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What Do You Do? I'm Not Sure That I Even Have the Answer.

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So, it’s the second blog, and as I told you before, I’d mention often, that there is etiquette or protocol in almost everything we encounter. As an Etiquette Consultant, I come to you thinking that I have the answers about the correct approach on how to present the best version of yourself in any situation. Except that recently, I watched a movie, titled “American Son”, where an estranged interracial couple spend all night in a police precinct, awaiting answers to their son’s whereabouts. While doing so, they talk through their perspectives in raising their bi-racial son in this country where racial tension is extremely high.

SPOILER ALERT!!! Their son dies, shot by an officer.

Now even though this story doesn’t go quite like the tragic “white officer kills unarmed black male” events that have certainly become our countries norm, there is a fair share of racial discrimination throughout this film’s narrative. Watching the mother’s role, in this movie, played by Kerry Washington, you see a very strong intelligent black woman, a concerned, worried, terrified mother, who is belittled, insulted, discriminated against, and deals with strong cynicism by a white police officer. You watch her concern grow into anger, as she’s told to “calm down”, “relax” and “sit tight”. And throughout the night of waiting for answers, becoming erratic, and rightfully so, because of how she’s being handled.

When I talk to people about what my business is about, I shut down the idea that etiquette is about telling people what to do, or how to act. My goal is to help you present the best version of you in any given situation. But after watching this movie, I can say that I am not clear on how to advise on how to present the best version of yourself in this circumstance. Let’s be honest, all of  that goes out the window when your loved one is missing, and you’re being mistreated. So, what is the proper protocol? How do you act? What does calm look like? What do you do? Let’s forget for a moment that race is a factor. The reality doesn’t change, nor does the behavior change.

I really don’t have any thought provoking tips. What I do know, is that you can get more flies with honey than what you can with vinegar. Sometimes, being calm helps, not shouting, or fighting, but communicating in a way that gets you answers, making all parties feel safe. I’m not saying to bend on how you feel, or who are, or what you believe, but consider the trade off when you are the one needing answers.

Let’s throw race back in and now I’m also reminded of “The Talk”, which is a reality for black families today. Unfortunately, there is protocol there. So, if there is something, I can provide here for you, from my thoughts on this movie and me raising a black child, it’s how to survive if stopped by law enforcement:

1. Be polite and respectful when stopped by the police. Keep your mouth closed.

2. The goal is to get home safely. If you feel that your rights have been violated, you and your parents have the right to file a formal complaint with your local jurisdiction.

3. Don’t get into an argument with the police.

4. Always remember that anything you say or do can be held against you in court.

5. Keep your hands in plain sight and make sure the police can always see your hands.

6. Avoid physical contact with the police. No sudden movements and keep hands out of your pockets.

7. Do not run, even if you are afraid of the police.

8. Even if you believe you are innocent, do not resist arrest.

9. Don’t make any statements about the incident until you are able to meet with a lawyer or a public defender.

10. Stay calm and remain in control. Watch your words and your body language and emotions.

I don’t like not being able to provide answers in an area where I am certified , but I think there are situations and circumstances in life where we don’t have all the answers, and the only thing you can do is attempt to survive.

The Hostess with the Most-ess!

Lord knows I have been that throughout this holiday season. From my daughters birthday to Christmas Eve with my family, and celebrating friendship/birthday/Secret Santa with girlfriends. My house has been  busy and I am truly tired. We have the New Year coming in, and that, I will leave for someone else to host.

Hosting can be very overwhelming, especially if you  are the type  that really  gets into it. you know, the signature drinks , small gifts of appreciation for each of your guests, decorating every single inch of your home that no one can see or even sending a singing telegram invitation… ok yeah, so that last one, may be a bit much, but I bet you someone has done it.  While hosting can be an undertaking and even a bit anxiety filled, no worries, I’ve got you. I love to entertain. I will get you through, as well as those of you who are guests… oh, yeah there is work for the guests too.

  • Make your home visitor friendly. It’s not fun going to places, especially someone’s home and you don’t feel the love. Chances are,  you are inviting guests your are well acquainted with, but if you’re allowing guests to bring plus ones, you may not know them, and therefore will need to make them feel at ease coming into your home. Greet your guests, let them know where all the areas of your you are in which you are entertaining. Offer to get your guests what they may need while they are there. Introduce them to all other guests. This encourages conversation as you cannot be at their side every moment.
  • Make sure you set a specific start and end time. Some people tend to get a little too comfortable, especially when its time  to leave. You or anyone living in the home may have a busy schedule the next day, your spouse could be preparing for travel, or better yet, you have neighbors. Be courteous of the of time in which you possible occupy space that extends beyond your property, i.e. noise and parking.
  • Be prepared. Have dinner and those signature cocktails ready upon the arrival of your guests. You should be ready to entertain and not putting things together or still preparing your hors’devours or dinner.
  • Gifts. If there happens to be gifts, take them at the door and have a designated area for all gifts. 

Now for the guests…

  • Be sure not to arrive too early for a dinner party and maybe 15 minutes at the latest. As, always, call to let the hostess know if you will be late, so they can plan accordingly.
  • Although your host may introduce you to other guests, make it your business to do the same. There may be people in the room you haven’t met.
  • Never bring a plus one unless your host has specified in the invitation that additional guest are welcomed. It’s best to let your host know ahead of time if you choose to do so.
  • It is a nice gesture to bring the host a gift. The host has been so gracious to open up their home, cater to your needs, and provide you with a good time. It’s a just a nice way to say thank you.

Hosting a party can be so much fun. Don’t stress it, enjoy it. Add your personal touches, make it your own. You have chosen to allow people into your home, make your event memorable, make yourself memorable.

As we approach the new year, I just want to thank you for subscribing and taking time to read my blogs (the only three I have thus far, lol). I look forward to engaging more with you all. I am not a writer, but this has certainly become something I look forward to producing, and hope that you are getting what you need.

Welcome! And Happy Birthday to Me!!!

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Yes, Please & Thank You! IS A YEAR OLD!!! I can’t believe it. I cannot believe I have been a business owner for 1 year. Like so many of us, when our birthdays come around, we reflect on what we have and haven’t accomplished, or perhaps what the past year looked like overall. I’ve had much momentum, but then I’ve had lazy moments where I was neglectful. There were so many things I said that I wouldn’t do, things that I wanted to do. I’ve accomplished a lot, but yet not completely satisfied. I’ve taken risks, and Lord knows, where certain areas of my life are concerned, I am not jumping off of the cliff. But this year has also come with learning experiences, and jumping off the cliff is one of them. You can’t desire to be a business owner and not take risks.

So here I am, and here you are with me. I’m jumping off a cliff, and you are here to watch. Blogging was one of the things I said I wouldn’t do. I didn’t want digital products, I was terrified to post videos on social media, didn’t want an online school/programs, I had no desire to write books. I was scared of perception and I just didn’t want to do those things. I just “DIDN’T”. You are probably saying to yourself, “how in the world does this lady, want to run a business, but doesn’t want to “run” a business?” Crazy, right? But as the saying goes, “The dream doesn’t work unless you do.” I’ve met so many people, attended events, and have been the main event, all in this 1 year. And the energy, love, ideas, and advice I received, showed me that what I have to offer, people really do want. The excitement that I hear in people’s voices, and the excitement in their face when I tell them about Yes, Please & Thank You, is AMAZING! And now all of those things that I said I wouldn’t do, have either been done, or they are in the process of being done. And did I forget to mention that people have said that I inspire them. Not me??? Miss , “I don’t want to do anything”. Again, crazy right? But looks like the jump wasn’t too bad. I SURVIVED! SO LET’S GO! LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED!!!

I will bring to you a bi-weekly blog post, providing you with how-to’s and what not to-do’s, tips, on etiquette when it comes to dating, parties, communication, children, business, and so much more. I will often use the phrase, “There is etiquette in everything”, and I promise you there is! I can always guarantee my days are filled with some type etiquette lesson I have learned and want to share. My desire is for you to show up as the best version of you, in all of your encounters. So, without further ado, since we’re celebrating my birthday, here are a few birthday party etiquette tips to be mindful of :

  • Be creative with gift giving – think about the person you are purchasing for and cater to who they are, what they mean to you, and the things that they desire.
  • Give gift cards– If your creative juices just aren’t flowing, gift cards are a nice gesture. Perhaps to their favorite restaurants, retail stores, or events. Giving a gift card, that isn’t specific to a restaurant or retail, kind of suggests that no real thought went into the gift, unless specified by the receiver that they don’t have a preference.
  • If you are throwing a party, it is ideal to send invitations at least two weeks prior to the date of the party. Chances are, that if you wait until the last minute, some of your favorite guests may not be able to attend due to prior obligations.
  • RSVP – this is a big one. Be sure to RSVP. Although the event planner wants your beautiful face in the place, they have also spent time and money, on food/drink, party favors, decorations, venue, and invitations just to have you there. Be courteous and respectful in that you value their time, money, and energy to ensure your are entertained.
  • Say Thank You – your guests have also spent time, money, and energy to be there for you. Even those who are in your life and perhaps could not attend your birthday gathering, or couldn’t give you a gift, say thank you for them acknowledging your birthday. Lastly, whomever you believe your creator to be, say thank you for the gift of life.

As much as I am looking forward to being in your inbox, I hope that you look forward to seeing me there. Cheers to jumping off cliffs, and thank you!