Post # 31
The things that bother me the most are the ones that can harm people. Not trying to limit spreading your germs when sick, touching food/switching up utensils etc. in a buffet, causing cross contact when someone is allergic, ignoring scent policies especially in medical settings, smoking by the doors to a hosptial.
Post # 32
The one etiquette breach that truly makes me cringe, is the application of some gem of book-learned etiquette, that is being applied in defiance of all local community norms so that the friends and family are left utterly at sea regarding how to respond, since all their expectations of “how things are done” have been violated. The whole purpose of etiquette is to ease social relationships by letting people know what to expect. Samuel Wells, one of America’s early etiquette authors wrote:
- You must conform, to such an extent as not to annoy and give offense, to the customs, whether in dress or other matters, of the circle in which you move. This conformity is an implied condition in the social compact. It is a practical recognition of the right of others, and shows merely a proper regard for their opinions and feelings. If you can not sing in tune with the rest, or on the same key, remain silent. You may be right and the others wrong but that does not alter the case. Convince them, if you can, and bring them to your pitch, but never mar even a low accord.
So when some bride writes “Everyone in our combined circle does <insert practice here> and feels let down if it is omitted, but I won’t do it because it’s ‘not etiquette'” I have to wonder, whom are they trying to please? Me? Why on earth would they want to please some internet stranger(s) at the cost of alienating their grandma or their future mother-in-law?
It is bad enough if their book-learned etiquette is some bit of standard protocol. Then, at least, their guests can consult Miss Manners, or get a copy of Amy Vanderbilt’s “Guide to Gracious Living” from the library, or dust off their 1922 copy of Emily Post; figure out what is expected from them. But if it is some piece of internet-created etiquette misapplication, their poor guests will have to track down whatever internet site their hostess has been brain-washed by, in order to understand what is going on. Worse is when the particular etiquette gem that they have adopted becomes their reason for finger-pointing and feeling superior to their kith and kin, and worst of all is when they lace their finger-pointing with coarse and vulgar language because “I’m not etiquetting right now.”
Your wedding manners should be the highest standard of manners that are practiced in your everyday life and in the circles where you move, not some phony put-on style that turns the most meaningful event in your life to date into an exercise in play-acting. Your courteous behaviour should flow from a generosity of spirit, resulting in the classic double-standard of etiquette: the highest possible standard being the one to which you hold yourself; and the most generous degree of tolerance and understanding informing the standards you hold for everyone else.
Post # 33
I love it (not) when you’ve clearly delineated who is invited on the invation and inner envelope, and then you get the response card back with those guests’ names, plus four others that they’ve hand-written in themselves? Awesome!