I don’t know how anyone could be happy and relaxed on their wedding day without a team of bridesmaids. I had two for my small, 35 person wedding and I know for a fact that I would not have been able to enjoy the day if it hadn’t been for them. They did my hair and make-up, helped me put together all of the flowers, took lots of pictures, politely asked strangers to get out of the background of my wedding pictures, corralled many a difficult family member, told me when it was time to fix my make-up, took care of the guests after my new husband and I retired to our hotel room and made sure that anything I had forgotten was taken care of. Bridesmaids make you feel like you are a queen with a bevy of ladies-in-waiting to tend to your every need, if only for one day. They work harder than anyone else for months leading up to the wedding and handle your stressed-out mood swings without a single complaint. They aren’t your mother or your sisters, they don’t have to put up with you when you lash out over an incorrect measurement or fall to pieces over a broken nail, but they stand by you, they smile and hold your hand on one of the scariest days of your life – because they are your friend.
Hostess gifts are rarely seen outside of the holiday season among my generation. Come to think of it, they are rarely seen inside the holiday season as well. Our grandmothers would cringe to see that young women these days attend a party at a friend’s home and show up with nothing but a bottle of wine for themselves. Maybe you occasionally bring an appetiser or a dessert to share, but I say that’s not enough. Our grandmothers would bring gifts for their hostess to thank her for inviting them, for decorating and creating a relaxing atmosphere, for food, wine and the occasional party favour and, most importantly, for letting them have a fun evening without all the pesky cleaning up to do afterwards. I think it’s high time to bring back the hostess gift! At least at the bigger Christmas parties ladies.
I recently had the displeasure of entertaining a bad houseguest for a few days at my cottage. I was mildly offended until I realised that, perhaps, people these days just don’t know how to be good houseguests. We live in a world where affordable transport can take us just about anywhere, at any time; gone are the days when a little cold could promote a dinner guest into a houseguest for the next week. Today, we don’t invite friends to stay with us at our homes, country estates or summer houses for several days, weeks or months like the Victorians did and hence, we’ve lost the strict code of etiquette that allowed both parties to survive each other and come out as better friends than they were going in. Being ex urbis from my small hometown, I have many friends and family members that I don’t see very often because we have spread out all over the province and country. I have often wished I had the space to invite someone for an extended stay but it has become such an antiquated concept that I fear no one will take me up on the invitation once I do have the space, or I won’t want to see the ones that do for a long time afterwards. To avoid this prickly demise for myself, my friends and anyone else whom would like to bring back the tradition of houseguests, I offer the following modern tips for being a good houseguest. Continue reading
I have always had a hard time making friends within my own gender. I see myself as a fairly feminine person, but, for some reason, I just feel more at ease and free to be myself around masculine people. I always thought that this was the key to forging bonds with other humans, feeling comfortable enough to let down your guard and be yourself, your horrible, horrible self, so you can see why I am more able to make man friends than girl friends – but it goes deeper than that. In my years long, twelve dollar, comprehensive study, I have discovered that the secret to the initial stage of making a female friend is to not be yourself, at least until you’ve tricked her into thinking you are a little bit normal. Continue reading