Ask the Countess

Ducking out of awkward conversations, appropriate flowers for prom, and more!

Dear Gracious Countess,
What is one to say or do when one is utterly tired of someone else's banter? Should I fake a bout of nausea, get an urgent call on my terribly ill, mannered use of iphone, or just say "excuse me, it has been wonderful talking to you?" You may pick one of the three. Thank you so much. I am UTTERLY dazed and confused. Thank you Bravo, this is such a great idea!
Hopelessly Bothered


Darling Bothered,
You should graciously say, "It's been nice chatting with you, please excuse me." It is the safest choice, unless you're a great actor!
The Countess

Hi LuAnn,
Love your show! Quick question — with proms around the corner, I was wondering if corsages & boutonnieres are still in vogue with the teen set these days, and do they coordinate this flower exchange or do the parents? Best of luck this season!

Darling RJR, any flower other than a corsage is in vogue. I think it's up to the parents to provide this as a gift on prom night!
The Countess

Dear Lady de Lesseps,
I am a senior in college and was raised in a family where table manners were considered very important, I even had to put my fork and knife at 4 o'clock when I was finished on just a regular family evening meal, and Thanksgiving often involved formal place settings. Coming to college I noticed a lot of my peers did not learn basic table manners. Of course I never say anything when I eat with friends who do not have the best table manners, because that would be rude and etiquette is about respecting the people around you. Recently one of my friends expressed interest in learning table manners basics. What is the best way to help a friend out in this situation?
P.S How do you address a countess in an email?

Hello Meredith,
The best way to handle friends is to tell them the truth and show them the way. Of course, be delicate.
The Countess

I really admire you for your intelligence and elegance. I am glad for being able to submit my questions to. I am the type of person who wants to fix the world and teach good manners to everyone, but I've learned people usually don't take criticism very well. What do you do when someone does something wrong like jumping the line in front of you? What about when someone acts with prejudice towards another person? Do you think it's ok to say something to these people or it's better to just pretend it never happened?
Thank you very much!
Wish you all the best in life!

People who jump ahead are rude and should be told in the nicest way. Never be prejudice, as it is disrespectful. Pretend it never happened.
The Countess

Being a woman in NYC, it is definitely hard to navigate true female friendships, which are real. Most women I've come across here are nice to your face, but then backstab you or talk poorly of you in a heartbeat. After viewing a sneak peak of season2 and last seasons of RHONY, I wonder how you stay above it all. The other awful women on the show prove themselves classless by talking like slobs about how awful the other one is and saying bad things etc. They even take jabs at you...Long-story short, I was wondering if you could provide us tips to deal with woman like that and how to rise above it all. It's hard conquering the wrath of females in NYC.

Kill jealous women out there with kindness. I know they would trade places with me any day and it's that attitude that saves me from their wrath.
The Countess

Countess, I never understand what I should be doing when entering a restaurant with a date. Some say the man first but then and always, I was told to let women go first at every occasion. Confusing. Is there a special rule for restaurants and bars?
I love your show and you even more!
Anthony, NY

I think men should open the doors for ladies, unless it's revolving or your entering a party together and there is a crowd. In that case, the man should go first.
The Countess

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