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A Vogue Expert Reveals Important Etiquette Rules That Can Help You Avoid Awkward Situations

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Tatiana Polyakova has been reviewing etiquette for more than 20 years. She knows exactly how to behave at a table, what things you can appropriately discuss with people you don’t know, and what topics are strictly prohibited to talk about. And even though Tatiana herself is a true expert in this subject, she thinks that some rules can be broken. It’s just a matter of knowing which rules are okay to break and which ones are set in stone.

The Bright Side team decided to learn more about good manners, so we’ve reviewed a lot of Tatiana Polyakova’s recommendations and have chosen the most useful pieces of advice.

How to behave at a table in a restaurant

  • Don’t put your mobile phone or your laptop on the table.
  • Sit on 3/4 of the chair and keep your knees together as if they were buttoned up.
  • A lady’s bag should be on the chair next to her or behind her back. Never leave the bag on the floor. First, because it’s not safe for your valuables, and second, a server may trip over it.
  • Phrases like, “I’m trying to lose weight,” or “Is this gluten-free bread?” are prohibited. Subjects such as health (along with politics and religion) should never be discussed. People don’t need to know the details of your digestion.
  • During lunchtime, napkins should be opened only halfway on your lap and at more important events, the knees should be covered completely.
  • During a business lunch, you may start talking about business only once the order is made.
  • If you see a bug or a worm on your plate, don’t scream or call for help. Just quietly tell the server about the issue. This is a delicate matter, so there’s no need to make it public.
  • If you need to leave for a moment, don’t say you’re going to the restroom to check your hair or to make a call. Simply say, “Excuse me for a moment, I’ll be right back.” This is your way of telling everyone that you are not leaving for good. You can also use napkins in order to specify this: a napkin hanging on the back of the chair means you’ll be back, and if the napkin is on the seat — you’re leaving.
  • Many attractive women say they don’t have to leave tips. However, tips are absolutely necessary no matter what. Just consider tips to be something that must be paid.

How to serve the table

  • Restaurants should have the silverware from the same set but if you’re making dinner at home, different sets will do.
  • It’s also good manners to serve a plate with bread and a special separate knife for butter.
  • When serving a table at home, try to make sure that the middle of the plate is in line with the middle of the fork or knife. This way, everything will look even neater.
  • According to serving rules, the place settings should be at a 2-finger distance from the edge of the table.

How to eat

  • When we take a fork or a knife from the table, it should never return to the table. Forks, spoons, and knives should stay on the plate.
  • Don’t act like a monkey and bite off pieces of bread. Break off a small piece of bread you can eat and put butter on.
  • Cream soups should be placed in the mouth with the edge of the spoon and soups with pieces of food in it should go straight into the mouth. Also, remember not to put the soup onto the spoon “rowing” it toward yourself. You should move the spoon away from your face.

Conversation rules for people that don’t know each other well

  • “My husband is a famous lawyer” is a phrase that doesn’t make any sense because if a person is famous, people already know that or will know during the conversation.
  • “Our child is a champion,” is a personal statement. You never know what people around you are going through — there could be a couple that recently lost a child and a statement like this would be painful for them to hear.
  • If someone gives you compliments on the way you look, don’t rush to explain yourself by saying something like, “Oh, I got this on sale,” or “This is an old jacket!” Just thank the person.

How to drink alcohol

  • Remember that people often forget your name but they remember the drink you chose.
  • Think through the alcohol menu in advance: consider the drinks and foods that can be mixed and the ones that can’t (for example, wine with wine is okay).
  • Try different drinks to make your opinion and understand what you like and what you don’t. In different restaurants and in different cities, the same drink can be made in a different way and give you completely different feelings.
  • If you invite a lot of people to dinner, there’s a huge chance you won’t surprise them with your cooking. Because of this, offer your guests drinks that they don’t regularly taste.
  • Knowing wines and the names of the different types of glasses is important. This is a way to present yourself. Your clothes and your shoes don’t really present any interest to others when there’s something more interesting to talk about.

Hold a glass of champagne by its stem, pressing the little finger against the bottom of the glass.

  • A woman can open a bottle of champagne on her own if she is the host of the house. She should be able to do it.
  • Always leave about 10% of a drink in the bottom of the glass. This is how you will show everyone that you don’t have an addiction and you were just enjoying the taste of the drink.
  • When drinking, look into other people’s eyes. This is good manners.
  • Drinking before the actual dinner is a sign of attention. So you can’t say something like, “I don’t drink,” or “I’m driving”.
  • The quality of a restaurant can be determined by its wine menu. A restaurant owner that truly values their chef won’t choose a bottle of wine you can buy at any supermarket. Such owners create a good compilation of wines in order to highlight the taste of the food.

Bonus: 6 rules of modern etiquette we shouldn’t break

Do you break any of these etiquette rules? Do you think that etiquette is that important?

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7 Hidden Messages in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” That Weren’t Meant for Kids

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Lewis Carroll’s tale Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland had an amazing influence on cinema, literature, and even psychology: movies and ballets were based on it, sequels and remakes were written. There is even a psychological disorder named after the main character: Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AWS). This seemingly innocent children’s story was the subject of heated discussions by scientists of the 20th century and even Freud talked about it. The point of the discussions was simple: was the tale written for children or for adults?

Bright Side has read the book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Decoded” and tried to figure out which parts of the story can only be understood by adults.

1. Alice’s shrinking and growing is a sign of puberty.

When Alice ate a cake or drank a certain mixture, Alice would shrink or grow, and she was scared that she would disappear completely. While there were no actual reasons for the changes in her body in the text, scientists have 3 versions of what could have been the hidden meaning behind that episode:

  • Alice’s body changes in a similar way to how it would change as a teenager during puberty. Many people think that Carroll showed the puberty of the character. But why this idea may also be wrong is because Alice is only 7 years old and it is too young to be a teenager.
  • Astronomers link the character with the expanding Universe. According to one of the theories, the amount of matter in the Universe is constantly decreasing which will ultimately lead to its disappearance. Obviously, this is why the character was worried about shrinking so much that she would vanish.
  • Other people see an indication of hallucinogenic substances, which make people completely disoriented, just like Alice.

2. The pig the character has is an English King.

It is believed that the tale is an allusion to the War of the Roses that took place in England in the 15th century. This time period was full of scheming, betrayal, and there were a lot of chopped heads — just like in the tale.

Assuming the guess is correct, then baby that turned into the pig is a member of the White Rose. And more specifically, it was Richard III who had a sigil with a white boar. Shakespeare even wrote a play about it where he presented Richard in a very bad light.

3. The smell of pepper in the house of the Duchess hides the smell of bad food.

The tale casually mentions that the house of the Duchess smells a lot like pepper because the scullery was adding pepper to the soup. But it may have been a hint at the problem that the food at the time was peppered a lot, to kill the smell of rotten ingredients.

4. Alice is Eve, who becomes a sinner.

The adventures of Alice starts in a quiet garden. It was an idyllic place, green and quiet, and that’s why it reminds many people the Garden of Eden. But Alice doesn’t take an apple, she goes down the rabbit hole and goes into a world that gives rise to incredible changes in her. This theory seems to be pretty logical: children are innocent but when Alice went into the hole (took the apple), she entered the world of puberty, adult life, and became a sinner.

5. Keys, doors, and caterpillars are Freudian symbols.

When Freudian theories became very popular around the world, the tale of Alice turned out to be full of gynecological symbols. The fans of Freud managed to see the symbols in the doors that were hidden behind the curtains, and keys that open these doors. Of course, they couldn’t have missed Absolem — the giant caterpillar that looks like a you know what.

Even though this theory has life, it is not very believable, because people can see these symbols everywhere if they really want to.

6. Walrus and Carpenter are actually Buddha and Jesus.

This is the name of the poem that the twin brothers Tweedledee and Tweedledum read to Alice. The poem tells the story about Walrus and Carpenter, that walk on the beach and call out for oysters to walk with them. The oysters go to the shore and Walrus and Carpenter eat them. Walrus then cries at the end.

There are several interpretations:

  • Walrus is a caricature of Buddha, and Carpenter is Jesus. For example, the character Loki from Dogma believes this. The logic is simple: Walrus is fat and happy, so he is Buddha or elephant Ganesha, and Carpenter is the direct reference to the profession of the father of Jesus.
  • J. Priestly is convinced that the poem is the story of England’s (Walrus) colonization of America (Carpenter).
  • There is a more violent interpretation. Some people believe that Walrus and Carpenter are politicians that kill the masses — the oysters.

7. The poem about the White Rabbit in chapter 12 uncovers the love mystery of Carroll himself.

Some researchers see the reference to the unusual connection between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell that was the prototype of the main character. Here are the lines we are talking about:

He sent them word I had not gone

(We know it to be true):

If she should push the matter on,

What would become of you?

This is one of the most sensitive moments in the interpretation of the tale. Some people think that when the girl was supposed to come of age, the writer was going to marry her, but for some reason he had an argument with Mrs. Liddell and he never saw the members of the family since.

Do you want to read the tale now that you have some new knowledge about it in order to find some new hidden meaning? If yes, you can read the original manuscript written by Carroll himself here.

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What 20 Celebs Looked Like at the Start of Their Career

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Celebrities are usually known for their biggest successful works, but most of them stepped into the entertainment world with smaller roles. A lot of them have been in the industry for so long that we’ve forgotten what they looked like when they first started. Taking a look at some of their earliest works is indeed a blast from the past.

Bright Side looks into some of the earliest works from certain actors and is amazed at how much they have grown within the industry.

1. George Clooney

2. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson

3. Keanu Reeves

4. Brie Larson

5. Betty White

6. Leonardo DiCaprio

7. Drew Barrymore

8. Tom Hanks

9. Scarlett Johannson

10. Halle Berry

11. Harrison Ford

12. Denzel Washington

13. Reese Witherspoon

14. Angelina Jolie

15. Johnny Depp

16. Jennifer Garner

17. Robert Downey Jr.

18. Will Smith

19. Nicole Kidman

20. Sandra Bullock

Have you seen the early works of these celebrities before? Do you know what any other famous entertainers looked like when they first began their career?

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14 Examples of How Perfect Photos on Social Media Can Mislead Us

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Most Internet users tend to sugarcoat their lives, belongings, body shapes, etc. And Instagram is the perfect place to post these kinds of photos. It’s a world of successful, happy people who take colorful trips, make expensive purchases, and boast perfect bodies.

Bright Side found some “behind-the-scenes” photos of gorgeous shots from social media. Turns out, believing everything you see on the Internet is never a good idea.

1. A 3-minute smartphone photo session + 3 magic filters

2. The king of the road

3. It’s all about the right angle…

4. A popular festival on Instagram vs a popular festival in reality

5. Support is the real hero.

6. A dog can never spoil a shot.

7. Slightly added brightness

8. When summer starts, we see it on every other Instagram account.

9. The process of making up always finishes the same way.

10. Unicorns can be insidious.

11. Everyone wants a photo in a lavender field.

12. Bright cities in photos might not be as bright in real life.

13. Aboard a private jet

14. A fashionable breakfast

Do you edit your photos on social media to try to look better? We’d be happy to hear from you in the comments!

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