Do Manners Still Matter?

December 7, 2011 in Etiquette

I fell in love with the importance of etiquette when I went to cotillion in middle school.  Small things like the proper way to wear a name tag or the order of how to use silverware in a fancy place setting have stuck with me and still come in handy.  When people don’t write thank you notes for gifts I’ve sent them or do other downright rude things, I wonder if manners still matter.  I really like to think that they do and that they make a difference in our friendships, careers and in other areas of life.

Yesterday I went to an event hosted by Gilt City Atlanta to pick up Emily Post’s Etiquette: 18th Edition – Manners for a New WorldPeggy Post, Emily Post’s great-granddaughter-in-law briefly spoke about how kindness and good manners are still in high demand today.   Etiquette is less about formalities than it is about ways we can be courteous to others.

I just started reading the 736 page tome, but here are some things that I’ve learned so far that may come in handy for other single gals:

  • One of my personal pet peeves is being addressed as “Miss” instead of “Ms.”  I asked Peggy Post about this during the Q&A and learned that “Miss” is antiquated and should only be used until age 16 to 18 for women who have never been married.
  • With Christmas right around the corner, know that you should write thank you notes for holiday gifts as soon as possible.  It’s recommended to say “thank you” for Christmas gifts before the start of the New Year.
  • The book has a great section on dating etiquette.  Going on a first date?  You’ll want to avoid talking about your income (or asking about his), your previous relationships or gossiping about mutual friends.
  • Good news for bridesmaids: you don’t technically have to host a bridal shower or bachelorette party.  Bridesmaid duties include paying for your dress and accessories, arranging transportation, buying a wedding gift and attending pre-wedding events, but splitting the cost of a shower isn’t a requirement.  It’s a nice gesture, but the expenses related to other bridesmaid responsibilities makes it okay to admit that you can’t afford to throw a fancy event for the bride.

Do manners still matter to you?

Note: This wasn’t a sponsored post.  I just really love learning about etiquette.

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