I am a college professor. I've worked hard to get my Ph.D. and I am constantly confronted by students in the classroom wanting to call me by my first name. How can I get students to address me with respect as Doctor rather than presuming to be my equal in the classroom? And how can I do this without being pretentious?
Thank you Doctor, people like you are my inspiration!
You are not being pretentious. This is who you are and the sooner you own that, so will they.
It's Doctor from now on!
When leaving the table for a moment, should you place the napkin beside your plate or put it on the seat?
Leave your napkin on your seat unfolded, this signals the waiter that you will be returning. Don't forget to excuse yourself if you're dining with others.
I have identical twin daughters that are 9 years old. When is the best time to start them on proper "everyday life" etiquette? And what should I start with?
Also, will your book cover anything dealing with young ladies?
How wonderful Katie! My brother has twin girls. The minute your children start to walk and talk, the magic words are 'please,' 'thank-you' and 'you're welcome.' Children learn by example and are like sponges. Sit down with them at the table and teach them table manners. Teach them to be respectful of you and others, which is what class is all about. I devote a chapter on children in the book and by popular request might start a book primarily for children.
After reading that Tamra said you are improperly portrayed in the show- I realized that you probably are. I like your book idea for manners, best of luck!
Last season, you were one of the "normal" housewives and this season it seems the fame has gone to your head. You are starting to seem more pretentious than Alex which is to say a lot. I agree with Bethenny that marrying into royalty doesn't give you class and you come off as thinking you're better than others b/c of your last name.
Hey LuLu, The first rule of having class and breeding is 'Don't keep telling people how much class and breeding you have!' Just because you married a count it doesn't make you an expert. I can pretty muc guarantee you weren't born into an upper-class family. If you were, you wouldn't feel the need to remind everyone that you're classy and sophisticated. News flash! This is America. Titles don't mean jack in this country.
I have moved into this small, sophisticated community and have been welcomed by the people I want in my life, not only for me but for my children as well. I didn't keep in touch with the families as well, for over a year, as I am learning now that I should have. My excuse, I am very new to networking and not only that but my education was put on hold due to having two more children in three years. Education is huge in this town so I don't feel as if I fit in as well when I first moved here. How can I reconnect with the "clique" or should I move on for now?
I must suggest that if you are going to teach about etiquette you need to be more aware of your grammer. I feel that teaching people about good manners is wonderful and much needed today. You are an excellent person to encourage good manners as you always seem to exhibit them. On tonights show you used the words "her and Jill". That should be she and Jill. Ramona also uses the word "her" inside of "she" and you may want to correct her. The public should be presented with successful women speaking properly. I was surprised when you made the mistake. Ramona is consistently ill spoken.
My husband and our two daughters went to dinner every week in NY since they were able to sit up in a chair by themselves. We taught them manners at home from the get go, all of our dining experiences with them were pleasant ones. Whwn they were around 7 and 9 we started taking them to French restaurants, they love Escargot so La Grillade was the place for us at that time. After dinner the hostess came to our table and commented" she never saw such well mannered children in all her years in the business" what is your secret"? I told her" this is the way they also eat at home so it is the way they have learned from toddlers. We never had money but we had lots of manners instilled into our families.
Countess, I am writing to you in hopes of information. I admire your work with the American Cancer Society, as I am a cancer survivor. I am 30 years old and battled cancer 3 years ago. It was a type of cancer many (most) have never heard of-trophablastic disease. I developed this rare cancer after trying to conceive a baby. After hearing the news I had lost the baby, 2 weeks later I learned I now had cancer, chemo, hair loss, and many, many tears ahead of me. After coming out of the ordeal a much braver person, I now have an 8 month old daughter--and a need to help others! Although the cancer I fought is rare, I had no where to turn for help/support. I want to write a book to help others, unfortunately I have no idea where to start in reference to book deals/publishers. I was hoping you could give me some pointers as to where to start. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks so much, Beth
Here is my question: how can I raise children to have impeccable table manners when my husband has almost non-existant table manners? He was raised by a single mother, putting herself through college, then law school and working full time throughout, so he and his sister usually just had dinner on the couch in front of the tv with no one to coach them on manners. However, I want my children to be different, but how can I tell them to slow down and chew their food slowly, or not put salt/ketchup/other condiment on something before tasting it, etc. -- when their sweet, ill-mannered dad is one of their two examples?
My husband and I own a house in which not only do we live in but also my mother and aunt. My mother wants the house to look one way and I want it to look another way. If she see something she likes she just buys it and puts it in the living room or other rooms in the house. She never stops to think if it matches anything in that room or the house. I would like my items in each room to go well with each other and match. If I change/remove something that she buys she gets snotty and says "its your house". I want everyone to be comfoble here but I also want to be able to have people over to visit. Right now I do not invite people into my house because nothing matches. How do I tell her to stop buying things that are ugly and don't match the rest of the house?
Thank you, Julie
A number of friends and associates come to me for etiquette advice. I am actually considering a program for young girls and teens. Of course, I have background and experience; would a certification course be worth the time? If so, are you familiar with credible schools of etiquette? I only know of one, and would like to shop around (if need be). Thank you!
This is the 3rd time I am asking this question to you. I know your busy, but please try and respond I really need an answer.
I have a co-worker that is getting married in a few months. I have received an invitation to both her bridal shower and the wedding. This co-worker is extremely nosey, gossip stiring and a rumor starting individual. I speak with her because I am her supervisor and sit directly infront of her (facing each other)and have to. We are not friends and to be completely honest do not want to be. My questions are do I have to buy her a gift, and do I need to attend the two events? I think the office is going to chip in a purchase something. I do not even want to do that. What's your opinion Countess?
I agree--manners, especially table manners, can be taught from a very early age. Even my 4 year old knows how to say please and thank you and use a napkin. Did I mention that she was born with Down Syndrome and has limited speech? If my child, with her challenges, can master table manners, any child can be taught the same things.
Now if I can only convince my 8 year old that coats go in the closet...
hello luann, i am a mother of two beautyful children and i agree with you on teaching them manners. i must say that you remind me of some of my aunts in germany. i was born and raised there and i now live here in the us with my husband who is in the military. when i moved here to the us, i had a big culture shock. the people here are living so fast, without thought and manners and it seemed that everything my parents and family taught me as far as manners and how to be polite aso had no place here at all. it was very very odd to me. it is good to see someone like you with a world view who cares and shares those views with others. i like watching you. like i said, it makes me feel like back at home with my family. you are a great loving mom. keep it up. you go girl :)
This is for the "Countess"-- I can't help but wonder why you consider youself so "classy" and up on "etiquette" when so many times you just cut people at the quick and really hurt their feelings--at the charity where you were acknowledged you were the one talking the whole time even after you told everyone to shut up, you went back to your seat and still talked--you told everyone its about you--i thought it was about the charity. At the Hope Lodge you again made the comment its about you. Again I thought it was about Hope Lodge. Bethany was doing you a favor to cook for them and she shared that she got on the cover of that magazine and without looking up from the counter all you could say was oh, thats great (in your snobiest tone you could muster) and then preceded to insult her with asking about airbrushing, then continued to say "well I hope so" your no classy countess, as Bethany said at one time you are very "Discountess"! Don't insult my girl Bethany--she is the only down to earth one out of all of you. And you need to learn to let things go, don't keep harping on it like you did to Romona about your husband. Which I still have never seen. You are so jealous of the other women and it shows! A classy woman would have been so happy for Bethany and hugged her would have gone on and on about it. And no one is losing sleep over wondering how a girl like you came to be a countess.
Well..what a show. I don't have any friends that act like you guys or speak to each other like you ladies do. I can't believe that you, the Countess would have a party for your daughter at the horse event and then proceed to give etiquette lessons to all the girls. If I were your daughter, I would be so embarrassed. It is up to the parents to teach their daughters manners, not you. They did not sign up for an etiquette class, they were invited to have lunch with their friend. Then in a later episode..you were having lunch with Bethany and she was explaining her dismay over the airbrushing comment, did you not pick up your food with your fingers and eat it?? Is that good manners? Bethany was correct with her comment about a glass house.
Who does LuAnn (yes plain old LuAnn) think she is?
Listen to how she bosses everyone around, telling them how to speak, how to act, how to love, etc...
LuAnn--News flash, you are speaking to grown woman! You make yourself out to be an ignorant itiot. They have come this far in life without you. Learn to keep your comments to yourself. It's part of having manners!
Your insecurity shines bright "luann".
Dear Countess I love the show but heard you say you were interested in helping homeless please go to
www.holyapostlesnyc.org you may check out how our small congregation feeds1,300 people each day a meal and help them with other problems and Bethany do a healthy meal and all Jill's friends could help us raise such needed help Thank you Countess
OK going to try this for the third time... As far as etiquette and manners are concerned I see a lack of them with the way you seem to always be talking while chewing your food. Not to mention eating with your fingers. I was always taught that if you must correct someone about something, the most polite way is to do it in private. Not while your still sitting in the back seat of the car (when you corrected Bethany on how to introduce you).
Mrs. Luann the Countess, The first rule before taking in consideration of writing a Etiquette book PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH teach yourself and your family before giving advice to others.
LuAnne....Where do I start? I tried to like you the first few shows but you got to me when you castigated Bethenny for not addressing you as "Countess de Lesseps" to the chauffeur! As if he cares! I have watched you fumble you way through every show as you try desperately to work the "Countess" angle. You have been very cruel and disrespectful to Rosie, whom you should cherish. You show your narcissism every time you’re around other women. Case in point: Being condescending to Bethenny when "instructing" her on everything from etiquette to catching a man. Your advice is laughable and dated. Bethenny rightly believes you should be yourself around a potential suitor, not some fainting femme fatale! She is not impressed by your claim to fame as a countess in order to dictate etiquette to the masses! I still can't get over the times I've counted you talking with your mouth full while eating. Please, LuAnn...get a mirror and LOOK at yourself before you do any more damage. Being a European Count, I'm sure you husband is having his little liaisons all over the globe. You probably know it and are frantically trying to stash money away for the day you get replaced by the next Countess de Lesseps. I don't know where you former models come from...You are not role models just because you took off your clothes and posed for fashion. I have little respect for the industry which fosters anorexia, drug use, decadent lifestyles, and phony values. Who needs it? One of the best examples is the new housewife, Kelly. She is butt ugly; doesn't even wear makeup well. Yeah, she’s tall and has nice long legs, but aside from being ugly and not trying to fix her face, her hair never looks washed and her mouth is hanging open all the time trying to look sexy???? Then we find she is on the front pages of the paper after having beaten her boyfriend and was charged with assault. Yep, great role models, you two women!
I just watched an episode where you are at a restaurant with Bethany. You are writing a book on etiquette and there you are talking with your mouth full?? I may not be a countess, but I know it is not proper to speak with a mouth full of food. WHY would you do this when you KNOW you are being filmed?
I don't understand the need to throw your title around all the time. I think that people with class are not pretentious. I don't find you classy, that's why you feel the need to talk about your title. There is nothing down to earth about you. I know you do things, but those things are nothing extraordinary.
Dear Countess, My husband and I are both College Graduates and a bit embarrased to ask. I am going to do it anyway and please do not take this wrong. I humbly ask - What is a Countess? Are from Royalty? What does a Count or Countess do exactly? The only Count we are familiar with is Dracula and he was not the socialite - if you know what I mean. I am going to assume you are from France and own a vast amount of land. Am I correct? My husband seems to beleive you are from Royalty. I told him Royalty would not be on a Reality Show - to private for that. So please enlighten us. Sincerly, Tracy Carpenter
hi! i am sixteen years old and i love the show..but i feel as though you try to act like you are above many . money does not give you class nor does marrying into a title.my mother raised me and taught me how to act properly you clearly have no right to judge people.also you brag way to much about all the good things that you do although it seems as though you only do it for the attention what type of role model are you being for young ladies as myself? to act as though you are above people and to do good only to tell people about it?i think you should really stop playing the countess card and be yourself !
Countess, I assisted in teaching an etiquette class for two years, and amongst my friends I am somewhat known as the authority on that subject, kind of like you! I have one question, what is your view on teenagers and young adults addressing adults as Mrs. or Mr. and their first name? Or should always be by the last name? Thanks!
When I was growing my father taught us to NEVER talk with food in our mouths. I see you break that rule ALL the time. It's kinda like telling the teenagers to NOT chew with their mouths open. What's the difference?? And where is your etiquette when it comes to this??
One cannot help but notice, LuAnn (yes, LuAnn. There is no need for you to be addressed as "Countess"), that you frequently speak with your mouth full. It's hardly a "trick" of editing given the consistency with which this happens. You could barely get the words around a huge, unsightly mouthful when telling Rosie how you should have invited her to see Celine Dion, but carelessly didn't (the way you treat your hired help is appalling, by the way).
I'm just curious as to how the whole talking with the mouth full resonates with good etiquette. Goodness knows, you're human. You should have flaws. But you profess to be perfection itself, so one does wonder about how this all adds up. . .
You and Bethenny are my favorites on the show!!!!
Both of you seem original in your own ways. I think writing an etiquette book is very cool. In a age where no one cares about personal space or discipline. It's important to be reminded of what respect and order are.
There is nothing wrong with writing a book on a such a topic
I have two great children, but I am getting very frustrated. We have the same little disscussions over and over. When we are in public appearence counts. tie your shoes, take out your head phones, look at adults who are speaking to you.speak clearly. smile now and then. MR. MRS. MISS. ect. Then I let them go spend a little time with friends and they come back acting like hethens can I lock them up? Can I lock thier friends up? Help. Thanks, Andrea
Thank you for your emphasis on etiquette and good manners. I become quite fed up with colleagues and relatives who believe that teaching their children good manners is somehow "elitist."
On a different note -- how do you feel about the "trend" for bare legs in closed-toe pumps? I feel it is not only bad for ones shoes, but often looks quite unpolished. Your reactions?
You write a book about manners but yet everytime you eat in front of the camera your caught always talking with food in your mouth!!! That should be the #1 NO NO!!! I hope you don't mention that in your book telling other people not to do that since you do it all the time.
Luanne, I just saw the episode when you went to the Brooklyn Boys and Girls Club to speak to young girls about their self esteem,etiquette etc. and you were now asking the girls what they want to be when they grow up.. One of the young girls said that she wanted to be a model..I was glad that you pointed out her beauty, but was horrified when you told her that she was still young enough and had time to LOSE WEIGHT!!!!! Do you not think that she probably heres about her weight enough from her peers, or that she doesn't wake up some days feeling bad about how big she is.. But still this lovely girl still said that she wanted to SOMEDAY be a model.. Way to go Luanne, like we don't have enough Anorexic girls already in this world.And who are you to tell this beautiful child to lose weight,she did not ask for your opinion on her looks.. You were just mean and insensative, and I felt very bad for her..Maybe if you looked in the real world, you would know what a problem young woman have with there weight, and to what extremes they take to change..
In the South children are taught to say ma’am and sir to adults. While "sir" is not often heard, "ma'am" is the first word in etiquette here and this is what I am addressing. Raised in the North I have had a hard time being addressed this way, but I am the import so I have tried to quietly adjust. I am an elementary teacher and I do not require students to say this (but do not stop any child that has been taught to address me this way) and I have not taught my own child to say it. Actually some children say it so much that it can be quite annoying and sounds gratuitously subservient (sorry - but it feels good to finally say it!). Although this is cultural, Southerners are not aware that this does not transcend well across regions - I have witnessed this firsthand after traveling with students to DC. What is thought of as being polite in the South is rude in some other parts of the country. What would you tell parents that have raised their children with what, in the South, is a polite custom? I have quietly expressed to those that question my lack of demanding the word that what is fine and correct in one place is not always fine and correct in other places. I'm sure that parents would want their children to be aware of this when they travel or when they go away to college.
Countess or not, you made a huge mistake telling that 10 year old girl who wanted to be a model that "she had plenty of time to loose weight".. What in the world were you thinking? I guess I will be inappropriate and call you a "snob". Hey, works for me!
Hello, Countess! I have a question about the manners of OTHER people's children. My daughter is 7, and I have always taught her to use very good manners, particularly around people she's just met and in public places like restaurants and museums. She frequently has play dates and other children who do NOT have manners much at all and behave badly when they are with us in public places or at our house. I would like to know how to properly ask the child and/or her parents to respect our rules, without talking down to them or embarrassing them. Also, I don't want my daughter to lose all of her manners from spending time with these children. An example of this is a neighbor who just helps herself to our snacks and drinks without asking first, because she has seen my daughter just help herself (in her own house, of course!). In her house, they have an open door policy where anybody is welcome to anything without asking. She has trouble understanding that we have totally different rules than they do. I think she sees our rules as rude! My daughter has also been to other people's homes whose rules are more strict than ours. I think it's difficult for kids to adapt as easily, and I just want to know the proper way to handle this.
Thanks! Keep up all your great work!
I have two questions for you.
We are invited monthly to a good friends home for a playdate with her daughter and my two children. Must I bring something every time I go? I have brought homemade cookies, cakes etc. but with two kids in a small apt. it is a bit of a hassle.
Also, when addressing much older women I feel maam is appropriate. However as a woman in my early thirties I have been addessed as maam by salespeople and servers in restaurants and I am almost insulted. It makes me feel old. Is it ok to say, please, call me Miss?
Thanks so much for your advice.
PS - I love your haircut. Where do you get it cut?