Miss A Columnist

Heidi Kallett is the CEO & President of a The Dandelion Patch by day, and the hostess with the mostess by night. A transplanted Texan, Heidi has a degree in marketing from Texas Tech University. She and her husband, Joel, have two children. Heidi enjoys entertaining friends and family, and is active in planning many successful charity events. While Heidi envisions making The Dandelion Patch the area’s leading stationery retailer, she strongly believes that the true definition of success includes playing a meaningful role in the community in which she lives. Having served as President of the Junior League of Northern Virginia, she continues to be committed to giving back to the DC community, serving/having served on many non-profit Boards, including: ChildHelp USA, Volunteer Fairfax, Children’s Science Center of Northern Virginia, Medical Care for Children’s Partnership, Advisory Social Services Board of Fairfax County, Greater Washington Boys and Girls Clubs of Fairfax County, Charity Works and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Her volunteer commitments expand into her professional life too. Heidi serves as a Board member for the Association of Wedding Professionals, is President-Elect for NAWBO, and is a member of the Reston Chamber of Commerce, Success in the City, Women in Technology, and the National Retail Federation.

If you have a question concerning party planning, entertaining, or being a gracious guest that you would like to see covered on Miss A, please contact Heidi at heidi@thedandelionpatch.com.

Etiquette in Our Society, Or the Lack of It

I just returned from a much needed spring break get-away, and in addition to spending time relaxing, I did a ton of “people watching.” More specifically, I did a ton of “people listening” while my eyes were closed and I was tanning on a beach, or while I was at a restaurant waiting for dinner/lunch/cocktails and over-hearing conversations from everyone within ear-shot. And frankly, I am surprised at how uncivilized our society has become. And how infrequent the use of the words “please” and “thank you” have become.

At first I made excuses for the short-tempered vacationers as they demanded towels and umbrellas without so much as a polite smile. And I even gave credit to the sleep-deprived parents when their meals came late (and wrong) at the table next to me and they were a bit crass to the serving staff, saying that IF they weren’t so tired, they would act with more kindness. But then after day three, I couldn’t make any more excuses for anyone. It’s simply wrong to not have manners. It’s my opinion that if we all lived a bit more gratefully, our society would be a changed landscape. Instead of thinking of only ourselves, we should in every moment, give the benefit of doubt because we are all human and thus all prone to error and mistake from time to time. As my father used to say, “we all put on our pants one leg at a time.”

Simply put, Emily Post created etiquette guidelines that are based on the golden rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Or put another way: Treat others as you would want to be treated. I know that I was uncomfortable in all of those instances I referred to above, so I have to believe that the harshness of the travelers inflicted on the serving staff wasn’t how they’d like to be treated. And frankly, it doesn’t matter who is paying whom. With every refill of water, and every door that is opened for you, a polite and sincere “thank you” is in order. Not because the words are expected, but because you should be grateful that someone did something nice.

So now that I’m home I have a mission: to reclaim the importance of those magic words: Please and Thank You. I encourage you to help me in my pursuit. Find a way to offer thanks 3 times a day, and see what happens next. Oprah once said, ” Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” So true. So true.

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