Thursday, November 23, 2017

Calling and Shopping Card Etiquette

“The wise woman carries cards with her wherever she goes, for there are many uses for them. Nowadays, she carries shopping cards also, and saves time and trouble when she makes purchases. A neatly engraved card is always in good taste, even when not strictly up to style, but a careful woman is modish in that, as in every other detail of her toilette.” Above ~ Shopping at House of Worth 


Betty Bradeen’s Daily Chat

Sometimes I open letters to find that the desired information would be too late. That happens when social functions are looming up in the near future, and somebody has met a puzzling situation. Generally, such letters ask for information on the subject of visiting cards or notes of acceptance or regret. There are only a few rules governing the etiquette on such occasions, but they are important. Every woman should know them, even though she has no occasion for such knowledge. We learn a good deal which is never put to account, you know. 


When a woman calls upon a new neighbor, she carries a card for each woman in the family and her husband’s cards as well, with one for the masculine head of the house. That is only for the first call; which is returned in like manner, and then the acquaintance is purely a matter of individual choice. The demands of etiquette have been met. Cards are convenient things even after terms of intimacy have been established, for they serve as reminders of visits whigh might be forgotten or might never be known. The wise woman carries cards with her wherever she goes, for there are many uses for them. Nowadays, she carries shopping cards also, and saves time and trouble when she makes purchases. A neatly engraved card is always in good taste, even when not strictly up to style, but a careful woman is modish in that, as in every other detail of her toilette. 

Letters of acceptance or regret are imperative, and shortcomings in this line are never overlooked. The sender of an invitation has a right to expect the courtesy of a reply of some sort — and the nature of the reply has much bearing upon the success of the function. In wedding invitations, the answers are sent to those who issue them, no matter whether there is an acquaintanceship or not. For instance, the parents of a bride send many such to friends of the bridegroom, persons they have never seen, but answers are due them just the same. –Betty Bradeen, 1909

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Some Thanksgiving Courtesy

“Courtesy goes far beyond the dictates of etiquette, for the generous, perceptive heart has its own codes. The man who never saw a salad fork or held a tea cup may be more instinctively courteous than a nobleman. Courtesy is a facile tool that can smooth the most difficult situations, as I discovered one Thanksgiving.” 

More Than Etiquette 

Often people think of courtesy as a synonym for etiquette. Yet courtesy goes far beyond the dictates of etiquette, for the generous, perceptive heart has its own codes. The man who never saw a salad fork or held a tea cup may be more instinctively courteous than a nobleman. Courtesy is a facile tool that can smooth the most difficult situations, as I discovered one Thanksgiving. 

I had been invited to dinner by a friend who lived in a mountain village in New Hampshire. There was all the nostalgia of the season, even to a horsedrawn sleigh from the station and a ride through snowy woods to the farmhouse. As the family gathered around the fireplace before dinner we heard a car pull up, then a knock at the door. But it wasn’t an expected guest. It was Uncle Jonathan, whom no one had seen for eight years and no one wanted to see. His arrogance and selfishness had estranged him from everyone in town, including his family. 

Some of the family bridled and there were exchanges of angry glances. His sudden appearance could have been tensely embarrassing, but no one was so rude as to question his presence there or make him feel awkward or unwelcome. After dinner as we sat in the firelight, he offered a pathetic little excuse for his coming. “I was just passing by (on a wooded path that led nowhere) and since it was Thanksgiving, I . . . I . . “We're so glad you came,” his sister said. “Really?” The bravado suddenly left him. “I was so lonely,” he admitted humbly. Then, embarrassed, he rose, a big man forlorn as a lost child. As he started toward the door, I begged the family silently, “Do something, say something. This calls for more than etiquette or he'll be lost forever.” 

He was putting on his coat when his eldest brother detained him. “No rush, Jonathan. Why don’t you stay on at least through Christmas?” Courtesy had saved the day. The traditions of graciousness had kept open the lines of communication so that the family’s problems were smoothed out, and eventually solved. Empathy, imagination, tact, are all ingredients of courtesy which the dictionary defines as “gracious politeness . . . a considerate act or remark.” But Ralph Waldo Emerson penetrated to the very heart of the word when he wrote, “Love is the basis of courtesy.” – By Elizabeth Byrd, in The Madera Tribune, 1965



Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Etiquette and Giving Thanks

Sending gratitude and Thanksgiving greetings to all of our Etiquipedia Etiquette Encyclopedia readers


Thanksgiving Quotes 


• “Many of the guests will eventually leave the table to watch football on television, which would be a rudeness at any other occasion but is a relief at Thanksgiving and probably the only way to get those people to budge." Judith Martin (Miss Manners) 

• “There can be no etiquette prescribed for the players in a football game ... But the people who are watching the game must observe a certain good conduct, if they wish to he considered entirely cultured. For instance, even though the game becomes very exciting, it is bad form to stand up on the seats and shout words of encouragement to the players. But many, who claim to be entirely well-bred, do this very thing!” - Lillian Eichler 

• “We recommend that no one eat more than two tons of turkey - that's what it would take to poison someone.” - Elizabeth Whelan, on the levels of toxins and carcinogens in holiday meals, U.S. News and World Report 

• “We, thine unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us, and to all men; We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life but above all for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.” - from The Book of Common Prayer 

• “For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped. For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped. For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb. For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!” - Unknown 


From The Coronado Eagle, 2003

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

A Thanksgiving Etiquette Tale

Circumstances alter cases in matters of etiquette... At the end of the Thanksgiving dinner a few days afterward, Edith was observed looking hopelessly at a last bit of pudding on her plate.

It’s Not So Easy, Edith

Circumstances alter cases in matters of etiquette, as well as in the more important affairs of life. Little Edith, visiting in the country, was much interested in an old lady, who, when a plate of fruit was passed her at an evening party, replied: “Thank you, I don't care for any now, but I should like to put an apple in my pocket to take home.” At the end of the Thanksgiving dinner a few days afterward, Edith was observed looking hopelessly at a last bit of pudding on her plate. “Can't you finish it dear?” asked a sympathetic auntie. “No.” replied she, with a sigh, “Not now, but I should like, if you please, to put it in my pocket to eat this evening.” — Youth’s Companion, 1891


Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

Etiquette In Early America

Depiction of Thanksgiving at Plymouth Colony

At Plymouth Colony standards of deportment were established from readings of the poet Richard Braithwait's The English Gentleman and Description of a Good Wife, (1619). From the beginning, American society struggled with questions of identity, debating whether to create a uniquely American code of etiquette or merely to perpetuate the customs of the mother country. Eleazar Moody's School of Good Manners, (1715) did little to differentiate New Englander's manners from those of their cousins in Britain.
Depiction of a Mandan Feast 

A Mandan Feast ~ "The simple feast which was spread before us consisted of three dishes only, two of which were served in wooden bowls, and the third in an earthen vessel of their own manufacture, somewhat in shape of a bread-tray in our own country. This last contained a quantity of pem-I-can and marrow fat; and one of the former held a fine brace of buffalo ribs, delightfully roasted; and the other was filled with a kind of paste or pudding, made of the flour of the "pomme hlanche", as the French call it, a delicious turnip of the prairie, finely flavored with the buffalo berries, which are collected in great quantities in this country, and used with divers dishes in cooking, as we in civilized countries use dried currants, which they very much resemble." — From “Catlin's Letters and Notes”

Travelers and explorers sometimes encountered customs that, although different from their own, prompted admiration. While living alone among the Mandan, the US artist George Catlin, known for his depictions of Plains Indian life, remarked on the style of dining that allowed sitting cross-legged or reclining with the feet drawn close under the body. He noted that the Indian women gracefully served the diners and reseated themselves in a movement that allowed them modesty and poise at the same time that it left their hands free for lifting and maneuvering dishes. — From Mary Ellen Snodgrass‘s “Encyclopedia of Kitchen History”



Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

French Manners vs American









Comparing the French family reunions with similar affairs at Thanksgiving and Christmas time with us, he said: “There is greater restraint with them than with us, and they do not exhibit the same freedom in throwing off this restraint. There is, however, no cudgeling of brains to find out what to do next, and games are not substituted, as with us, to fill in unoccupied time, of which they are ignorant.” 


Synopsis of a Lecture Recently 
Delivered in New York

“French Manners” was the subject of the lecture by W. C Brownell recently in the Columbia College Saturday morning lectures. The eastern lecture-room in the law school building failed to accommodate the audience. “French conversation,” said Mr. Brownell, “is really conversation, and is practiced for what it is, and not to pass away the time. It is made up of interruptions, and is thus full of epigrams and repartee, is artistic, not utilitarian, and far freer than ours, and is outspoken without being brutal.” 


The speaker, in treating the much discussed question as to the real sincerity of the French people, said: “All are agreed that the French are charming and agreeable, but as to their sincerity we draw the line. They are, however, as sincere as any nation, but it is in a different manner, and includes compliment which never means more than it says, while with us much is inferred from a compliment that is not expressed.” He then spoke of the politeness of the French, and said: “The well-bred man is born, not bred, if the paradox may be permitted. The mass of men have no innate ability for breeding.”

Comparing the French family reunions with similar affairs at Thanksgiving and Christmas time with us, he said: “There is greater restraint with them than with us, and they do not exhibit the same freedom in throwing off this restraint. There is, however, no cudgeling of brains to find out what to do next, and games are not substituted, as with us, to fill in unoccupied time, of which they are ignorant.” — New York Times, 1887



Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Importance of Manners in News

Children should learn to mind by loving word, as well as a harsh word. I don't think they always need to be spoken to harshly. 


School Assignment Makes the News: This 12 Year Old Feels That Manners Are Important
Dear Aunt Laurie: 
From the time children are old enough to understand things they should be taught morals and manners. The children should learn to mind by loving word, as well as a harsh word. I don't think they always need to be spoken to harshly. I have known children to come into the room where their mother was entertaining company and ask her what she was saying. That, I think, is very bad manners.  
When the children are old enough to do work, I think they should be taught to love their mother and father. My mother taught Hazel and me to bake and do housework. Now when she is sick and cannot do the work, it is easy and a pleasure for us to do it. I think a great thing along with manners is to keep your temper. — BEULAH M. FOUST, Seventh grade, Orange Avenue School, 12 years old. — Los Angeles Herald, 1909

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Moderator for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia