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The School of Flaunt

Back when "Flying Was Fun" Alexandra Smythe and Cate Clarke were Flight Attendants with a Major International Carrier. Prior to Private Jets coming into vogue, Alexandra and Cate traveled in the First Class World, meeting and greeting the top celebrities, politicians who would become Presidents, nouveau riche, and yes the occasional Headline Grabbing Criminal in Handcuffs!

What the two ladies viewed and experienced became fodder for the School of Flaunt, so much money, such bad taste and oh those terrible manners. Something had to be done! Hence, The School of Flaunt Handbook was born. Read More

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The Family is Coming For Dinner

Category: SOF Divas’ Diaries ®  |  Permalink

Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2012

 

The Family is Coming For Dinner

Or

How not to need a Valium!!

It is that time of year when we all start to think about entertaining, gift giving, who to invite to our parties and all of those pesky little details.

We lay awake at night; at least some of you do, and think about those relatives who we have to invite to the holiday meal or family party. You know the ones! They show up in clothes that look like they should be doing yard work. And for whatever reason they think this is chic!

Do they even bother to bring a little hostess gift. Why would they? They don't think family needs too. Now isn't that a pathetic excuse!! Stop giggling here you know it is true!

But getting back to your guests, there is always the crazy uncle or cousin that you will have to deal with. It just goes without saying. They are usually corralling one of your other family members and going on about the recent election, their stock portfolio or why aren't you buying a long term care policy for yourself? Followed by a belch!! Gawd, we are cringing at this picture but it happens in the best of families.

Our advice when this happens cut off the alcohol! Make sure you start watering down their drinks or give them a third of a glass of wine, or better yet offer them a Perrier with lime. Give them a task to do. ANYTHING! They can pass the appetizers or check the fireplace to see if it needs more wood. Oh on second thought, don't do that they might burn down the house. That would put a real damper on dinner!

Tell them to go outside and throw the football around with the kids! Fresh air and activity will hopefully help them. At least it will help the rest of the guests; they won't have to put up with the crazy anymore! NOTE: Don't suggest a round of Skeet. 

Now, what do you do if the relatives show up with other friends? Well, the only thing you can do. SMILE and say, "I'm so glad you could join us." If you are planning ahead you will have an extra table set up. Where? We don't care! Just make sure you have an extra table set up. It has a table cloth, silver ware, napkins and salt and pepper! Remember you are the consummate hostess and host. Your goal is to never let them get the best of you and pre planning for these types of disasters is a must!

Bottom line here students, you want to give everyone a feeling of inclusion. If you don't have staff, then let one relative be the bartender, another pass the appetizers, another help set up the buffet (we suggest that the majority of that be done in advance so only hot dishes need to be put out right before dinner)this is all if you aren't doing a sit down. We strongly recommend, don't do a sit down, black tie event for this crowd! Sorry we are being brutally honest here. They would be uncomfortable and probably show up in cargo pants anyway.

Now let's get to the area of, "I want to bring something. What can I bring?" Frankly we loath that. You have planned out a beautiful menu for dinner and the aunt shows up with sauerkraut stuffing. Trust us, we recently saw a recipe for this stuff on line! ICK! But what do you do when they insist? You say, "Please bring an appetizer or dessert." As you are cringing that it will arrive on a paper plate. Come on you all know they do this! What to do then? It is called CHANGE OUT! Make sure you have some plates, platters etc. at the ready to put these on. Not only do we hate plastic but paper plates too. Enough said.

Appetizers can be placed out around the family room, outside by the pool (if you are in California or Florida) or at the bar. Have a special table set up with "Your" dessert plates and have all of the desserts there. Auntie is happy that she can claim these to be her own.

Now you might think we are being a tad silly. NO, we are not! Presentation is everything. YES, we are totally serious here! Do you really want that ugly plastic plate or paper one mingled with your well thought out china pattern? We think not. Does a silver platter look better than a paper plate? If you didn't answer yes to this simplest of questions, just stop reading now!

Lastly, really for your sanity, get someone in who will do the clean up! They will fill the dishwashers, (we said plural - if you did a great job of planning out your kitchen you will have thought of having two dishwashers!), they will also wash the wine glasses (remember no plastic glasses, we at The School of Flaunt hate plastic as well as those paper plates. If you had read our book you would know these simple rules!), and your handy helper can pack up the leftovers for the refrigerator. Pay them handsomely for this. We would even suggest giving them more than the actually agreed upon payment. They will be thrilled, you will be happy, and they will want to help you at another function!

Lastly, after they all have left, pop out the Dom Perignon champagne, put on your bathrobe, sit down in a comfy chair, toast yourself, and your significant other for another flaunt family affair well done!

Bon appétit and remember if you are the guest always Respndez s'il vous plait and bring a hostess gift!!

Enjoy the holidays,

Alexandra and Cate

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