Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Time for a Quick Top 5: Valentine's Date Night Edition.

1. Be on time! Don't keep your date waiting!

2. Be clean! Go easy on fragrance, too. What you love might make your date sneeze.

3. Be prepared! If you failed to get reservations at your favorite restaurant, a picnic is a respectable, spontaneous choice.

4. Be respectful! Make eye contact, keep the smartphone off the table during dinner, open doors and pull back chairs when applicable.

5. Be fun! Make lively conversation, eat good food, choose activities that you enjoy and aren't stressful, tell your loved ones how much they mean to you.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

More vintage Valentine's advice

We had so much fun time traveling to 1959 that we thought we’d do it again.

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and for the most up-to-date etiquette advice on the holiday, we decided to turn to…1961.

The Feb. 14, 1961 edition of the Rock Hill (S.C.) Herald has two articles well worth a look.

The first article—headlined “Will you be my Valentine? Yes, but don’t soil the wallpaper”—notes that at the time, a whopping 255 million Valentine cards would be mailed that year. That apparently begs the question, “Will she truly be your Valentine? Will he love you ever?”

Good news—the answer, writer Ward Cannel said, is yes, as long as you follow a few rules, including the following: “A gentleman does not lean his head against the wall as it might soil the paper;” “A lady does not strike a gentleman with her fan or handkerchief;” “Do not pick the teeth, scratch the head, blow the nose or clean the nails in public.” (Read the article for the full list of advice!)

Just below that article is a true gem from AP wrtier Hal Boyle: “Man’s plea: Let’s reverse Valentine’s Day racket,” reads the headline.

“Ladies, for years you have sandbagged your boyfriends on St. Valentine’s day,” he writes, then offers some tongue-in-cheek (we hope) tips on how to please your fella.

“He’ll think you’re real dreamy if you gift him with a pair of diamond-studded gold cufflinks,” he writes. “Later if necessary, you can get him to hock them to take you on your honeymoon.”

And if a down payment on a sports car, a shopping spree at a sporting goods tore or a steak dinner doesn’t work out, “you can always hand him a new billfold full of folding money,” writes Boyle. “Money is always appropriate. Men never have too much of it.”

Here’s to a slightly more romantic Valentine’s this year!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Welcome the Belle of the Ball!

We are pleased to feature a guest post from Chelsea Hanson!

Belle of the Ball is a new featured column we will be running in coordination with Chelsea at Southern Gent Gifts. Be sure to check them out for great gift ideas for yourself or someone special.

Belle of the Ball presents: 5 Ways to Impress a Lady on the First Date

So often I hear men say that they’ve been on hundreds of first dates, but very few second dates. It’s no mystery that a first date can be a nerve-wracking experience. It is also very easy to make a mistake. But fear not gentlemen, with these five easy steps you will be on your way to a second date in no time.

First and foremost, CALL AND HAVE A PLAN.

I understand that it is so much easier to text, “Let’s hang out Wednesday,” BUT that gives a girl no direction. When you make the decision that you would like to spend time with us here are a few KEY things that should be remembered.

• CALL - pick up the phone and call the lady you are interested in seeing; this is a small gesture that we all appreciate. A call can be intimidating for some, but if you don’t have the guts to call her, how do you plan to sit through an entire date’s worth of conversation? Always call!

• DATE AND TIME - Let the girl know a date and time of the actual date. This is key for many aspects, from attire to scheduling. She needs to know if you’re going out at night, if it’s a casual dinner or if you’re going to the symphony. Planning is important. A first date is not the best time for spontaneity.

• RESERVATIONS - If possible make reservations. Do not show up with no plan in mind. We want to spend time with you, so make life easier by planning ahead with reservations. A woman is impressed when you can walk in, simply say your name, and are led to a table for two.


Pick the lady up at her place and come to the door. Do not wait in your car. If we are running late don’t worry—remember, we are trying to impress you and have taken the time to do so. Three simple gestures that you can make that will go a long way are:

• Open the car door.

• Open the door at the restaurant.

• Pull out her chair.

These simple things may not seem like much, but growing up, most of us have seen our dads perform these simple gestures daily with our mothers. Old school, classic, and shows respect.


You may be having tons of problems. You may HATE your job, be failing a class, fighting with your parents, arguing with your roommate, feeling broke, thinking your ex is evil, or all of the above. And yes, we are willing to listen, but we agreed to a DATE. We agreed to spend time with you because we want to get to know you. We do not want to be your psychiatrist, especially when trying to have a good time. If you can’t think of anything to say, or are having an off day, or even really want to impress us, ask questions! The easiest way to strike up a conversation with anyone, especially a woman on the first date, is to ask her questions. But be careful to keep the questions grounded a bit. Don’t ask her if she plans to have kids or when she wants to get married. Save those for date 197, not date number 1.


There is nothing more awkward than the check sitting on the table between us staring us in the face. Even if you are going to pay and planning on it, at that moment we are debating whether we should offer or if we even brought cash or cards. Before the check arrives, slip off to the bathroom or to the bar for after-dinner drinks, grab the waiter or a hostess, slip her your credit card and pay the bill. That way when the check comes back, it is already taken care of and awkward moment avoided.


Even if you plan on going out after, make sure to close the date. Take us home, tell us you had a great time. It’s always difficult to know what to do after dinner, whether you take her out with your friends or go grab after-dinner drinks. Even so, make sure that we get home okay. MOST importantly - call the next day and tell us thank you. If you don’t see a future, a simple text is fine. Just remember to end on a good note because even if nothing happens in the future, it is better to be known as a gentleman than a jerk. Girls talk, it will get around that you were not courteous and respectful.

Follow these five simple rules and you will be will on your way to a second date. What you do from there is up to you. Remember, always be a gentleman and keep it classy. - cHc

About Chelsea Hanson: Chelsea is currently finishing her undergraduate degree in advertising at the University of Georgia. She is a 22-year-old native of Houston, Texas, with a flair for event planning. She has worked in events at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, as well as Epting Events in Athens, Georgia. Her favorite pastime, though, is writing. Southern Gent Gifts is her personal blog that features different gift ideas for the men in everyone's lives.