Sunday, February 16, 2020

More Etiquette from Emily Post

One of the better known writers on manners, with her first book of etiquette published in 1922, is Emily Post. Though she died in 1960, her extended family (most notably her late-granddaughter in-law, Elizabeth Post) has successfully continued on with her legacy of  nearly a century of etiquette books, news columns and social media contributions. – Above, “Emily Post” by Miguel Covarrubias for Vanity Fair, December 1933 
– Image source, Pinterest 

Dear Mrs. Post: May a young woman who is going out with a young man for the evening, wear a corsage sent to her by some one else? 
Answer: I think a man who has very little money and who had wanted to send her flowers and was not able to afford it, might feel not only embarrassed but distressed. A so-called “gilded youth,” meaning one whose purse is more man usually deep, would not be likely to notice the flowers. If he does, he'll probably say, “Oh, I'm sorry,” and remember to send her some at another time.

Dear Mrs, Post: Mr. and Mrs. Graham are both medical doctors and both practising. How shall I introduce them socially and how can I let strangers know that they are man and wife? To say Dr. Mary Graham and Dr. John Graham might give the impression to some that they are brother and sister. 
Answer: Introduce them as Dr. Graham and his wife, Dr. Mary Graham. In this particular case it is best that the wife be introduced second rather than first, because to say Dr. Mary Graham and her husband, Dr. John Graham, does not sound as well as the other way about.

Dear Mrs. Post: Would it be sliding over one's obligations to give a dessert bridge in return for the other people's lunch party invitations? I am indebted to so many people and I cannot afford to give a real lunch party but that I might have a dessert bridge instead, if that could be considered a fair return. 
Answer: It is not necessary to repay hospitality in kind, but a fraction of a lunch in return for many complete luncheons would be a less happy choice than another type of party altogether. Therefore, I would rather suggest a buffet meal, either lunch or supper, and not just the last course of a luncheon. However, if a buffet meal is too much of an undertaking, it would be entirely proper to give a bridge party and serve afternoon tea with little sandwiches and cakes. According to best form, nothing more than this should be served at a bridge party, ever.

Dear Mrs. Post: At a dinner for 200, to celebrate a silver wedding anniversary, would the guests be seated with place cards at the small tables? 
Answer; I think most people find themselves more at ease if they have a definite place to go to, but it would not be easy to seat as many as 200. In other words, It is entirely correct to seat all the tables and on the other hand all right just to seat your own table, which includes yourself and the original bridal party and any others whom you would like especially to have with you. —Emily Post, 1939

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

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