|When visiting this holiday season, remember some basic rules of etiquette. Respect closed doors, and don’t eavesdrop or pry into the personal belongings of others.|
Privacy Vital To Everyone
While many people invite and enjoy the invasion, respect for privacy is still a cornerstone of etiquette. So don't just walk into a person's house. Knock. Better still, call first. This permits your victims to vamoose gracefully or at least tidy up the place before you arrive. If you walk into a family squabble or find they have guests already, explain you “can't stay but a second” and avoid being a nosy guest. Keep your paws out of desk drawers, medicine cabinets, record collections. Avoid asking the cost of anything. The man with the diamond stickpin may have $30 in the bank, so don't pry into finances. Beware of stirring up conversations with strangers on train, plane or bus. Some people read while traveling, others think long thoughts; neither relishes intrusions.
Privacy is like love and freedom – it’s unimportant only when you have it. Any man who has lived in an army barracks can vouch for this fact. So will members of large families. As houses become smaller and families bigger (both are present trends), a respect for privacy becomes increasingly important. So don’t read Sister’s love letters. Don’t snoop in Dad’s den. Let Junior retire to his cubicle and mope in peace. Respect closed doors. Don’t eavesdrop or pry in personal belongings. It takes a heap of manners to make a house a home. –Don Goodwin’s Male Polish, December, 1958
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia