2.25.2009

The Return of Etiquette


The last few weeks for me have been very busy and have gone by in a blur. I would like to thank my readers and fellow bloggers for sticking with me as I have become less the 'daily' connoisseur and more the 'every other weekly' connoisseur. I would, however, like to report that my book is coming along swimmingly and that I am having the time of my life writing it... so thanks again for all of your support.

OK, now on to my exciting observation!

I couldn't be happier to report that etiquette has made a comeback. Over the last few weeks I have noticed an interest and resurgence in the subject (and just in the nick of time too!)

I have mentioned in past posts my obsession with etiquette. With such shows like Ladette to Lady and From G's to Gents you could keep me happily occupied all season long... but this time around there is a new show on the block...

Fresh off of the success of From G's to Gents, MTV, together with producer Donald Trump, has created a new show entitled The Girls of Hedsor Hall. This is the American version of my favorite British import Ladette to Lady- it even has the same instructors! For those of you not familiar with the format, a handful of rather undesirable young... er... women, are sent to a finishing school in the English countryside, with the hopes of polishing up their act and becoming ladies.

As in the original, the young women in the American version are given school uniforms, a strand of pearls and are launched into lessons and experiences they have never had before; such things as: flower arranging, cookery and how to hold a knife and fork. In the beginning, as is typically the case, these women are completely out of their comfort zone. Fighting, binge drinking and obscenity-laden monologues ensue but eventually the weak are weeded out and the true gems are allowed to shine.

I am not sure why I am so excited that this show is on MTV. Maybe it's because I have noticed a recent turn for the worse concerning manners and etiquette, especially from younger girls and maybe this show will reach them and help them realize that there is more to life than a fake tan and a hook-up! I know that on this subject I am no angel, but I do feel that all of this is terribly important and can lead one down the right path in life.

So in honor of The Girls of Hedsor Hall, I have re-read my favorite book on etiquette: Debrett's Etiquette for Girls, by Fleur Britten. This book is for the modern lady and is chock-full of useful information regarding contemporary etiquette dilemmas. It reads like a conversation from a very knowledgeable best friend and even had me laughing out loud at various moments. So, I invite you to raise your champagne glasses in a toast to the art of being a lady... let's hope this is a trend that lasts. Cheers!

Debrett's Etiquette for Girls can be purchased at: www.amazon.com

Image provided by www.whatagirlneeds.co.uk

2.09.2009

Ruminations on a Junk Drawer


I'm not sure if the familiar urges for spring cleaning have just reached me early this year or if my home was crying out for an overhaul, but I have spent the past two weeks culling and cleaning chez moi. Not a junk drawer went unturned, not a picture frame undusted.

I tend to be a very tidy person anyway and always have a clean home. Every night before I go to bed I do a once over and make sure there are no dishes in the sink and that the cushions on my couch are propped up in an orderly fashion. There is nothing worse, to me, than waking up to a messy house. And, of course, I make my bed every morning without fail. (I think my mother told me when I was a kid that if I didn't make my bed, spiders would crawl into it- that scare tactic seemed to work wonders as I still do it today!)

However, just because it looks outwardly tidy does not an organized home make. I would hide things away in drawers, cupboards and baskets thinking that out of sight meant out of mind. The trouble is that whenever I would pass these drawers and cupboards I would get an uneasy feeling because I knew deep down that the clutter behind those doors was there to stay... until I dealt with it.

So I decided to tackle my home, one junk drawer at a time. I probably thew away 5 large trash bags full of things that I had been storing- talk about junk! Now, as opposed to having- count them- 4 junk drawers in my kitchen, taking up highly valuable space, I now have one drawer that I call my 'miscellaneous' drawer. It no longer contains 'junk', but has highly useful things like take out menus, nuts and bolts, errant pens and appliance manuals.

The best method for tackling junk drawers for me? Do one at a time. Dump everything out on the floor while you are watching television (preferably some cleanliness motivating show like Clean House, How Clean is Your House? or Anthea Turner Perfect Housewife). You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish in a half an hour- horrified at the trivial junk you've been holding on to- and proud that you have done something productive rather than merely wasting away in front of the television.

I am not sure how long this junk-drawer-free life will last, as I tend to be a very "going through a phase" type of person. But I aim to do my best.

So I would love to know... how many junk drawers do you have?

Image of Anthea Turner, Perfect Housewife courtesy of www.dailylife.com
 
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