Thursday, June 21, 2018

Etiquette and Engagement Season

The Christmas holidays, they say, full of gaiety and high spirits (I allude to those of nature’s providing are apt to lead to engagements; hasty manners, perhaps, but none the less agreeable.) Spring, of course, has always been considered a happy time for lovers’ boughs budding with green fire, the livelier iris of the dove, and all the rest of it July, August and early September are languid...


“Anne Gives Advice on Etiquette”

“Can you tell us,” writes a firm which shall be nameless, “if there are any special seasons of the year, in which people become engaged? We should appreciate what information you have on the subject.“ – "A. B. & C."


At first sight, this appeared as impossible an etiquette question to answer as any I ever received and I've received some difficult ones! It seemed to me that Pan, Cupid, Propinquity, Chance, any of the higher powers or the natural forces that govern humanity, might better be consulted. I thought of Tennyson’s pleasant line “In the Spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love,” but nothing else occurred to me. However, I dined with a newly married nephew that evening, and I thought I would confide my problem to him. “I can tell you that,” he replied with the fine readiness of youth. “The Christmas holiday, the early spring, also the months of July, August and half of September.” 


I have talked to other young men since. The Christmas holidays, they say, full of gaiety and high spirits (I allude to those of nature’s providing are apt to lead to engagements; hasty manners, perhaps, but none the less agreeable.) Spring, of course, has always been considered a happy time for lovers’ boughs budding with green fire, the livelier iris of the dove, and all the rest of it July, August and early September are languid, white moon months, very wisely devoted to the selection of a companion in sentiment who may before one knows it, become a companion for life, or part of it, at any rate. This leaves autumn and later winter as the only periods to be devoted to book learning or business. Will any man give me more ideas on this subject? –By Anne Singleton, 1931 

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