Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Miss Manners

This site has great rules on manners and etiquette from a bygone era. The wording and most of the social code is outdated, making the standards of the time seem almost foreign. Really, though, the thing that makes it the most old-fashioned, is that in this world in which we live it seems, at times, that no one has any common sense at all regarding manners!

I love this kind of stuff and can read it all day! This entry is about staying to the right on a sidewalk and not blocking others behind you. The principles are still relevant and can also apply to today's road hogs who drive slow in the left lane.

My favorite paragraph, so far, has to do with table manners :

"Some men, who should know better (and some women, too) forget that the mouth be should be kept closed while mastication is going on. This is a very important matter. Nature teaches us to keep the mouth open, as any one may see from the way in which children and uncultivated persons eat, but good manners enjoin upon us that to adopt the natural mode is to disgust and annoy those with whom we sit at meat. If these little things have not been learned in childhood, it is difficult to master them afterwards. Mothers should teach their boys (and girls) never to speak while food is in the mouth, and never to drink until it is quite empty. Who would not be mortified if he were to choke ignominiously at the dinner-table?"

(Boldface mine) I love how they come right out and call chomping "disgust(ing) and annoy(ing!)" It's great!

Here's another brilliant tidbit I will keep in mind next time I go out drinking. (Again, I have boldfaced the important parts.):

"The girl who drinks too much is no more of a problem than the man who guzzles too freely. Most girls agree however that the difficulty is not, as they may have been led to believe in their impressionable budding girlhood, one of protecting their honor. They hear stories of innocent maidens set upon by drunken brutes and wonder, because this sort of thing always seems to happen to other people, never to them. It's the boys who stay sober who bear watching. As for their own reactions to liquor, some women admittedly become somewhat amorous when drinking. The girl who realizes this fatal tendency within herself has to keep on the double qui vive. She doesn't worry half as much about the man as she worries about herself. If she can handle her own affectionate proclivities, she won't have any trouble managing his. If not, she may awaken in the stark light of dawn to recall the night before with discomfiture and embarrassment, ardently wishing that someone would arise from the earth to bear her off, as Pluto carried Proserpine. Nothing will come of it. It is much better for her to keep reminding herself while drinking that the man didn't look half as attractive before she had that fourth Manhattan."

See, they knew about beer goggles even in the 40's! Most importantly, we are clearly encouraged to get loaded as long as we watch out for the slimy boys possibly carrying mickeys/roofies. Now, that's etiquette I am happy to follow!

Off now to discover more of la politesse!


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