Behaving Well for Fun and Profit

Eiquette is like the Force – it flows through every living and non-living entity. “Flows” is the operative word as it changes. People who point out a written rule and use it to brow-beat people are missing the point. Etiquette is for EVERYONE – it’s not here for you to get your way and flounce all over everyone else. Flouncing is allowed but it is EQUAL flouncing: insomuch as you appeal to etiquette for back-up, so much must you uphold its most rigid conventions.

Etiquette is also like Special Forces as it leaves no person behind. There is a rule and exceptions to cover every person and every possible situation.

Yes, you can change your pronouns or ask to be referred to as “they”, but you need to practice patience and discernment as people learn to get the pronouns down IF the people are trying with good faith.

Discernment is vital because there are (in etiquette terms) continents of difference between Person A:“she [wince], sorry, I mean he…” and Person B: “she, oh, waittttttt, I’m sorrrrrrry, I forgotttttttttt, it’s HE now because we are all being forced to be politically correct, so HE…” Person A gets the head tilt, eyes widened, eyebrows raised, small sigh, “I have counted you as an ally now you need to step up” look. Person B gets the full moxie: get up and leave/ ignore/ pie in the face if it’s a kind of pie you don’t particularly like {Yes! etiquette central lets you smush pie in people’s faces! See etiquette is fun and fancy-free!}

Yes, you can ask for cash for house down-payment, sky-diving lessons, favorite charity, or pure-bred Siberian Husky puppy for weddings or life-events, but you can’t get angry if people don’t go along with your schemes.

Etiquette hates martyrs. Don’t nag. Strike creatively. Favorite story – wife who could not get husband to put dirty clothes in laundry basket, hang up wet towels etc. put a LOCK on the guest bathroom, moved all her toiletries there and used only that bathroom (not letting anyone else in) for weeks. When the green mold started growing she didn’t even SEE it. Another used one of those long-handled trash-pickers so she didn’t have to lean over to pick up her kids’ clothes then she would deposit the erring sock or whatever on TOP of the fridge or bookcase, tossed down the basement stairs, flipped behind the canned goods on the pantry shelf, under sofa cushions. It was full on hide-and-go-seek-your-wardrobe. Charming woman and see how fresh her complexion is?

Etiquette hates whiners, especially those who talk about “how manners have gone down-hill since…” Etiquette mavens have old souls. We have SEEN THINGS. We know there are more worlds than this one and we have read extensively in the history of etiquette so that we know people were carping about “how manners have gone down-hill since…” in the 1600s, 1400, 1100s and 800s. There are ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics complaining about “how manners have gone down-hill since…” There are PREHISTORIC CAVE DRAWINGS in France, Spain, Australia, Brazil and Somalia about “how manners have gone down-hill since…” Etiquette mavens know that there was that one moment 30,000 years ago in which everyone was perfectly behaved and it has been down-hill since then. Stop whining.

And remember that bad behavior is NOT an invitation to retaliate – it’s an invitation to emulate. People who are chronically late are INVITING you to not be on time for them or leave after waiting fifteen minutes. People who don’t answer your invitations should not have their invasions answered if you don’t feel like it.