Socially Speaking about Politics


talking-politicsHere in America you can’t get away from talk about politics. It’s everywhere: on the media, in the workplace, and around the dinner table. 2016 is a highly-charged election year.

All this talk about politics, however, leads Miss Meredith Sweetpea to consider the social rule that politics is one of those subjects not to be discussed in polite social conversation. So how do we talk about it…if we must? Here are several rules to keep in mind:

  1. Keep the conversation light. Don’t get into heavy discussions about whose opinion is right or wrong, or let the conversation escalate into a confrontation.
  2. Respect other people’s opinions. People look at issues through their own backgrounds, experiences and filters, which are always different than your own. Listen respectfully to their opinions and ask why they feel the way they do. It is always enlightening to hear how differently others view the same situations.
  3. Don’t accuse anyone. Just because you are adamant about your own viewpoint doesn’t mean that other people’s views are wrong. Don’t tell them they should feel or think (or vote) the way you do. They are allowed their own choices.
  4. Change the subject. If you are engaging in a lovely dinner party and talk of politics arises, politely change the subject to something more pleasant, like the taste of the butternut squash soup.

In years like this, you simply cannot avoid talking about politics. What you can do is control how and when you do.

 

 

Life is Short


cup-of-tea

“Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.”

–Ralph Waldo Emerson

Show Your Patriotism Through Proper Etiquette


Francis-Scott-Key-statue-and-American-Flag

Statue of Francis Scott Key at Fort McHenry

Patriotism is defined by Wikipedia as the “emotional attachment to a nation which an individual recognizes as their homeland.” It can also indicate one’s love, support and defense of one’s country, and loyalty to it.

In the United States, certain rules of etiquette apply to patriotism, namely in respect to the National Flag and the Star Spangled Banner, our National Anthem. As examples, the Flag Code, adopted in 1923, stated that people who are not current members of the Armed Forces or veterans to face the flag with their right hands over their heart, and current Olympic recommendations state that military personnel should salute the flag and maintain that posture throughout the playing of the National Anthem.

Most of us, including Miss Meredith Sweetpea, learned about patriotism and its etiquette in grammar school. But it is always good to have a reminder.

United States Patriotism Etiquette

  1. Everyone (old and young) should stand and remain standing during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner.
  2. One should not chew gum, smoke or eat during the singing or playing of the National Anthem.
  3. Continue reading

What’s the Big Deal About Wearing Sweatpants?


Kate-Walsh-in-sweatpants

Actress Kate Walsh — sloppy or chic?

Miss Meredith Sweetpea grew up with a Southern grandmother who required certain standards for a lady. We were to smile prettily, be dainty, and look our best at all times. Why, she wouldn’t think of going to the grocery store without first applying lipstick. And remember the television show “Father Knows Best?” The mother always wore a dress–and pearls–even around the house. I know, it’s a glorified image of life in the 1950s, but why not uphold a standard?

When did we transition from looking our best to looking our worst? And when did it become okay? Continue reading

Which Comes First–the Dress or the Hat?


michelle-pfeiffer-cherie

Michelle Pfeiffer in the movie Cheri.

The hat or the dress…which do you choose first when selecting your outfit? Surrounding the Kentucky Derby and other high-end horse races where memorable hats are the vogue, it is a question Miss Meredith Sweetpea has been asked more than once.

Fortunately, either way is perfectly acceptable.

Some people believe you should choose your outfit first then select a hat to go with the outfit. ((The argument here is that it’s easier to custom design a hat than to “make” an outfit to go with a hat!)

Others believe you must buy, create or design your hat before picking out your outfit.

Miss Meredith thinks that one can take inspiration from the other. If you see a fabulous hat that you just can’t live without, buy it first and design your outfit to complement it. On the other hand, Continue reading

Off to the Races–with Fascinators


fascinator-at-Kentucky-Derby

Fascinators made news at the 2016 Kentucky Derby.

America’s Kentucky Derby is not just a horse race, it is an occasion to sport a new hat. Visit the Kentucky Derby website and you will even find a Hat Parade section entirely devoted to hats.

This year, Miss Meredith Sweetpea noted a number of fascinators amidst the colorful sea of hats. According to the website, “Hats at the Kentucky Derby have become even more popular after the royal wedding in 2011, an event that showcased many elaborate hats and fascinators.”

The hat-wearing tradition was established from Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr.’s vision for the Derby “as an event that the high-class would attend, similar to European-style racing event, which mandated full morning dress for men and women.” At the first Derby, he recruited targeted clientele to attend the race and the Derby quickly became known as a fashion event as much as a horse race. It became the place to show off the latest spring fashions–and hats.

Browse a selection of race day fascinators here.

hat-at-Kentucky-Derby“The extravagant hats that have become associated with the Kentucky Derby did not really come about until the 1960s Continue reading

Secrets to Love: Respect


always-love-&-respect

While reading through one of her favorite books, Miss Meredith Sweetpea came across a section titled: Secrets to love: Respect. She’d like to share those words with you here, in hopes that all might glean a bit of insight into making your love life a little sweeter.

Secrets to Love: Respect

Excerpted from Living Romantically Every Day, by Barbara Taylor Bradford

I think that in order to love someone, you must first respect him [or her] and that respect must be tended to for the duration of the relationship. A romantic partnership is a relationship  between equals — I believe it ‘s virtually impossible to have a successful relationship, let alone a romantic one, with someone you don’t’ respect as an equal. Respect is a form of honoring a person and his individuality, and it’s so important that it’s part of the traditional wedding vows (“love and honor”).

Be attentive when you listen

Respect means holding your partner in a position of high regard and showing that you believe he is genuinely worthy. An important one is to be wholly attentive when you listen. If he’s telling you  a story, don’t interrupt. When he’s done, ask him, “Then what happened?” or “I think the part about X was so interesting. What do you think?”

Respect your partner’s ideas and opinions

Don’t expect the two of you to agree on everything. Agree to disagree about certain issues. As long as you agree on core values, such as how to raise your family, there’s a lot of room to debate everything else. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: