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Liv Tyler's Etiquette Sin: "I'm a Hugger"
by Faran Krentcil, ELLE, December 2013
Think you know every famous person in Liv Tyler's family? Think again. Besides rocker Steven, model Mia, and artist Chelsea, there's also her grandmother, Dorothea Johnson, who founded the Protocol School of Washington to help diplomatic envoys and international businessmen. "But I love my family being involved with rock 'n' roll!" Johnson laughed last night at Stella McCartney's Soho, New York boutique. "It's brought excitement to my dull life!"
Johnson and her granddaughter were at the Greene Street store to promote their new book, "Modern Manners: Tools to Take You to the Top." Featuring handshake diagrams and thank-you note examples, the guide even has protocol for Twitter ("Don't post a constant live-stream of an event"). But as Tyler proved during our chat, you can remain perfectly polite and still be the life of the party.
Hello! Happy holidays. Thank you! Wait... you have a hair on your shirt... Let me just... [Picking off the hair, and grazing our editor's breasts in the process.] Sorry! [Laughs] "I am my father's daughter." Remember that line from Elizabeth? Cate Blanchett said that. [Speaking in a deep English accent.] "I am my faaaather's daaaughter!" I always say it whenever I have a silly moment. I say "I am my father's daughter!"
Okay, let's talk about etiquette. Let's!
Modern Manners has several pages on how to shake hands properly. But what about in fashion, when people double-kiss each other? Is that wrong? Well, no, because Europeans double kiss. When in Rome, do as the Romans, right? But that can go badly sometimes because I'm a hugger. So sometimes I forget, and I'll kiss and then go to hug them, and then suddenly I'm making out with someone I don't know that well. Or I'll go to double kiss and then hug. and then they get stiff and they're really not into a hug…Oops.
There's also a great section on thank-you notes. Do I need to write you one after this interview? No. Maybe once upon a time... but nope, not now. Although, I am a big fan of the handwritten note. Especially from a love or a really good friend or a family member. If you really sit down and put pen to paper it can be really beautiful. But nowadays we have text and email, and also use that appropriately.
And you love to Instagram. Oh I've always loved to take pictures! Always. And my sister, Mia, takes beautiful pictures; she's a photographer.
This book has lots of business etiquette, but what about for dating? Well, what's the problem?
Well this is hypothetical, of course... Of course!
But what's the polite way to transition from dating to boyfriend-girlfriend status? You make sure you look very good, you text him, you tell him to come visit but make it clear he's not staying over. Let him see you looking great, and then, very nicely, say, "Goodbye, see you soon."