Bless You! Parker Presley’s Guide to Stopping the Sniffles Appropriately

handkerchief

It’s allergy season which means sniffers everywhere are causing problems that can’t necessarily be fixed by an over-the-counter concoction.

I’ve noticed that the humans in my world struggle when it comes to the sneezy snout. I, of course, always carry a handkerchief with me, something my wonderful late father taught me purely by example. I realize that handkerchiefs are considered passé, but if you have been on the fence about this simple staple, I highly recommend a high-quality, monogrammed number. They are not only handy, but quite dashing.

Either way, when sitting at the dining table, it is polite to excuse yourself when mastering one’s muzzle. Here are the basics from PP:

  • Carry tissues or a handkerchief with you at all times
  • Excuse yourself to the restroom, attend to your nose, and wash your paws before returning
  • Napkins are for wiping mouths only
  • If a sneeze has caught you off guard and you do have a handkerchief or tissue, place the used item in your pocket or purse, not on the table
  • If a sneeze has caught you off guard and you do not have a handkerchief or tissue, sneeze into the crook of you elbow (to ensure germs are not shared) and excuse yourself to the restroom for washing up
  • If you were kind enough to lend your handkerchief to a fellow friend, do not ask for it back
  • If a friend was kind enough to lend you a handkerchief, launder it and return it
  • If the friend insists you keep the handkerchief and he – er – turns up his nose at the idea of taking it back, keep the handkerchief and thank him again
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Sit! Good Dog! Sharing: part two in an ongoing series by PP

Thanks-For-Sharing

Editors Note: It is National Etiquette Week – Humans Unite and Be Polite

Joining friends, family or clients for a meal sounds simple enough, but finding the right spot for one’s bum can sometimes cause confusion in the brain.  Entertaining at home should be a comfortable and joyous occasion. Don’t let seating arrangements spoil the evening.  Below are some simple guidelines to avoid a misstep – or in this case – a misseat.

  •  The male/female/male/female pattern still works well in most settings. This does not mean spouses should necessarily sit together as breaking up a couple, at least over the dinner hour, allows for fresh conversation. Still, if you feel your coupled guests will be uncomfortable at separate ends of the table, pair them together. Hosting some singles? Kindly seat shy guests next to an extrovert; and consider grouping people with common interests and hobbies together.
  • Guests of honor deserve a special spot. If Sandra Bullock’s dog Ruby were in attendance, she should be seated to the right of the host. If a male VIP were to attend – such as Prince William and Princess Kate’s pooch Lupo (a personal friend of yours truly), then he would be seated to the right of the hostess.
  • If you are planning on having more than six guests around the bowl, by all means provide place cards. This puts your guests at ease and guarantees that certain pooches, such as Britney Spears’ Hannah and Ben Affleck’s Martha Stewart, don’t get seated side-by-side. After all, what in the world would they have in common? I doubt Martha Stewart could talk spray tans and Big Gulps with Hannah. And it is safe to say that Hannah has no idea the time and energy that a decent soufflé demands.
  • Finally, if guests are bold enough to paw at their cell phones during a meal, gently but firmly ask that they silence all devices and tuck them away until after the meal.

Remember, darlings, sharing is a learned skill and practice makes perfect. Happy dining.

Parker Presley On Anonymity – Part Deux

ParkingNote_Again

Oh my, it’s happened again! Take a peek at the note I found on my windshield. PP just does not have the best of luck when it comes to parking spaces. One would think that my first name would give me some sort of advantage in maneuvering the lot, but alas, no.

Dear readers, you know I have struggled with this issue in the past, so lately I have been even more precise with my parking lot endeavors. But recently I found myself in a parking lot attached to a coffee shop, and patrons are allowed to park in designated spots for up to one hour. Well, lovely! So after carefully pulling into my spot as to not cause a ruckus, I scurried in for an organic doggie treat and some overpriced water. Imagine my surprise when I returned and found such an ugly note. In fact, a high-pitched pooch whine nearly escaped before I gathered my wits about me.

Apparently, only SOME of the spots are designated for coffee-goers. The OTHER spots are reserved for the humans that work in the building. Unknowingly, I parked in a reserved spot. Such an unintended mistake!

I (again) learned something from this escapade. One: read the signs. Two: even if you are not face-to-muzzle with another being, it is still so important to be polite. Anonymity does not allow for poor manners. So, darlings, if you are ever in a situation that is less than pleasant, either have a private discussion with the appropriate party if he or she is available or, if a note is the only option, use a bit of discretion. And when you are tempted to say, or write, something nasty, park it.

Put a Fork in It? Sharing: part one in an ongoing series by PP

Thanks-For-Sharing

As a puppy I understood the concept of sharing, but dug my paws in when it came to my favorite things which includes, in no particular order: my Hermes collar, my simply stunning Burberry rain jacket with four matching booties, my cashmere bedding from Italy and anything resembling food.

I am often asked about proper etiquette when it comes to sharing. Therefore, dears, I thought an ongoing series on the art of sharing was due. Sharing a meal is our first endeavor. Let’s begin:

If you are considering sharing food at a restaurant, start by considering the company. If you are dining with friends and family, and everyone seems comfortable with sharing, address the issue. A simple “Would anyone be interested in sharing the steak tartare this evening?” works well. Should you be at a dinner with clients or individuals you do not know well, skip the idea entirely.

Below are some simple guidelines to avoid a misstep:

  • Before ordering what you think is a dish to share, ask your tablemates first
  • Never ask for a bite off of someone’s dish; wait to be invited to taste and then place the food item on your plate before tasting
  • Never use another’s fork or spoon to sample – ask your server for necessary accoutrements including utensils and small plates
  • Tip your server for the effort of splitting dishes

Remember, darlings, sharing is a learned skill and practice makes perfect. Happy dining.

Let’s Lay It All On The Table

Table setting need not be tricky, but a cheat sheet always helps, yes? How do you think all of those famous football players that passed trigonometry with flying colors?

Yours truly has had the below diagram pasted to the inside of the butler pantry door for many, many years. And even though I was taught proper table setting before graduating out of my training collar, I always double check my work by taking a peek at the cheat sheet.

If you are trying to teach your puppies how to set the table, PP suggests laminating a copy of the diagram. This allows one to use a dry erase marker to cancel out any settings that may not be necessary. After the littles successfully set the table, wipe the laminated sheet with an eraser or damp cloth and you are ready for your next event!

dinner setting

Yours Truly,

Dude Looks Like A Lady

Parker Presley

Parker Presley is known in certain social circles as the preeminent expert in etiquette and invites you to contact him with even the most embarrassing question or tricky situation so that you, too, may be top dog in any setting. Please contact him at parkerpresley@epicureanCG.com.

Parker Presley and The Cocktail Straw

cocktail with straw

Is that little plastic straw swimming in a cocktail glass for sipping or stirring?

Etiquette states that one may use a cocktail straw for both sipping and stirring, but PP suggests that gentlemen stir their drink briefly, remove the straw and place it on the cocktail napkin. After all, it is difficult to keep up the look of sophistication while wrapping one’s lips around a miniature plastic straw, yes?

Ladies, it is your decision if you’d like to sip or, well, suck (please, no offense here, it really is the only word of choice). I, for one, still feel it is best for all breeds to sip instead of suck. The added bonus? Less wrinkles around the mouth. Or so I’ve heard.

Yours Truly,

Dude Looks Like A Lady

Parker Presley

Dude Looks Like A Lady

Parker Presley is known in certain social circles as the preeminent expert in etiquette and invites you to contact him with even the most embarrassing question or tricky situation so that you, too, may be top dog in any setting. Please contact him at parkerpresley@epicureanCG.com.

Do You Take Cream and Sugar?

cream and sugar post 2

Yours truly was raised in an era where sugar cubes and crystal pitchers of cream were the norm; a place where a cup and saucer went together like – well – a cup and saucer. But I am a forward-thinking canine and I, too, am faced with those little sugar packets and individual creamers that can be found at every restaurant, coffee house, airport and local prison. What’s a dog to do? A few hints:

  • If coffee or tea is served in a cup with a saucer, leave any discards on the saucer (this includes sweetener packets, stir sticks, spoons, creamer containers, lemons and old love interests).
  • If no small saucer is available, place the items on a paper napkin. Your coffee, tea or iced tea spoon should also be placed either on a saucer/plate or on a paper napkin. As always, used utensils should never, ever be placed back on the tablecloth.
  • Don’t put opened sugar or sweetener packets back into the sugar caddy, or empty creamers back in the bowl. And please don’t stack the creamer containers, they are not blocks or towels or cheerleaders, after all.
  • Packets of cream and sugar are accompaniments, not the main course! Practice a smidge of self control and limit yourself to two packets of each.

Remember, darlings, life is sweet and manners are simple. Happy sipping.

Yours Truly,

Dude Looks Like A Lady

Parker Presley

Dude Looks Like A Lady

Parker Presley is known in certain social circles as the preeminent expert in etiquette and invites you to contact him with even the most embarrassing question or tricky situation so that you, too, may be top dog in any setting. Please contact him at parkerpresley@epicureanCG.com.