Fashionably Late….Or Inconsiderate?

*Just a note for my local readers: This post will be in the Sulphur Springs News Telegram in my column in the near future. However, since I’ve been asked this question multiple times now, I wanted to make sure I addressed it here, too!

Reader Question: What is the appropriate amount of time to arrive before or after an event’s designated start time?

I’m so glad you asked! Being fashionably late is often considered rude to your hosts. The variance of time in which you’re allowed to arrive will vary based on the event.

If an event is come-and-go, you are welcome any time during the designated time. You may show up 5 minutes prior to an event, but it wouldn’t be courteous to your hosts to show up after the designated end of an event.

If your event has a specific start time, such as a dinner party, you should show up no more than five minutes late. Up to 10 minutes prior to the start is appropriate, unless a specific time for drinks was allotted. In that case, you shouldn’t appear early to the event.

For weddings, you may show up to 30 minutes prior to the wedding, as the wedding time given is when the event would begin, and you wouldn’t want to accidentally walk down the aisle after the bride has made her entrance.

As a general rule, 5 minutes prior to a “recurring event” (any event other than weddings or funerals) is most appropriate. If you are going to someone’s house, it would be just as rude to show up thirty minutes before the dinner party as it would be to show up thirty minutes late.

Of course, like every rule in the world, there are exceptions to this. If you are traveling over an hour and a half, you have more leeway in your arrival time, as you must take into consideration traffic. Additionally, in the event something happens that is unavoidable (a wreck that causes traffic to stop, for example), it is perfectly appropriate to call your host and explain your situation. I would encourage you to state to not wait on you, especially if there are other guests, and that you’ll be there as soon as you possibly can.

Thank you for the question, and I appreciate your readership!

 

Authentically Real

Y’all may or may not recall this post where I talk about my love of Pottery Barn (as well as why I have stepped back from it). Clearly Pottery Barn isn’t the problem. The products are designs I truly love. The problem was my need for it and the “perfect life” it represented.

I get asked all too often if we dress in Sunday best for dinner at our house.

No, we don’t. Knowing which fork to use doesn’t make you a good person. Feeding others with what you have, does.

My kids love the dirt and mud. They ride in their battery-powered Jeep giggling and yelling. They trapse mud through the house in an effort to get to the bathtub. Our house is pier and beam and, thus, moves. My stomach is no where near where I want it to be. Neither are my hips. Neither are the bags under my eyes.

I forget to call or text friends back. I get overwhelmed. We are so very real and so very far from perfection. However, I walk the line where I refuse to glorify failure and false expectations of being perfect. I refuse to glorify not doing our best. I will never accept any person in my family not trying his or her best self. And still…perfection will never be obtained.

This has been hard for me to accept and to understand in today’s society where success is measured in the amount of time you spend simply being busy. Even when we’re with our family, we’re often not really there. This is what I will not accept for myself. While I will never be THE best, I can be my best. And that’s enough.

So, I hope you will find this blog authentically real and motivating. I never want anyone to feel defeated by different etiquette rules. As always, thank you for reading and for your support. 🙂

Wednesday’s Child Is Full Of Woe

Does anyone remember the nursery rhyme that starts “Monday’s child is full of face?” Well, until just a couple of years ago (and I’m 31), my mom had always told me that I was born on a Tuesday. In this poem, Tuesday’s child was full of grace, which I loved. I long to have the grace of someone like Jackie Kennedy (my granny’s grace role model) or Duchess Catherine. I was always so proud of being a Tuesday’s child, especially since my brother decided to be born on Sunday, which, according to the poem, is the best day of all. Being a United Methodist, we are all about grace. So, it was a double whammy.

I’m here to tell you that 21 hours apparently does some funny things to your brain. My mom went into labor on Tuesday. I, however, did not make an appearance until Wednesday. Wednesday’s child is full of woe. Sigh. (At least I’m keeping with my day).

Here’s the version of the poem I remember from my nursey rhyme books:

Monday’s child is fair of face. Tuesday’s child is full of grace, Wednesday’s child is full of woe. Thursday’s child has far to go. Friday’s child is loving and giving. Saturday’s child works hard for a living. But the child who is born on the Sabbath day is bonnie and blithe and good and gay.

Like many things, though, the definition of woe has gotten a little changed over the years. Woe, in addition to sadness, referred to having empathy for others. My husband would say that part does fit me. Here’s what else I found interesting!

{There was considerable variation and debate about the exact attributes of each day and even over the days. Halliwell had ‘Christmas Day’ instead of the Sabbath.[1][not in citation given] Despite modern versions in which “Wednesday’s child is full of woe,” an early incarnation of this rhyme appeared in a multi-part fictional story in a chapter appearing in Harper’s Weekly on September 17, 1887, in which “Friday’s child is full of woe”, perhaps reflecting traditional superstitions associated with bad luck on Friday – as many Christians associated Friday with the Crucifixion. In addition to Wednesday’s and Friday’s children’s role reversal, the fates of Thursday’s and Saturday’s children were also exchanged and Sunday’s child is “happy and wise” instead of “blithe and good”.[4]   }

I’d also be pretty happy being “loving and giving” with the role reversal shown here. However, I will say, that, as a United Methodist, one of the holiest services, in strictly my opinion, is that of Ash Wednesday. This poem, which I randomly thought of, reminds me of that Wednesday and the preparation of our hearts. I think I’m okay being a Wednesday’s child after all.

Thank you for reading! I think nursery rhymes, which are so simple on the surface, are filled with tradition, and I’m excited to get to go over a few in the next couple of weeks! Which ones are your favorites?

Why I Dress My Best….And Expect The Same From My Kids

You may remember this post where I talked about wearing clothes that were still casual (think cotton) but were just a little nicer than shorts. I was surprised that others took notice. At work, I tend to wear dresses. To me, they’re actually more comfortable than pants are (I’m hippy), but they truly do take things up a notch.

The past several times that I’ve gone to WalMart, I’ve done so right after work. I’m there in my mid-high heels and my dress. Nothing super special. For about five times in a row now I’ve been complimented by strangers on looking nice. Usually by the end of the day, my makeup is a blur, and my hair isn’t the way I had it in the morning. They’re not necessarily inferring “pretty.” They were simply saying the appreciated that I wasn’t there with wet hair and shorts with “juicy” written across.

Our culture has become increasingly casual – to the point where someone in a simple cotton dress is noticed. Can I tell you my secret? I have about seven dresses. That’s all I wear to work. It keeps my closet cleaner. I prefer a minimalistic approach to living. I have two pair of earrings that I wear regularly. I also have a necklace that goes with about four of my dresses. I’m no Kate Middleton. I just do what works for me, but I truly do not think stepping up how we dress is any extra effort at all. As I explained in the first post where I talked about attire, putting on a skirt is really no extra effort than shorts. I’m not turning cartwheels, so I’m not worried about anything in that arena. My top is still a cotton top. It’s still very simple.

I do feel, though, right or wrong, we make an impression on others by how we look. I try to dress my best and for what’s appropriate, and I expect the same for my family. I want my kids to understand that taking a little time on our appearance isn’t vain. It is actually showing respect for ourselves and respect for others.

Thank you for reading! I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Why I Blog on More Than Etiquette

I’ve head some recent emails actually thanking me for blogging on topics other than etiquette. They said they had liked my blog but were hesitant to visit at first because they were afraid it wouldn’t apply to their life.

I get it. I truly do. I was hesitant to even start a blog, but I’m so thankful I did. I had “started” blogs on and off for years. I never had much follow through. Just ideas. I didn’t know how to make etiquette applicable to a large group of people. I still don’t feel like I’m there, but I try each day to remember that etiquette IS about more than forks and knives. It’s about kindness. It’s about respect for others. It’s also about respect for oneself, which is why I’m working on a mini series on dressing well. 🙂 We are allowed to respect ourselves.

Because, to me, tradition and etiquette go together, I love writing about traditions in my blog. Etiquette is so regional that traditions play a big part in why etiquette in one area may not be the etiquette for another.

I am very grateful to you, the readers, for being so willing to read on more than just etiquette. There are plenty of etiquette blogs out there that tell you what to do. Many, though, fail on the why. So if you weren’t raised with etiquette or with a certain protocol, you may feel overwhelmed or uncertain – neither of which feeling makes you feel comfortable actually using the etiquette the sites describe. This is the area I try to differ on. I want people to know why white after Labor Day is considered a fashion faux pas. I want people to understand how they portray themselves to others will make or break them in the business world. This is important to me. Thank you for letting me be different from the rest.