Crawfish boil etiquette: Do you suck the head?

Happy Monday, readers! Or at least we hope it’s a happy one. Today, we are visiting the crazy world of crawfish boils, because it’s crawfish season. Check out these hot, spicy “mudbugs”:

Crawfish boil

Admittedly, not everyone likes crawfish or can even fathom trying it. But if you are game, here are a couple of rules of the road:


Use your hands, dig in and get dirty

Twist off the tail, pull the meat out of the shell and dip it in some melted butter

“Suck the head,” if that’s your thing. Exhibit A:

Sucking the head is not for the weak. No beard required.

Enjoy a cold beer. We recommend the Louisiana brand, Abita. Exhibit B (for beer):

Cold Abita Amber


Spatter your neighbors with juice

Cherry pick for only the biggest “bugs” (guilty)

Waste the crawfish (for example, tossing it if you don’t get a good crack)

Act prissy, after all you are supposed to use your hands and get dirty. UPDATE: Exhibit C (Your hostess Melanie demonstrating how not to twist off the tail):

Don't act prissy. Photo courtesy Paige Tomas.

Remember, a crawfish boil is a communal affair, so bring a friend, belly up and get ya some bugs!

Do you have any crawfish do’s or don’ts to share? Share in comments.


Elizabeth Taylor dies at 79

Taylor photographed for Argentinean Magazine in 1947

Ms. Elizabeth Taylor died today at 79. She was an icon of style and grace. Click here for the brief New York Times obituary and here for a robust Wikipedia entry about the Academy Award winning actress.

Rest in Peace Ms. Taylor.



Gossip girls

We have a confession to make to you today kind readers. We are absolutely the worst gossips on the planet here at Re-find. We aren’t proud of it, but alas it’s true. Thankfully, our affliction doesn’t cross over to telling things told to us in confidence, so your secret truly is safe with us. But we love to dish with friends about celebs and — we’re so sorry — regular folks in our orbit. Why are we confessing it? Because we are resolving to stop so much darned gossiping in 2011.

"Gossip" by Norman Rockwell

We blame it on being a reporter, but we know that’s just a convenient excuse. Gossip at its best is frivolous and at its worst, unkind and you know how much we dislike unkindness. That said, we came across this really funny quote about gossip while preparing for this blog entry:

“It’s perfectly monstrous the way people go about nowadays saying things against one, behind one’s back, that are absolutely and entirely true,” Oscar Wilde

We are shaking our heads at ourselves as we type!

Interestingly, studies over the past five years have yielded interesting results, such as that men gossip more than women and that gossip is only about 5 percent malicious, which you can read more about in a 2009 article from the N.Y. Daily News.

Are you a gossip? Would you, could you give it up? We promise, we won’t tell anyone.



Use your words

Yesterday, we discussed starting off the year by writing thank you cards to those who gave us an unexpected gift during the holidays. Today, we offer another resolution: Why not resolve to leave the locker room talk in the locker room? A dirty mouth just isn’t pretty. Exhibit A:

Dirty mouth!

We’ve touched on this subject in the past, but feel it bears repeating. There was a time when those of us at Re-find didn’t mind f-bomb laden discourse. After all, we’ve worked in newsrooms for years. We’d wave off apologies from the men who normally tried to watch their mouths around a lady, but let a dirty word slip. We’d laugh when our girlfriends let the four letter words fly. In fact, we confess, we’d jump right on into the gutter with everyone else.

But, as the years roll on, we are trying to clean up our language. Old habits die-hard, but we know the impact of words and we think it’s important to be mindful of what we say — especially in mixed company. Also, we find ourselves becoming slightly put off when the men in our world see fit to talk like sailors, with no regard to the fact that they are in the company of ladies. Frankly, we think men are probably put off as well when we revert to our potty mouth ways. Let’s face it, cursing is just not becoming for either sex.

At the heart of the matter, don’t we all want to be treated with respect in thoughts, words and actions?

This year, let’s use our (clean) words.

That said, don’t let us put words into your mouth, however clean. What do you think about cursing? Does it matter? Do you feel disrespected or put off by it? Ladies, is it a way in business to show that you can hang with the boys? Gentlemen, do you care if your lovely lady has a dirty mouth?



Celebrate kindness

Hello and happy 2011!

After a short hiatus, we are back and ready to celebrate the many ways we can spread kindness and good manners.

First, let’s bid adieu to 2010, with this symbolic photo:


Bye-bye 2010


Now, it’s time to tackle the etiquette, style and grace issues of this brave new year. The No. 1 order of business, thank you notes.

We are fortunate enough to have received gifts from a few friends and acquaintances from whom we didn’t expect a thing. It’s so important to acknowledge these kindnesses, whether or not you intend to reciprocate. To make this task more enjoyable, we recommend you pour a cup or glass of your favorite bevvy, find the pen you most enjoy using and dig out that lovely paper you have tucked away for just this sort of thing. You might even want to light a scented candle, who are we to judge?

Simply thank the giver, tell them how you have used or intend to use the item and sign it with your usual salutations. For example,

Dear Sally,

The gorgeous scarf you gave me for Christmas is an absolute hit! It complimented my various holiday ensembles so well, I wore it to nearly every fete. Thank you so much for thinking of me amidst the hustle and bustle of the season.

With love,


It’s really just that simple and what with your delicious couple of glasses glass of wine, it was also a treat.

May your 2011 be filled with many treats and even more reasons to say thank you.




Holiday hiatus

Dear readers, we haven’t forgotten about you. We are however overwhelmed with wonderful day-job related duties at the newspaper and other holiday happenings, so look for us to return in the new year with all of the etiquette chat, advice and news you can stand. Until then, enjoy the season no matter how or what you celebrate and remember, be kind to friends and strangers.



The days of wine — er G and Ts — and rose-colored Polos

The day is nearly upon us, so just a reminder that Oct. 18, we’ll be in Austin, Texas for the Texas Book Festival, to moderate the author session for “True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World,” written by Lisa Birnbach (of the iconic “The Official Preppy Handbook”) and designed by Chip Kidd.

To read the Re-find hostess’s piece on the book and interview with Birnbach that published today in the Austin American-Statesman, click here.

As I’ve mentioned, the new book is a sequel to the book that launched a million pairs of Sperry Top-Sider’s and will let us in on what Muffy has been up to all these years. It includes a chapter on etiquette, of course and loads of information on preptastic style.

The session is 12:30 to 1:15 p.m., in room E2.010 at the Texas State Capitol.

Join us at the festival!



To reply all, or not to reply all?

Today we offer a quick tip regarding e-mail etiquette. This post stems from a reader who requested that we post about when (and when not) to use reply all.

As a rule of thumb, just say no. Most of us already get more than enough e-mail we don’t need or want, so decide who needs to see the response, and reply only to that person or group. This is especially important when offering your two cents or witty response to a joke e-mail. One never knows who might be on that thread and who among them might be offended by your humor.

It’s a lot easier to forward your response after the fact to whomever you may have missed, than to try to un-send something you may not have wanted to share with everyone in your family/office/fantasy football league.