Monday, November 5, 2012

The Rules

My mother has, on a decorative end table, an old green, scuffed, soft leatherbound book.  The writing's nearly worn off the cover, and the binding is completely illegible.

I sat down one day, bored out of my skull, and picked it up to start thumbing through the pages of Emily Post's Guide to Etiquette, published in 1922.  I chuckled over some of the seriously outdated material:

  It is doubtful if he who carries a solitaire ring enclosed in a little square box and produces it from his pocket upon the instant that she says “Yes,” exists outside of the moving pictures!

WHO was it that said—in the Victorian era probably, and a man of course—“The only mechanical tool ever needed by a woman is a hair-pin”? He might have added that with a hair-pin and a visiting card, she is ready to meet most emergencies. (I've always considered myself "ready to meet most emergencies" when armed with a good mani/pedi, a strong drink, and a fierce blowout...)

Do not attract attention to yourself in public. This is one of the fundamental rules of good breeding. Shun conspicuous manners, conspicuous clothes, a loud voice, staring at people, knocking into them, talking across anyone—in a word do not attract attention to yourself. (Emily Post would be spinning in her grave if she met the cast of The Jersey Shore...)
There WERE a few items that I thought still were applicable to modern day:
 A man is a cad who tells anyone, no matter who, what his wife told him in confidence, or describes what she looks like in her bedroom. ("Don't kiss and tell!")
If children see temper uncontrolled, hear gossip, uncharitableness and suspicion of neighbors, witness arrogant sharp-dealing or lax honor, their own characters can scarcely escape perversion. (Apples don't fall far from trees!)
THIS one, I can't decide if it's outdated, or still the best sage advice one can heed:
NEVER discuss politics and religion with friends/on a first date/at a dinner party.
And NaBloPoMo's prompt for today is just that: politics and thoughts on the upcoming election.
I used to be unaware and ignorant of any candidate's stance, political party, and platforms.  The farther I might have ever gotten into "politics" were the platforms chosen by beauty pagaents ("WORLD PEACE!")
I am still somewhat ignorant: I always forget whether Democrats are red or blue, and if Republicans are Donkeys or Elephants... (my mom failed at her memory tricks - something like, "remember - elephants are BLUE, and neither word has an R in it, so they're for Republicans...." huh?!)
I can tell you all about the memes from this year's race...
So my thoughts on tommorrow's election for the next leader of the free world??
I just hope that the east coast is accurately represented - I hope that people can find it in themselves to get to polls, despite loss of house and home.  It is an important day, with an important decision to make.

**Personal stuff - 4DPO here, hope is distant on the horizon and I'm thinking I'll let myself POAS a little earlier than normal - this coming sunday at 10DPO...

Also, E's grandfather passed away yesterday after an 8 day struggle (that was in all actuality a 7 year struggle after his stroke...)  We'll be at wakes (and inbetween meals) tomorrow from 1:30 til 9, with the funeral on Wednesday... apologies for any absences, I may have to triple up on NaBloPoMo on Thursday...

1 comment:

  1. I think anyone that took one single look at me from the 1920's would gasp at how unladylike I am. I would love to read that book though!

    I'm sorry for E and your loss btw. Good luck tomorrow, wakes/funerals are always super hard for me.