Monday, November 10, 2008
White Gloves and Party Manners
I'm not kidding here: me and my sister, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam with Full Force, each had a copy of this book growing up. I vaguely remember actual etiquette lessons, too. The author, Marjabelle Young Stewart, has a son, Billy, that we went to school with. I remember Billy's Miami Dolphin's coat (which I wish I could find a pic of online) more than his manners from that time period, but I'm sure- given the right setting- they were impeccable. He's a US Navy fighter pilot, now- just like he wanted to be from the moment he saw Tom Cruise in Top Gun.
Why am I telling you this? Blame it on the New York Times and this article: "All Apologies" . I, too, find myself correcting others' manners. People who are old enough to know better. I'm not talking about teenagers, here- its mostly other adults, young adults like Henry Alford mentions. And I, too, feel like an old fuddy-duddy (Although, would an old fuddy-duddy have just scored some sweet Citizens of Humanity jeans on eBay? I think not.) when I correct or gently prompt people.
I've often thought about conducting lessons for the kids I work with, and even bought a book with helpful tips for every day of the year. But I think the best way to teach is through example. I'm very conscious of saying "please" and "thank you" around the students, even the older teenagers. Sometimes, if I'm feeling adventurous, I'll say it in Potawatomi. Regardless, remember what your Elders taught you about manners and common courtesy. A little can go a looooonnnng way in making a positive impression.
Have a great week everyone!