Thursday, February 25, 2021

Better Bed Manners and Disrobing

Some of the principle sins against good breeding are committed in the process of removing the clothes. In putting them on most people are conferring such a favor on the sensitive eye that lapses of etiquette are more pardonable. Whatever you do, avoid the habit of getting undressed by gravity. The appearance of puddles of male or female clothing on the bedroom floor never caused a tremor of love in the most sensitive person.

 
From Chapter 2 — Getting Undressed


If you were sentenced to spend nine years of your life working at one job for eight hours a day— Sundays included— you would think harshly of the judge. At best you would be forced to consider him a meanie.

Statistics prove, however, that the average one-family man, with a life span of seventy years, spends this amount of time taking off his clothes and putting them on again.*  The amount of time similarly spent by the average woman can be measured only in light years.

Being condemned to the slavery from birth, one would think people could learn how to do the job with a little finesse. On the contrary, clothes seem to be like a delicatessen salad. In the store window they are a thing of beauty. Once start to take them apart and—
  
Avoid the habit of getting undressed by gravity!
To most people undressing is not so much an art as it is coming to pieces. This is a mistake. Failure to correct it has been responsible for the development of a good-sized city in the West, composed of exiled husbands. If the average ignorant bird should hurl his feathers around the nest in imitation of man, there would be no more eggs.

Some of the principle sins against good breeding are committed in the process of removing the clothes. In putting them on most people are conferring such a favor on the sensitive eye that lapses of etiquette are more pardonable.

Whatever you do, avoid the habit of getting undressed by gravity. The appearance of puddles of male or female clothing on the bedroom floor never caused a tremor of love in the most sensitive person. Our researches show that women are particularly prone to this moult-and-walk off process. They have one strange garment they call a step-in. All of them might be called step-outs. They also have a rubber fabric strait-jacket called a vassarette. Getting into it is a job for a contortionist. Getting out of it is a bit easier, if your grandmother was a snake and you inherited the knack of shedding your skin.

Most men are partly sloppy undressers. One group practices what is known professionally as the drop-kick. This consists of allowing the sub-waist clothing to slide down the legs, lifting one foot out of the resulting nest, and propelling the entire mass at the nearest chair with a toe. Avoid it.

An even larger school spends futile years throwing odds and ends of clothes at bedroom chairs. These men argue that bedroom chairs serve no other useful purpose. No one has ever been known to sit on them. We advise against it, however, even if it is done in the purest spirit of sportsmanship.

Regardless of how clothes may be worn they should be taken off unostentatiously. Once off, they should not be treated like Christmas tree decorations. Get them out of sight. Far better to shove them under the bed with the foot than to wake up each morning to the sordid contemplation of their wilted forms. The seeds of many fashionable divorces have been sown by these early-morning vistas. What man can shave with a loving heart while contemplating a bedraggled brassiere hanging on the bathroom scales? What woman, lying in bed because it is too cold to get up, has not wondered sadly how the handsome lad of yesterday can possibly fill out a pair of unions like that?

This brings us to the question of getting dressed, which is so buttoned up with a number of other things, that we will treat it somewhere else, if the matter should come up.

*These figures do not include Nudists, Esquimos (sic), Bedridden People, or Fan Dancers.




Contributor Maura Graber has been teaching etiquette to children, teens and adults, and training new etiquette instructors, for over 30 years, 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. 



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

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Fraternal Advice on Good Manners

                                               


Good Manners are extremely important in every walk of life. Good manners are not merely something taken out of rule books on etiquette but are hard and fast practical assets in human relationship. The acquisition of knowing how to act in the company of other people is one of the most important phases of fraternity life. 

Politeness, courtesy, and proper behavior can make relationships enjoyable and pleasant. These qualities enable the man who has them to make acquaintances readily and gracefully. On the other hand, where these qualities are absent, social communion is difficult or marked by misunderstanding, embarrassment, and strangeness.

Good manners are the instruments that round of the personality of a man so that it is agreeable and becomes a strong magnet of attraction for fellowship in the business world as well as in campus life.

Good taste, so necessary to the college gentleman, is not a commodity that can be bought. It is a part of careful breeding. The average young man is schooled carefully at home in the niceties of social conduct, yet he is confronted with many new situations at college, and experience teaches the likelihood of the freshmen to grow careless about matters of conduct.

Probably no finer impression can be made upon guests, visiting alumni, rushees, professors, parents, and friends, than a chapter whose members know and show hospitality and good taste. There is no doubt about the weight of good taste in establishing a commendable atmosphere and reputation for the chapter.

Wrote John Henry Newman, English theologian and author of the last century; “It is almost a definition of a gentleman to say that he is one who inflicts no pain, carefully avoids whatever may cause a jar or jolt in the minds of those with whom he is cast. He has no ear for slander or gossip, is scrupulous imputing motives to those who interfere with him and interpret everything for the best. He is never mean or little in his disputes, never takes unfair advantage, never mistakes personalities or sharp sayings for arguments or insinuate evil which he dare not say out. He may be right or wrong in his opinion, but he is too clear headed to be unjust. He is a friend of religious toleration, and that, not only because his philosophy has taught him to look upon all forms of faith with an impartial eye, but also from the gentleness of feeling which is attendant on civilization.”— From Ch. 6 of the Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity Pledge Manual: The Fraternity Gentleman


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

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

“Society As I Have Found It”- A Review

It is not that his book is given up to trivialities, but that his solemn way of dealing with them creates the impression that he imagines himself occupied in a kind of philosophical research. Darwin, in his evolution of his evolution theory, was not more impressed with the magnitude of his theme than Ward McAllister in establishing a rule of etiquette.





Oh! That Mine Enemy, Etc...

The enemies of Mr. Ward McAllister are indebted to that gentleman for a means of retaliation. Mr. McAllister’s book on “Society As I Have Found It” exposes him to merciless criticism. As a conductor of entertainments he was above reproach. He had studied one thing until he knew it well. No man in either hemisphere is more competent authority on such important matters as the month in the year in which salmon may be served at a swell dinner or the kind of sauce which may be served with it, he has given many, years’ study to intricate problems of this nature, and if he has not solved them satisfactorily, the man does not live who can prove that he has not. But a clever man with Mr. McAllister’s knowledge of society, in both Europe and America, ought to write an entertaining book. That is precisely what Mr. McAllister has failed to do. 

It is not that his book is given up to trivialities, but that his solemn way of dealing with them creates the impression that he imagines himself occupied in a kind of philosophical research. Darwin, in his evolution of his evolution theory, was not more impressed with the magnitude of his theme than Ward McAllister in establishing a rule of etiquette. In most pursuits, earnestness is an element of success. A writer impresses a public in proportion, as he is able to convince them that he believes his own theories and regards them as important. But with society as a theme, a man may be wise or witty, satirical or indulgent, a scoffer or a worshiper, but he must be bright. McAllister’s book is both trivial and dull. — San Francisco Call, 1890



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


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Etiquette and Tea Slurping

Slurping shows one’s appreciation to one’s host or hostess. The more, the better!
—Photo source, Etiquipedia private photo library


Slurping Your Tea Is Polite Manners 

HONOLULU (AP) “Chinese connoisseurs of tea are meticulous,” wrote Mary Sia in a Chinese cookbook published by the University of Hawaii Press, and they have their own rules of etiquette. “It is good manners to show appreciation by making plenty of noise while drinking,” she wrote. —The Sun, 1972


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

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Confusion Over Respiratory Etiquette

 

Disgusted? You are not alone! Why Ms. Millett doesn’t know about respiratory etiquette is a mystery to Etiquipedia. Any good etiquette book has good manners regarding coughs and sneezes.— “If ‘stay at home with a cold’ were a definite rule of etiquette instead of just a health rule, maybe more of us would pay attention to it. After all, more people break health rules than eat with their knives or otherwise defy the rules of etiquette.

It Shouldn't Happen!

If “stay at home with a cold” were a definite rule of etiquette instead of just a health rule, maybe more of us would pay attention to it. After all, more people break health rules than eat with their knives or otherwise defy the rules of etiquette. As it is now, a guest will come to a party and in between a cough and a sneeze, explain to anyone who cares to listen how she really should be home in bed, but she just didn't feel she could let her hostess down at the last minute. Other guests must accept her graciously, expose themselves to her germs and take home colds of their own as a memento of the party.

That wouldn't happen if the “cold spreader” was frowned upon socially, and “stay at home with a cold” was a real and definite rule of etiquette. After all, why shouldn't it be considered really bad manners to go to a party with a cold? The guest with a cold is certainly not a sparkling addition to any party. And she or he is a very real menace to the health, of the other guests. The guest with a cold who. says proudly, “I really should be at home in bed” is telling the truth. She SHOULD be. And there's probably not a soul in the room who doesn't wish that she was. — By Ruth Millett, 1948



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

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Advice to Genteel Ladies of 1853

“On no consideration let any lady be persuaded to take two glasses of champagne. It is more than the head of an American female can bear. And she may rest assured, (though unconscious of it herself) all present will find her cheeks flushing, her eyes twinkling, her tongue unusually voluble, her talk loud and silly, and her laugh incessant.” — Above, two champagne coupé glasses with champagne stirrers. Champagne stirrers were popular with Victorian and Edwardian ladies who wished to pop the bubbles in their champagne, so as to reduce the chances of belching or burping when drinking the bubble-filled beverage. By the Roaring Twenties, they were so popular with flappers, they were hooked to long chains and worn as necklaces on nights out to speakeasies. 
Photo source, Etiquipedia Photo private library.


    • Ladies no longer eat salt fish at a public table. The odor of it is now considered extremely ungenteel. 
    • The fashion of wearing black silk mittens at breakfast is now obsolete. 
    • It is an affectation of ultra fashion to eat pie with a fork and has a very awkward and inconvenient look. 
    • Most American ladies beyond the age of 35 look better in caps than without them, even if their hair shows no signs of middle age. 
    • Ladies mustn't cross their knees or read with a gentleman off the same book or newspaper. 
    • At a hotel or boarding house, a lady may "take wine" once with a gentleman, if she knows him, but the next time he asks she should refuse. 
    • On no consideration let any lady be persuaded to take two glasses of champagne. It is more than the head of an American female can bear. And she may rest assured, (though unconscious of it herself) all present will find her cheeks flushing, her eyes twinkling, her tongue unusually voluble, her talk loud and silly, and her laugh incessant.— From Miss Leslie's “The Behaviour Book: A Manual For Ladies,” 1853 Edition


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

          Monday, February 15, 2021

          Etiquette Accuracy in Films

           

          ‘Prince Bernadotte has an easier problem in supervising court etiquette. His main job is to be on hand when Colman as King Rudolph and Madeleine Carrol as Princess Flavia go through their paces. He's always handy for advice on what to do and how to do it. That is, on almost all court subjects except love scenes. When the King and Princess are alone in the garden, the Prince can play checkers or take a nap, realizing that the etiquette of romance is none of his business.” —Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (left), and Ronald Colman in The Prisoner of Zenda



          Hollywood Film Shop

          HOLLYWOOD (U.P.) Search for authenticity in pictures, particularly those which deal with historical subjects, is always an expensive and painstaking job. It would seem to be news when Selznick International spends the money and hires the brains to make sure “The Prisoner of Zenda” is NOT authentic. 

          To avoid international complications, the studio has hired two experts to figure out ways of doing it the wrong thing in a legitimate manner. Col. Ivar Enhoring, retired Swedish army officer, will be commissioned to design uniforms for the many military scenes. Prince Sigvard Bernadotte, son of Sweden's Crown Prince, who renounced his rights of accession to wed a commoner, will decree the correct Royal Court and military etiquette.
           
          After studying specifications and pictures of some 600 uniforms, Enhoring expects to turn out authentic appearing costumes for the soldiers which could not be identified as belonging to any particular country. The uniforms have to be military, yet with epaulets, buttons and decorations all so individual, that no foreign power can take offense. 

          Ronald Colman as the King of a European country, required a coat of arms. Trying to find one that didn’t infringe on the thousands in existence was a real headache, a complete library of heraldry was assembled to determine what designs to let alone. Even the fencing scenes have a style all their own. Ralph Faulkner, an Olympic fencing champion, was hired to devise a new style that combines the elements of German, Italian, French and English fencing. 

          Prince Bernadotte has an easier problem in supervising Court etiquette. His main job is to be on hand when Colman as King Rudolph and Madeleine Carrol as Princess Flavia go through their paces. He's always handy for advice on what to do and how to do it. That is, on almost all court subjects except love scenes. When the King and Princess are alone in the garden, the Prince can play checkers or take a nap, realizing that the etiquette of romance is none of his business.— United Press, 1937



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

          Sunday, February 14, 2021

          Table Manners: When and How to Sit at a Table

           

          “While at the table, it is not considered good manners to put one's elbows on the table, to trifle with the knives and forks or to clink the glasses. When not occupied, the hands should be quietly in the lap, for nothing so marks the well-bred gentleman or lady as repose at the table.” — They are both sitting properly, but he can’t understand where his stemware is located!


          Whether it be a family dinner without guests, or a formal occasion, a man shows courtesy and breeding by waiting until the ladies have been seated. At a luncheon or dinner, a woman waits politely until her hostess is seated and a young girl does not take her place until each older woman has taken hers.

          One should sit erect and neither lounge nor bend forward while eating. A seat drawn too closely throws out the elbows, one too far away and crooks the back. The proper compromise is a position in which the waist or chest is about eight inches from the table.

          While at the table, it is not considered good manners to put one's elbows on the table, to trifle with the knives and forks or to clink the glasses. When not occupied, the hands should be quietly in the lap, for nothing so marks the well-bred gentleman or lady as repose at the table. — The Bride's Book, 1907




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