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OR, maybe you don’t give a hoot about proper etiquette?
I do! Even acquaintances of mine will tell you it doesn’t take long to see I am all about manners and proper etiquette!
I was reading an article the other day about the proper way to handle different etiquette situations, and the topic of being invited to a shower or a party (etc.) hosted (and I use this term loosely) at a restaurant, but with the intention of you paying for your own meal. I thought it was funny because this is a pet peeve of mine, a HUGE one! I have addressed etiquette on my blog before and I thought – it’s a favorite subject of mine, so why not do it again? I love hearing what other people are thinking, so I really hope you will comment. It can’t be just me who is missing those long ago days of manners, along with “Please” and “Thank you.”
(Back to the subject) This has happened to me on several occasions, and I must admit I chose not to attend the functions. We all view situations in a different light, and this is only my opinion. “Hey, we are having a baby (wedding, etc.) shower at (insert restaurant) in (insert town 2 hours away) on (date, time) for (insert name). We would love (exaggerating) for you to attend, but you will have to buy your own meal.
This is what I hear when someone issues this type of invitation: “Hey. We want to you to drive two hours, bring a nice gift, and buy your own meal. Want to come?”
My answer: “No thank you”.
Now, my circumstances may be a little different in that this is the only time I hear from these types of people, and maybe my response reflects this. Hubby and I do not invite people to join us for anything unless we can pick up the tab. I feel that it is inappropriate to invite someone with the expectation that they travel this distance (and incur fuel expenses as well as four hours driving time alone), purchase a gift, and their meal.
It really makes me wonder if they had the party at their house, would they have a donation box at the door to defray the cost. Personally, under the conditions where the host cannot actually afford to “host” the event, a smaller gathering at their home would be more suitable.
I know if I were to attend such an event, the cost of the gift would be significantly altered by the additional expenses I would incur; than if I were attending the same event at someone’s home where I was not expected to also pay for my meal.
Now, that being said, there have been occasions where my Hubby’s large family has met at a restaurant for a birthday and each family picked up the tab for their family. This is not the same thing. There are always occasions when friends will meet up at a restaurant and everyone will pay for their own tab. These are not the occasions of which I speak.
To sum up this post (I guess I did that already) I feel that if you cannot afford to host the event at a nice restaurant, you should choose a less expensive venue, or have the party at your home. You should not ask others to pay for your party. I would much rather attend a simple affair at your home than pick up the tab for your party.
Now that I have vented and expressed my personal opinion, I would love to hear your take on this particular situation. Do you think it is proper to host an event and expect people to pay their own way?
Army captain Trent Davila loved his wife, Laura, and their two beautiful children. But when he almost lost his life in combat, something inside him died. He couldn’t explain the emptiness he felt or bridge the growing distance between him and his family—so he deployed again. And again. And again…until his marriage reaches its breaking point. Now, with everything on the line, Trent has one last chance to prove to his wife that he can be the man she needs …if she’ll have him
…to win back his only love.
Laura is blindsided when Trent returns home. Time and again, he chose his men over his family, and she’s just beginning to put the pieces of her shattered heart back together. But when Trent faces a court martial on false charges, only Laura can save him. What begins as an act of kindness to protect his career inflames a desire she thought long buried—and a love that won’t be denied. But can she trust that this time he’s back to stay?
A Buyer’s Beware Guide to Remarriage!
Learning from the mistakes of a failed first marriage and telling yourself you will do better the next time around is like saying if you lose a football game you’ll win the next one. You will but only if you learn some new plays before you go back on the field. Presented by an attorney who has seen all the warning signs, “BEFORE YOU SAY I DO, AGAIN!” will teach those new plays to avoid coming up on the losing side again.
Note, book shelves are filled with warm and fuzzy titles authored by psychologists and family counselors. Their message is to teach how to listen to each other and improve the relationship. “BEFORE YOU SAY I DO, AGAIN!”is not a how to book to get back together or to stay together. Instead it takes the gloves off and provides insight as to the issues one must consider before walking down the aisle a second time. Tackling a serious subject, but presented in a sometimes whimsical fashion, “BEFORE YOU SAY I DO, AGAIN!” puts the brakes on the wedding ceremony and provides the reader with the questions that must be answered before she drives down the path of destruction.
In addition, it provides information regarding the legal consequences of a failed second marriage. “BEFORE YOU SAY I DO, AGAIN!” is a “tell it is like it is guide” to avoid an impending disaster.
Praise for Before You Say I Do Again:
“According to Psychology Today, 60% of remarriages fail. What are the reasons? Why do people believe that whatever went wrong the first time won’t happen again? Have you gone through a divorce, found a new partner and are considering remarrying? Perhaps you’re afraid of making the same mistake twice and are thinking of living together first? Do you wonder if you’re doing the right thing? Before You Say I Do, Again answers these important questions, and much more. Written by a divorce attorney with over 30 years of experience, the book is filled with insightful information, practical advice and statistics supported by research studies. Besides being chock-full of information, author/attorney Benjamin Berkley writes in a simple, light, engaging style, making the reading experience enjoyable. The structure is clear and well organized. Best of all, it is written by someone who really knows what he’s talking about. If you or someone in your life is considering remarrying, please do yourself a favour and get a copy of this book. It is definitely an eye opener.” Mayra Calvani, BlogCritic Books
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. “Before You Say I Do Again: A Buyer’s Beware Guide to Remarriage” is aimed at those who may be taking the dive into marriage the second time and want to be legally prepared this time around. Written from an attorney’s perspective, he offers much advice people should know the second time around to see if you’re truly ready to do it again. “Before You Say I Do Again” is a solid and highly recommended read that’ll educate and make many people reconsider.” Midwest Book Review
“Here’s helpful advice from an attorney, packaged in a readable, insightful new book! Even if you’ve already remarried, you may gain valuable tips here that can help you construct, or re-construct, the legal details of your new marriage. Divorced? Dating? Considering a new marriage? Pick up this book and read it carefully. You’ll be glad you did.” Dr. David Frisbie, The Center for Marriage & Family Studies
Benjamin H. Berkley
Growing up in Long Beach, NY, young Ben Berkley was fascinated by daily black-and-white re-runs of the TV lawyer show Perry Mason. After getting a B.A. in Speech and Hearing from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY, Berkley earned his law degree from Western State University in Fullerton, CA. For the past 34 years he has conducted a busy general practice which includes divorce, estate planning, family law, social security disability appeals and bankruptcy. His books include Before You Say I Do Again, A Buyer’s Beware Guide to Remarriage; My Wishes: Your Plan for Organizing and Communicating Your Family’s Needs; The Complete Executor’s Guide and Winning Your Social Security Disability Case. His debut novel, Against My Will, was published in September, 2012. He also writes a blog for the Huffington Post.
(From the Preface)”I just hope I don’t make the same mistake twice.” Believe it or not, this is the phrase most often spoken by a client at the end of a divorce hearing.
(From the Introduction) “WARNING LABEL: This book may cause anxiety. It is best read when consuming ice cream, chocolate, or alcohol. If you are starting a new relationsip, this book should be read once a day. If you are engaged, it should be read four times a day. Regardless, always consult your attorney if you feel an uncontrollable urge to get remarried.”
(From Chapter 1) “A remarriage has one of the same partners who was present in your last marriage.”
Those three statements should give you pause – especially if you are thinking about walking down the aisle a second time – or a third? Before You Say I DO is a book full of valuable information, and I might add – statistics. An alarmingly high number of first marriages end in divorce. That number multiplies tremendously for those willing to take a second shot at happiness. I do not wish to deter you from marrying a second time. I myself was divorced after 18 years of marriage and have been happily married for 15 years to my husband. Not all of us play a part in statistics.
Anyone who is married will tell you that marriage is a like a job. You work hard and the benefits can go beyond your wildest imagination, but, if you do not take your “job” seriously, divorce may be lurking around the corner.
The book is divided into four parts. Part One deals with Navigating the Sea of Divorce with chapter titles such as “Should I open a restaurant or remarry?” and “The legal and nonlegal consequences of divorce” (and other chapters).
Part Two finds you “Getting Ready to Say I Do Again! And has chapter titles such as “Getting emotionally ready to say I do again” “Remarrying for love or money?” “Getting financially ready to say I do, again” and “Are you ready for remarriage?” (and other chapters)
Part Three shows you how to “Kick the tires and check under the hood” with chapters such as “Buyer Beware!” “Sex and Remarriage” and “The Symptoms of Divorce-What you may have missed the first time around” as well as “A blueprint to a successful remarriage” (and other chapters).
Part Four brings us to “Compatibility” and Mr. New vs. Mr. Old – How do they compare?”
The author also includes a sample Prenuptial Agreement, Last Will and Testament with Guardianship, and Asset Organizer.
What this book does is open your eyes with stories and examples that will resonate with any reader who is divorced and contemplating a second marriage. In all of the drama surrounding divorce, we sometimes fail to remember our own part in the demise of the marriage. We find someone new, the sparks are flying, and we once again have stars in our eyes. The chances of those stars blinding you to reality are great. Before you say I DO again gives you a reality check. The author has stuffed the book full of wonderful advice, garnered from over thirty years as a divorce attorney, to help you navigate those unchartered waters with success the second time around.
It is an engaging book with helpful stories and should be required reading for the divorced person wanting to take a second chance. Benjamine Berkley has an engaging style and the book is well organized with self-explanatory titles. He has been a divorce attorney for over thirty years of experience and is using that knowledge to help people before they show up in his office with a second failed marriage.
If you are divorced and hoping to remarry, this is a great guide book and well worth the read. Do yourself a favour and pick it up.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.
When Vicki Bennett saved Ryan Sullivan’s life as a teenager,
it was the beginning of a close friendship that never wavered despite her failed marriage to someone else and Ryan’s well-earned reputation as a ladies man. So when she suddenly needs a pretend boyfriend to
protect herself and
her career from a powerful man’s advances, he is the only person she can imagine asking.
Ryan will do anything to protect Vicki from harm, but when their “fake” kisses and caresses lead to an incredibly sensual night that neither of them can resist, will he have made the biggest mistake of all by irreparably jeopardizing their friendship? Or is it possible that what they’ve both been looking for has been right there the whole time…and the perfect combination of wicked and sweet, friendship and love, is finally within reach?
Enjoy an excerpt from Let Me Be The One:
Fifteen years ago, Palo Alto High School
Victoria Bennett couldn’t take her eyes off Ryan Sullivan, who was laughing with some of the guys on his baseball team, as she headed through the high school parking lot toward the art store on University Avenue.
None of the other girls in her tenth-grade class could take their eyes off him, either, so at least she didn’t stick out. Not for that reason, anyway. Her clay-stained fingers and clothes—along with the “new girl” sign she felt like she was wearing during her first few weeks at every new school—did that with no help whatsoever from Ryan…or his ridiculously good looks.
Normally, she could have gotten over his pretty face without much trouble. As an artist, she always worked to look beneath the surface of things, to try to find out what was really at the heart of a painting or sculpture or song. That went for people, too. Especially boys who, as far as she could tell, only ever told a girl what they wanted to hear for one reason.
No, what had her stuck on Ryan Sullivan was the fact that he was always laughing. Somehow, without being the class clown, he had a gift for putting people at ease and making them feel good.
Before she could catch herself, she put her fingers to her lips…and wondered what it would feel like if he kissed her.
She yanked her hand away from her mouth. Not just because dreaming of his kisses was borderline pathetic given the utter unlikelihood of that scenario, but because she needed to stay focused on her art.
She wasn’t just another tenth grader mooning over the hottest boy in school.
She was studying her muse.
Vicki had never been much interested in sculpting formal busts before. Old, dead, overly serious guys in gray didn’t really do it for her. But it had only taken a few minutes near Ryan at lunch her first day on campus to be inspired to capture his laughter in clay. She wished she could get closer to all that easy joy—if only to figure out how to translate it from her mind’s eye to the clay beneath her fingers.
Yes, she thought with a small smile, she was perfectly willing to suffer for her art. Especially if it meant staring at Ryan Sullivan.
The light turned from red to green and she could have picked up her pace and made it across the street. Only, she’d been having such trouble getting the corners of the eyes and mouth just right on her Laughing Boy sculpture. Knowing there wasn’t a chance that Ryan or his friends would notice her, rather than leaving the school grounds, she closed the distance between them in as nonchalant a manner as she could, while surreptitiously watching him from beneath the veil of the bangs that had grown too long over her eyes during the summer.
A few seconds later, his friends high-fived him and walked away. Ryan bent down to finish packing up a long, narrow black bag at his feet, which she guessed held his baseball stuff.
What, she wondered on an appreciative sigh at the way the muscles on his forearms and shoulders flexed as he picked up the bag, would happen if she talked to him? And what would he say if she outright asked him to pose for her?
She was on the verge of laughing out loud at her crazy thoughts when she heard a squeal coming from the parking lot. In a split second she realized an out-of-control car was whipping straight toward Ryan.
There wasn’t time to plan, or to think. Vicki sprinted across the several feet between them and threw herself at him.
Fortunately, Ryan’s natural athleticism kicked in right away. Even though she was the one trying to pull him out of the way, less than a heartbeat later he was lifting her and practically throwing her across the grass before leaping to cover her body with his.
She scrunched her eyes tightly shut as the car careened past, so close that she could feel the hairs on her arms lifting in its wake. Breathing hard, Vicki clung to Ryan. Wetness moved across her cheeks and she belatedly realized tears must have sprung up from landing so hard on the grass.
The seconds ticked by as if in slow motion, one hard, thudding heartbeat after another from Ryan’s chest to hers and then back again from hers to his. He was so strong, so warm, so beautifully real. She wanted to lie like this with him forever, more intimately, closer than she’d ever been with another boy.
Only, voices were rising in pitch all around her, and suddenly, the reality of what had just happened hit.
Oh my God, they’d both almost died!
She was starting to feel faint when he lifted his head and smiled down at her.
“Hi, I’m Ryan.”
The way he said it, as if she didn’t already know who he was, pierced through her shock. He acted like it was normal to be sprawled over a girl. Which, she suddenly realized, it probably was. For him.
Definitely not for her, though.
Her lips were dry and she had to lick them once, twice, before saying, “I’m Victoria.” The words, “But my friends call me Vicki,” slipped out before she could pull them back in.
His smile widened and her heart started beating even faster. Not from shock this time, but from pure, unfettered teenage hormones kicked into overdrive by his beautiful smile.
“Thank you for saving my life, Vicki.” A moment later, his smile disappeared as he took in her tear-streaked cheeks. The eyes that she’d seen filled with laughter so many times during the first two weeks of school grew serious. “I hurt you.”
She would have told him no, and that she was fine, but all breath and words were stolen from her the instant he brushed his fingertips over her cheeks to wipe away her tears.
Somehow, she managed to shake her head, and to get her lips to form the word no, even though no sound followed.
His laughing eyes were dark now, and more intense than she’d ever seen them. “Are you sure? I didn’t mean to land so hard on you.”
How was she supposed to keep her brain working when he’d begun the slow, shockingly sweet process of running his hands over the back of her skull, and then down to her shoulders and upper arms?
One more word. That was all she needed to get out to answer his question.
“Good.” His voice was deeper, richer, than any of the other fifteen-year-old boys. “I’m glad.”
But as he stared down at her, his expression continued to grow even more intense and she found herself holding her breath.
Was he going to kiss her now? Had her life just turned into the quintessential after-school-special fantasy, the one where the artsy girl caught the eye of the jock and the whole school was turned upside down by their unlikely but ultimately perfect and inevitable pairing?
“One day, when you need me most, I promise I’ll be there for you, Vicki.”
Oh. She swallowed hard. Oh my.
He hadn’t given her a kiss…but his promise felt more important than a mere kiss would have been.
Before she realized it, he was standing up again and holding out a hand to help her up, too. Instantly missing his heat, the hard muscles pressing into her softer ones, all the lies she’d been trying to tell herself about Ryan simply being a muse scattered out of reach.
“Can I walk you home?”
Surprised that he wanted to spend more time with her, she quickly shook her head.
He looked equally surprised by her response, likely because no girl on earth had ever turned him down.
“No, I can’t walk you home?”
She fumbled to explain. “I’m not going home. I was actually heading over to the art store to pick up some supplies for a new sculpt—”
She barely stopped herself from rambling on about her latest project. Why would Ryan Sullivan care? Besides, she reminded her racing heart with brutal honesty, he probably had some pretty cheerleaders waiting on him. And they wouldn’t need an out-of-control car to get him to lie down on top of them.
Because no matter how tempting it was to believe that she had suddenly been cast in a happy-ever-after fairytale romance, the truth was that getting that close to Ryan had been nothing more than a fluke of fate.
And Vicki remained the star of her artsy, and often lonely, move-to-a-new-town-every-year-with-her-military-family teenage life.
Only, for some strange reason she couldn’t understand, Ryan wasn’t running in the opposite direction yet. Probably because he felt like he owed her after she’d saved his life. After all, hadn’t he just told her that he would be there for her one day when she really needed him?
“What are you getting supplies for?” He asked the question as though he were truly interested, not just acting like it because he felt he should.
“I’m making a—” Wait, she couldn’t tell him what she was making. Because she was sculpting him. “I work with clay. Lately, I’ve been trying to capture specific facial expressions.”
Never in a million years did she think she’d ever speak to him, let alone have this long a conversation. But, what shocked her most of all was just how comfortable she felt with him. Even with all of her teenage hormones on high alert, Ryan was, simply, the easiest person she’d ever been around.
And she wanted more time with him than just five stolen minutes on the high school lawn.
Her nerves were starting to back off a bit by the time she told him, “I started with all the usual expressions every artist knows best.” She played it up for him. “Tears. Pain. Suffering. Existential nothingness.”
His laughter made her feel like she could float all the way to the art store and back.
“Oh yeah,” she joked back, “it’s a riot. Which is why I’m trying something different now.” She took a breath before admitting, “I’m working on laughter.”
“Laughter, huh?” He grinned at her. “I like it. How’s it going?”
Being so close to the full wattage of his smile made her breath catch in her throat. In an effort to cover her all-too-obvious reaction to him, she scrunched up her face. “Put it this way, I think I’ve started to resemble all those other expressions.”
“Even the existential nothingness one?”
As if she were watching the two of them from a distance, Vicki knew she’d always look back to that moment as the one that mattered most. The one where she fell head over heels in love with Ryan Sullivan. And not because of his beautiful outside.
But because he’d listened.
And, even better, because he’d appreciated.
“Especially that one,” she replied.
He picked up her bag from the grass. “Sounds awesome. Mind if I tag along?”
Okay, so maybe the two of them didn’t add up on paper, but Vicki couldn’t deny that they had clicked.
“Sure,” she said, “if you don’t have anywhere else you have to be.”
He slung his equipment bag over his other shoulder and walked beside her. “Nothing more important than hanging out with a new friend.”
This time, she was the one grinning at him. In the two weeks since she’d moved to Palo Alto with her family, she hadn’t done a very good job of making friends at the high school. As an Army brat who moved more years than not, she’d stopped making the effort a long time ago when she realized how hard it was to not only break into fully formed cliques, but also to maintain long-distance friendships once she inevitably left town.
Ryan made everything seem so easy, though, as if the only thing that wouldn’t make sense was their not hanging out.
By the end of their trip to the art store and back, she knew all about his seven siblings, he knew she had two annoying little brothers, he’d told her what he liked about baseball, she’d told him what she loved about sculpting, and she’d been invited to dinner at the Sullivan house.
It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.
The best one she’d ever had.
* * *
Present day, San Francisco
Ryan Sullivan threw his car keys to the valet as he shot past him. The young man’s eyes widened as he realized that he was not only about to drive a Ferrari into the underground parking lot, but that it belonged to one of his sports idols.
“Mr. Sullivan, sir, don’t you need your valet tag?”
Ryan took his responsibilities to the fans seriously and made it a point never to let them down. But tonight the only thing that mattered was Vicki. Even though a half-dozen missed connections over the years had kept them from meeting up again in person after high school, they’d kept in touch through email and phone calls.
Vicki was his friend.
And he wouldn’t let anyone hurt one of his friends.
Ryan pushed through the dark glass doors to the exclusive hotel foyer and made himself stop long enough to do a quick scan of the glittering room. The Pacific Union Club wasn’t his kind of place—it was pretentious as all hell—and he hadn’t thought it would be Vicki’s usual stomping grounds, either.
So why was she here? And why hadn’t she told him she was finally coming back to Northern California after so many years in Europe?
He’d been hanging at his brother Chase’s new baby celebration when her texts had come in.
I need your help. Come quick.
Ryan had cursed every one of the thirty-five miles into the city from his mother’s house on the Peninsula. He’d texted Vicki again and again to get more information, and to make sure that she was okay, but she hadn’t replied.
He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so worried about anyone…or so ready to do battle. Vicki wasn’t the kind of woman who cried wolf. She wouldn’t have sent him those texts just to try to get his attention. She was the only woman he’d ever known apart from his sisters and mother who had ever been completely real with him, and who didn’t want anything from him besides his friendship.
His large hands were tight fists as he surveyed the cocktail lounge, his jaw clenched tight.
Damn it, where was she?
If anyone had touched Vicki the wrong way, or hurt her even the slightest bit, Ryan would make them pay.
He was famous for being not only the winningest pitcher in the National Baseball League, but also one of the most laid-back. Very few people had a clue about Ryan’s hidden edges, but it wouldn’t take much more to set him off tonight.
He grabbed the first person in uniform, his grip hard enough on the young man’s upper arm that he winced. “Is there a private meeting room?”
The young man stuttered, “Y-yes, sir.”
“Where is it?”
His hand shook as he pointed. “On the back side of the bar, but it’s already reserved toni—”
Ryan hightailed it through the lounge and it shouldn’t have been that hard to get through the crowd, but it seemed that every single person in the room either got up to buy another drink or was trying to get his attention.
When he found a subtly hidden door just to the side of the bar, he nearly knocked it off its hinges in his hurry to open it.
Ryan saw the flash of Vicki’s long blond hair first, her killer curves second.
Thank God, she was here, and in one piece.
But his relief was short-lived when he realized he’d interrupted her and her cocktail companion just as the man’s hand was sliding onto her thigh.
Vicki jumped off her seat as Ryan strode into the room. The terror that had been on her face when the other man touched her leg slowly morphed into relief at his arrival.
Her companion, on the other hand, was clearly surprised to see Ryan…and he wasn’t happy about it, either. The man was probably in his fifties and was obviously loaded. Or at least wanted people to think he was, holding meetings in a place like this, wearing a handmade suit.
Quickly conjuring up an expression of surprise, Vicki said, “What are you doing here so early, honey?”
…Excerpt from LET ME BE THE ONE by Bella Andre ©2012.
What are the chances of having eight exceptionally good looking siblings in one family? And, what are the chances that they all find perfectly beautiful mates and live happily ever after? Probably next to none, but then that’s why we read fantasy. And, oh what a wonderful fantasy world Bella Andre has created for us in The Sullivan’s Series.
There are some books you read, some you find yourself skimming through, and then there are the books you realize that you are hanging onto every word and sometimes find yourself re-reading words and forget you are reading about the character in the book. These books fall into the latter category.
A Knight in Shining Armor to the rescue. It just makes my heart pitter patter. Book 6 introduces us to pro baseball player Ryan Sullivan and Victoria Bennett, his best friend from high school. Ryan has been waiting for the chance to pay Vicki back for saving his life all those years ago, but by pretending he’s in love with her? Or is it real? You’ll have to read the book, because I’m not telling!
Technically speaking, I thought the book was very easy going and creatively written. The book also had a complete story line that could end with the last page of the book, if that were the only one the reader chose to read. I did like the way the author set up the next sibling’s story at the end of each book, and although they do not need to be read in order, I personally would recommend that this be done.
Fall in Love with the Sullivan’s – One by one!
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“Say goodnight Gracie” – “Goodnight”