Thought that etiquette was all about which fork to use first, or how to write a thank-you note for a gift? Think again. Debrett’s Peerage and Baronetage, which began as an etiquette guide to royals and landed gentry of Britain, is now publishing an updated breezer course for the masses:
“It’s a nod to the modern day,” she told Reuters. “We’re pulling Debrett’s out of Victorian times and trying to make it relevant to today.” The book’s advice ranges from how to conduct a sleaze-free office fling or a disease-free one night stand, to how to smoke at social occasions and what to do when you meet a celebrity.
“Avoid dark-alley gropery and unladylike fumbling in the back of a cab,” the guide says on the subject of one night stands. “Discuss the necessaries to avoid planting any love children or disease, and you’re away.”
Obviously, this update is an attempt to prevent normally sensible young women (rich or even not-so-rich) from emulating people like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Kate Moss. They could save some time and probably make more money by releasing a series of easy to read flash cards with tips for the modern social climber:
- Leave things to the imagination; keep your naughty bits covered. There are certain things that only your lover, your doctor, and paid subscribers to your website should see. Oh, you don’t have a website? Then keep your clothes on!
- Money does not guarantee class, nor do family relationships. Rich people have done trashy things since time began, but in the past, they did not have the paparazzi stalking them to take photos of the time when they were caught picking their noses while walking down the street.
- Dating in the celebrity world takes on a whole different meaning than regular dating. Learn to distinguish the two! Regular dating entails getting to know another person by socializing with them over the course of several weeks or months. Celebrity dating, on the other hand, is a more accelerated process: weeks of small talk and innuendo are typically pared down to a 5 minute introduction, a drink and drug fueled sex session, and a mad dash to escape lurking photographers outside the hotel the morning after.
- Never do anything that you wouldn’t want your parents to know about. The only well-kept secrets are those that haven’t been told because your co-conspirator or confidant has yet to receive an enticing monetary offer.
- Telling your private business to people on a cellphone or other mobile device is like displaying your innermost secrets on a public billboard. That girl whose boyfriend you were flirting with in the club just might be acquainted with a crafty hacker or two… If you don’t want half the population of your city to know what you did last night, then keep it to yourself.