The Year 2005 In Review, Vol. 4 Issue 1

  Anno Domini MMV brought more than a few etiquette issues to headlines large and small, to Etiquetteer’s combined amusement and chagrin. Etiquetteer will now share just a few with you. The scandal of choice for most champions of Perfect Propriety would have to be the Flip Flop Flap, which ignited when the Northwestern University’s championship women’s lacrosse team showed up at the White House in July for a photo op with President Bush wearing (gasp!) flip flops and (probably) no pantyhose! One lacrosse player, Kate Darmody, was quoted in USA Today saying "I tried to think of something that would go well with my outfit and at the same time not be that uncomfortable. But at the same time not disrespect the White House." Alas, Miss Darmody failed at that task, just as much as that AIDS activist who showed up in a T-shirt for a meeting with President Clinton all those years ago. What gets Etiquetteer even more is that one young lacrosse player admitted to wearing flip flops decorated with rhinestones . . . how Redneck Riviera can one get? No matter how liberal your politics, it’s Most Proper to dress conservatively for a visit to the White House.Once upon a time Etiquetteer could have advised you to wear "church clothes," but seeing what some people are wearing to church these days, "business attire" may be safer. On the other hand, seeing what some people are wearing to work these days, Etiquetteer is forced to spell out "crisply tailored two-piece suit with blouse, hose, appropriate heels, white kid gloves, and Navy Red or Cherries in the Snow lipstick." It shouldn’t be necessary to be that specific . . . In other 2005 etiquette news, Etiquetteer and many irritated theatregoers applauded the BBC report that actor Richard Griffiths lashed out at a cellphone user during a November performance of the play "Heroes" in London’s West End. "Could the person whose mobile phone it is please leave? The 750 people here would be fully justified in suing you for ruining their afternoon," he reportedly said from the stage during the last act. Had Etiquetteer been there he would have led a standing ovation.Weddings bring out the worst in people, not least celebrities. In this case, we have newlyweds Robert Downey, Jr. and his bride Susan Levin against "Buckaroo Banzai" co-star Ellen Barkin and her husband, Revlon executive Ron Perelman. Time reported that Barkin and Perelman rescinded their invitation to Downey and Levin to hold their late-summer wedding at the Barkin/Perelman estate because the bride and groom wanted to include press photographers. After the relocated wedding took place, Le Downey suggested that the Perelmans had given them "somewhat less" than their best wishes. Etiquetteer thinks they all behaved badly, but especially the Downeys, who should have shown more respect for their erstwhile hosts, even if it was their wedding. They should all go sit in opposite corners until they repent and make up. Privately, Etiquetteer was told of a Mother of the Groom who attended her son’s wedding in a "champagne-colored" evening gown that was really just as white as the bride’s dress. It’s mighty bad form to upstage the bride, especially if you’re the mother of the groom! Remember, that lovely girl you may think is Not Good Enough For Your Precious Son will be in daily contact with your grandchildren. Treat her well now before she cuts you out of their lives altogether . . . On the higher education front, Columbia University saw the start of a clandestine "Night of Nakedness" party, reported by the New York Sun, which led Etiquetteer to hope that the coat check was administered carefully. Everyone knows of Etiquetteer’s revulsion for Reference to Bodily Function, so Etiquetteer knows you’ll understand the horror when kind friends pointed out to Etiquetteer the latest antics of train wreck former singer Bobby Brown. Apparently on one episode of his reality TV show "Being Bobby Brown," he described – oh, how can Etiquetteer put this – having to assist his wife, singer Whitney Houston, with a Bodily Function Best Not Described or Even Referenced on National Televison. AUGH! Very very bad! Last but my no means least, Etiquetteer really does have to give kudos to Michael Brown and the political cronies of FEMA for demonstrating once and for all just how bad being "fashionably late" really is. And they didn’t bring enough party favors, either! Let this be a lesson to you all to be prompter in 2006 . . . And with that Etiquetteer wishes all of you a New Year of Health, Happiness, Prosperity, and of course Perfect Propriety.