The Consort Gets A Mannerly Rap On The Knuckles

Hello-hello, all.  The Consort strolling casually mikeside to share a moment while The (lovely and talented) Princess recovers from a migraine.  I hope I’m not being rude and you’ll excuse my interrupting your day.  And that’s my point today: Manners.

While browsing the Wall Street Journal today I noticed an obit for Elizabeth Post.  Does the name ring a bell?  Perhaps her husband’s grandmother might be more familiar.  Emily Post wrote “Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage”, the 1922 book that has never been out of print.

Courtesy: Etsy

Elizabeth Post updated the classic book and was a gentle guide through the turbulent 1960s, 1970s and until she retired in 1995.  Her advice was grounded in the reality of the times in which we lived.   But now I wonder what has become of our manners?

Many of you readers are parents.  Do you pass on to your children the same etiquette lessons you learned?  I had an interesting experience the other day while having a conversation with a teenager.  While we were talking her cellphone rang.  She stopped our talk, turned sideways to me and began a phone conversation.  Perhaps I’m being overly sensitive but I couldn’t help but feel a bit put off.  I was also amused by the situation of being put on “live hold” in a face-to-face convo (as the kids nowadays like to say).

One of the things we enjoy most about sending out packages from The Preppy Princess is including a handwritten note in each box.  The Princess is much better at this because she is the more gifted writer in our family.  Isn’t sending a note a polite thing to do?  The power of the handwritten note cannot be ignored.  I know I get a special feeling when I open up a note from someone who took the time to take out a notecard, pick up a pen, write down their thoughts and mail the card to me.  Personalized notecards do not have to be budget-busters.  We found some wonderful personalized cards that are great for fiscally responsible men or women.

I remember when I was just a Young Consort I was looking forward to my first “big” dinner-dance.  It was to be a semi-formal event and I was escorting a delightful young woman.  A week before the big night my parents took me to the restaurant where I would be taking my date for dinner.  They wanted to make sure I was prepared to deal with ordering from a menu and how I conducted myself with our server.  They reminded me to be polite, use names and not “Hey, you” and how to figure a generous tip.  When I reflect on that night I realize how important that “test flight” was for me.

But enough of me.  What are some of the etiquette lessons you’ve learned?  Do they still apply today?  Let’s share with the group.

Look at the time!  I have to go check on my lovely bride so I will leave you with my usual advice:  Take care of your waitperson tonight because they’re working hard for you.  I’ll leave you with three gentlemen who know their way around a fretboard or two.  Good night, everyone!


Filed under Lilly Pulitzer Paper & Gifts, Posts by the Princess Consort, preppy, preppy lifestyle, preppy stationery

10 responses to “The Consort Gets A Mannerly Rap On The Knuckles

  1. Great post – and I read (and posted about) Mrs. Post today. One of the most valuable things that I have taught my children is to look someone in the eye and shake hands firmly when introduced. I think it helps make a strong connection!

  2. Suburban Princess

    I hope PP is feeling better soon!

    I think the power of Thank You is so underestimated. I have recently ended a friendship over her lack of a thank you for a gift! I dont give my SIL the time of day because she never says thank you either!

    I truly believe so many people do nice things for me not only because I am a nice person, but also because I always send a thank you note!

  3. growing up, proper etiquette was always expected of us. my back still never touches the back of a chair at the dinner table, or at a restaurant. my mom used to put a stick down the back of my pants to make me stand and sit up straight at home. i will continue to teach my 5 y.o. son manners and etiquette until he leaves for college. for me, it’s very important for him to be respectful and polite towards others and us. i think it says a lot about a person and how they treat others and act in certain situations. he will most likely rebel as a teen, just as i did, but at least i made the effort. also, that was very rude of her to take the call. i would’ve been offended. thanks for sharing and take care.

  4. You can NEVER underestimate the power of a hand written note. If it is sent to me in writing, I usually reply in writing. I don’t just sign the RSVP (we can’t make it) and mail into the bride, I include a card of congratulations. My mother taught me this. The put me on hold while we talk for the cell phone call situation? Well, if Lallie ever does that, I’ll slap her wrists, how rude! If I am expecting an important call, I politeley tell the person I’m expecting it and to please excuse me when I do take it, that it would normally not occur. And that is in business situations only, not social. In social, whoever is calling can wait! The worst is being called and then the caller tells me to hold on. Wait, you called me!
    Oh well, enough of my politeness rampage. I could go on (don’t get me started on chewing with your mouth open. That is wrong on so many levels).

  5. Thanks for this great post on manners. Yes, a handwritten note is such an important thing. That is one thing my Mother taught me and I have also taught my girls. Love & blessings from NC!

  6. Oh, I do hope the Princess will be ruling the kingdom again soon although you have done an admirable job in her absence. I feel her pain as I get those whoppers myself. I have a huge problem with people on their cell phones especially the younger generation. I have to say my older son has really never taken to it and the younger one will check something if it beeps but has never answered it when he is with (us) family. I like to think it is his manners taking hold or he prefers our company to the phone but it is more likely a girl calling and he doesn’t want us to hear the ‘convo’. 🙂 xoxo

  7. Anonymous

    I remember my first Homecoming Dance also. I’m so glad my parents instilled proper manners in my sister and me! I felt very comfortable at dinner. Not everyone in our group can say the same! Over the years, I’ve become more of a stickler for etiquette, and because I work with the public and with children, I can see how society is forgetting their manners! Most parents try, but I do see some terrible examples of poor etiquette!

    Well wishes of a quick recovery to the princess!

  8. Princess Freckles

    I remember my first Homecoming dance! I was thankful my parents always exposed us to different restaurants and drilled us on etiquette! it appeared not everyone in my group had the same upbringing….

    I do hope the Princess if feeling well soon!

  9. I’m still struggling to keep my elbows off the table.

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