Etiquette

How are you?

Just asked a spoonie pal:

“How are you? Besides the [daily health stuff because I know of and validate your illness]?" 

..and realized why I tend to become uncomfortable with "How are you?” from abled people; I feel that I HAVE to talk about my illness and daily symptoms or they think I’m “BETTER” and more capable of doing certain things when I can’t.

They prove how they misunderstand my illness to me every time I walk with my cane or unaided and they scream, “Oh look! You’re getting better!”
No, I use mobility aids interchangeably depending on the situation, I’m certainly not getting “better", this is my normal. 

I’d compare it to complimenting a guy’s appearance and having to say “I’m still gay.” because they are constantly expecting it to change and don’t validate that it’s a permanent yet possibly fluid thing.

The validation of “I know the day-to-day is hard, you don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to, you can talk about other stuff that’s going on…” while also leaving room for them to talk about their health if it, in fact, is something they want to do, is so reassuring.

Validation helps me trust you, helps me know you understand, helps me know that your care for me is not conditional and doesn’t lessen because my adversities make you uncomfortable. Learn to be comfortable with it, it’s part of my story, it’s part of who I am.

9

I always buy neutral colors (black, white, cream, tan, and all shades of brown and grey) that would suit my basics: simple tops, trousers, cardigans, etc. Make your outfit look 10x better with something as simple as adding a leather jacket or a nice cardigan, paired with some black or nude heels & simple jewelry. Try finding a pair of black or blue jeans that are comfortable and hug your body in the right way. And for date nights I suggest you get a little black dress and a nice pencil skirt with a button-up.

Critique, the oily beast

Hi, it’s me again.

Below is a text of personal opinions that I’ve decided to share, concerning a downside of constructive criticism, and it might read as an angry rant. I apologize for that. Before I begin, I also want to point out that I’m not targeting anyone specifically. What I am doing is sharing my views on a behaviour that I’m not fond of. Parts of it is tongue-in-cheek, but the subject might be touchy. Wall of words after the cut, if you want to read it:

Keep reading

Lifehacker just posted a terrible article about how to interact with service animals and I’m willing to bet it was written by an abled writer without consulting enough disabled people/service animal handlers because the only advice they should be doling out on how to interact with service dogs is “DON’T.”


Seriously people, no matter how cute the pup is, just IGNORE service animals. They are doing a job. Distracting them can actually be life-threatening. Their handlers just want to go about their day. Don’t use disability or disability aids (including service dogs) as conversation starters. And you can’t tell by looking if a service dog is assisting with anxiety, PTSD, or other conditions that would mean strangers approaching will have a serious negative effect on the handler.


IGNORE. IGNORE. IGNORE.

There is no shortage of NON-service dogs you can interact with in the world. Leave handler teams alone. Even if your neighbor’s friend’s sister has a service dog and doesn’t mind letting people pet it, that doesn’t make it ok for you to approach handlers and ask to pet their dog. Just leave them alone. Please.

The language of flowers..

Polite Society at Home and Abroad, 1891

warning, it’s long, but there’s a lot of really great specifics, like:

you are a fop
good but odd
you will cause my death
I declare war against you
intellectual but heartless
false and gay
handsome but dangerous
your looks freeze me
an enemy in disguise

Keep reading

BEING A GENTLEMAN IS A CHOICE

Being a gentleman isn’t a pompous attitude or expensive clothes. Nor is it suave talk and standing tall. It’s the best mix of your character, treating others well, and presenting yourself as a man others want to follow. This is the essence of how to be a gentleman.


Chivalry isn’t dead

It may seem like it, so you’ll need to revive it.
This not only applies to the lady in your life, but other people you meet as well. Going out of your way to treat people well is important. Carrying yourself in an accommodating a “serving” way is rare, valuable, and will make you stand out.
Here’s what you can do: Open the door for people. Holding the door open for an old lady or a young man still makes you stand out as a gentleman. Go out of your way to be considerate of people.

Talk gooder

Being a gentleman is more than cleaning up the cursing, but sounding intelligent without coming off as arrogant. We each have our own unique style and personal vernacular. But improving and expanding your vocabulary will make you into a better communicator. The ability to paint elaborate pictures in your acquaintance’s minds is a sought after trait.
Find what you’re willing to die for
Don’t go through life living only for today or tomorrow. Find an aim bigger than money. Seek out a purpose, and run hard after it. I find that people that I respect as gentlemen have something to live for.

Improve your recognition of social cues

Whether or not you’re a social butterfly doesn’t mean you can’t improve. People that are extremely introverted sometimes need to take pause and read social cues. Am I stepping on anyones toes or making people feel left out? Do I move from one person/group to another so fast people think my substance is paper thin?
If you’re of the more chill temperament, it doesn’t mean you can’t grow. My name, Todd, in Middle English (spoken about 1,000 years ago) means “the watcher”, “watchful one”, or the “fox”. I actually consider myself by nature a more reserved person. But by observing other’s social cues, I’ve been able to pick up on how to interact with a wide array of people. Most people upon first meeting me would think I’m pretty extroverted, whereas I’m pretty introverted to the core.
People who are awkward or come off as rude have one core problem in my mind. And it’s not that they aren’t able to be cool people. It’s that they think of themselves and are absorbed in their own world so much they don’t listen and pay attention to people’s words and body language. Learning what people mean by more than what they say will help you go further in your friendships and professionally.


Be Quick to Forgive

A man who is slow to forgive is…well, less of a man. Be quick to show mercy. Give people grace for mistakes. Be understanding. Show compassion. Don’t have a heavy hand with your kids or other family members.

Say “No” more

People respect someone who knows what they want—and what they don’t. Saying “no” makes your “yes” mean so much more.
If you haven’t learned to say “No”, you might be living as a Yes Man. Who wants to be that guy? Especially when you are so overcommitting yourself you’re known as a flake. If you find yourself saying “yes” to overextending yourself, it’s time to summon the will to say “no”.

Saying “Yes” more

If you’re afraid of commitment, it’s time to take the dive and start giving more of yourself to people. Whether that’s saying “yes” to helping a friend move, just getting out more, spending more time with friends, or gaining different experiences, it might be time to step out into the wild a little more.

Say “Hello” more

We admire people who exude confidence and aren’t afraid to reach out and connect with people. Saying “hello” to a stranger you rub shoulders with on the train, in an office, or at the grocery store is a great way to increase your social skills—and meet new people.
Have you ever wanted to introduce yourself to a cute girl in the most random of places? If you’re not in the rhythm of shooting from the hip and building rapport with random strangers, it’s gonna be hard to summon that off-the-cuff confidence to get talkative with a hot stranger.
Practice saying “hello” and showing yourself friendly. You’ll be surprised by some of the cool people you’ll meet along the way.

Travel more and expand your experiences

Expanding your experiences and where you’ve been gives you great stories as you grow being a gentleman. Growing more cultured widens you’re understanding of the world–and others–and helps you to be less assuming or quick to judge.
And it’s always nice to tell people about that one time you jumped off a moving train in India.


Speak Well of Others

When learning how to be a gentleman, it’s less about “me” or “I”. It’s about others. Them. Carrying yourself in a way that esteems others will earn you esteem.
Want to stand out? Speak well of others in their presence, and away from them as well. People will take note. The man who can give specific and exacting praise is worthy of receiving it himself.
Talk about their interests, not yours

Again, learning how to be a gentleman is about others. Growing your listening skills is paramount to being regarded as a gentleman. But learning to ask great questions that draw a person out of their shell is important as well.

Tell stories with a point

Everyone loves a good story teller. And just because I suggest you guide conversation by asking people about them, rather than talking about you, doesn’t mean you should be a hard nut to crack.
People love good stories that share some adventure, and insight about who you are. Know what stories about yourself people are most interested in. When telling a story, remember that you’re not telling your life story. Share stories that have a point and an end.
Have you ever felt trapped in a conversation with someone telling a story that really wasn’t a story? They weren’t actually even talking with you, they were talking at you? That’s a person telling a story with no point or purpose. I’m guilty of this. And I sometimes wonder if we do it for our own catharsis–to process aloud with someone in the hopes of “feeling better”. It’s cool to do that with your therapist or close friend, but don’t use the random stranger at a party to have a cathartic moment. Be a gentleman!


Stand up straight

Now onto how to be a gentleman in how you carry yourself. No man wants to be regarded as a slouch. Standing up firm and strong isn’t just good for your health, but good for your confidence. There really is a physical/mental connection with posture. And people can see it. A person cowering or hunched is viewed as weak. A man who stands tall is regarded as having confidence.
Pay attention to your posture, and stand up straight.


Wash your clothes

Back in poor days of living in a dorm, I ran across an expert in the laundry room who had sage wisdom for me. He let me in on how to cut my laundry coin usage in half:
“You don’t need to wash your clothes, just put them in the dryer with a dryer sheet. I mean, when I take them out they smell just as clean as when I wash them as when I don’t.”
And I don’t remember who that charming young lad was. Nor do I remember anyone thinking he was the sharpest dressing gentleman out there either.
Gross. Wash your clothes. Clean stains–including the collar of your neck. And iron those shirts man! Be a gentleman!


Get a grown-up email address

Wildstallion1999@hotmail.com isn’t the way to present yourself when applying for a job. It’s also not the most savvy way to interact with new friends.  Being sharp and looking on your game sometimes takes putting away some childish things. Go ahead and keep your fave teenage email address, but for those people you’re aiming to be a gentleman around, keep it classy.


Make a man out of your online social imprint

A man’s online social profile reaches far and wide. When potential employers want to know more about you, do not doubt that it’s likely they’ll look you up on your favorite social network. Having a goofy profile picture with your family is great. But looking like a drunken sailor or a Jersey-licious club rat won’t score you extra points with the classy young lady you want to pursue, or those that you want to recognize you as being a gentleman.


Give your word and keep it

Being a gentleman requires your yes meaning yes, and your no being no. When you tell someone you’re going to do something–do it. Even when it costs you.
Improve your penmanship

I’m an absolute hypocrite on this point. My handwriting has not changed since 6th grade. Considering I barely handwrite anymore, considering all the tech we use, my scribbles are probably in severe decline. It is so bad more than once I’ve asked an assistant to handwrite a post-it note to the president of my organization so I wouldn’t have to hand him something illegible.
Thinking about it still makes me smirk today but probably isn’t the most gentlemanly practice.


Mind Your Manners

I’m not the most savvy when it comes to perfect etiquette. What side of your plate does the big fork go on? How do I tie a cummerbund? How do you impress really old rich people??
What I do try to pay attention to is being accommodating. If you’re with people you’re familiar with, be warm to the new persons and make them feel included. Are you around a new group of people? Don’t pull out your latest gag routine. Keep things simple until you’ve figured out the the personalized subculture of the group you are hanging with. Find out what’s important to them, what behavior is appropriate to the situation, and present yourself in the best light.
I hope it’d be needless to say, but belching in front of ladies you want to show respect rarely garners you some.
Using words like “Excuse me” and “Thank you” go a long way. Ask before taking. And instead of ordering someone to do something, ask them if they’ll do you a favor.
On a note that I’m sure any restaurant servers out there will appreciate, showing kindness to those in any service industry will distinguish you. But don’t do it to be distinguished. Show kindness and patience to those making your coffee, serving your food, installing your cable, or fixing your car.


Nix the my way or the highway attitude

People who are adamant and demanding they get their way almost always sound like alpha-douches. Or large babies. Instead of being pushy and consistently trying to get what you want, concede to what others want.
Nothing spoils chilling with a group of people more than the whiner who’s only going to be happy if the crowd does what they want. If that’s ever been you, take note. I guarantee people remember that moment you had to have your way.


Mind the details

It’s easy for any of us to be forgetful. And it’s easy to forgive ourselves when we are. When others are forgetful? We’re not so merciful. Show others you care by remembering not only the big things–but the little things. Doing this at your workplace as well will only help your touted reputation as knowing how to be a gentleman.


Give gifts

If you’re chief love language isn’t giving of gifts and connecting with people through acts of service, it will take repeated mental note-taking to give more effort in this area.
But few things shout “gentleman” more than a thoughtful note or gift to a lady love or friend. Whether it’s a special occasion or they need a pick-me-up. Don’t neglect to think about your bros too. If a buddy is down, make sure to be there to cheer them up. You can get them some gentleman gifts as well.


Being a Gentleman

This is only the beginning on our path to being a gentleman.
Improving yourself doesn’t happen overnight. As we’re already a couple of months into 2017, have you probably decided on any areas you want to focus and improve on this year?
It’s a great aim to look better, talk well, and dress sharper. But making yourself into a better man is more than just improving the physical details. It’s about cultivating your core. Find what you’re passionate about, and run after it. Find who you want to become, and chase it. Find out where in your character you’re deficient, and work on it. Let’s face our fears and grow into better men this year. Not everyone can be a hero, but everyone can be a gentleman. It’s a choice.

Marauder’s Eating Habits Headcanons
  • Of course, the Marauders loved to eat, especially when planning pranks.
  • Obviously, James Potter pretends to be well-versed in etiquette, but when it comes to eating, he tries to use the right forks and the right technique, but somehow, he always fails
  • .He was the one always telling people to eat. “Moony, mate you need to eat!” or “Padfoot, no, you cannot have a hunger strike because Flitwick gave you detention on the day of Hogsmeade” or “Wormtail, mate, eat, don’t worry about your figure mate” 
  • He always piles heaps of food onto his plate, and tries to eat nicely and to organize his plate. However, all the food just ends up mixing. (”Potter, that’s vile, have more manners!” Evans screams every dinner).
  • Sirius always bursts out laughing when this happens. Well-versed in etiquette and pure-blood nuances, he effortlessly uses the right plates and the right technique.
  • He is always trying to organize food strikes. “Moony! Protest! I got detention for hexing Slytherins! I mean, can you blame me?” However, when the Anti-Muggle born and Anti-Werewolf Acts are passed Evans and him actually organize a hunger strike.
  • You cannot deny that Sirius Black was always keeping up with the latest food trends. “Moony, no, I cannot eat soya today.” After a few days, he say, “Wormtail, mate, I need to eat only Quinoa” or  “Prongs, you can’t give me chicken, I’m vegetarian on Wednesdays”
  • Remus is not very well-versed in pure-blood etiquette. He tries using the right forks and the right technique, and he gets it right. However, when he picks up the wrongs one to eat salad, Sirius leans over and snakes an arm over his shoulder, makes sure his lips are almost touching Remus’ ear, puts his arm over Remus’ and says, “This is the right fork, Moony.”
  • Remus, with his werewolf appetite piles a lot some days. Some days, he can barely eat. On those days, his friends make sure to save the treacle tart for him.
  • He needs chocolate with everything, having discovered its healing properties after his first full moon.
  • Peter  is not very well-versed in pure-blood etiquette, too. He never even tries using the right forks and the right technique. His friends don’t care anyway.
  • He heaps large piles of food onto his plate. He is especially partial to sweets. However, his plate always looks very nice. In fact, he is the one always decorating birthday cakes.
  • The other Marauders love when Peter cooks for them. They love him as their own.
  • Which is why there was no reason for him to have betrayed them.
  • The Marauders loved to eat. Which is why it is sad they only got a short amount of time to eat.
“Tu” vs. “Vous”

Disclaimer: this post is about interactions irl, in Metropolitan France. Online or overseas, you’re on your own. :)

All right, so I have a Japanese test tomorrow morning, but instead of revising, I’m going to write about the French ‘tu’ and ‘vous.’ Why? Because I saw one too many articles/blog posts getting it Really Wrong. They annoy me because they vastly overstate the prevalence of ‘tu’ over ‘vous.’

Also, some of you might be coming to France this summer, and if you’re like me, you’d rather be Extra Prepared for social interactions. 

For the purpose of this post, I’m going to assume that you’re a teenager/young adult (this is tumblr after all), who never spent any significant amount of time in France, and has no French family—family members are automatically ‘tu,’ though not in-laws. (Rules are a bit different for children and older folks, and if you’ve spent a lot of time in France, you already Know.)

In brief, informal you is tu, formal you is vous. That being said, a lot of people online seem to think that unless you’re talking to your crusty old boss, you can use ‘tu’ with just about anyone. THAT IS NOT THE CASE. And before anyone comes at me with comparison with “tù” and “usted(es),” it’s not the same. 

So, what are the rules? Basically, it’s the reverse of what I often read online; you should always use ‘vous’ with strangers, except in those cases:

1. you’re talking to a kid;
2. you’re under 30-ish and you meet someone your own age or younger in an informal setting (party, really relaxed workplace, friend’s house, cafe, etc.);
3. that’s it. Easy, right? 

Otherwise, you can start with ‘vous.’ From there, it’s safe to leave it to the French person to decide when to switch to ‘tu.’ (You can also ask, if you’d rather: “on peut se tutoyer?”)

Always, always use ‘vous’ (and the holy trinity of ‘bonjour, merci, au revoir’) with people working in the service industry. 

In some cases, people will immediately offer to use ‘tu,’ (and you should probably accept), but it costs nothing to be overly polite. On the other hand, an unrequited ‘tu,’ even with the added tolerance accorded to a non-native speaker, will leave an impression of rudeness and over-familiarity (if only unconscious.) Also, it’s awkward af, and not in a cute way.

Hope this is helpful (it’s really simple, I swear)!

tl;dr: please do not use ‘tu’ with strangers, unless they’re way younger than you, or you’re both under 30 and wearing t-shirts.  

20 Things That Characterize Modern Gentlemen


1. A gentleman never tells
2. A gentleman knows that anything worth having, is worth working hard for
3. A gentleman knows how to dance…at least a little bit
4. Every woman comes with baggage, a gentleman helps her to unpack it
5. A gentleman always RSVP’s
6. A gentleman knows the difference between confidence and arrogance
7. A gentleman is open-minded, but firm in his beliefs
8. A gentleman is proof that chivalry is not dead
9. A gentleman ruins his lovers lipstick, not her mascara – the only tears he should make her cry are that of joy
10. A gentleman never lies to a woman, unless it is to surprise her
11. A gentleman always makes the first move
12. A gentleman means what he says, and says what he means
13. For a lady, a gentleman will always offer his seat and open a door
14. A gentleman never judges
15. A gentleman is always well presented, regardless of company, situation or occasion
16. A gentleman has a firm handshake and always makes eye contact
17. For a lady, a gentleman will always offer his coat
18. A gentleman knows how to cook at least one good meal
19. Regardless of motives, a gentleman always walks a woman home
20. A gentleman always offers to pay

Another 3 Things you shouldn't do in Italy

DON’T take a tourist gondola ride in Venice unless you’re prepared to pay EURO 80-100 per gondola for a 40 min ride. These are official rates so don’t get taken for a ride by shady gondoliers who charge random prices. On a budget, try hopping a Traghetto, one of the water taxis used by locals to cross the Canale Grande. The ride will be shorter, but the boats are similar except that tickets will cost around 5 EURO. 

DON’T expect the “Italian” food served in other countries to actually be served in Italy. Italian food is VERY regional. It’s also seasonal. Try local specialties, e.g. Genoa for pesto; Naples for pizza; Bologna for Bolognese sauce and filled pastas like ravioli, tortellini, lasagna; Milan for risotto and Ossobucco alla Milanese; Rome for Spaghetti alla Carbonara, Spaghetti all'amatriciana, and lamb. Gnocchi, bresaola, polenta dishes, and Tiramisù are found all over the country, but they’re native to North Italian regions like Lombardy and the Veneto. Prosciutto/Parma ham is most commonly associated with central and northern Italy. Oh and Americans, NO PEPPERONI PIZZA (lol).

DON’T tip, no matter what they tell you abroad. Tipping is not obligatory or common in Italy and can be an insult. However, tourist-savvy service people may have heard that other nationalities (especially Americans!) are genetically programmed to tip everything from waiters to performing rabbits, so the cheekier ones might try to work you for some spare change. Unless they gave you the best service in the history of the planet, resist. People earn a living wage so there’s absolutely no need to tip.

DON’T ask your waiter for Parmesan to put on your seafood pasta unless you want to see a grown man cry. One of the holiest commandments of traditional Italian culinary etiquette is that cheese and seafood never, ever mix. Only very recently have certain cheese/seafood pairings cropped up - i.e. ricotta with sea bass, gorgonzola with clams - but this is considered very avantgarde;a purist won’t touch such dishes. Also, for the love of Saint Peter, don’t let an Italian see you cutting spaghetti with a fork and knife or roll it on a spoon.