Gone, it seems are the days of mailed Thank You notes and hostess gifts. When I was young, my mother insisted that my Christmas Thank You notes were written and mailed within one week after the Holiday. I email them now, but none-the-less, I still send them. As our times have changed, etiquette has had to change as well. But more and more it seems that manners, or even a remote gracious notion, has been forgotten altogether. Grace, class and graciousness will always be in style and will always be appreciated. It is time, however, we remembered a few things.
Cell Phones & Tablets
In a nutshell, put them away! When it comes to genuine human contact, VS our handheld technology – we need to put people first. Nothing is that important. Folks got along fine and conducted their lives as well as business without cell phones for hundreds of years. Do the people you are with the courtesy of interacting with them and not your technology. And never ever at the dinner table.
From a formal mailed wedding invitation to a casual email inviting you over for dinner and everything in between – the classic rule still stands. Those mentioned on the envelope, or in the email, note, verbal conversation, or letter are those invited. No one else. The only exception to this rule is when it’s clear you can bring a guest, as in +1. If a name is not mentioned, they are not invited. If you’d like to bring someone who has not been mentioned (this puts the host in a very awkward position) then you need to ask the host first. Be prepared for them to respond with a polite no. And do not assume it’s okay to tell the host you are bringing someone or to show up with an additional person or persons. Families – this also includes children. If your children are not specifically mentioned, they are not invited. Besides, hire a sitter, rekindle your relationship and enjoy a date night.
As a guest
When you are invited to someone’s house for dinner, to a party, as a houseguest or are being hosted in some way, it’s nice to bring something – this is called a Host or Hostess Gift. Flowers make an amazing hostess gift or a nice bottle of wine, gourmet caramels or chocolate, a quality candle, or something you know the host or hostess would like. Also, it’s always nice to offer to bring something.
It all boils down to who is paying for the wedding. Whoever is paying, it’s their wedding. If you are the bride and yet your parents are footing the bill – it’s their wedding and you are simply an important attendant. My advice to all couples getting married – pay for it yourself! That way it’s your party, it remains all about you, and more important – it will be exactly what YOU want, not what someone else wants. This can’t be stressed enough. Whoever is paying, it’s their party and it will be whatever they want – because it will always boil down to who paid for it. If you can’t afford the wedding of your dreams – then wait until you can or change your dreams.
Unfortunately this is becoming more and more common. People in general, parents, and especially children are under the assumption they are entitled. Discounts, something that is not theirs, a better part, an advanced level, a better position, new stuff, privileges, special treatment, and the list goes on and on. Usually those who feel entitled don’t even see it in their behavior, words or actions. But somehow they feel that they deserve for some reason, something different than everyone else. None of us are entitled to much of anything. Kindness, graciousness and a little bit of selflessness will always go farther than being rude and arrogant.
It is now the norm for most restaurants to ask before a tables order is taken for any dietary restrictions. This is not giving you carte blanche to list your food dislikes or your preferences. If you do not like mushrooms, then order something without mushrooms or be prepared to pick them out. The restaurant is asking for real legitimate food allergies – such as a peanut or shellfish allergy. Not parsley or diary. If you want something special from a restaurant, call before hand and ask if your request can be accommodated. Often in restaurants everything is portioned out, possibly even weighted, and made to order. Also, if you do have a legitimate dietary restriction and you are invited to someone’s house for a meal, let them know ahead of time so they can make accommodations for you! Don’t assume they know. Or you can also bring something that meets your specific requirements to the event.
If you’ve never had it, then you don’t know with all certainty that you won’t like it. Expand your world and try something new.
Reservations & Appointments
Time is money. So it’s reasonable to say, people’s time is money. If you have an appointment or reservation and are running late or can’t make it – call. Nearly everyone has a cell phone nowadays, and it’s common courtesy to communicate if a change in plans is imminent. Don’t be surprised if the spa charges you a cancelation fee or if your doctor’s appointment is cut in half because they have other patients to see.
Everyone has an opinion
Have your opinion. Live by your own morals, values, truths, and opinions – but it’s not for you to thrust your beliefs into other people. It’s as simple at that.
The comment section under web articles, blogs, posts, photos, etc. has become the lowest form of communication and more often shows society at it’s lowest. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t have the courage to say to a persons face.
- If you are on the freeway and in the lane other cars merge into, it’s a high possibility that you may need to alter your speed for merging vehicles – if you are unwilling to do this, don’t be in that lane. Buy the same token – if you are merging into 60+ MPH traffic, do your best (foot on the gas) to match the speed of the traffic you are merging into. Don’t enter the freeway going 40 and then speed up once you are on the highway.
- The fast or passing lane is to drive faster than all other traffic or to pass other vehicles. Unless you are passing the cars in the lane to your right, get over – especially if someone is behind you and wants to pass.
- If you drive a truck or big vehicle, don’t bully other drivers.
- Use your signal.
Everyone was bullied at some point in his or her childhood. In some ways, it’s a rite of passage. Today, bulling has gotten way out of hand, especially with added technology and social media in our lives. Children need to be taught self-acceptance. Love and support from the home also helps. But more importantly, if you give in to a bully’s demands today, then tomorrow the list will be longer. Mean words can hurt and may even turn into threats, but until they do, tune them out, ignore them, unfriend, delete, etc. Threats and physical action warrant adult help. Although change or giving in may seem like the answer, it’s not. Besides the “issue” has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the bully!
- Don’t assume.
- Treat others, as you’d like to be treated.
- If you ask for something special (extra this, remove that, on the side, etc.) that is not provided – offer the pay for the change. Nine times out of ten, you won’t have to, but it’s greatly appreciated that you didn’t assume.
- If you break, damage, or ruin something that is not yours, offer to pay to have in fixed or replaced.
- Please and Thank You go a long way. Even to the table busser, maid service, trash crew, grocery bag person, etc.
- Hold the door for someone and or pick up a dropped item for someone.
- Don’t rush /push to get in line to board a plane. You are all going to the same place, and will arrive at the same time.
- For service above and beyond – tip accordingly.
- If you are in a position to help, do!
- Don’t have the “its every body but me” or “it’s everyone else” syndrome. Because if we all think that way, no one will ever look inside themselves.