Wednesday, November 10, 2004

So, what ever happened to common courtesy? Politeness? Etiquette?

It seems like people are just rude and self-centered nowadays. There is a great article in the new issue of ELLE magazine about people and their food hangups. You can't have a good old-fashioned dinner party anymore without worrying who's a vegetarian, who is on Atkins, who isn't eating sugar, who is only eating white foods this month. You practically have to get a list of people's food issues before you have a party and then try to figure out what the heck to serve.

The only food issues I really have are that I don't eat veal or lamb and I try to avoid red meat for personal reasons. I really can't eat veal or lamb. It makes me sick. But if I'm served red meat, I'll eat it because I don't want to offend my host. I would never want to embarrass someone over food they are serving me when I am the guest.

I have also experienced the following:

1) When you make plans with someone and then cancel for a better offer....that's rude.

2) When you show up to a dinner party or special event and bring someone who wasn't invited without asking...that's rude.

3) When someone brings you a host/hostess gift and then you make a big show about how you don't like it...that's rude.

4) When you show up late or make people wait on you when you are a guest...that's rude.

5) When you complain about what you are being served when you are a guest...that's rude.

What is so hard about just being polite? If you don't like something on your plate, just push it aside. Don't eat it. And don't make a big deal about it. When you RSVP in the affirmative for an event, you should go unless you are sick or something major comes up. People plan events according to RSVPs and it's rude to cancel for no good reason at the last minute. Also, if you have RSVP'd in the negative, don't show up at the last minute after all.

What is so hard about all of this? I'm not perfect but I'm making an effort to be more polite. I'm even reading classics of etiquette like Leticia Baldridge and Emily Post. Because common courtesy goes a long way in keeping people from getting offended and having their feelings hurt.


Genevieve said...

I have a big thing about being polite. Can I add a few to your list?

1. When you're invited to do something, RSVP. It's not that hard. Don't make me call you to find out if you're coming to my party or not.

2. Table manners. My list could go on and on, but here's a few basics -- wait until everyone is served until you eat. your napkin goes in your lap. chew with your mouth closed. don't ask me if you can turn on the tv when we're eating.

you'd be surprised at how many people actually DO these things. (or maybe not so much surprised as appalled.)

Rentman said...

Man, you ladies are mean.
Next you be offended if people belch and/or pass gas at the table.

Personally, the rudest thing you can do at a dinner party is bring bad wine or cheap beer.
Those people should be smacked upside the head and asked to leave.

Keep fighting the good fight Amy.

Amy M. said...

It's funny you should say that because I have been virtually smacked upside the head and asked to leave over bringing bad wine before.


Ellen said...

Who on earth would say they didn't like a GIFT? That's awful. I mean, unless it was like a dead goldfish or something.