New On The Blog

Today, where we see every form of fashion on our streets, the question of men and shorts still produces uncertainty among many. There is a reason for this that is embedded in our DNA, and to fully understand we need to explore a little history.

“What are the main table manners children should know?” A common question I am frequently asked. Yet I have a tough time narrowing my answer. I pick my top three, then a fourth pops into my mind. Then a fifth. We may not all attend black-tie events, but we do all eat. Your children will one day be placed in a situation where they need to skillfully know their way around a dining table.

As we approach Mother’s Day, I would like to take a special look at the precious women in our lives that hold the title of Mother-in-law. Do you remember the movie Monster-in-Law? It starred Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda in a romantic comedy centered around the tumultuous relationship between a bride and her future mother-in-law. If you have not seen it, you should. It will keep you laughing but, sadly, may hit closer to home than you would like to admit.

I recently asked a group of college students these questions showing them the same photos. I had them shout out adjectives for the pictures they were viewing. For the home I heard: beautiful; wealthy; cared for; loving family; a place I want to live. For the broken-down home they said: old; no curb appeal; I wouldn’t go near it; scary; unstable.

“Rules without reason equals rebellion.” -Cynthia Grosso, Charleston School of Protocol. This could be my motto! I have a stubborn streak that can serve me well, but when it gets me into trouble, I just blame it on my DNA. No matter the reason, I am not the best rule follower unless I know why a rule was created. 

Remove your hat! Don’t set it on the table! Never let someone see the lining! Women, keep your hat on! Women, take your hat off! Ahhh…..I’m so confused!!! The old rules of hat etiquette were so straight forward, and everyone knew what to do. A gentleman removing his hat inside a building was as second nature as brushing his teeth. In today’s changing society, there is much confusion about hat etiquette, for both men and women, so let’s solve this mystery by starting with the “why” of hat protocol.

Do you find your spouse often saying, “Are you listening to me?” Or maybe you feel your child is not being an active part of the dinner conversation. If this resonates with you, it might be time to brush up on the finer points of being a good listener, while teaching your family to do the same. Below are 11 tips to help you get back on track so you can start enjoying deeper and more meaningful communication with those you love.

“Good sense makes one slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11 ESV).

 

When I am tired and my mind does not seem to focus on a deep study of the Bible, I will flip to Proverbs to keep focused on God’s Word in a more simplistic way. Yet, every time I read this book, I walk away amazed at the power it brings and thankful for the renewal I feel. The verse I read today really resonated with me.

As a stay-at-home mom to 2 toddlers, a large part of my day is spent in the kitchen preparing food. Meal planning at the beginning of the week is essential to ensuring my family is well fed with home cooked nutrition (I give myself a break on the weekends)! If you get overwhelmed with meal planning like I used to, try these tips to sooth your soul:

As a wife and mother of two rambunctious toddlers, it is a challenge to get a home-cooked dinner on the table at a reasonable time. Pulling the children away from their toys, getting them seated at the table, cutting up their meal, blowing on food that is too hot, and calling my husband away from his work can be exhausting.

Sometimes you just need to re-post tips that were great to read. I find myself saying this quite often when it comes to The Gottman Institute. They are some of the leading relationship experts in our country, and the research they did on trustworthiness is very informative.

Meeting friends for dinner after work, grabbing coffee with your girlfriend or just ordering pizza on a Friday night with neighbors. We all have a deep desire to be connected in a world that often forgets the importance of relationships. Many of us have the desire to entertain, but we let our circumstances keep us from extending hospitality. Often it revolves around our lack of confidence in our ability to host events. I get this!

A perfect entertaining year for me would be hosting a different themed party each month! Will I do that? No. Will I dream about it? Yes! If I cannot have a party every 4 weeks, I can at least help my Lisa Lou family with ideas so hopefully a few of you can carry the torch of hospitality for the rest of us.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for. Read that again.

You are not allowed to complain about not getting something that you never asked for.

  • Lisa Lou

How to Do Introductions

Updated: May 3, 2021


Table manners seem to be the area in which I receive the most questions, but it is introductions that have people the most baffled. After I explain the correct way to conduct an introduction, I often get that starry-eyed stare that tells me, “I really don’t understand what you just said.” To help all of us, I have broken down the process into a simple format. Before I proceed, let me say this. Do not let a lack of confidence in handling an introduction keep you from DOING an introduction. Even if you are unsure, most people do not care. They will wonder, though, why you do not introduce an acquaintance who joins your group at a party. When a person walks up and no one introduces them, it is awkward for everyone. As the old advertising slogan said, “JUST DO IT!”


First

Introductions are made based on hierarchy in business situations, and based on seniority or respect, in social settings.


Example: The CEO of a company is of higher rank than the Vice President of another company. Whereas, in social settings, a grandmother is afforded the respect of having more seniority than someone in their twenties.


Second

To determine hierarchy, seniority, or respect when conducting an introduction, always ask yourself this question. “Which person do I wish to show the most respect?” Emily Post Institute states, “It all boils down to speaking to the person you wish to honor first.” Once you determine the hierarchy of respect, you will then proceed by introducing the person of lower rank to the person of higher rank.


Example: “Senator Jones, I would like to introduce to you, Mr. Smith.” You state the name of the higher authority first (Senator Jones), but you are introducing the person of lower authority (Mr. Smith) to the person of higher authority (Senator Jones).


Third


In a purely social setting, your grandmother would be the person you want to show the most respect as opposed to your college roommate. It would look like this, “Grandmother, I would like to introduce to you my roommate, Suzy Martin.” You would then look at Suzy and say, “Suzy, I would like you to meet my Grandmother, Mrs. Brown.” Do you see how this follows the same formula? You are first speaking to the person you wish to honor. In this situation, you speak first to Grandmother, but you are introducing your roommate to your grandmother.


This is how I remember the order of introductions. Imagine you are living in the day when a young woman was making her formal debut (being introduced) to the king in a courtly ceremony. She would be escorted into a large room where the king and queen were seated, and she would be formally presented (introduced) to the royal couple. It would sound like this, “King Henry, presenting Lady Elisabeth Walton.” The word “presenting” is the same as saying “introducing to you.” The lady was being presented (introduced) to the king. It would be no different than if the escort said, “King Henry, I would like to introduce to you, Lady Walton.” The person of lesser authority was being introduced (presented) to the person of higher authority. The order of our introductions, which came from the aristocracy, are still conducted in this manner today.


Once people understand the formula of an introduction, the only time they tend to get confused is when the roles seem mixed up. In a social setting, females are given the higher honor of respect. You would always introduce a male to a female. “Debbie, I would like to introduce to you Edward McGee. Edward, this is my best friend, Debbie Wright.” What do you do in a social setting if the male is of higher authority? What if you are with a male U.S. Senator and need to handle and introduction with a female? Does the same rule where females are given the higher honor of respect in social settings apply to this situation? When you are unsure, go back to my original question and ask yourself, “To whom do you want to show respect and deference?” In this scenario, I would place the senator in higher authority, even in a social setting. So, the introduction would sound like this, “Senator Jones, I would like to introduce to you my colleague, Suzy Martin. Suzy, I would like you to meet Senator Jones.”


I like to know the “why” behind what I am doing, and most social skills (etiquette) we practice today have their origins somewhere in history. For a few more history lessons on our modern protocol, hop over to the blog titled Rules Without Reason.


As you hear me say repeatedly, manners are a condition of the heart. How we act and treat others reflects the character inside our soul. When it comes to introductions, whether you remember the correct order or not, just do it. Showing kindness to two people is what will be remembered.

Together with you,

Lisa Lou