I was reading through the October issue of Vanity Fair and I was astounded to read that two-thirds of Americans have no clue who Emily Post was. This was shocking to me but in some ways it makes me wonder about many things.
|Lindsay Lohan on the cover|
When I was in fifth grade (public school), etiquette was a part of the curriculum. Did anyone else have etiquette classes in school? In these classes we learned basic table manners, how to introduce people, how to answer the phone, restaurant tips (seriously), etc. There are illustrations from our book that I still remember to this day. My older brother went to a different elementary school and the year they had their etiquette classes, they also had ballroom dancing classes once a week. My school didn't have that but I would have loved it! When I was in junior high, I took a charm class. Charm classes were offered through a local department store or our recreation department. It was in the charm school girls learned how to sit, walk and get in and out of cars. My husband and I laugh about this all the time because I need lessons in getting in and out of low-lying cars and SUVs!!!
In my husband's family they lived more formally so there weren't need for lessons. They did and still do have "protocol" for nearly every facet of daily living. It is something about my husband and his family that I've always appreciated. The dress code when visiting is a little more formal but I love it!
|One of the salons in my mother-in-law's home|
In the office, we frequently have business etiquette consultants who remind everyone in the workplace what is appropriate office behavior. It's funny but this summer one of our interns wouldn't answer his phone when anyone called him but if he did his response was "yep."
It is also amazing to me that RSVP has lost its meaning. I can't tell you how many times when getting ready for events at work or parties at home, I'm guessing the head count. These days people are less likely to respond to an invitation.
Let's not forget electronic device etiquette - driving and texting, in the checkout line, a restaurant, hair salon or doctor's office all while talking on the cell. And call waiting drives me crazy. How often has it happened that someone calls you and then says, "Oh, I'm getting another call - hold on a minute." Is all of this necessary?
Etiquette (pronounced [,eti'ket]) is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.
Guess some of these new behaviors are just another part of "the new norm."