April 15, 2008
Etiquette is my reality TV.
As nerdy and stuffy as this might sound, I really enjoy talking about etiquette and manners. Correspondence, fork carriage, waltzing, gift-giving... In my defense, there are certain events in which the etiquette displayed (or not) is the most interesting aspect, such as my Aunt Deb's 60th birthday party, or a wedding of a relative you've met once (at the rehearsal dinner).
I won't try to rival Emily Post, who wrote the Bible of manners. But from my experiences lately, I have learned that etiquette is in desperate need of a resurrection. Here are some of the offenses I've seen recently.
1) If you are, biologically speaking, a man, act like one, and open doors for women, damnit. Especially if she is carrying packages, or an infant.
2) If you are coming out of a building, and someone is entering the same doorway at the same time, hold the door open for them. Otherwise, it becomes this awkward exchange in which the person entering holds the door for the people exiting as if they're royalty in disguise. The only exception is if the people exiting are pushing a stroller, carrying a lot of stuff or elderly.
3) Cell phone conversations do not belong in the following situations: the gym, any restaurant, movies, museums, class, the hospital or any cashier's counter.
4) Everyone should definitely tip wait staff 20% for good service, but as far as food service, that's where it stops. Unless my latte is ready in less than 15 seconds and includes a neck massage, I am not tipping my barista. These tip jars are out of control!
5) You do not hold up a shoe salesperson for 45 minutes, asking for 20 different pairs of shoes in 7, 7.5 and 8 (because you're not, like, totally sure of your size) which you don't even plan on buying. This is help monopolization and it is not OK.
6) If your outfit of choice for the day includes Rutgers sweatpants, a thermal shirt from Old Navy, Uggs and a fleece jacket, you look ridiculous by adding heavy eyeliner, straightened hair and pearls.
7) If I refuse a Lord and Taylor credit card once, do not keep asking me, hoping to change my mind. Persistence in this matter only makes me say "no" more fervently!
8) I have no problem with people using the work copier for a few personal items here and there. After all, I've "borrowed" many stacks of Post-Its. But nobody better dare to make me wait to copy something work related so they can finish the fliers for their garage sale first.
9) If you go to a party or are a guest at someone's house, never go empty-handed.
10) Three words: Please. Thank you.
And for the Lord's sake, do NOT speak with your mouth full!
More to come ;-)