A Night at the Opera

Back in June my mother-in-law gifted me tickets to see Tosca. I had never been to the opera before, and I was thrilled to go. I remember being in FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America….formerly FHA) and hearing from a girl whose grandfather would take her a couple of times a year to the opera. Each time he bought her a new gown – that’s right, not dress but gown. He would take her out to eat, open the door for her, etc. Essentially, she was queen for a night. She had a very bad upbringing from an abusive father, and this was her grandfather’s way of showing her her worth.

I think we tend to believe that dressing well is vanity. It truly should not be. It can be part of the experience and a way to show respect to others. Given that I had not been to the opera, I immediately began to plan what to wear (well, immediately after I wrote a thank you note). None of my post-baby dresses would quite qualify as a gown. The opera we were going to started at 7pm, the height of formality for shows. My husband has a nice three-piece suit that almost could pass for a tuxedo when he uses his bow tie instead of a straight tie – perfect for the opera. I finally decided on a black lace dress that hits about calf-level. While not full-length, it was cocktail-style and would just have to do. I added hose and classic pumps, but I still worried about being inappropriately dressed.

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I take dressing seriously, as I do consider it respect for others. One of my favorite (and most well-known) restaurants in New Orleans is Commander’s Palace. Jackets are required for dinner. At Galatoire’s, another classic place, they will provide one for you if you come nekkid, as they worded it to one man. I found this ironic, as they’re next to a strip club on Bourbon St. I digress. I honestly did worry about my dress….until I arrived. Imagine my surprise (and disappointment) when there were men and women in jeans. They looked more appropriate for the bar afterwards than they did for the opera. So, my plea today is to please dress for the occasion. It does NOT have to cost a lot. Actually, one lady wearing a very cute outfit that happened to have jeans as part of it had Jimmy Choos. I didn’t jack them from her, but I sure did imagine myself in them. 🙂 Invest in one or two outfits that are appropriate for nicer events. With many events, operas absolutely included, these actors and musicians are professionals. It brings elegance and esteem to such events.

So, over the next week, I will give examples of what is appropriate attire in various situations. If you have any specific events you want me to make sure to cover, just let me know! I’m happy to do so. Thank you for reading!

Surprise Notes and Gifts

This has been a week of surprises! In addition to presidential candidate, Rick Santorum, coming to Sulphur Springs, Texas (who I got to welcome to our town publicly), I received two thank you notes in the mail. One from a mom who is taking an etiquette class with her daughter and one from a judge in our local World Champion Hopkins County Stew Contest (try saying that five times fast…). Trust me when I say it’s rare anyone thanks me for having them take approximately 75 bites of stew, some of which smells like diesel. I was so caught off guard in a good way by these sweet notes – which absolutely shows the impact a piece of paper can make.

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Now, the time has come for me to do the same! A few weeks ago I entered a local contest from a business here in town called Just Country. They have homemade rustic signs and decor. It’s very cute stuff. Anyhow, I amazingly won. So, I went by the store to pick out a piece. I must have been taking a while because the owner told me she could make whatever I wanted. Being the 29 year old I am, I held out my phone with their Facebook page pulled up to their photos and asked if they had a particular Christmas sign. Alas, it already sold. However!! They made it for me. A person who WON a contest – I wasn’t buying this. Wow. That’s amazing service. Winning the contest in-and-of itself warranted my sending them a thank you for gifting a piece to me. Add this on top of the fact they went out of their way significantly, and I am posting everywhere of their customer service in hopes other shops will take notice. 🙂 So, publicly, thank you to Just Country. You amaze me.

Christmas Cards!

Welcome to the Christmas card post! I am THRILLED to offer beautiful, vintage cards and tags – everything you need for a perfect Christmas! If you would like to order, please email etiquettebyemily@gmail.com to place your order. The cards are truly of the highest quality. I like to frame some of them; they are perfect for a vintage Christmas.

Thank you for support, and enjoy shopping!!
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“A Happy Christmas to You” – $3.50 each or $3.00 for two or more
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“Merry Christmas” – $3.50 each or $3.00 for two or more
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“Christmas Tree” – $3.50 each or $3.00 for two or more

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“Mailing Tin Set” – $25.00 for 24 cards

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“Glittered Gift Tag Tin” – $15.00

A Simple RSVP

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RSVP. Repondez s’il vous plait. Please reply.

‘High society’ adopted French etiquette in the 18th century, leading to the common RSVP on invitations. If an invitation simply states RSVP, you should reply within a day or two of receiving an invitation. This is a primary example of WHY invitations are not to be sent months in advance of an event. In the case of larger events, such as weddings, a ‘save the date’ may be sent.

Commonly now, ‘regrets only’ is on the invitation for less formal events. Personally, I’m not a fan, nor was Emily Post (though the same cannot be said for her granddaughter-in-law, Peggy Post). If this is on the invitation instead of the traditional RSVP, it’s exactly as it seems: you only reply if you are unable to attend.

Do you have any specific RSVP questions? Feel free to ask!