formalities

TREATING PEOPLE WELL

Tomorrow’s the big day! Treating People Well will be available for sale in stores and online. My friend and co-author, Jeremy Bernard, and I have been working on this book idea for years and it’s hard to believe it’s finally happening . As former White House social secretaries, we had a lot of experience finding the most effective ways to get along with people from many different cultures and walks of life. Our book details the tricks (and lessons) we […]

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A WASP’S CHRISTMAS

Family-centric holidays can be fraught: who carves the turkey? Do we need to wait for everyone to have food on their plates before we start eating? Is someone saying grace? And then there are the oddball friends and relatives whom we see once or twice a year. They ask invasive questions, take the day to let their passive-aggressive flag fly, or drink until things becomes a soggy blur. These are the times when I am grateful to be a WASP. […]

formalities

I’m SORRY IF…

I’m SORRY IF is no way to begin an apology. It’s a variation on a theme that we often see with celebrities and politicians: “I’m sorry if what I said hurt some people.” is not an apology, but a refusal of blame for another’s hurt by suggesting that their feelings aren’t valid. When I worked at the White House we learned the value of a sincere – and quick – apology. Anything less would have reflected poorly on the president […]

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Receiving Lines at Weddings

While a receiving line is usually only seen at a wedding or engagement party, we rarely had an event at the White House without one. A receiving line consists of the host and hostess – and a guest of honor if there is one – standing at the entrance to the party to greet the guests. Since the invention of the camera, the receiving line at the White House has taken on Cosmic Significance. A photo with the President is […]

SUMMER DINNER PARTY on Americas-Table.com
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SUMMER DINNER PARTY

Summer comes early in Washington, DC. By late April we need air conditioning, and any thought of outdoor parties has to be put away until the fall, unless you manage to spontaneously catch a rare cool night. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t summer parties here, though it helps if they involve alcohol and light clothing as distractions. Washington was built on a swamp; in fact, British diplomats who served here in the 19th century were given extra pay for […]