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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mrs. Manners and Her Granddaughter Megan

My Granddaughter Megan is in town for the week to attend Miss Manner's Camp at the YMCA. As her Grandmother, I wanted to be sure she was raised as a proper Southern lady and be sure I had not neglected any of the finer points of her etiquette lessons.

It turns out I had. I had omitted instructing her in the following areas:

  • a lady never enters room with her "rear" preceding her; always lead with your legs
  • when introducing someone; always introduce the older person to the younger as in "Nana, I would like you to meet my friend, Alaina."
  • Saying please and thank you were stressed. It never hurts for young people to hear this from another pair of lips other than their parents, grandparents and teachers.
  • Use of "yes, Mam" and "No, Sir" were also deregetur. Now this was a requirement at my house. No "huh?" to my father. I did not like this rule; so I foolishly abandoned it with my children. Later as a teacher; I realized the error of my ways. A child who says "yes, Mam and "No, Mam" will earn better grades and go farther in life than one who doesn't. It is scientifically proven. I guarantee it. You can take that to the bank....or maybe not the bank...but you can put that under your new mattress.

Our freshman year at Coker College we had an etiquette class taught by the Dean of Women I don't know if we got college credit; I rather think not but it WAS required. The two things I never forgot.

She told us to always cut up a hot dog in a bun. Now that is stupid. I can just see you at the next camp fire with your paper plate asking the hostess, "mam, do you happen to have a knife? I need to cut up my hot dog? No more cook outs for you, Missy. Probably no more dates either.

The other was: ALWAYS cut up your FRIED chicken. To this day I feel guilty NOT doing this. You notice I don't do it; but I do feel guilt if I am with someone who might possibly know better and think I don't know better. (But those people are few and far between; best remedy...leave the dang chicken alone on those occasions it will be a problem. You can't get it off the bone with a knife and fork. Oh, this was before the day of the boneless chicken....those suckers hadn't been invented yet.

In the picture above, Megan and I are going to make an appearance at a political function our rich doctor cousin's and his wife were giving for a person running for governor of SC in 2010. A good occasion to try out our manners and no chicken or hot dogs were involved and we certainly did not back into the room!


Anonymous said...

How, exactly, does one enter a room with her "rear" preceding her? Would that be walking into the room backwards?

Donnamo said...

I asked the same thing; granddaughter, hannah, the EXTROVERT demonstrated this technique (an everything else that went on at camp) so I will be happy to demo this at Sunday school for the benefit of our charge :)