One of life's challenges--to which I find myself rising rather ineptly--is the matter of etiquette. The way I see it, there is a central problem with etiquette, which is: you can know the forms perfectly well, but that doesn't make adhering to them any easier or more enjoyable.
Take the little matter of thank-you notes. Having gone to a metric ton of parties lately, I owe a metric ton of thank-you notes. And I have every intention of writing them. But ... I keep finding other things to do instead. Like folding laundry. Or rearranging my bookshelves. Or (God help me) reading etiquette books.
Have I ever mentioned that I have a sizable collection of etiquette books? I own multiple editions of Emily Post (with Mrs. Post, the older the better--she starts off much more opinionated, but in the latest edition, her daughter-in-law is practically conciliatory. And conciliatory? Is Just Wrong.) Oh, and then there's Amy Vanderbilt, and Vogue's from the 1940s. And the New American Etiquette, printed during World War II, and containing an entire chapter on military etiquette. And Debrett's Modern Manners, in case I ever end up in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot. I have funny ones, too--and why not, as there is something inherently comic about finger bowls--P. J. O'Rourke's, and J. P. Donleavy's. And countless others. A shelf-and-a-half of the things.
But that doesn't get those thank-you notes written.
Perhaps if I took a picture of the books and mailed a print to each of the women to whom I owe thank-you notes?
Well, no wonder I'm only 68 percent Lady.
|You Are 68% Lady|
Overall, you are a refined lady with excellent manners.
But you also know when to relax and not get too serious about etiquette. And you have been known to fart.