Wednesday, June 13, 2012

please and thank you

What is etiquette?
Websters: The conduct or procedure required by good breeding or prescribed by authority to be observed in social or official life.

Good breeding? Seriously, what are we, dogs?

Is etiquette dead? Is it my fault?

Where do you learn this stuff? At home? In school?

Etiquette - manners and how to set the table and sending thank you notes.

Yes, this was prompted by receiving a thank you note in the mail. I often tell young people not to bother sending me a thank you note, a verbal thank you is sufficient (or a hug), and most times they do just that. So my casual attitude is adding to the detriment of etiquette.

I was surprised to receive this small note in the mail, all the way from Georgia to Kansas, entirely hand-written even the address and return address, with a personal note and everything. I was also surprised about how much I liked receiving it!

I recently heard of a graduating senior who was reminded by her parents to send out thank you notes for all of her grad gifts, and the parents even bought the notes for her to send out. She printed out address labels on the computer along with a computer-printed message for the inside of the notes: "Thank you for your support!" In this age of computers and texting and email, how was she to know any different? This is probably the first time she has ever had to do this. Who's fault is this? The parents? The school? Society? [don't worry - the mother intervened and made her do them over]

And why is it so important? Or is it? Does anyone care? Isn't this an old-fashioned tradition? Is etiquette just another of the dying arts, on the list with cursive writing?

And don't even get me started on cursive writing! Speaking of cursive writing, this nice and proper thank you note that I received contained no cursive writing - very pretty printing, but cursive has already bit the dust I am afraid.

Emily Post was the official etiquette guru - believe it or not, her great-grandson Peter Post is continuing the family business. He says etiquette is not dead, and people are always asking him etiquette questions:

People have questions. They want answers. Not because it’s rocket science or because they really don’t know what to do. They want confirmation so they can be confident in their interactions with others, especially people they don’t know very well.

That’s the beauty of etiquette. It helps you be confident. So, no, etiquette really is not dead. If you have questions, ask. Until we meet, you can always go to the Emily Post blog, Etiquette Daily, and join the conversation, ask a question, and get your answer.
~Peter Post

Anyway, to all you graduating seniors out there, mind your manners, write your thank you notes, they are appreciated more than you know, especially by us grandmothers!

Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use.
~Emily Post


Kim @ Stuff could... said...

I agree with is unusual to receive a written Thank You note. Thank you for the reminder of etiquette

Eddie said...

When I give somebody something I would like to know they got it. They don't have to thank you, but should I call the Postal Service and ask them to look for a lost or stolen gift or what?
If I want a thank-you note it might signify tha I am seeking approval - heck, I already did that by giving the gift.

Everything Changes said...

Good reminder.

BTW why do they make these word verification thingys so hard to see. Argh.