There are so many sites out there that tell us what etiquette is or should be – good manners, politeness, etc. They tell us when to send invitations, thank yous, and more. However, there is so much that etiquette is not. None of these things alone are bad or against etiquette. I simply don’t want people to miss the forrest for the trees.
Etiquette is not perfect hair all of the time. Etiquette is not perfectly manicured hands. Etiquette isn’t wearing only tailored suits. Etiquette isn’t using only crystal wine glasses. Etiquette isn’t Italian monogrammed stationary. Etiquette isn’t writing thank you notes immediately every time you receive something. Etiquette isn’t an immaculate house. Etiquette isn’t a perfect schedule.
If anything on that list suits you and your season of life, that’s wonderful. If it doesn’t, that’s wonderful, too. I do believe that etiquette promotes us being our best us. I have kids, and I’m not going to buy dry clean only items that I wear on a daily basis. I’m just not. I will wear clean clothes to work. Again, happy medium, just like I’ve talked about recently. Let your kids eat watermelon on the back porch. Slow down in life enough to enjoy growing your own food or sewing or whatever it is that interests you. Adding etiquette doesn’t diminish the realness of life. It enhances it by adding that extra touch we often long for today. Etiquette doesn’t prevent you from you YOU. It helps you be a better you
I’m a Type A person, and I often long for perfection. I’m seeing the beauty in imperfection, too. There will be cook outs where I serve food on paper plates. But you can bet your bottom dollar that my bathrooms will be clean, and I will thank each person for coming, looking them in the eye while I do. 🙂 Etiquette does not equal perfectly formal. I think the more we’ve distanced ourselves from etiquette, the more the true defintion has gotten muddled. Maybe it’s so people can fool themselves into thinking etiquette isn’t applicable today. I’m not sure. I guess the best way I can sum it up is, you don’t have to be formal to follow etiquette. Invite your friends over for an informal dinner or play date with the kids. Just don’t stay on your phone the whole time they’re there. 😉