The Plaza Hotel’s Etiquette Expert Is Coming to Boston

Myka Meier, the founder and director of Beaumont Etiquette, will be teaching classes on business, dining, and social etiquette later this month at the Fairmont Copley Plaza.

Myka Meier holds up a fork and knife

Photo provided by Fairmont Copley Plaza

After a 30-minute conversation with etiquette expert Myka Meier, I’m convinced I’ve lived my entire life badly.

With my tweet-addled brain and inability to distinguish a friendly handshake from the business variety, I have surely insulted people on the T, inside my favorite restaurant, during a recent Duck Boat tour, and, realistically, at any time I have not been entirely alone.

And I had no idea until our chat.

Luckily, like a superhero with a finely-pressed cape, Meier wants to help. After studying at etiquette schools in the United Kingdom and with a former member of the Royal Household of Her Majesty the Queen, Meier set up shop at New York City’s Plaza Hotel, where she leads a finishing program covering everything from perfect posture to perfect thank you cards. And later this month, she’s bringing her wisdom to Boston with two classes on social, business, and dining etiquette.

On June 19 and June 20 at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, Meier, whose New York-based tutorials have sold out time and again, will offer tips and tricks on how not to be the worst person at networking events, business meetings, dinner parties, and dates. The lessons will cover everything from how many courses to order at lunch (the same number as your client or guest), to the one question you absolutely shouldn’t start a conversation with (so, what do you do?).

But this isn’t your grandmother’s etiquette class. Meier is the matriarch of modern manners, and the courses will be taught within the context of 2018, tackling issues like who pays on a date, why “ladies first” is an antiquated phrase, and how to be polite when communicating digitally.

“Modern etiquette is much less gender-specific,” Meier says. “We’re in a time where complimenting someone on their body at work is no longer appropriate. We talk about that in the businesses class. We talk about cell phone etiquette, email etiquette, social media etiquette. It’s all considered modern etiquette.”

There’s no concrete rulebook for how to act on Instagram, and Meier has become the de-facto authority on contemporary manners. When paving new etiquette pathways, she says compassion is key. And while the upcoming courses are certainly rife with information for millennials, Meier says they aren’t restricted to young adults. The classes will include lessons—from holding a fork to holding a conversation—that are applicable at any age. And though Meier admits that the subject matter may seem stuffy and inaccessible, that assumption couldn’t be further from the truth.

“Etiquette is really about respect and kindness, and that should come across [more] than perfect posture, or which fork and knife to grab on the table,” Meier says. “It’s much more about thinking of others first. It’s a ‘team kindness’ message.”

Beaumont Etiquette at the Fairmont Copley Plaza, 138 St. James Ave., Boston; June 19 and June 20, $125,