The summer season is upon us and the spirit of frivolity wafts anxiously in the distance like the haze of an anticipated swell bouncing on the horizon at the Washout. Consequently, social gatherings of all sorts will increase dramatically. For the sake of all those who will enjoy Charleston this summer, here is some wisdom from a self-proclaimed logician on a variety of matters related to etiquette.
Already, the issue of double-dipping has reared its head at a birthday party my wife and I had for our two-year old, so I'll start there. I consulted my legal counsel (true story) and discussed this matter as he was a witness to my double-dip. In formal situations where others have acceptable access to dipping materials whom you may not be familiar, it is always unacceptable to double-dip. However, in less formal situations with friends, the flip-dip may be used. In the instance in which my lawyer friend was present, I dipped an apple slice into caramel. It was so delicious, I felt a moral obligation to enjoy the rest of the apple with caramel as well. In order to avoid a true double-dip, I flipped the apple slice around and dipped the virgin end into the dip thus preventing any unnecessary contamination while also technically dipping the same piece of food twice. It is worth noting that a true double-dip may also be used as a sign of affection to let another person know that they are as close to you as family or that you are ready to take the next step in a relationship.
As a parent, I feel the need to address the issue of breastfeeding. Let me just be clear from the beginning: Breastfeeding is completely natural and should not be shocking. I'm pretty sure that almost all human beings started as babies and most of those were supplied with all the nutrition they needed by breast milk. So why is seeing this in public so improper? If you've been at the beach on a hot summer day, you can appreciate a nice, refreshing beverage. Try to put yourself in the baby's super-adorable tiny version of adult shoes. Why should a baby be denied that satisfaction? It's cruel I tell you. Women have breasts and they produce milk for babies after giving birth. There. It's no longer shocking. You're welcome, mothers.
Let's talk about sneezing now. I have learned, as a married man, if you don't acknowledge a sneeze it means that you do not care about the person sneezing in any way, shape or form. No amount of previous expressions of love or concern, even to the point of marriage, will overcome not acknowledging a sneeze with some sort of blessing. This is not a big deal if you are a single sneezer. However, in scenarios where multiple sneezes occur, the more blessings you bestow the more you care about the health and well-being of the sneezer. Furthermore, this can only be done with a unique blessing for each sneeze. Otherwise, it's like the expressed love of The Simpson's Troy McClure from: I love you like I love Fresca, isn't that enough. No, it is not, Troy. Here are a few blessings to help you express yourself:
• Bless you.
• May your soul find its way back to your body.
• The force is strong with this one.
• May all your sneezes be clear of nose.
• Get suits tight.
• Your nasal exhalation of debris is mighty.
Feeding seagulls at the beach is always a terrible idea unless it's part of some crazy plan to escape a Disney villain. Don't do it! It is bad for the birds and creates a terrifying frenzy of squawking, pooping, and swooping animals. Just don't.
Finally, I'm going to get old school with this last one: standing when a woman enters the room. Obviously, this is foolish. Men have been doing this for longer than I care to research and find out. All I know is that we can do better. In a scenario where it has been previously appropriate to stand, all persons sitting should stand, clap, cheer, and if enough men are present, write her name on their chests as if at a football game and remove their shirts. If you have fireworks, don't be afraid to use them.
Come on, it's 2017. Let's raise the bar this summer.