When I was growing up, my grandmother had a store with an entire wing of the shop devoted to china and crystal patterns. I learned what each plate was meant to serve and which glass to use. She knew everything about etiquette. Most of the lessons in manners I learned from my mother who learned them from my grandmother. The rest I learned from reading books by Emily Post.
“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.”Emily Post
Manners are a form of respect for others. With that in mind, I am also aware that etiquette has changed in recent years. This is where it gets complicated. While many social graces are respectful, some can now appear sexist, rude, or ignorant.
The first change in etiquette that comes to mind is in a formal dining environment. What do you do when someone approaches the table? Does everyone stand to greet them or do women stay seated? When I was young, men stood up or half stood (called mock stand) when a woman left and returned to the table. Is this still a thing? I did some research and here is my answer to those questions:
It’s interesting what has changed and what hasn’t. There is a shift towards equality between men and women in terms of greeting business associates or acquaintances approaching the table. Meanwhile, there is still the traditional gesture by men towards women of standing when a woman leaves or returns to their table.
I am intrigued by what else is new or different! Micro Lessons in Etiquette might be my calling 😂