Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Etiquette--Is is dead or not?

The topic of etiquette seems to be a reoccuring one in my life lately. I think most traditional etiquette rules are lost on my generation (cue talking on the phone at the grocery store check-out and over-telling of personal information on Facebook). I can't decide whether or not I think it matters.

I think it matters when following the rules of etiquette help you to show appreciation. For example, I wrote thank you cards to everyone who helped with my wedding and gave gifts. Many people commented that they were shocked to receive a thank-you note, expressing that they don't often receive them. Is this practice out-dated? Another is RSVPing. I'm always pleasantly surprised when people do RSVP, but it happens so rarely. Again, I think it shows appreciate for the invitation and all the work that goes into planning and hosting an event.

I think that rules of etiquette don't matter when the behavior in question doesn't have to directly affect anyone else. For instance, the idea that it is inappropriate to have a baby shower for a second child seems so silly to me. If someone wants to host a baby shower for a friend--kudos, what a generous offer. If you're offended by this, what's your deal? Don't come. 

What rules of etiquette do you live by? What could you do without?


  1. I went to an author's lecture last week. The book is called How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World and it is basically a modern day etiquette book. It's lovely.

  2. My mom taught me to ALWAYS write thank-yous. Glad that someone else does, too :) I think our generation is just lazy. It really bugs me.

  3. I wasn't allowed to use any kind of gift or spend money until a thank you had been written for the item. I think it is a wonderful habit. As for my own children, well I try, not so sure it is going to stick...

  4. Something that I didn't know in the early years of my marriage but have learned over time is how important it is to ask your dinner host if there is something you can bring to help with dinner. (ie.. a salad or dessert) They may say no, and that is fine, but I think it's important to at least ask. Even if you are just going up to Mom and Dad's house.

  5. In response to 2busy, I think that rule is a great idea! I would add "re-gift" to the list. You are not allowed to regift the item until you have written a proper thank you card to the original giver...