Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Pepper Spray Etiquette

My husband Cliff wanted us to both be safe, so he bought us each pepper spray. I wanted us both to be safe, so I never took mine out of the package.

If you have never experienced pepper spray, or are thinking about carrying some pepper spray for safety, or simply trying some out just to see what it's like, the following are a few etiquette rules one should follow:


 
1. If you feel you must have pepper spray with you, put it in a safe place where it cannot accidentally be sprayed. A safe place would be any place a child cannot find it, or in a special spot. One example would be your glove compartment in your car, not a pocket full of other things like your keys, along with your cell phone, and other assorted items.
Dawn helps save wildlife. It also helped save my husband.

2. If you accidentally spray your pepper spray on yourself after having it in an overly-filled pant pocket, immediately, and extremely politely, ask a spouse, loved one or friend, to please go out and buy you copious amounts of Dawn dish washing liquid. Pepper spray is an oily substance, and as Dawn is used to clean sea life that have been victims of oil spills, it will help you tremendously.


 
3. Thank your loved one (or friend) profusely. Then, when the pain has subsided, send a handwritten thank you note along with chocolates, flowers, or possibly a bottle of wine. This is a nice touch, especially if your loved one had just returned from 5 long hours of Christmas shopping, and had to run right out again to buy you gallons of Dawn dish detergent.
Maybe you should keep this in your pants pocket instead.

4. Do not use, for example, your spouse's shower to wash the pepper spray off. Surprisingly, this can be construed as very impolite. Those soapy bubbles float all over the place, and when your spouse then goes to take a shower, he or she may find they are sporting a face that is bright red and burning, as the bubbles taking the pepper spray off of you, floated onto the facial cleanser, shampoo and conditioner bottles, and basically the entire shower! Check into a hotel to shower or bathe. Or shower outside with a garden hose if need be. Whatever you do, do not attempt to clean yourself in your spouse's shower or bathtub.


Seriously... the stuff burns!

5. If your spouse's shower or bath are your only options, hire a professional cleaning crew in hazmat suits, to come in afterward and clean said shower or bathtub, as another apology and act of graciousness. You then should always be welcome to use the shower or bath anytime after that.


This stuff works really well, if slathered all over your spouse's face a dozen times throughout the afternoon and evening, even if it is Christmas Eve and he or she is entertaining the family. At least it works well until a new package of supplies arrives from your spouse's favorite beauty or skincare consultant.

6. If your spouse has just purchased shampoo, conditioner, their favorite Kiehl's facial cleanser, and other assorted items that are in the shower with you, politely explain that you will need to throw them all out, but you will purchase all new items to replace them. Make sure you follow through with purchasing new items as soon as possible, and throw in a couple of extra skin care goodies as an added act of goodwill.

Please give your dry cleaner a warning.

7. If you take your pepper sprayed clothing to be professionally laundered, kindly warn the establishment that the clothing has pepper spray on it. If they launder it with anyone else's clothes, they may find themselves named in an unwanted lawsuit.


These won't persuade anyone.

8. If you are goofy enough to take your spouse's unopened package of pepper spray and attach it to your new key ring and keys, simply because you now, "know what to do if it happens again." please laugh it off when your spouse's friends, hairdresser and relatives think you are nuts. You can show them you have those handy wipes you bought off of the internet as proof that you are prepared for yet another pepper spray disaster.




As for me? I am sticking with this pet safe stuff. Evidently it doesn't burn.
 
*Special Note for Physicians: If you are a physician, and your spouse has been given pepper spray by a friend, please don't spritz it into a toilet to see what happens. Moments later, something will happen all the way back down the hall, into your office. You will experience a burning face and burning eyes. Just try to keep in mind, you were smart enough to get through medical school, and take relief in the fact that you were wise enough to not try this during office hours when patients were in the waiting room, right next to that restroom. Politely tell your spouse not to carry the pepper spray. It's up to you whether or not you want to tell your loved one why.



Contributor, and Site Editor, Maura Graber has been teaching etiquette to children, teens and adults, and training new etiquette instructors, for over a quarter of a century, as founder and director of The RSVP Institute of Etiquette. She is also a writer, has been featured in countless newspapers, magazines and television shows and was an on-air contributor to PBS in Southern California for 15 years.

Pipes and Proposal Etiquette



The pipe, considered as a matrimonial embassador, has at least this to recommend it— that it may be relied upon to commit no breach of confidence if its mission proves successful.
                 

               Tobacco as a Matchmaker


All the nervousness, embarrassment and febrile excitement attendant upon "popping the question" in highly civilized countries are avoided by the young men of the Tchultau Tatar variety desirous to marry, whose simple and discreet custom it is to ascertain their chances of successor failure in matrimonial enterprise by the following proceeding: The Tchulian Calebs in search of a wife, having filled a brand new pipe with fragrant tobacco, stealthily enters the dwelling of the fair one upon whom he has bestowed his affections, deposits the pipe upon a conspicuous article of furniture, and retires on tiptoe to some convenient hiding place in the neighborhood. 

Local etiquette requires that he should execute this strategic movement apparently undetected by the damsel of his choice or any member of her family. Presently he returns without further affectation of secrecy, and looks into the apartment in a casual sort of way. A single glance at the pipe he left behind him enables him to learn the fate of his proposal. If it has been smoked, he goes forth, an accepted and exulted bridegroom; if not, the offer of his hand and heart has been irrevocably rejected as not even worth a puff of tobacco. 

By this ingenious expedient, the pain and humiliation of verbal refusal and fruitless pleadings are spared to luckless wooers, and Tatar maidens are saved from importunities justly regarded as peculiarly trying to female sensibility. The pipe, considered as a matrimonial embassador, has at least this to recommend it— that it may be relied upon to commit no breach of confidence if its mission proves successful. – 1881

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

Christmas or Yule Card Etiquette

Etiquette for whose name is first, last and signatures...
Q. Whose name comes first if you use a card with your names printed or engraved on it?

A. Here the wife’s name is courteously used first; “Mary and Tom’’ (or "Mary and Tom Green”).


Q. If a Christmas card is engraved with the sender’s names, with “Mr. and Mrs.” should these be at the top or bottom of the card?

A. Always at the top. Otherwise, they might seem like a signature.

 

Q. When signing the card, whose name is written first the husband’s or wife’s?

A. It is courteous for the person signing the card to write the other name first. For example, if you sign the card for you and your husband, it should read: “Tom and Mary.'’ – The Desert Sun, 1966


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


Monday, December 26, 2016

Quaint Customs and Etiquette

To "take one's dust" was a common expression or contempt. The custom was not without its uses in its day. But will it be believed that at the close of the nineteenth century this etiquette of the road is rigidly maintained, and that among well-bred people each equipage has to take the gait of the slowest?

Old-Time Virginia
Regions Yet Untouched 
by Nineteenth Century Innovations

The genuine, untouched Virginian of today has often been declared to be the most complete survival of eighteenth century England now in existence. There are certain eighteenth century customs and manners in common use here that have not been heard of in a hundred years in England. One of the quaintest is a custom of the road which died out in England when the post road and the traveling chariot went out of vogue. In those days, it was considered almost an affront for one traveler in a carriage to drive past another going the same way.


The traveling class was made up generally of the rich and leisurely, and as they bowled along in their coaches to have another coach dash by and give back its dust, and perhaps incite the coachman to a race, was considered highly indecorous. To "take one's dust" was a common expression or contempt. The custom was not without its uses in its day. But will it be believed that at the close of the nineteenth century this etiquette of the road is rigidly maintained, and that among well-bred people each equipage has to take the gait of the slowest? 

True it is, some iconoclasts and outsiders drive past their fellow travelers without compunction, but they, therefore, prove their claim to be called iconoclasts and outsiders. When it is a very pressing case, an apology is called out such as "Pray excuse me, but my horse is restless," or "I am in haste to catch the boat," or something of the kind. But to drive ruthlessly ahead without a word of apology is considered the acme of ill breeding. –
Boston Evening Transcript, 1893

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

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Victorian Fork Etiquette and Fashions

Eating olives with proper etiquette was a particular form of art—it was rumored that one imposter nobleman in France in the 1800s was recognized as a fraud by the way he ate his olives. The accused barbarian dared to eat his olives with a regular fork, instead of locating a proper olive fork—one which was designed with tiny, appropriately-sized tines.

Forks come in all shapes and sizes. Specialized designs for flatware exploded in number during the Victorian Era. In a panic to keep up with the latest serveware, aspiring couples accumulated a ridiculous number of pieces of cutlery. It was all a reflection of the culture at the time, which equated abstruse formal dining rules and etiquette with civilized society.

This was especially the case in America, where status wasn't as set in stone as in Europe. In the younger nation, social standing for the upwardly mobile was far more dependent on displays of wealth and class through, among other things, hosting and attending formal dinner parties. As formal dining evolved, so did the demand for increasingly nuanced (and perhaps absurd) silverware, resulting in giant horizontal tongs for asparagus, tiny yard-rake-like implements for spearing whole sardines, and a hybrid knife-fork for convenience in slicing and eating pie.
A late-Victorian variation on original pie forks.
The pie fork, unlike some other Victorian cutlery, can be praised for its usefulness. The left side of the fork features a thick, sharp-edged tine for slicing into pie or tarts, but blunt ends for using the fork to eat the pie as you would a normal fork. – Saveur Magazine, 2016

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

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Etiquette of "Happy Masks"

He never shows his real face to me; he wears the mask of happiness as an etiquette.


Japanese Sensitivities

Sensitiveness exists in the Japanese to an extent never supposed by the foreigners who treat them harshly at the open ports. In Izumo I knew a case of a maid servant who received a slight rebuke with a smile, and then quietly went out and hung herself. I have notes of many curious suicides of a similar sort. And yet the Japanese master is never brutal or cruel. How Japanese can serve a certain class of foreigners at all, I can’t understand- Possibly they do not think of them (the foreigners) as being exactly human beings—but rather Oni, or at best Tengu.

Well, here is another thing. My cook wears a smiling, healthy, rather pleasing face. He is a good-looking young man. Whenever I used to think of him I thought of the smile, I saw a mask before me merry as one of those little masks of Oho-kumi-nushi-no- kami they sell at Mionoseki. One day I looked through a little hole in the shoji, and saw him alone. The face was not the same face. It was thin and drawn, and showed queer lines worn by old hardship. I thought ‘’he will look just like that when he is dead.” I went in, and the man was all changed—young and happy again—nor have I ever seen that look of trouble in his face since. But I know when he is alone he wears it. He never shows his real face to me; he wears the mask of happiness as an etiquette. — From
 the Correspondence of Hearn, in the Atlantic, 1909

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

Friday, December 9, 2016

Etiquette and Silver Fork Novels

In the early nineteenth century there was a sudden vogue for novels centering on the glamour of aristocratic social and political life. Such novels, attractive as they were to middle-class readers, were condemned by contemporary critics as dangerously seductive, crassly commercial, designed for the 'masses' and utterly unworthy of regard.

The Silver Fork Novel was a kind of novel that was popular in Britain from the 1820s to the 1840s, and was marked by concentration upon the fashionable etiquette and manners of high society. The term was used mockingly by critics of the time, and has been applied to works by Theodore Hook, Catherine Gore, Frances Trollope, Lady Caroline Lamb, Benjamin Disraeli, and Susan Ferrier." – From "An Oxford Companion to the Romantic Age"

Jane Austen and the Silver Fork Novel– The usual story, that Jane Austen's novels in the 20 years after her death were a taste for the discerning few alone, needs to be brought into line with a more provocative one – that within 10 years of her death in 1817 her near contemporaries, the novelists of the 1820s and 1830s, were using her novels as a source for wholesale plunder. The publisher Henry Colburn initiated the taste, the “mania” as John Sutherland calls it (1986: 70), for these novels about fashionable life in London by issuing a spate of them in the mid-1820s which became known derisively as “the silver fork school.” 

William Hazlitt supplied the name in The Examiner (November 18, 1827) where he mocked Thomas Hook's admiration of the aristocracy in Sayings and Doings (1824) because, “they eat their fish with a silver fork.” Colburn, an aggressive advertiser of his publications, promoted the novels as aristocratic romans à clef written by authors who were themselves members of fashionable society. His assumption was that these new novels about contemporary “exclusives” would ride on the popularity of such earlier works of Regency scandal as Caroline Lamb's Glenarvon (1816), with its tale of her affair with Byron, or even the courtesan Harriette Wilson's more recent Memoirs (1825), in which she revealed liaisons with the Duke of Wellington and other well-known contemporaries. – From "Blackwell Reference Online"

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

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Men's Fashion Etiquette

The top garment of formal occasions, the Inverness Cape, is easily donned or doffed, being loose fitting and graceful in hang.


When to Wear Them


The White Lawn Cravat—Always upon occasions when the swallowtail is worn.

The High Silk Hat—Always with the double breasted frock coat and swallowtail. It is apropos also with the frock cut away coat.

Gloves—At all times en promenade, especially when walking. The glove is also to be informally worn on every clear, cool day in the year.

The Inverness Cape—At night over the dress suit. The top garment of formal occasions, it is easily donned or doffed, being loose fitting and graceful in hang.

The Full Dress Coat—From 6 p. m.—being the earliest dinner hour—just so long into the next day as the festivities continue. It is the impregnable and inexorable garment of fashionable times.

The Cane —Not during business hours nor with evening dress. In point of etiquette, the cane is essentially an adjunct of outdoor exercise, and can have no application with the more formal functions of social life. —Clothier and Furnisher, 1892



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

Japanese Picture Bride Etiquette

Japanese "Picture Brides" — "She will no longer step from the steamer ignorant of American life and American ways. She will take a finishing course on the way across the Pacific."
Training Japanese Brides in American Ways

SAN FRANCISCO, April 6—No more will the dainty "picture bride" from Japan, unschooled in life of the Occident, be landed at this port to fall into the arms of a strange husband and stand before the criticizing gaze of a new world. Young Japanese men of the Pacific Coast have adopted a custom of sending to their native land for a wife. 


They mail their picture and some Nippon maid whose eyes are set on the Western World sends back a picture of herself. If impressons are favorable, he sends her transportation and they are married when she arrives. But she will no longer step from the steamer ignorant of American life and American ways. She will take a finishing course on the way across the Pacific. This is an innovation of the Toyo Kisen Kaisha, Japanese steamship company. The Korea Maru was the first vessel to arrive from Japan with a school of conduct and etiquette for "picture brides’’ on board. It was in charge of Japanese women who have learned the ways of America. 

Every morning for two hours classes are held. The Oriental brides are shown the use of knives and forks. They are taught to sit properly on a chair and eat from a table instead of dining on the floor, as they do in Japan. They are shown the most approved American dress, the approved way of getting into it and how to wear it. They are taught to walk with American shoes and—yes. the mystery of the corset is explained to them. — The Los Angeles Herald, 1917

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

Friday, December 2, 2016

Etiquette and Diplomatic Ethics

The sinking of the U.S.S. Maine: While the incident is still fresh in the memory of the people, our Secretary of State has seen fit to give a public dinner, and to include in the list of invited guests the Spanish Minister at Washington!

Disgusting Subserviency

The ethics of Diplomacy seem to have no limitations. While the dead of the Maine were being fished out of the slime of Havana harbor, our ambassador at the Spanish Court was engaged in wining and dining and toasting the Ministers and Diplomats of that country.

So outraged was the American sense of propriety over this incident that public sentiment was voiced in a Congressional resolution of censure, which, although not adopted, at least served to emphasize the universal conviction that good taste did not call for any such demonstration at that time.

Yet, while the incident is still fresh in the memory of the people, our Secretary of State has seen fit to give a public dinner, and to include in the list of invited guests the Spanish Minister at Washington.

While the wine was being passed around at Sherman's Washington home, the wife of Minister Woodford was hurrying out of Spain, and the consuls of this government in Cuba were being concentrated at Havana, ready to flee for their lives upon the first announcement of a break in Diplomatic intercourse, a precaution never before deemed requisite in dealings between recognized civilized nations.

If diplomatic etiquette demands any such sacrifices of national dignity to have been laid at the doors of Minister Woodford and Secretary Sherman, it will be conceded that they are in sore need of revision. — Los Angeles Herald, 1898


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

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Ladies' Street Etiquette

In large cities street etiquette is well understood by ladies.
A Word to the Ladies
In large cities, street etiquette is well understood by ladies. In Santa Rosa there is a lamentable lack of knowledge on that subject. For instance, it is not considered ladylike for two ladies walking abreast to occupy both parallel walks on a street crossing and force a gentleman to take the mud. When by following one after the other, a person coming from the opposite direction has also the privilege of crossing dry shod. For this reason two parallel walks are provided. Keep to the right ladies and go single file over street crossings. — Sonoma Democrat, 1874

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

Walking Stick Etiquette

Some walking sticks are dashed backward and forward like lethal bayonets! So never mind if he growls; you are acting in the interests of etiquette and sound citizenship.

Canes and Sound Citizenship

Walking sticks are "In" with a greater virulence than has prevailed since the year 1898, says the London Chronicle. The West End began it with silver-topped and gold-topped ebonies (same as used by the King), and the East has taken up the tale with cherry crooks that also have metal embellishments. 
In the Fleet Street-Strand Monkey Crawl of promenaders, nine out of every ten male promenaders had sticks, whereas a few years back the crowd was almost stickless. 

The sticks, it may be added, are a menace, so few people having studied the art of carrying them. They are carried at dangerous angles below the armpit; also they are dashed backward and forward like lethal bayonets. When you come upon a man carrying a stick that projects from his armpit upward behind him, turn it down. Never mind if he growls; you are acting in the interests of etiquette and sound citizenship. — 1914

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

19th C. Global Cigarette Etiquette

The idea is that it is more courteous to allow a comrade the greater length of time. If he is handed the match first he naturally hurries in order to hand it back again. 

There is a fashion even in so small a thing as the lighting of a cigarette. In Cuba it is customary among gentlemen for one to place the cigarette between his lips, light it, take a few puffs and then hand it to his friend. In Spain the same fashion prevails. An Austrian is very punctilious about the etiquette of cigar lighting. He lights his cigarette first and then hands the lighted match to his companion. The idea is that it is more courteous to allow a comrade the greater length of time. If he is handed the match first he naturally hurries in order to hand it back again. 

A Frenchman always hands his companion the match first. An Englishman proffers the cigarette to his friend, lights a match, hands it to him, and then helps himself to another cigarette and match. An American usually hands his friend a lighted match and takes a light from his cigarette afterward. The small boy gets a light wherever he can, generally from some passer-by on the street. The habit of stopping men on the street to ask for a light is looked upon as ill-bred in all countries. In no country is it tolerated to such an extent as in the United States. — The New York Mail and Express, 1887

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

An Edwardian Etiquette Poem

At home ’tis very different, though,
Our elbows on the table rest;
If hot, our tea we always blow,
And eat the way that pleases best. 

Etiquette When at Home, and Abroad

Abroad we always try to be Polite;
We study etiquette;
The tricks of high society,
We never have forgotten yet.

We stand upon our dignity,
At least, as far as we are able;
While waiting, you will never see
Our hands above the dining table.

Our soup we never, never blow,
We never start right in on cake;
We modulate our voices low,
We seldom ever make a break.

We never josh the maid who serves,
Nor look to see if she is pretty;
In fact, we’re on to all the curves
Of high life in a modern city.

To think of asking for dessert,
Before the solid course is through,
Is something, I may here assert,
That we would never, never do.

All proper customs we obey.
On celery we never munch.
We dine in quite the proper way,
And then go out and buy a lunch.

At home ’tis very different, though,
Our elbows on the table rest;
If hot, our tea we always blow,
And eat the way that pleases best.

We josh the maid and roast the cook,
We call for things we do not see;
And sometimes father reads a book,
Which may not be propriety.

We even in our shirt sleeves dine.
While mother wears a dressing gown.
The customs, gladly we resign
Of all best families In town.

Abroad our etiquette’s displayed,
Our manners perfect, I repeat;
At home behavior’s not our trade.
But here we get enough to eat. – Red Bluff Daily News, 1908

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

Etiquette and Early Napkins

Romans were connoisseurs, and whenever a Roman nobleman gave a dining to his many friends, some new fad was anticipated. 

Origin of Napkins in Rome

The Romans were the first to call the semblance of a napkin into use. It is a matter of history, whether it be accepted as true or not, that the Romans were connoisseurs, and that whenever a Roman nobleman gave a dining to his many friends, some new fad was anticipated. Sometimes these expectations were realized in the shape of a new dish, or sometimes it was an innovation that would appear in the next issue of the Rules of Etiquette, stylographed by Ciceronius and Son.

One day a Roman nobleman— l forget his name, though he was an ancestor of Caesar— had a large dining. It was given in honor of his return from Germany, where he had won many rights and captured numerous slaves. These slaves were long-haired, rosy-cheeked maidens of beautiful figure and gentle ways. An idea got into the possession of the nobleman and he carried it into instant execution. 

When dinner was served every guest was astonished to observe seated at his very feet a handsome woman, with loose flowing locks of the blonde order. Just what they should do with the fair intruders none of the guests appeared to know, until the host of the occasion having devoured a dish of elegant ragout, leaned over and used the hair of the maid nearest him for a napkin. 

Needless to mention the guests were delighted and swiftly followed suit. Later the noblemen who could not afford slaves for this purpose used their own beards. Since that time there has been an evolution in napkins until they have become what they are now. — Atlanta Constitution, 1896

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