But I *Need* A Daiquiri To Tackle Etiquette

Recently, I  answered some questions about modern social etiquette  for a local paper. If you read my blogs back before I gave them a clever name and a website then you know I’m not terribly fond of social etiquette. I think it’s silly and unnecessary. (Do not confuse etiquette with manners. I think manners are a wonderful thing to be shared liberally and with abandon.) For every rule of etiquette that I actually adhere to and believe in there is a situation or an example that is the exception.

Guys, a lecture about chivalry is next.

Here is a copy of the Q&A exchange. I answered the first question on Facebook and she liked my answer, which is journalism code for “I needed that perspective for my story” so she asked me a few more.
Again, when should you (or should you at all) declare your relationship status on Facebook?
I think it is fine to make your relationship “Facebook official” any time after you both agree in person that it is an official relationship. To avoid the embarrassment of constantly changing your relationship status and to build healthier relationships you should date longer. Even if you are only dating one person there is no reason to rush into calling it an official relationship.
Is it appropriate to date a friend’s ex? Why or why not?
Define friend. I think it depends on the friend and the ex. If you are referring to an acquaintance from the bar who changes their relationship status weekly it is probably okay to date one of their exes. If you’re talking about a friend from high school’s boyfriend from sophomore year it’s probably fair game. If you’re talking about someone you hang out with frequently and a guy she used to bring around then definitely no. That is not a situation you should put yourself or anyone else in on purpose. All that being said I don’t think I have dated any of my friend’s exes. Too weird for me.

What is the best way to break up with someone and why?
I think you should break up in person and as honestly as possible. Skip the insults, though. You don’t have to be friends but once it’s over there is no reason to be mean. I’d like to go back in time and add a “generally” in front of all of those statements. That is why I find etiquette so complicated and unnecessary. Nothing is as simple or as cut and dry as social etiquette proponents would have you believe.Is it okay to date your friend’s ex? In theory that sounds like a terrible idea but I am sure as hell “dating” my ex’s friend and it seems to be working out just fine for us. Should you break up in person? Definitely. Unless you can’t. Then you just do the best you can. Should you take your relationship slow?  I prefer mine at glacial speed. That is based entirely on my own dating history, though. You may like yours fast and furious.

This is why etiquette, in my humble opinion, is ptooey. Below is a blog I wrote in March of 2008 that I feel describes my thoughts on etiquette quite well, especially the end statement.

Without Blenders There Are No Daiquiris

(edited to apologize for the weird formatting, something to do with dictionary.com and edited again because I am a genius and fixed most of the formatting issues)
Rise above. Rise above your initial reaction, rise above your antagonist, rise above the situation. Most of all rise above what is expected of you. 
I intend to handle this with a touch of class and class is nothing more than integrity upheld.

I decided that my last blog was likely to do more harm than good so I saved a few of my favorite bits for you and closed it. I stand firm behind the basic idea, though, and that is that common sense… is not so common. Trite, but true.

When I got my first job my dad told me that I should always work towards the goal of taking over even if that was not my intent. I was thinking, “I don’t really want to run a movie theatre in Perry for the rest of my life,” but I understand now what he meant. If you go into a job or any situation with the goal of taking over you will do well. You’ll call in “sick” a little less, you’ll dress a little sharper, you’ll impress a little more and you will conduct yourself in a professional manner. You will treat your superiors and co-workers and staff with respect. You will treat other professionals in your field with respect, as well.

To me this is… common sense. It is as elementary as looking both ways before you cross the street or not eating yellow snow. These are things not in the employee handbook or the company mission statement, but they are what seperate you from the one who is overlooked, or the one who gets the promotion. If you do one day take over the business common sense may mean the difference between simply surviving or going beyond and succeeding.

So, I had been on a bit of a rant about common sense when I came across a discussion about social ettiquette and it made me wonder… why? Er… who? Um, what?

Precisely.

The discussion was about baby showers and the gift registry. Apparently, etiquette dictates you do not throw your own shower (duh) or include a note about where you are registered in your invitation. Etiquette states you do not actually even deserve the shower, but your friends and family may throw it for you because they care about you. Your guests should hear about your registry through word of mouth, most likely from the person who cared enough to throw you the shower you were unworthy of because you are a greedy whore that wants a Winnie The Pooh blanket for your unborn child and please god, absolutely nothing with The Wiggles on it.

Does anyone else think this is absurd? I never questioned it before tonight but suddenly I am perplexed. Why can’t we tell people where we are registered? The theory is that it appears greedy, like you expect your guests to bring a gift. Erm. Hm.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/shower

5. a party given for a bestowal of presents of a specific kind, esp. such a party for a prospective bride or prospective mother: a linen shower; a baby shower.


So, it is somehow greedy to expect gifts at a party thrown almost entirely for the sole purpose of… giving gifts?

**I know, I know, some of you are reading this, saying to yourselves, “but its just what you do, its the proper way,” and I understand, ettiquette says so, but who came up with this notion of ettiquette? And why? And who decided on the conventional requirements we adhere to so vehemently? Who has the authority to change the rules?**

I know some of the rules have indeed changed over time. Such as, some people now believe it is okay to include a small card saying where you are registered, but never ever put it on the actual invitation. Thank goodness for these radical women pioneering the etiquette frontier for us or we may end up with two toasters and no blender. How would we make daiquiris?

Do we need etiquette if we use common sense? I don’t expect an etiquette revolution but I hope we will all start to question the rules we live by. (I used to have one of those “Question Authority” bumper stickers, little did I know by “Authority”  it meant Miss Manners.)

You may have noticed I specified women above. When was the last time you noticed a man concerning himself with social etiquette? I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, but… yeah, it probably doesn’t.

If your friends think you are tacky or greedy for including a note about where they can find what you need so they don’t waste money on things you don’t need my own personal standards dictate that you need new friends. Immediately. Furthermore, if social etiquette dictates that I do not deserve a party then I want nothing to do with it. I am throwing myself a party here and now to celebrate my freedom from the absurd notion that I do not deserve it.

Not getting how all of this is tied together with common sense? Take notice tomorrow of how people conduct themselves. Are they going beyond the rule book or are they following a set of directions laid out by their boss or their mother? Too many people lack the ability to think, they have to be told, and if they aren’t told they just act without thinking first.

That annoys the fuck out of me.

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