Deanna Littell's Charm School


In Editor's Desk on November 18, 2008 at 1:29 am

Today I shall discuss modern manners. They appear to be disappearing–this is not charming. In a restaurant the fork goes on the left & the knife on the right, not the cellphone.  Use of such gadgets has become rampant-fishing them out of handbags at lunch is insulting, not charming. On the bus we don’t want to hear, “Now this is totally confidential…” This not only seems like a breakdown of manners, but a total breakdown of barriers between what is private & what is public. We can each try to hold back the tide of self absorption-not knowing there’s a whole world out there. Let’s try to be more charming, more courteous & more attentive to those around us.

Emily PostIf you’re not sure of the rules, go to the Mistress of American Manners, “Emily Post on Etiquette.”  An impressive woman, Ms. Post picked up the pieces after a humiliating divorce and became the arbiter of manners for generations to come. Her fascinating life is recounted in a new book by Laura Claridge, “Emily Post-Daughter of the Gilded Age.” Sometimes we wish she was around today. 

clinton-kelly1For a more modern version, we have “Mr. Manners,” Clinton Kelly. His new book, “Freakin’ Fabulous: How to Dress, Speak, Behave, Eat, Drink, Entertain, Decorate and Generally Be Better Than Everyone Else” will give you the modern rules of the game.

See you next week and don’t forget to check my website in the meantime!

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