her sleeve cried throughout the proposal. Awww
Another couple is expected to follow suit, perhaps toward the end of the year but certainly no later than next year. We are talking of Angel Locsin and Luis Manzano of course.
All the weddings will be grand affairs, with no expense spared and of course, those who care will get to know every nitty gritty of the ceremony and celebration. It is sure to be covered by all local magazines and television entertainment and news programs.
To be fair, there is precedence to all these thorough coverage. European royals used to announce engagements as detailed as they can.
There was also a time when tradition had it that the new bride and groom’s first night had to be witnessed to ensure that the marriage was consummated. The next day, the sheet they slept in during their first night as man and wife would be hang into the castle/palace balcony, showing a stain of blood to announce that the bride was a virgin and is no longer. LOL
I hope the celebrities do not go this far! But then again virgin brides are now thin on the ground, even in the Catholic Philippines!
At a dinner party one should eat wisely but not too well, and talk well but not too wisely.
– W. Somerset Maugham
Dining Etiquette – Table Manners
Refrain from making a noise when eating, or supping from a spoon, and from smacking the lips or breathing heavily while masticating food, as they are marks of ill-breeding. The lips should be kept closed in eating as much as possible.
It is rude and awkward to elevate your elbows and move your arms at the table, so as to incommode those on either side of you.
Whenever one or both hands are unoccupied, they should be kept below the table, and not pushed upon the table and into prominence.
Do not leave the table before the rest of the family or guests, without asking the head, or host, to excuse you, except at a hotel or boarding house.
Tea or coffee should never be poured into a saucer to cool, but sipped from the cup.
If a person wishes to be served with more tea or coffee, he should place his spoon in his saucer. If he has had sufficient, let it remain in the cup.
If by chance anything unpleasant is found in the food, such as a hair in the bread or a fly in the coffee, remove it without remark. Even though your own appetite be spoiled, it is well not to prejudice others.
Always make use of the butter-knife, sugar-spoon and salt-spoon, instead of using your knife, spoon or fingers.
Never, if possible, cough or sneeze at the table.
At home fold your napkin when you are done with it and place it in your ring. If you are visiting, leave your napkin unfolded beside your plate.
Eat neither too fast nor too slow.
Never lean back in your chair, nor sit too near or too far from the table.
Keep your elbows at your side, so that you may not inconvenience your neighbors.
Do not find fault with the food.
The old-fashioned habit of abstaining from taking the last piece upon the plate is no longer observed. It is to be supposed that the vacancy can be supplied, if necessary.
If a plate is handed you at the table, keep it yourself instead of passing it to a neighbor. If a dish is passed to you, serve yourself first, and then pass it on.
The host or hostess should not insist upon guests partaking of particular dishes; nor ask persons more than once, nor put anything on their plates which they have declined. It is ill-bred to urge a person to eat of anything after he has declined.
When sweet corn is served on the ear, the grain should be pared from it upon the plate, instead of being eaten from the cob.
Strive to keep the cloth as clean as possible, and use the edge of the plate or a side dish for potato skins and other refuse.
I love Christmas in the Philippines. It is celebrated in such a big way. Many establishments and private abodes are already decorated with the glory of Christmas as soon as the wind of September blows its way. The rule of thumb is that when the month ends in “er” it is Christmas time. Hooray, Merry Christmas!!! Maligayang Bati (Happy Hello?!!)
We celebrated Christmas in the Philippines last year after 26 years of Christmases in London. Peter was with me and he seemed to have enjoyed it as much as I did. It was rather a bit of a panic to start with as the whole population of Fullon Street en masse came knocking at our door to wish us a Happy Christmas.
Peter had the time of his life after the initial confusion. It was a different experience for him as Christmas in London is more solemn or rather quieter especially if you do not have much relatives. On Christmas day you tend to be cut off as no public transport is available. You have to rely on taxis which charge the earth (no peace on Earth there) on Christmas day. Lucky for us, we have always love Christmas just being together and if we are lucky our beloved James, Stacey and little Natnat would come round.
Anyway back to the Philippines; we had Noche Buena to welcome Christmas. Mind you we have Noche Buena in London too but not as grand as the ones in the Philippines.
The food was fantastic. We had cakes from Red Ribbon, from Goldilocks and from Pritil Market. We had kakanen etc. My sister-in-law was such a great cook, she made us a fabulous feast fit for the gods or rather for God’s Birthday. I’ll look up picture of the feast and post it here later. It became a laughing ritual that every time we eat something, Peter had to take a photo of the food before it journeyed into our respective esophagus. We had a full house; all the relatives in the house. Peter could not believe how many relative, through me, he has. He was really, really chuffed. He loved being surrounded by smiling people trying to talk to him in part English, part Tagalog and part giggles. 😉
To be continued….. much more to say. hehehe
Did you know?
The act of tipping may have originated from coffee houses in the city of London in the 17th – 18th century. Apparently merchants would meet up in a coffee-house to do business. As there were no Facebook, Twitters or e-mails yet 😉 the merchants would often leave messages placed in a box; a small coin was then left as payment for a swift delivery. The lid of the box was inscribed with letters: T.I.P which stand for To Insure Promptitude.
The Arithmetic of Tipping
To tip or not to tip… or should it be banned?
By Tom Geoghegan
BBC News Magazine, Washington DC
A New York restaurant has banned tipping to spare customers the bother, while some restaurants in other US cities have already replaced the gratuity with a fixed optional service charge. So is the discretionary tip falling out of favour in the land where it’s king?
A young man and woman are sitting in a restaurant in New York, enjoying their second date.
The man pays the waiter the bill and heads to the bathroom while the woman gathers her things.
“How much did he tip?” she asks the waiter. He tells her.
When the man comes back to the table, there is an angry exchange and she says she doesn’t want to see him again.
A tip of 8.5% brought that romance to a premature end.
Who to tip in US and how much
- Sitdown meal: 15-20%
- Buffet meal: 10%
- Home delivery: 10-15%
- Bartender: $1-2 a drink
- Toilet attendant: 50c-$3
- Valet: $2-5
- Doorman: $1-4 for luggage, $1-2 for hailing a cab (add a $1 in the rain)
- Hotel housekeeper: $2-5 a day
- Taxi: 15-20%
- Hair/Facial/Massage/Manicure: 15-20%
This story, told years later by the waiter that night, Steve Dublanica, reflects both how seriously Americans take tipping and how loaded with social meaning it has become.
The size of tips has increased and the list of those who expect them is growing also, in recent years joined by staff in takeaways.
Meanwhile, tip jars have proliferated to such an extent you may be confronted by one where you receive your sandwich and another one a few feet away where you pay for it.
It’s a custom that’s become second nature for most Americans, although there’s still a sharp intake of breath when they see three or four hotel staff involved in taking their luggage from the boot of the car and up to the room.
But it’s worse for visitors – whom to tip and how much can be a source of debate, confusion and often anxiety at doing the wrong thing or appearing to be ungenerous.
Tip the barman but not the shop assistant, reward the hairdresser but not if he or she owns the salon. Give the hotel luggage guy a dollar or two but not the receptionist. And don’t under-tip.
One British tourist says she and her friends were followed out of a Manhattan restaurant by an angry waiter unhappy with a 10-15% tip.
“The waiter gave us the tip back and told us it wasn’t good enough, that as tourists we didn’t understand that we had to give more in New York,” says Janine Windust.
“One of my friends, a New Yorker, told him it was discretionary and not to be so rude, but the three Brits couldn’t be bothered to argue and left him the full 20%.
“He chased us down the street, shouting ‘I don’t want it now, have it back!’ Then there was a massive street argument over it.”
A frustrated tipper writes…
“Whenever I object that this system means that almost every transaction you undertake in America is booby-trapped with social awkwardness, I am shouted down.”
BBC’s Kevin Connolly
That’s an extreme reaction to what in the UK would be considered a reasonable tip, but some visitors to the US who leave no, or low, tips don’t fully understand how critical they are to a worker’s livelihood.
The federal minimum wage for tipped restaurant workers is $2.13 an hour, with tips expected to take the wage to $7.25 an hour.
“It was difficult and I lived and died by my tips,” says Dublanica, who worked in New York restaurants for seven years and wrote a blog about it called Waiter Rant.
“If you don’t tip, I can’t pay the rent. But the reality is you can work hard and get no tips and do nothing and get good tips.”
In the restaurant business, which accounts for about two-thirds of all tips paid in the US, there are signs of change.
Since last week, staff at Sushi Yasuda in New York have no need to worry about the generosity or tightfistedness of their customers.
Owner Scott Rosenberg has banned tipping, saying his staff already get a good wage, with benefits. He told The Price Hike he wants to improve the dining experience by eliminating the “math equation” from the end-of-meal ritual.
Other upmarket American restaurants have introduced an optional service charge of 15-20% instead of a tip. This is a common practice in the UK, usually between 10-15%.
This is a big issue in the hospitality industry now, says Dublanica, who adds he would support a service charge divided between employees if it helped to provide a proper wage and benefits such as sick pay. But he can’t see it catching on.
“Even though the quality of service doesn’t affect tipping, Americans are under the illusion they are tipping on service and like the illusion of being able to reward. They don’t want to have that option taken away from them.”
Why do people tip?
- Gain social approval
- Avoid guilt
- Reward good service
- Increase waiters’ incomes
- Buy future service (if returning)
- Ingratiate server
Source: Michael Lynn
Tipping is an important custom, he believes, because it propagates the “American myth” that hard work brings reward.
But even Americans are not united in their support, with feelings that range from exasperation to outright resistance. The website Ban Tipping rallies aroundits central message: “We are educated consumers, and we do not tip. Deal with it.”
One diner in California last year left a note in lieu of a tip and blamed an increase in sales tax.
In the memorable opening scene of the film, Reservoir Dogs, Mr Pink speaks for many when he questions why it is customary to tip some professions and not others.
Taking up this point, Lizzie Post, co-author of Emily Post’s Etiquette, says it’s customary to tip those who perform a service for you, although she acknowledges the inconsistency of rewarding the guy who moves your furniture but not the guy who cleans your clothes.
If drycleaners and others did get in on the action, the tipping economy would be even larger than it is now.
A man who has written 51 papers on the subject, Michael Lynn, of Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, estimates the tipping economy to be worth about $40bn (£25bn). That’s more than twice the budget of Nasa.
Taiwan says no to tipping
Tipping is not a common practice in Taiwan, but many trendy or upscale restaurants add a 10% service charge to the bill, which is typically not shared with employees, but kept by the employers.
With consumer spending languishing and rising pressure to raise wages recently, some restaurateurs convinced legislators to try to talk the Taiwan Tourism Bureau into promoting a tipping system. The bureau’s officials recently suggested Taiwan should start a tipping culture. But many local people disagreed and the bureau has since dropped the plan.
Taiwan already prides itself for having “some of the friendliest people in the world” and the naysayers say no tipping is needed. They argue that restaurants should simply pay higher wages. Taiwan’s wages are low compared to the cost of living. In fact they are at the level they were 15 years ago if inflation is factored in.
With slowing population growth and restrictions on hiring migrant workers for jobs locals can do, restaurateurs are finding it hard to find good staff and keep them on such low wages. But customers say they don’t want to have to shoulder the burden.
But Lynn thinks tipping does imperceptible damage to collective well-being and he would like to see the custom outlawed in restaurants.
“It’s a net drain on social welfare and our happiness. I think more people tip out of social obligation than tip because they want to, so people are parting with money they would rather keep.
“I don’t know people are necessarily consciously aware of this. Most people would deny they tip for avoidance [of disapproval by peers and guilt], they say it’s for good service, but I’ve looked at it and they don’t reward good service substantially.”
He also believes, based on his own research and other studies, that restaurant tipping is discriminatory, a system in which both black and white diners tip white servers more than black ones.
So he anticipates a class action brought by ethnic minority waiters and waitresses that could lead to tipping being declared illegal.
A service charge evenly divided between employees would head off any legal action. But that doesn’t make economic sense, says Sherry Jarrell, a professor of economics at Wake Forest University and a former waitress.
“I think that customers will see the service charge as, firstly, a price increase on the food bill, secondly, a disincentive for using tipping to incent superior waitressing.
“To the extent it destroys a waiter’s incentive to earn a high tip, it’s harmful,” she says. “I see very little economic behaviour or results that is improved by the move. All cost, no benefit.”
Resistance to change would come from plenty of restaurant staff who make more money from tips than they would from the share of a service charge.
Tipping, and the aristocratic idea it exemplifies, is what we left Europe to escape”
William Rufus Scott in 1916
And customers wouldn’t welcome it either, says Curt Gathje, lead editor at Zagat, who says it’s so ingrained in the dining experience that it would be a difficult habit for many people to unlearn.
So a ban seems a long way off but there was a time when tipping was widely frowned upon in the US. Six states even outlawed it.
The custom arrived in the US from Europe in the late 1800s but early in the 20th Century, an anti-tipping campaign gathered pace, driven by the view it was undemocratic and a means to create a servant class.
“Tipping, and the aristocratic idea it exemplifies, is what we left Europe to escape,” wrote William Rufus Scott in 1916.
His anti-tipping manual, The Itching Palm, went on: “In a republic where all men were supposed to be equal, some cannot be superior until they grind other men into dust. Tipping comes into a democracy to provide that relation.”
Washington was the first state to ban it in 1909, followed by Arkansas, Iowa, South Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. But these laws were all repealed by 1926, and since then tipping has flourished.
Now the US is probably the most tip-friendly country on earth, says Ofer Azar, a professor of behavioural economics at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, but there are huge international variations.
“Tipping can be problematic because it seems to create classes, that of the customers, and that of the service workers, who have to satisfy the customers and sort of ‘beg’ for the tips,” he says.
That is part of the reason why tipping wasn’t allowed in communist USSR and China, and still isn’t common in Scandinavia, he says – places where inequality was or is relatively low.
For those Americans who really want to avoid it, another international study offers some non-tipping havens they can escape to.
Mark Starbuck spent 10 years writing an unpublished thesis on tipping, in which he identified only four African countries that commonly practise it – Egypt, Morocco, South Africa and Tunisia.
In Singapore, tips are supposedly illegal, he found, while in Fiji, Iceland and Japan, they cause embarrassment and offence.
We went to see the Jane Austen Museum in Bath last summer. It was a pretty interesting and an informative visit.
It was very interactive. Aside from touring the museum, there were also talks, shows and also we were encouraged to try some of the costumes during Jane Austen’s time, the Regency Period. It was the nearest thing to using a time travel machine! 🙂
The Regency Period seemed like it was completely from another world where women, especially the unmarried ones have to behave in certain ways. |They have to ensure that they don’t appear hoyden. (I like that word) 😉 If their refutations have been besmirched, they would be deemed unmarriageable or they can’t have the pick of the society anymore. They were lucky if they can marry a widower two/three times their age.
Many unmarried women became governesses.
They have to be innocent, pure as the driven snow. And any impropriety or any scandal would cause them to suffer from the vapours! (becoming faint. Prettiness takes precedence over intellect.
But sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do. When she needed to communicate something they have to use cunning and subtlety.
Enter the fan. An every lady’s accessory in Jane’s time. It was the mobile/cell phone equivalent of its time. It had acquired its own language.
It was absolutely interesting. When you think of the fan now, you will tend to associate it with a recent holiday to Spain when you tried dancing the flamenco under the influence of a few pitchers of Sangria. 🙂
Au contraire you can impart so much just by using a fan during the Regency era. You can unfriend someone ;), you can make them come to you, you can tell them it was over between you, that you are not interested, that you are taken, you wanted to be kissed, etc. It was a social instrument in its own right!
Here were some of the message you can relay to suitors by just using a fan
- The fan placed near the heart: “You have won my love”
- A closed fan touching the right eye: “When may I be allowed to see you?”
- The number of sticks shown answered the question: “At what hour?”
- Threatening movements with a fan closed: “Do not be so imprudent”
- Half-opened fan pressed to the lips: “You may kiss me”
- Hands clasped together holding an open fan: “Forgive me”
- Covering the left ear with an open fan: “Do not betray our secret”
- Hiding the eyes behind an open fan: “I love you”
- Shutting a fully opened fan slowly: “I promise to marry you”
- Drawing the fan across the eyes: “I am sorry”
- Touching the finger to the tip of the fan: “I wish to speak with you”
- Letting the fan rest on the right cheek: “Yes”
- Letting the fan rest on the left cheek: “No”
- Opening and closing the fan several times: “You are cruel”
- Dropping the fan: “We will be friends”
- Fanning slowly: “I am married”
- Fanning quickly: “I am engaged”
- Putting the fan handle to the lips: “Kiss me”
- Opening a fan wide: “Wait for me”
- Placing the fan behind the head: “Do not forget me”
- Placing the fan behind the head with finger extended: “Goodbye”
- Fan in right hand in front of face: “Follow me”
- Fan in left hand in front of face: “I am desirous of your acquaintance”
- Fan held over left ear: “I wish to get rid of you”
- Drawing the fan across the forehead: “You have changed”
- Twirling the fan in the left hand: “We are being watched”
- Twirling the fan I the right hand: “I love another”
- Carrying the open fan in the right hand: “You are too willing”
- Carrying the open fan in the left hand: “Come and talk to me”
- Drawing the fan through the hand: “I hate you!”
- Drawing the fan across the cheek: “I love you!”
- Presenting the fan shut: “Do you love me?”
- Hitting any object: “I’m impatient.”
An overdose of praise is like 10 lumps of sugar in coffee; only a very few people can swallow it.
– Emily Post
I saw this article by Jane Hoskyn online at MSN. I must say I agree with her totally!!!
53 secrets girls don’t want guys to knowBy Jane Hoskyn
Ask us what women are thinking, and we can trot out any number of things. “Don’t knock babbling, it’s a sign that we fancy you,” for example. Or: “Give us stubble burn once and we may never kiss you again.”
But those are the things that we wish men knew. The really telling thoughts are the ones that we don’t want men to know. Especially the men that we’re sleeping with – or wish we were sleeping with.
Deep in this innermost vault of secrecy lie our feelings about our exes, your exes, our bodies, your bodies… and our feelings at the end of a date or the start of a relationship. This is top-secret, high-octane stuff. In the wrong hands, it could be extremely dangerous. Read on if you think you’re hard enough.
1. When we get whistled at in the street, we feel uncomfortable and we’ll always tut and roll our eyes. But we’re awesomely flattered and we’d be gutted if it stopped.
2. We will never grow out of our fascination with pop stars. A guy can be completely ordinary-looking, but we will fancy him if he’s in a band.
3. We are more likely to fancy a guy if his ex-girlfriends are really pretty.
4. We can be put off a guy by finding out that his ex-girlfriends are a bit ugly.
5. When we look through your Facebook photos, we’re looking to see how pretty or ugly your ex-girlfriends are.
6. We look through your Facebook photos a lot, and we really hope that you haven’t downloaded anything that reveals who looks at them the most.
7. Here’s how to make us fall for you. One day, come on to us so strong that we’re a bit weirded out by it. Then totally fail to ring us. We’ll wonder what we did wrong, and we won’t be able to stop thinking about you.
8. The above strategy isn’t foolproof. We may just lose interest. It depends on how much we liked you in the first place.
9. We often don’t know how much we liked you in the first place. We may have to wait until you don’t phone us. If we’re disappointed, it proves that we fancy you. If we’re not, it proves that we don’t. It’s like when you toss a coin to help you make a decision.
10. Stop trying to understand how our minds work. Even we don’t understand how our minds work.
11. We constantly change our minds and reserve the right to do so.
12. We love getting a missed call from you. It makes us feel in control.
13. The pleasure of noticing a missed call doesn’t last long. We never know how soon to ring back, and it does our heads in.
14. We are constantly scared of putting you off by seeming too keen.
15. We are constantly scared of putting you off by not seeming keen enough.
16. We will never discuss this with you because we are constantly scared of putting you off by bringing “us” up in conversation.
17. “I’m scared of being hurt” means “I don’t fancy you as much as I thought I did.” You know it, we know it, and that is all that will be said on the matter.
18. We say “we’re not manipulative” because we’re really good at being manipulative.
19. We only manipulate your feelings because you manipulated our feelings first.
20. Snoring costs you sex.
21. Your feet disgust us.
22. We shave our toes.
23. We’ve got a rogue hair that needs regular plucking.
24. We went through a phase of shaving our moustache.
25. We leave our legs unshaven on a first date so that we won’t end up in bed with you.
26. We wear big knickers on a first date so that we won’t end up in bed with you.
27. We spend entire first dates fancying the pants off you and worrying that we’ll end up in bed with you, all unshaven legs and big knickers.
28. We don’t actually care that much about the loo seat.
29. We suspect that you like our bodies more when we’re carrying a few extra pounds, but we always feel better about ourselves when we lose weight. However we hate that our boobs look deflated, and we’re disgusted by the injustice of it.
30. We envy you for being able to eat more than us and not get fat. By “envy” we mean “occasionally hate.”
31. If a grown-up woman has light blonde hair, she’s bleaching it*. You can tell that a woman is a natural blonde from her mousey eyebrows. (* OK, or she’s Scandinavian.)
32. We trim our nose-hair.
33. Yes we’ve got nice eyes, blah blah. Boring. We are desperate for you to compliment our skin and our necks.
34. We are even more desperate for you to write poems about us.
35. When we’re at a party we clock the sexy girls far quicker than we clock the sexy guys.
36. We find female strippers sexier than male strippers. But that doesn’t mean we want to snog any of them.
37. However we do wish we were gay sometimes, if only to get oral sex from someone who really knows what they’re doing.
38. Size does matter, fellas.
39. What you do with it matters even more.
40. What you do with your tongue matters most of all.
41. We’re really scared that you’ll feel our back zits.
42. During breakouts we get up at 6am and cover our spots with concealer while you’re sleeping.
43. We don’t want you to stay for breakfast. We want you to leave immediately so that you don’t have time to register how dog-rough we look in the morning.
44. We want you to text us from your journey home to say how you can’t stop smiling.
45. If you don’t text or call within 24 hours we’ll feel so unhappy that no amount of chocolate and wine can cheer us up. Though we’ll give it a try.
46. We’d happily sleep with your best mate to make you jealous.
47. We’re scared of commitment too.
48. If you’re not very well endowed, your girlfriend won’t tell her friends. She’s as embarrassed about it as you are. However if you dump her, she’ll tell everyone.
49. We fake orgasms so that you’ll stop and let us go to sleep.
50. We aren’t always sure when we’re faking it. In orgasms, the line between fact and fiction can be very thin.
51. We love falling asleep in your arms, for the first few weeks of a relationship anyway. To be honest we’d sleep a lot better if you weren’t there.
52. We find your dark-coloured bedsheets a total turn-off.
53. We’re all little girls inside. You make us cry far more easily than you realise.