Tag Archives: Chuck Woolery

Essential Etiquette

29 Sep

The way we behave is a large part of the image that we project. dining etiquetteOur actions have all sorts of repercussions, good and bad, and knowing how to conduct oneself in different situations can definitely work to your benefit.

The point of etiquette is to be considerate of others and make them comfortable by doing the right thing, the polite thing, the things that make people want to be around us. One of those nice things is the ability to work a dining table with grace and mindfulness of our company.

Bad table manners won’t get you another date

Many people have stories about rude dates that displayed behaviour that put them off. A few years ago, I wrote about social and clothing changes since the 1980s and took my influence from Love Connection, a dating show from that era. On the show, several people mentioned manners being important to them but unfortunately, their dates didn’t always politely come through.

For example, Del talked about her date with Donald and explained what it was like to go out to eat with him: “What was embarrassing was at dinner when Donald licked his knife… then he put his lobster shells on the bread tray, then he reached over to my plate and ate my food, so he enjoyed his and mine.”

Surprise! Donald didn’t get a second date.

Speaking of dates, a friend of mine had a date with a woman who was a friend of a friend. From this familiar association, he assumed that she’d be alright. Things may have turned out differently if she hadn’t arrived at their dinner date drunk and then ate from his plate.

I started seeing a fellow several years ago who I liked but because of his ill-mannered ways, I fled and didn’t look back. On our third and final date, we met for breakfast on a Saturday morning. I remember ordering eggs Florentine that came with some sort of potato on the side. He ordered an odd breakfast: salad and fried eggs over easy.

When the food came and we began eating, I had to look away because watching him shovel iceberg lettuce from a fork dripping with egg yolk into his mouth – that he didn’t close while chewing – was a disgusting sight. I was literally put off of my food. I laid my napkin over my plate and what was left of my breakfast.

“Are you going to eat that?” he asked.

“Uh, no,” I replied.

“Mind if I do?”

I should have seen this coming; the second time we saw each other, he came over to cook dinner with me. I keep dried beans, rice, grains, nuts and seeds in jars on a shelf in my kitchen. I had my back turned to him as we chatted and I cooked on the stove. I turned around at the very moment he was about to toss a handful of sunflower seeds he had poured out of one of the jars (without asking) into his mouth.

He didn’t see me again.

Good table manners might

On a first date breakfast with a different fellow, he caught some food in his throat and started coughing. I beckoned the waitress to bring some water for my friend who cleared the block with a sip of water and appreciated my gesture.

I got a second date and I felt classy.

Bad manners can cast a bad light on your person

I had to meet a client in a shopping mall food court one day. Behind my client was a very large man who I couldn’t help but notice as he stuffed mounds of processed food into his greasy mouth, then stuck a fat, oily index finger into his hole to dislodge the food from the inside of his cheeks.

What can I tell you? It was sickening to watch but I found myself unable to tear my eyes away, like I was looking at a car wreck. The state of this man, what he chose to feed himself with and how he administered it made me wonder what he could possibly do for a living. Without meaning to, his bad behaviour made me question his intelligence and his sense of self-worth.

Good manners make us glow

Polite people always leave a good impression; we tend to like people with good manners because they are considerate of us and that makes us feel good; it seems to me that good etiquette breeds trust in other people.

THINK: How do you feel towards the person ahead of you who let the door slam in your face? The woman on the streetcar who offers her seat to an elderly lady?  The man who allowed you in front of him in the grocery store line up because you had fewer items?

Bad table etiquette = employment suicide

I spoke to Catherine Bell, one of Canada’s premier etiquette specialists at Prime Impressions about manners. Catherine says that poor dining skills are the result of either one’s upbringing (where proper dining etiquette was not a priority), or the rejection of what are perceived as empty rules of behaviour that no longer matter. She told the story of a student who blew his chances at post-graduation employment because of his bad manners:

This particular student won an award for his marketing skills at college. At the awards banquet, someone from the marketing company who was giving this young man the award, leaned over to the professor in charge of the class and said that they would not be hiring him. When the mystified professor asked why, the marketing executive said, “It is because he brings his face down to the food, not the food up to his face.”

The job entailed entertaining clients over meals.

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Exercising good manners is a choice. Some people shrug and scoff at etiquette and say, “that’s just the way I am” or “if you don’t like me, you can (fill in the blank)“. Fair enough. But if you decide to reject the etiquette, think about what you’re doing and what you could be losing out on, not to mention the lasting impression you’re leaving on other people.

The way I see it, if a person decides not to exercise polite manners, that individual is waving off consideration for others which ultimately reflects how other people see that person. It also seems an indication of how that person regards himself, like the man in the food court. It’s about respect for others and for oneself – if we don’t respect ourselves, how can we expect anyone else to?

Remember, we only get one chance to make a first impression and if we blow it the first time, we may not get another go at it.

Measuring change with Chuck Woolery

13 Jan

On a dull evening recently, I went searching for entertainment on Youtube, were I found a goldmine of fabulously trashy 80s prime time TV game show episodes hosted by a man I forgot I had a crush on.

Love Connection, where old-fashioned romance meets modern-day technology!

I have watched every available online clip from Chuck Woolery-era  Love Connection episodes (1983 – 1992), and I’ve savoured every minute of it. For those unfamiliar with the US show, the “bachelor” or “bachelorette” tries to make a love connection with their choice of three possible dates, then returns to discuss their date with Chuck.

It is an entertaining show, but I have to admit that sometimes I found it difficult to watch (remember the era): really, really bad hair, middle parts, and mullets; enormous shoulder pads, frosted make up, tinted glasses, Members Only jackets, and lots of creepy moustaches. Young people looked so much older then – up to 20 visual years and more! Through it all, the charming and ever-jovial Chuck Woolery remained suave and handsome in his classic suits, collar bars, and fabulous hair.

Watching these episodes again, I was able to re-swoon on Chuck and it made me notice social and sartorial differences between now and a quarter century ago. Many things have changed since Love Connection was in its hey-day, but a few things have remained the same.


Women’s liberation. The biggest change has been the women’s movement and its social, economic, and sexual influence.  Lonnie recognized it in his Love Connection segment: “Times have changed and women are really assertive now… it catches me off guard when women pat me on the rear end.” (Does everyone see the irony here?) Women on Love Connection were comfortable putting their foot down as Terry says, “Just because I’m holding his hand doesn’t mean I want to hop in bed with him.”

The vast majority of “bachelorettes” on Love Connection were in control of their own lives and exercised their independence save for one. Kathee’s dream was to be just like her mom: “My mom worked 40 hours a week, came home, cooked dinner, had children, cleaned house on weekends. I want to pamper my husband, I want to pamper my mate. They deserve it.” Kathee was a Love Connection anomaly.

$$. When it came to money, Love Connection shed light on some nasty female behaviour: Andrew explained that while out to dinner with a first date, the woman asked to see his wallet, went through it, counted his money and made a snide comment about how much cash he carried (who does that?). Several men complained about dating materialistic women in California. “Women want to know how much you make and what you do, and it just blows my mind,” Rick says. With women splashing in the economic pool and making their own money, expectations of men have changed and relaxed because women can pay their own way. Surely a relief to you single fellas.

Language. Almost all men referred to women as “girls” on the show (including Chuck), though they were clearly addressing grown women. Milton gives us a bizarre example: he said he wanted someone just like his mom: “My mom is a southern type girl, great cook, good morals, family values, and career-minded also.” Southern type girl? How many of you think of your mother as a girl? It’s like thinking of your father as a boy. Odd.

Women’s bodies. It was socially accepted at that time to be blatantly judgemental of women’s bodies and our friends on Love Connection paint the picture: “Maggie has received compliments on almost all parts of her body,” Eric thinks that “there’s no excuse for a woman to be fat.” Michael’s date started with exercise because “it was a good chance for me to get a good look at her body.’ Donald asked Del to walk in front of him so he could see her butt, thinking that “the face wasn’t working but maybe the booty would,” then explained what she wore on their date: “She was wearing a white, see-through skirt, and her butt is kind of big and you could see straight through the skirt, Chuck, and it was like an eclipse.” Ooh, Donald, it burns!

Men will always love to look at women, so that won’t change, but the way men communicate what they see has changed. The fellas on Love Connection kept no secrets:  Rick’s date had a “great body”, Jack noticed Sheila’s “outrageous looking legs”,  Jeff notices the bosom first, Lawrence said that his date had “nice legs, great buns”, and Al said Jane “had all the curves in the right places.” I don’t know about you, but listening to these guys talk about women as body parts makes me feel like a quartered chicken.

Women’s minds. The majority of bachelors mentioned women’s bodies but seldomly a woman’s mind. Lee gives us an example: Chuck introduced him as not liking women who are too smart. “If they know more than I do,” Lee says, “then I’m in trouble.” I’m not so sure that anyone on Love Connection was a genius themselves, but smart women get much more respect now and I know many men who love to be intellectually captivated by women.

Women abusing men. Seeing a snapshot of the 1980s through Love Connection sometimes made me shudder. Here are three instances of women physically abusing men: Jacques, at 6’7, told the story of making a girlfriend mad and she turned into a boxer. “She started punching me. I told her it didn’t work but she was killing me.” Rhonda explained stopping her car on the freeway to yell at the tail-gaiting man behind her, then delighted in her description of getting out of the car, shouting at the man, then hitting him. Then there is Ardreda, “known to hit her dates”: “If my man is looking at another woman, I have to let him know what’s going on, so you’ve got to hit him so he knows he’s your man.” Formerly a cute way of showing her hurt, this is now called assault.


Men and women still have trouble communicating. Sometimes miscommunication happens when people don’t listen. Jim demanded that Cindy come and pick him up (which Cindy didn’t like), then after telling him that she was allergic to fish, he decided that they would have lunch in a fish restaurant. She had a Coke. I believe there was a blood sugar issue later in the date.

I noticed that whenever a woman voiced something negative about the guy, or if he seemed somehow threatened by his date, he automatically got defensive, criticized the woman, and in some cases, tried to shoot insults back (to camoflauge his hurt?). Other times there was hostility between both parties. Mulletted Chris remodeled his car to look like the Batmobile and complained about the size of his date’s thighs, her hair, her “kakamayme directions” and the restaurant she chose (“a roach coach”), while his date, Angela, hurled bombs just as nasty, calling his hair “scraggily” and saying he looked like he lived in the van he picked her up in. When we don’t accept ourselves and other people, we get hostile. No change there.

Good dressers, good manners. Some things never change and being well-dressed and good-mannered will always be appreciated. Many Love Connection women said they like a man who dresses well, like Chuck, whose socks usually match his trousers, but don’t take your dressing cues from any of the Love Connection contestants. Flossy-haired Linda insisted that men’s shirts and socks have to match (I remember this as an 80s thing – please leave it there).

I think that Eric summed it up best when he said, “Women love to see manners on a guy… take her to nice places… I’m going to be the best dressed man for her.” That fellas, is the ticket.

Through shows like Love Connection, we can track our social progress, the change in gender roles, and thankfully, the change of the fashion guard. I appreciate you tuning in today and I offer you a delightful parting gift, better than a year supply Lee Sculptured Nails – two Love Connection clips! Enjoy.

Bad date:

Good date: