At a time when excitement for the Royal Wedding can be seen on scores of magazine covers, the importance of lady-like etiquette is once again entering the spotlight. While this may seem old-fashioned to some, it always benefits to be courteous. After all, what gal wants to pursue a beau who’s constantly slamming a car door in her face? Well, as classy ladies such as ourselves, we should know how to react to these scenarios in the proper fashion. Read on for tips on acting graceful, please.
Rules of etiquette when arriving somewhere:
We all know that when we are first introduced to someone, eye contact is vital. Not only does it establish trust, but it also makes a person more relaxed while in your presence. The same rule applies when you arrive somewhere (like meeting up with co-workers at a local restaurant). Maintaining eye contact shows that you are genuinely glad to be in a person’s company.
Bring a small gift
While no one expects a gift in exchange for a dinner invitation, it’s something that is happening less often these days. People tend to put in a great deal of effort while hosting a soiree, so it only seems polite to show your gratitude! A mini box of authentic truffles or bouquet of flowers are simple yet sincere. Pst – watch out for this common party guest blunder: avoid bringing a bottle of wine as your gift, since the host is likely to be serving it with dinner anyways.
Arrive fifteen minutes late
I know, when it comes to proper etiquette, it seems you should do the opposite. But think about it. When we host an event, we usually have pellets of sweat dripping down our face minutes before the guests are expected to arrive. Showing up a few minutes late allows the party-giver time to perfect all the final touches. On the flip side, arriving more than fifteen minutes late is just rude!
Similar to a job interview, a firm handshake reveals more about a person than their strength. A secure handshake exudes confidence and professionalism. Like most things in life, it’s important to grasp proper balance. When you’re going in for the shake, please don’t hold the person in a death grip; the point is to be welcoming, not overpowering.
Rules of etiquette at the dining table:
Know which silverware to use
Yes, we all know the difference between a knife and a fork, but it gets a little confusing when you lay more than one of them onto the same place setting. So if you were never taught the difference between a salad and dessert fork, here’s your chance to learn. The salad fork is placed on the left side of the plate, and the soup spoon is the one next to the knives on the right. When the entree arrives, pick up the fork closest to the plate, and bon appetit!
Never reach or grab
Even if it’s a simple reach, it’s never polite to slink your arm over another person’s meal, or worse; risk soaking your sleeve in the remnants of their food. Talk about a messy eater! While it may seem easiest to reach for the butter dish instead of interrupting conversation; patience is a virtue. Besides, a sleeve slathered in grease is never mannerly.
Never use the words “toilet” or “bathroom”
At first, this etiquette rule almost seems laughable. In this day and age, no one will scowl at you for using the world bathroom, but technically it’s still improper. As all the royal ladies would suggest (Kate Middleton included) no one needs to know why you are leaving the table. Instead, politely say something along the lines of “excuse me for a moment, please”. No further explanation necessary.
Your utensils are there for a reason
It doesn’t matter if you’re eating pasta or a slice of pizza, if you’re dining in the company of others, always cut your meal with a knife and fork. The reason? Your fingers should never touch your food. Some would even suggest eating a fast-food meal with the proper utensils. So next time you head to a McDonald’s drive-through, make sure to ask for a side of forks with those fries.