What is the proper - and polite - protocol when inviting a recovering alcoholic to a dinner party where wine and spirits will be served?
One always tries to make provisions for one’s guests’ special considerations, vegetarians, allergies, dieters etc. So a lot of variety in food and drink served is always a good idea, and it never hurts to simply ask your guests if there’s something special that they would enjoy having at your soiree. In this case, perhaps a special brand of sparkling water or a nice tea.
But I would caution you against taking too much responsibility. I understand that you never want to directly tempt anyone with anything harmful to them, but a good host is there to provide, not police. If there is something a person can’t or shouldn’t be consuming, it’s up to them to be sensible and choose an alternative or at the very least, to inquire about ingredients and make an informed decision, (for example, “does this pecan pie have nuts in it?”).
Ultimately, it’s up to every individual to decide if the consequences are worth the indulgence.
Oh dear, it appears you have submitted this question to the wrong columnist. I think you’re looking for Butler Knows Best.
I'm making an ambrosia salad for an upcoming pot-luck dinner party, and was wondering whether I should use the coloured mini marshmallows, or just stick to the classic white?
It’s almost certainly best to let your maid, butler, chef or who ever usually does your cooking to take care of these decisions. Some people say it’s “cheating” when it comes to pot-luck but, they’re trained professionals after all, and will be up on the latest trends and seasonal colours. It’s nice for the help to have a little creative input from time to time and if anything happens to go awry, you can always fall back on that age old proverb; “Good Help is SO hard to find”.
What breed it your tiny, butch little dog? He's wonderful!
Thank-you ever so!
Halvor, Le Compte de Culotté Décoré is a rare and perfect example of the noble SpanBoli-PomCorgi-NoYo-SpitziPoo.
According to Who’s Who at Kennel Club, the breed was a result of the very careful mingling of European royal court pets. It’s said that every time a queen lost her head a new breed was added to the mix and Henry Tudor wasn’t about to run out of wives before he got it right!
Fortunately, they come in litters so you can collect a variety of colours to complement your ensemble du jour.
Dear Bareness, I hate Valentines Day. I've been single for ever and it's like all of my married friends are rubbing it in my face. It's insensitive to single people like me! This fakey made up holiday is mean and politically incorrect and every time I see a paper hart I want to rip it up and throw it back at them but I'm afraid that if I tell them that they won't get it. What should I do?
To begin with, I’d drop the self pity. It’s very unbecoming.
It’s odd to see all the hate there is out there for Valentine’s Day. Personally, I love hearts. Red is my favourite colour. I love dark chocolate, and my soul was created to express love and experience joy, so what’s not to like?
People cite Valentine’s Day as commercial, forced, exclusionary, pretentious, smug, bla bla bla. I view it more as a day for celebrating love in all of its myriad fashions and incarnations rather than something over which being half of a couple has dominion. I’ve always seen Valentine’s Day as such, and always will. If it were strictly a day for couples in romantic love, then why as children were we encouraged to exchange Valentine’s Day cards and candies with all of our friends?
Like every other moment we are given, it is what YOU decide it to be. And if you’ve got time to devote so much attention to the hatred of a holiday, there’s likely something more constructive you could be doing.
I suggest you start by celebrating a little love for the person who deserves it most! (I know, you’re thinking of me, but on this occasion, I mean you.) Treat yourself to a chocolate heart, or buy yourself a bouquet. Indulge in a manicure or an extra long, hot, bubbly bath. Listen to your favourite song on repeat for as long as you want, and re-watch your favourite film! Call your friends and family; I’m sure there are people who love you in ways that do not have to include smooching.
Love is a lot like money. You have to spend it to make it!
What are your thoughts on piercings?
That depends on who and what is being pierced!
Dear Baroness: What is the one thing that a lady should always have on her person when leaving the house?
Actually, there are three things that a lady should never be without.
- Clothing, it’s the law. Preferably something seasonally appropriate that covers up your naughty bits.
- Credit cards. One never knows when one may need more clothing. (Your Visa should cover you for all minor emergencies under $500,000 but I prefer Amex because there is no spending limit.)
- Cash. About $5,000 cash in small bills - $50’s that is, not $100’s – it’s not so much that it bulks out your purse, but enough to buy a light meal and hold you over until your private car service comes to pick you up.
There are also cases to be made for a favourite lipstick and a good bra, but those things need to be altered according to personal taste, outfit and occasion (which is easily made possible, with the right credit card).
Can I buy a Print of the Baroness at her desk like the one on the calendar?
How does I deal with friends who don't realise that their "bundles of joy" aren't welcome at my child-free home?
How does you? You could start by pointing out that they might not want to expose a developing mind to that atrocious grammar.
In fact, it’s been my observation that most parents don’t like to expose their children to hazardous things. Perhaps a tour of your collection(s) of pointy objects would help. Maybe you could leave some forks next to electrical outlets, get a large angry dog, and remove the bannisters from your staircases. If you would rather not alter your own living space or risk litigation, you could simply suggest that your home is not child-safe, offer to visit your friends at their residence, or suggest another meeting place.
Failing that, offer to tether the child in the back yard during your visit. It’s doubtful that hint will be misinterpreted, particularly if it’s raining at the time.
Dear Baroness, my hair is a washed-out mousy color, so I'm going to dye it. My friends all say that blondes have more fun, but you rock the sassy brunette so well I can't decide! Help!
Oh, please. “Blondes have more fun”, went out with feathered bangs and scrunch socks.
Without knowing more about your colours (eyes, skin tone, etc.) all I can say is, it’s your hair, let it reflect your personal style. Are you warm and rich? Are you dark and mysterious? Are you bright and sunny? Are you bold and brassy?
Let your stylist be your guide, but knowing yourself will make you much happier with the direction.