Monday, September 13, 2010

What happened to etiquette?

I know there are definitely things about "old-fashioned" etiquette that no one misses. Ladies unable to breathe from tight corsets or practicing their posture by walking around with books on their heads.

But there are some things that etiquette is good for. =)

I once read from Ann Landers or Dear Abby...I can't remember which, that etiquette is there to help society interact.

Most ladies like it when a man opens the door for them. We'll call that chivalry, but it falls under the etiquette umbrella nonetheless.

I teach my students to walk through an open door, but to put their arm on the handle to hold it open for the person behind them. Some children like to try to beat the closing door and dash inside, then the door slams into another person or closes in their face. We don't need a door man, but simply each holding it open for the person behind us.

Sometimes it seems our society or our generation has let etiquette go with the excuse of "This is who I with it."

People are perpetually late to a meeting or event with a predetermined start time. Or invite someone else without asking the host/hostess providing the meal. RSVPs don't seem to mean anything. One might say yes and then no show, say no and then come or simply never reply at all. Have you ever provided a meal for people and had unexpected guests? Or spent money and time only to have fewer people? It's frustrating, isn't it?

I realize this is a soapbox for me, and yes, I'll step off it now.

Oh last thing. I've also noticed that the person being affronted is frowned upon when reacting as if something is wrong. I don't understand that either.

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