Hello, we're Bertie and Charlotte and once a week we're going to teach you a valuable lesson about manners. Think of this column as a weekly trip to the finishing school you never went to, we're here to hold your hand and guide you along the path of polite enlightenment. Basically your grandma was right, manners can get you anywhere, so draw an imaginary halo around your head, roll your eyes back, relax and enjoy your passage into the divine. First off, how to behave badly with class.
We love being charming, really we do, but sometimes being polite just doesn't cut the mustard. Bad manners, performed in the proper way, are just as important. The problem is, as hard as you might try to be the picture of serenity all the time, sometimes people are just awful. With that in mind, we've compiled an emergency list of ways to handle people with no manners at all and leave with your reputation unscathed. Think of it as a self-defence class for your ego.
A good way to deal with somebody else's bad behaviour is to one-up it in a 100 percent sassier way. If they bodge your drink, grab theirs and dance away with it. If they brush you with their cigarette, look straight into their eyes and ash into their clutch. And then apologise, because you're classy, remember? Basically you're Carine and they're, well, not Carine. You're champagne and they're shandy. Let them know.
BE EXTRA NICE
This is a good one for when you bump into an ex with the person they almost probably definitely left you for. (It happens to the best of us). Even though you've secretly been freaking out over the prospect of this moment for about seven months, don't give them the satisfaction of seeing you get upset. Instead of ignoring them or just shutting off, act like you're happier to see them than when your dad picked you up from the airport after your "gap fortnight". Smile, be charming and then stab them in the back with evils as they walk away bewildered.
Walking into a party can be traumatising in it's own right, made one billion times worse when an ultra babe walks up to you in Yohji's latest floor length number, (making you immediately rethink your coloured crop top) and asks if you got your (q expensive) top from Zara. Ouch. Instead of running away to cry in the toilets and wail about how you'll never be the "glam" one, fight back. Raise an eyebrow and ask if she knew her crush had just disappeared into the stairwell with a Saint Laurent model and watch her scurry off.
Being a champion of good manners doesn't come easy, especially when some people are insistent on being totally rude. Bumping into your best/worst frenemy at a party is beyond awkward and can be hard to gauge. More awkward is when they pretend they haven't seen you. If they turn away as you walking past their table (for the seventh time that evening) go into the bathroom next time they're in there and kill them with kindness. Ask how their mum is. Tell them how good they're skin looks. Hell, even buy them a drink.
DON'T BE A TOTAL BITCH
We all know tweeting is the internet equivalent of an eye roll and sometimes it feels really, really good to be really, really mean (especially after ten glasses of wine). However shooting out some less than subtle digs about someone's last #tbt makes you look more bitter than aloof and chic (think Francois Hardy, not Regina George). Next time, think before you tweet.