Look at my featured photo, which is the cover of “Excuse Me, But I was Next…” by Peggy Post. See that guy? The big one in the plaid jacket? He’s pushing past everyone in line. He looks dastardly, doesn’t he? He IS dastardly! And RUDE! I ran into him today. Well, in my car. Let me explain…
About a mile from home, the main street has closed one lane for construction, so there is only one lane available where there normally are two. The lane closes immediately after a traffic light that is blinking red. So, blink – one car from the left lane goes through, one car from the right lane goes and pulls behind car one into the lane that is allowing traffic – the cars behind stop at the light. Blink – one car from the left lane, one from the right, the cars behind stop. Blink – the car to my left goes, I go … and WHAT IS THIS? Another guy in his fancy-smancy Escalade follows the first guy and cuts me off as I’m moving over! What the holy hell? I almost died! Well, not actually, since we were going a grand total of 3 miles and hour. But seriously… what the hell? Right?
What has happened to manners?
You may be too young to remember Emily Post, but if you follow this link, you will find out everything there is to tell. I actually bought this book several (sheesh, it might actually be ten!) years ago. I remember talking about it to some co-workers who asked me what year it was… har har… cuz… yeah… nobody follows this stuff anymore, do they?
Well, uh… *shrug*… I do. I mean, I try.
Do you send thank you cards? And by that I mean, in the actual mail? I used to – without fail. I’ve gotten lazy, opting for a text or email instead. I don’t like it. Not one bit!
Manners (and etiquette) is so much more than that… and it’s where this book comes to the rescue to fill the gap. Call it a guidebook, handbook or reference book… they’d all fit. Just open to the contents, find the heading you need and you’ll see a Q & A and page number, go there, read, learn and apply. The questions go from simple… to complex.
From conversational blunders to email bloopers to sneezing at work to how long to visit an ailing friend in the hospital, this book covers it all.
At this point you may be thinking … Sheryl, what is this? 1912?
Listen, I’m not alone in this. In fact, this book tells us that through the Emily Post Website (also linked above) they receive thousands of questions each month. They’ve also partnered with print and online venues who receive the same questions through their websites… but more interestingly, in writing and in person, during book tours, bridal shows, seminars and children’s manners workshops. <<< Um, tell me this wouldn’t be fantastic for children?
Manners may seem out of style. We certainly see examples of it every day! On the road, as was my experience today, for sure… but also in offices and homes across the nation and beyond. Not to make it sound so sweeping… but it is, kinda. Gone are the days, eh?
But it doesn’t have to be that way! We can change it. We can reach out, thank, take our time, allow someone to go first, hold a door, smile, leave a tip, and learn the little things like which leftovers should be left at home instead of brought to the office for a re-heat (hint: broccoli). This little gem has it all.
Is some of it out-dated? Well, of course. I say that with a little grimace because… is it? Yes and no. Is being a gracious guest outdated? How about all those people who talk loud on their cell phones in public places? That may seem like a misdemeanor these days but is it? Isn’t just as rude as it was when people began doing it… oh, back in the 90’s? It is, right? I mean, I’ve done it. Don’t get me wrong. I think I won’t from now on.
Anyway, this is a great little book and fun to read.
PS: Did you know it’s best to prick the skin of a cherry tomato with your fork and then pop it your mouth whole? Don’t try to cut it! It could squirt, fly from your plate into yours or someone’s lap or cause some other catastrophe! You’re welcome!