Tag Archives: Esquire Magazine

Things I’ve Learned Along The Way

Hello-hello, friends.  The Princess Consort here striding mikeside while The Princess spends quality time in the dentist’s chair.  When I last saw her she was muttering under her breath about a crown.  How fitting.   I don’t envy the fair Princess today.

While marking the passing of some great people these past few weeks I got to thinking about what I’ve learned in my life.  We all learn at our own pace and are formed by our experiences.  Here are some of my favorites:

1.  In the Big World not everyone gets a ribbon. Seems pretty simple but some people don’t seem to understand that you have to do more than just show up in life.  You’re not in second grade all your life.  There will be days when you will lose.  Be gracious on those days; learn from the experience and do better next time.

2.  Be a gentleman. I can’t speak to being a gentlewoman but I’m sure there are similarities.  Act and dress intentionally.  If you have any questions about being a gentleman consider spending a little cash and picking up this book when it hits the shelves in a couple of days.

Courtesy amazon.com

Courtesy amazon.com

There are any number of excellent guides, including Gentleman’s Quarterly magazine.  Personally, I’ve always enjoyed the rules published each month in Esquire magazine.  The magazine has also put together a compilation book that is well worth reading.  You’ll laugh, cringe and learn.

3.  Treat all people as you’d like to be treated. Hold it a second – isn’t this the Golden Rule?  How often do we snap at someone in a service position?  Or treat them off-handedly?  Anyone who has ever worked in a service or sales position knows exactly what I’m talking about here.  I remember when I was just a young Consort my parents took me to my first “Grown-up” dining experience.  They had reminded me beforehand to be polite to the people who would be bringing us our food and drink.  Mr and Mrs Consort also reminded me to eat and drink everything I was served.  After I drank about five glasses of water they realized the waitperson would fill my water glass and I would drink it down in an effort to be polite.  They gently explained that if I didn’t want any more water I could just say “No, thank you”.  I could say “No” but I had to add “Thank You”.  That lesson stayed with me.  Being polite will take you further and pay more dividends than you might realize.

4.  Money is being printed every single day. You cannot have it all.  If you are money motivated you will eventually become frustrated because enough is never enough.  When I was managing people the largest struggle was with pay scales.   I would hear complaints that “I’m not being paid what I’m worth”.   I would ask the complainer what they decided they were worth and how they came up with that figure.  That would lead to some interesting discussions, often including the classic line “I’d work harder if I were paid more”.  People still ask if I miss managing a large staff.  Gosh, I don’t know.  What do you think?

5.  Celebrate life’s little victories. Every single day things will happen to you, both good and bad.  Shrug off the bad as best you are able.  Hold the good times close in your mind.  You will find that more good is happening to you than bad.  That doesn’t mean you have to become a Pollyanna; this is a tough world in which we live.  What I’m saying is that being a positive person will attract similar people.  They will surround you and support you.  Your setbacks (and there will be plenty) won’t seem quite so monstrous.  Quick example:  The United Way where The Princess and I used to live raised an enormous amount of donations this year despite a 15% unemployment rate and the overall dismal economy.  The donations were overwhelmingly pledging gifts of $20, $10, $5, even $2 a week.  People doing good even though their personal resources were strained.  That positive attitude, that willingness to share, is more prevalent than you might hear.  Life’s little victories add up.

Enough of my introspection.  What lessons have you learned in your life experiences?  Leave a comment and share with us.  After all, we’re friends here.

Now I have to get to the warehouse and pack some boxes.  You’ve been great today and I appreciate your careful attention and willingness to humor the lunatic fringe. The Princess will return tomorrow with news of some great bargains she has found.

As always, I remind you that we have a two-drink minimum today and don’t forget to try the veal.  Take care of your waitperson, they’re working hard for you tonight.  Now relax and enjoy a little musical number by a young guy with a lot of talent… some fellow from New Jersey named Bruce.


Filed under Posts by the Princess Consort, preppy lifestyle

A Testosterone-fueled Thanksgiving & The Worst Gifts Ever

Greetings once again from The Princess Consort.  My lovely bride, whom you all know as The Preppy Princess, is carboloading for her Black Friday Mission.  She has asked me to share some gentlemanly thoughts.  Instead, I thought I’d wander down a different road.

Let’s discuss the turkey many of you are going to attempt to cook for your friends and/or family.  I would hope you bought a fresh bird.  Frozen turkey bears a depressing resemblance to a large white rock.  It can break your foot if you drop it while struggling to get it into your house.  If you are going to go the frozen route be sure to thaw it for about six days before attempting to cook the frigid beast.  Set your oven for about 700 degrees and cook that bird for about 14 hours.  All risk of botulism should be removed once cooking is completed.


Photo: fabulousfoods.com

Another option is to deep-fry your turkey.  This is always enjoyable because you add the risk of burning down your house/garage.  I found some delightful tips on deep-frying a turkey, including the memorable recommendation to keep a fire extinguisher nearby.  That, my friends, is a tip you can use anytime you are cooking.

Now the cooking is done and you’re ready to present your burnt offering at the table for the traditional carving.  Forget that carving set you inherited from Nana.  This is a time to show your loved ones that the Pilgrims had nothing on you when it comes to resourcefulness.


Photo: Stihl

I recommend a Stihl electric chainsaw.  The beauty of electric over gas is that there are no annoyingly noxious fumes.  Use caution to avoid dragging the power cord through the cranberry sauce.  Small price to pay for quiet elegance.  Hey, who wants a leg?

Now that you’ve successfully managed Thanksgiving it’s time to turn your full attention to the pursuit of the perfect gifts.  We won’t deal with that here; we’re going to continue to ride this train completely off the rails.

We begin in Australia.  Ever seen a cane toad?  They are big.  They are memorable.  They were never intended to be purses.  But they are.

Esquire Magazine

Photo: Esquire Magazine

I don’t know how much they cost.  If you are that interested you can go here to find out.  I’m sorry I brought it up.

I’m not sure that can be topped but let’s turn over another rock and see what we find.

Esquire Magazine

Photo: Esquire Magazine

Three Olives Root Beer flavored vodka.  I’ve always insisted that drinking is not for amateurs.  If you are going to imbibe at least be smart about it.  I’m not sure this meets that test.  But if you need a gag gift this certainly should do that.

That seems like a good ending point.  Thank you for your calm patience.  The Princess will return when her credit cards have burnt to a crisp.  Now please sit back and enjoy the musical ramblings of The Amboy Dukes and I’ll return soon.


Filed under preppy

Is That A Suit Or A Sack of Potatoes? Plus, Shine Good; Fire Bad!

Hello again, friends.  I hope you will forgive my being so forward but today I have asked The Princess to indulge me as I clear the air on some troubling issues.  As the Princess Consort I feel it is my obligation to use the bully pulpit you have entrusted to us.

Courtesy AP Photo

Courtesy AP Photo

These are perilous times.  We’re watching the economy implode as decent people are thrown out of their jobs and houses.  In many cases that turmoil is a direct result of knuckleheaded, greedy executives who should know better than to make some of the decisions they’ve been making.  If you are one of the unfortunate thousands who soon will be polishing up the resume and honing those interview skills then it might be a good time to review how you can look your best even when you’re in the middle of a ****storm.  This post is directed to the males; The Princess is better skilled at addressing the females who find themselves in this same unfortunate situation.  We’ll make this short and to the point.

Let’s start with the business suit.  Here is a succinct explanation from Esquire magazine of how your suit should fit.  Your tailor (and you should at least have a passing acquaintance with one) can work wonders for you.

1. Shoulder pads end with your shoulders.

2. Your flat hand should slip easily into your suit under the lapels when the top (or middle) button is fastened. If you put a fist in, the suit should pull at the button.

3. The top button of a two-button suit — or the middle button of a three-button suit — should not fall below your navel.

4. With your arms at your sides, your knuckles should be even with the bottom of your jacket.

5. Jacket sleeves should fall where the base of your thumb meets your wrist.

6. Between a quarter and a half inch of shirt cuff should be visible.

7. One inch of break.

Suit and photo by Ermenegildo Zegna.

Give your tailor a halfway decent suit with which to work.  You can’t go too far wrong in an interview situation while wearing suits from Brooks Brothers or Hickey Freeman.

I have to confess I have a weakness for well-made dress shirts.  I’ve made no secret of my fondness for Charles Tyrwhitt in London.  But a good tailor again can give you a custom look with an off-the-rack shirt.  When I read these tips I shook my head and marveled at the simplicity of it all.  I think you will too.

Lastly, shine your shoes.  I know it’s a cliche but a shoe polished to a mirror finish will make a lasting impression.  Someone once told me the only way to achieve a high gloss was using fire.  Not necessarily so.  You’ll have to work at it but after reading this step-by-step guide from our friends at the BBC you’ll be willing and able to put the finishing touches on your overall look.

You’ll look great.  Anybody would be fortunate to have someone as well put together as you join their firm.  Soon you’ll be facing the decision of whether or not they deserve you.

Thank you for your time and attention.  Now please enjoy the musical stylings of The Troggs and remember we have two-for-one drink specials until 9pm.


Filed under preppy