Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Mid-20th C. Etiquette Advice

Question... Due to the fact that I was working during the day and very busy at night getting our new home in order, I was unable to acknowledge all of our wedding gifts. Is it all right to write "thank you” notes now, six months after the wedding? 

Mid-20th Century 
"Modern Etiquette"
By Advice Columnist, Roberta Lee

From 1941

Q. When a bride is to be married in a traveling suit, what should the bridegroom wear?
A: A business suit.

Q. What is the best way to ask a girl for a dance?
A. "May I have the next dance?"

Q: May one use a lead pencil for writing a social or business letter
A. Not unless one is ill and writing the letter in bed.

From 1951

Q. Is it considered good manners to supply a word which seems to elude another person who is speaking? 
A. It is perhaps a friendly service if the speaker is a foreigner—but it most certainly should never be done with a countryman. 

Q. When a woman has been introduced to you as “Alice Young,” how do you know whether to address her as Mrs. Young or Miss Young? 
A. The only thing to do is to ask her, unless there is someone else nearby whom you can ask.

From 1953


Q. Is it all right for a hostess to mail invitations to a cocktail party on her calling cards? 
A. Yes; on the lower lefthand side, opposite the address may be written: "Saturday, July eighteenth, Cocktails at five o’clock." 

Q. Is it bad manners to eat candy or popcorn in a theater? 
A. Society used to frown upon this practice. However, today’s motion picture theater is just about as much in the popcorn and candy business as in its presentation of films, and the practice is now condoned. Eat as noiselessly and unobtrusively as possible. 

Q. When one is to have a small wedding in the minister's home, is it all right to send out wedding announcements
A. Yes.

From 1955


Q. Should the hostess lead the way to the table at a luncheon, or usher her guests into the room and then follow them? 
A. The hostess should lead the way, and then designate the proper seating arrangement. 

Q. Is it proper to write an anonymous letter of protest or criticism to a newspaper or to a columnist. 
A. This is not only considered ill-bred, but it is a cowardly thing to do. One should always have enough courage in one’s convictions to sign the letter. 

Q. Is it proper for a married woman to send a gift in her name only to a bride? A. No; she should always include her husband’s name. 

Q. What kind of decoration should be used for the breakfast party table? 
A. A bowl of fruit is customary, although flowers may be used too. 

Q. Is it now considered good manners to use a toothpick at the table? Lately I have seen this done by people of apparent refinement. 
A. The rules remain unchanged. Toothpicks should never be seen in use, at the table or anywhere else. 

Q. In what manner should friends be invited to a christening? 
A. By telephone or informal note.

From 1956

Q. Where do the relatives of the deceased sit during the funeral service at the church? 
A. The relatives occupy the front pews on the right of the center aisle. 

Q. When one’s partner has unwittingly given information about his hand during the progress of a bridge game, what should one do? 
A. Disregard it. Under no circumstances should one take advantage of such information, as this would not onty be bad manners, but poor sportsmanship. 

Q. Due to the fact that I was working during the day and very busy at night getting our new home in order, I was unable to acknowledge all of our wedding gifts. Is it all right to write "thank you” notes now, six months after the wedding? 
A. Thanks at this time are better than no thanks at all. And it would be nice to state the reason for the delay.From The Madera Tribune

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