One of my recent online addictions has been reading the Emily Post blog (yes, that Emily Post, Miss Manners herself has a blog, in fact she’s been institutionalized). I enjoy reading about all the little nuances and rules of etiquette that I hadn’t known existed before - and I am astounded at how rude some people can be, how too-polite-to-the-point-of-being-a-doormat others are, and how overly-sensitive another bunch can be. Plus there are loads upon loads of rules of etiquette about weddings, gift-giving, introducing people – all these things that are proper to do … yet you don’t have to do any of them … except you do. Makes for some interesting if not mildly confusing reading.
My parents have been pretty good in teaching me general good manners and consideration for other people. But all the nuances of etiquette and how to act in certain situations? I’ve been learning it about the same way that I think most of you have learned it – through observation, trial and error, and plain common sense. I think I do alright, better than most, in fact, because I typically default to playing the "considerate card" if all else fails - what's going to happen, people think I'm too nice? I'm too nice, sometimes.
But I’m certainly no white-gloved debutante. I still give some people heartburn because I live in the south and tend to barrel right into places and open my own doors or do it for others. I don’t know anything about writing the proper thank you letters versus just saying “hey, that was great, thanks." I know enough about table manners so I don't embarass myself, but I ain't having tea with the Queen anytime soon, y'know. I only know enough about social media manners to know not to type in ALL CAPS. ALL THE TIME. And don't drink and tweet.
It’s 2012. Basic good manners aside, how important do you think etiquette still is? Do you think we’ve become too casual in our daily interactions or is it good riddance to all that propriety and formality?
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