May 27, 2009

Delicate Etiquette

I was reading a cool blog/website called "The Art of Manliness" and came across a post that listed a bunch of etiquette rules from a book called "Hill’s Manual of Social and Business Forms" published in 1880. (Read the full post here.)

The article lists a ton of examples of things a gentleman in 1880 was to do or not to do. Below I have listed a few of my favorites with commentary in italics where possible:
  • Never exaggerate. Oops. I always exaggerate about everything.
  • Never laugh at the misfortunes of others. Sorry, it's kind of how I make part of my living.
  • Never give a promise that you do not fulfill. Gulp.
  • Never send a present, hoping for one in return. This is why I don't send presents.
  • Never speak much of your own performances. Instead, ask people how you did.
  • Never fail to be punctual at the time appointed. Guilty.
  • Never make yourself the hero of your own story. We all know this guy, right?
  • Never fail to give a polite answer to a civil question.
  • Never question a child about family matters. Especially our children. They know too much.
  • Never present a gift saying that it is of no use to yourself. Sorry I gave you that copy of "Jack" directed by Francis Ford Coppola.
  • Never call attention to the features or form of anyone present. Bella ...
  • Never associate with bad company. Have good company, or none. Poison or Warrant is, however, just fine.
  • Never look over the shoulder of another who is reading or writing. Aidan ...
  • Never appear to notice a scar, deformity, or defect of anyone present. Bella and Aidan ...
  • Never punish your child for a fault to which you are addicted yourself. If I can't say bitchface, then you can't say bitchface.
  • Never answer questions in general company that have been put to others. Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!
  • Never, when traveling abroad, be over boastful in praise of your own country. U-S-A, U-S-A!
  • Never attempt to draw the attention of the company constantly upon yourself. Have you ever been in a room full of theater students?
  • Never exhibit anger, impatience or excitement, when an accident happens. Impossible not to do one of these things. Do YouTube accidents count? (Thanks, Eric, for the link.)
  • Never enter a room noisily; never fail to close the door after you, and never slam it.
  • Never will a gentleman allude to conquests which he may have made with ladies.
  • Never fail to offer the easiest and best seat in the room to an invalid, an elderly person, or a lady.
  • Never give all your pleasant words and smile to strangers. The kindest words and the sweetest smiles should be reserved for home. Home should be our heaven. Amen.
Which old-time customs, etiquette and rules would you like to see more abundantly in 2009?


Hailey said...

Definitely the reading over peoples' shoulders one! I can't STAND it when people do that, and Ben and Mila do it to me every day.

Also, could we do an improvised play where we try to follow all these rules, and as we break them, we cross them off one by one? It could be an "1880's Challenge."

Also, my word verification is "unmen"

The Bakers said...

I'd like see hats for the men and dresses for the ladies return...such a lovely time where people had time to take the time.

wamackintoshfam said...

Brett! You have a blog. Sweet!! It's Mandy from the gym. We hope to see you there. :) I have a blog that I am still learning how to do. Not as cool as yours. Talk to you soon. Mandy :)