Thursday, August 19, 2010

Etiquette and good manners

Etiquette was very important in my household in my youth. At supper with my parents, I was expected to show good table manners. No chewing with your mouth open. No talking with food in your mouth. Say "please" and "thank you". If an adult is speaking never, ever interrupt them. You must ask to be excused in order to leave the table. You may not get up from the table until your food is finished.

I even remember eating crackers at the baby table with my brother and crunching them with my mouth open. With every crunch, my parents would yell from a different room, "Abbie, stop chewing with your mouth open!!!!" How did they know what I was doing? How did they even hear what was happening? How did they know that it was not my brother? I could not have been older than six years old.

As I grow older, I admit that sometimes my manners slip. It is so easy to allow yourself to not have good manners when your parents are not listening to you in a different room! My worst is having good manners when it is just me and David in the house. I should not allow myself to do this, though: out of anybody, I should want to show off my good manners to my husband!

One of the lessons my parents taught me was to treat others as you wish to be treated. This involves treating everybody with respect: including the person checking you out in the grocery store, your boss, or your husband. I hope that David and I can pass on good manners to our children. Good manners is such an important and valuable thing to learn...and like anything else, it is easier to learn when you are a child.

I thought of this topic after reading the post "Using Kind Words in an Unkind World!" This post serves as a little reminder of words we can use to have better manners. What are the worst etiquette gaffes you see today?


Sarah said...

Hmmm, I hope this post was not brought about by a certain three young mannerless ruffians who were at your house last night!

Anonymous said...

Terri says:
Oh where to start?!!!!
Teaching kids you see and hear all kinds of "non-manners". That's why we have to teach them!
But what bugs me the most about adults is when someone gets in your way or bumps into you and they don't say EXCUSE ME!!!

Kathy said...

I was quilting with older women from St. Theodore yesterday and one long, funny topic of discussion was grandmas expecting thank you notes in vain from apparently non-appreciative grandchildren! Abbie, your parents also trained you unbelievably well in thank you note writing!