Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘etiquette’

#81 - Being Aghast

#81 - Being Aghast

Being Aghast
Price: Insufferable Indignation

Everyone knows that the world is full of tidbits that are surprising and unusual. Most of these fall under the category of things that you would never do; these include wearing a t-shirt to a job interview emblazoned with the slogan “You don’t buy beer, you rent it”, streaking and tattooing one’s face. When an average person is told that this happened, they will respond by looking up from their laptop long enough to lazily say “sounds like an idiot” or “what a douche bag”. Such a reaction is not enough for the rich. They are bound by a secret oath to become incensed at the indignity of such acts, cover their mouth, open their eyes wide and proclaim “well I never”. When you see this reaction, you will recognize it as a rich person being aghast

This melodramatic reaction dates back to the 13th century and literally means to be struck with terror, amazement or horror. While the rich typically suppress all emotions, being aghast is a special exception to the status quo and is closely aligned with getting insanely angry when their chef overcooks their egg yolk. As rich people “know better” than the common man and woman, they will use this display of astonishment to convey the seriousness of the cultural digression they have witnessed. Certain situations may call for the addition of a full gasp but typically the rich believe that quiet disapproval alone sends a subtle yet poignant message to the offending party thereby changing them for the better. Unfortunately, regular people never notice such passive displays because the way that they deal with something offensive includes speaking up or starting a fistfight…sometimes both!

Despite the surprising ineffectiveness of changing the world by appearing shocked, the power of being aghast is significant. Should you succeed in mastering the art of conveying indignation towards everyday occurrences you will surely succeed in making friends with the “other half”. While appearing surprised may seem easy, knowing what should astonish is the true talent. Peruse this short list; unjust war, wearing gloves lined with baby seal pelt, buying day-old roses and American states with no minimum wage laws. If you were aghast at buying day-old roses, you are a natural. The rest make for interesting small talk but will not raise eyebrows among the upper crust. For a top shelf display of this art, visit a rare book dealer and tell them that you ran over a puppy on the way to their store. Now tell them you know of a first-run Tennyson stored at 73°F and see which illicit a stronger reaction.  Am I mad, that I should cherish that which bears but bitter fruit?

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

#28 - Personalized Thank-You Notes

#28 - Personalized Thank-You Notes

Crane & Co Monogrammed Notes
Price: $600 per 100

Rich people take etiquette very seriously. The rich know that verbal recognition is simply not enough and therefore make every conceivable occasion an opportunity to send thank-you notes on custom stationary. While thank-you notes are certainly not the domain of the wealthy, the style and panache of personalized stationary denotes one’s attention to style more than a Hallmark card ever will. It is for this reason that stationers like Crane & Co suggests that a “thoughtfully worded note can make a powerful impression”. If you aren’t using personalized notes in business and your personal life, the refined and cultured class would suggest that you are either not wealthy, lack class, or both.

Don’t fret however, impressing your friends and networking with the rich is easy. There are five simple steps to writing thank-you notes for any event. Start by greeting the recipient; typically Dear will suffice although business colleagues may prefer only their name. Next express your thanks; it isn’t necessary to go overboard but sincere words about the gift or event are important. Third, saying something specific about why the gift was special or how you will use it will show that you have class and appreciate the thoughtfulness of your acquaintance. Use the next line as a means to extend an invitation to meet in the near future. A simple, “the watch is lovely and I will be sure to wear it next time we meet for dinner” will suffice. To close the note, repeat your thanks.

Sending thank-you notes will most certainly enhance you social standing. More impressive yet is the use of personalized stationary embossed with your initials or family name. These notes are almost always blank inside to enable a personalized note for any circumstance. While the thank-you note in concert with custom stationary is impressive and a trademark of the wealthy, tardiness will diminish the sincerity of your notes. As Emily Post said, “try not to let your thank-you note languish on the shelf of good intentions”. Start sending thank-you notes and your social circle will almost certainly grow.

PS. Post scripts are always read and can be a great place to leave a lasting impression!

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Read Full Post »

Hand Kissing

#21 - Hand Kissing

Hand Kissing
Priceless

Rich people love uncommon greetings. Hand kissing is a rare gesture among uncouth, lower classes and a distinguishing trademark of the wealthy. The simple gesture of bowing to a downward facing hand speaks volumes about one’s stature and while the upper crust will rarely actually kiss the hand, there are certainly situations where lips will grace the skin. To integrate fully with the rich, comfort with hand kissing is essential.

Most associate hand kissing with The Godfather, religious figures and romance but for the rich it is a gesture of chivalry although charm does play a role. Important figures make hand kissing a calling card of sorts. Jacques Chirac, former president of France, was well known as a hand kisser. In England, a newly minted prime minister will kiss the Queen’s hand as an expression of the monarch’s trust in her subject. This gesture of course is not reserved for high-ranking political figures; it abounds in social circles.

Like the air kiss, a hand kiss is an excellent vehicle to express your class and charm but bestows an air of individuality within your social circle. While I wouldn’t recommend pulling this out of the toolkit in business circles, kissing the hand of a new acquaintance at the amfAR New York Gala, as an example, is fitting. A well-placed hand kiss can appear as opulent and as high brow as arriving in a Rolls Royce Phantom. Despite your elevated stature among elegant women, expect a healthy dose of mocking from the gentlemen in your next foursome at Sebonack but if it is good enough for the King of Spain it is good enough for you.

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Read Full Post »

#18 - Air Kiss

#18 - Air Kiss

Air Kisses
Priceless

Rich people love to greet each other with air kisses. While regular people are satisfied with a firm handshake, a fist pump or a high five, these are beneath the upper class. To ensure that you comfortably fit with your new social group, follow a few guidelines and you will never find yourself the object of social scorn.

For those that did not grow up around young men kissing octogenarians, take note. The first time someone swoops in to greet you with an air kiss it may seem as though you are back in grade 2 when Cindy made her move by the bike racks. You may feel an overwhelming sense of panic and discomfort…fight through it. While your instincts tell you that an awkward social moment is brewing, a simple touch of the cheeks, pursing of the lips and it will all be over. That is, unless you manage to head butt your host and give her reason to visit Dr. Weinberg for more rhinoplasty.

Master the proper technique and you will never feel at odds. First, feign enthusiasm over seeing your acquaintance. Cup her hand with both of your hands say “My god, how long has it been?” Next, smile brightly and lean in as though you are about to kiss. Finally, tactfully dodge her lips, touch cheeks and make either a kissing sound with your lips or say “mwah”. Heed the volume of your kiss as your lips will be next to your host’s ear and you risk an enormous faux pas if you deafen your companion. Like shampooing, repeat as necessary. You will likely be expected to touch your right cheek and then left before carrying on about the fabulous weekend that you had in Paris, London, The Hamptons, Geneva, Zurich, Madrid or the Seychelles.

Don’t miss new posts! Sign up for our RSS feed, post to your iGoogle page or subscribe by email and receive updates anytime there is a new post!

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: