Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Surviving Turkey Day..........Rosalinda and Joyce

It's Thanksgiving and I'm up to my elbows in giblets. I'am so thankful that Rosalinda did my writing for me, and a much better job than my yammering could ever be. She actually knows what she's talking about--you know the type, educated, pretty and successful. She is about to help you to pleasantly co-exist with an undesirable stink-bomb of a relative at Thanksgiving. 
So I'm off to the turkey farm and turning over my megaphone to Rosalinda Randall.  
Thanks for listening!

Newsletter for November 2014 

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." --John F. Kennedy

The month of November seems to introduce and bring to light the spirit of gratitude. Please allow me to express my gratitude to you for taking time to read my words, for forwarding my words to others and for sharing your comments with me. Thank you.

Holiday Dilemmas and Tips From the Audience

Dilemma 1: "I can't stand having my brother in-law stand over me in the kitchen, pointing out what he would do if he were cooking. I'm ready to smack him with the wooden spoon! How can I get him out of the kitchen? --Megan

Options: Dear Megan, Evidently this is not a new thing. Plan ahead. Invite him to assist you, selecting a dish that he can create in the kitchen with you. That will keep him busy and contained. He'll also feel satisfied, needed and have a little something to gloat about.

Dilemma 2: "Every year I have to sit at the kids' table...I'm 15 years old and I want to sit at the regular table, but my mom just laughs and ignores me. Can I just eat in my room instead?" --Emilio

Options: Dear Emilio, Have you behaved in a way that would make your mom think that you can't handle sitting at the "adult" table? If not, when she is calm, ask her again. Ask her for a chance to show her that you are ready to sit at the adult table. Avoid getting all pouty, yelling or walking away; that will only prove her point. If she still insists, after the meal pull up a chair next to the adult table, listen and participate appropriately.

Dilemma 3: "My neighbor makes his own wine. On holidays and special occasions, he always gives me a bottle, asking me how I liked the last one. Because I'm in recovery, it is very awkward to handle the bottle and express genuine thanks. I prefer not to disclose my recovery, however, during the holidays having a bottle in hand can be detrimental to my recovery. What should I do? --Vicki

Options: Dear Vicki, First of all congratulations on your recovery. Second, contact your sponsor, I'm certain he/she will have a much better solution for this dilemma. For now, here are a few options to consider: if telling a white lie is acceptable to you, you can explain to your neighbor that you are not a wine-drinker, or any alcohol for that matter...It never appealed to you. Or, it just doesn't "sit well" with your physical make-up or health-minded lifestyle. If your neighbor insists or dismisses your reasons, keep in mind that your well-being is of most importance, even at the risk of insulting someone.
(Names have been changed for anonymity.)

Sometimes a dilemma cannot be resolved. What are your options then? 

Avoidance: Find ways of avoiding a situation/person, or at least curtailing the frequency of the encounter. This can be stressful (thinking up excuses) and awkward (getting caught because of your excuses).
Attitude of Acceptance: Throw up your hands and say, c'est la vie. Know that the dilemma or interaction is brief and seldom; something we can all endure with a little practice. Besides, you can't change people but we can change how we react to people and their quirks.

With all of my best wishes, may your gatherings be civil, joyful and filled with tasty dishes. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.


Kind regards,

Rosalinda Randall

Etiquette and Civility Consultant, Author
T: 650.871.6200

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