SATURDAY SOIREE. Ask Penelope.

She’s back. Fresh from the Primrose Averingham Finishing School in North London and an advice segment on Radio One, please welcome with a well-enunciated “How do you do?”, etiquette expert and author of ‘Naughty But Nice. A Guide To Sexual Etiquette in the 21st Century’; the woman with the most well-rounded vowels in the business – Ms. Penelope Farquhar-Jones. Send your difficult dilemmas, etiquette entreaties, and pressing problems, to selmainthecity@mac.com. Penelope will endeavour to help.

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BAG LADY

Dear Penelope,

I am trying to climb the corporate ladder and often get invited to functions.The other women who attend these things are generally married to my very wealthy colleagues and can afford designer gear. It is important that I look good at these events but I have a limited budget. Any suggestions?
– Tina Shops At Target.

Impeccable grooming and simplicity of style go a long way to creating an air of sophistication and elegance. A black dress can be accentuated with a colourful scarf or a striking piece of jewellery. Worn with unadorned black slingbacks, your look will say ‘C’est chic.’ The wives of your wealthy colleagues may think otherwise, but no-one believes a pair of gold stilettos coupled with a lime-green crocodile-skin mini skirt (the designer is irrelevant here) looks good on a woman of 45. Quelle horreur!

The way you carry yourself and your knowledge of current events (brush up on the latest news items before you attend the function) will be more memorable than whether or not you can defy the laws of colour coordination. However, if in doubt – cheat. A new website in Australia offers subscribers the chance to rent designer goods at a smidgeon of the price. One can rent the Fendi B Bag for $95.00 per week as well as matching accessories and shoes. Beat the designer tragics at their own game. They will not believe their eyes.
Visit: Love Me And Leave Me

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Dear Penelope,

I have been seeing my boyfriend for 6 months. I met his parents for the first time last week. At one stage I was alone with his father, whereupon he put his hand up my skirt. I was shocked. Should I tell my boyfriend his father is an old lech?
– TT Lated.

Oh, the horror of your boyfriend’s father trying to get a piece of his son’s action. C’est grotesque! You must inform your boyfriend immediately. There is nothing worse than an elderly man placing his extremities where he shouldn’t. It is tres unhygienic. I implore you, my dear, to never ask your boyfriend’s father to butter a bread roll for you.

If your boyfriend refuses to accept the veracity of your story and his father continues to make advances towards you, there is only one avenue open to you : COLD HARD CASH. If Daddy wants to go roamin’ in the gloamin’ he will have to pay for the privilege. Set your rates, my dear, and stick to them. It may be a lucrative sideline for you.

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