Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Miss Manners

I bought a Miss Manners book today from a used book store. It has letters that people have written to her and her answers. Some of them are quite interesting.

Dear Miss Manners:
My half-brother showed up in town with his dreadful mother, who used to be married to my father, and some equally awful cousins. How can I introduce my brother, whom I like very much, without seeming to be related to the rest of the crowd, whom I don't like?
Gentle Reader:
"This is my brother, and some relatives of his, the Boors." The best you can hope for, in this case, is that people think your brother, rather than your father, married badly.

Dear Miss Manners:
Please clear the air between a male friend and me. According to him, a man must never offer a firm handshake to a woman. I, on the other hand, believe one should always shake firmly, lest one be considered wishy-washy. What to do?
Gentle Reader:
How firmly are we talking about? Many ladies wear rings on their right hands and many of those rings have stones in them. In the area between seeming wishy-washy and slicing off a lady's finger at the knuckle with her own diamond. Miss Manners would rather a gentleman of ordinary digital and manual sensitivity to adjust his handshake in response to the strength of the lady's.

Men almost always shake my hand very firmly. Painfully firm. I have never been able to figure out why. I do not shake their hand very firmly. Firmly yes but not painfully. Men grasp my and make make my knuckles rub together. It hurts. I have hand only a few light hand shakes.

Dear Miss Manners: I have been trained to take off my hat upon entering an elevator, but in crowded office lifts, the space is insufficient to hold a doffed hat-save over the face (stifling) or under the chin (funereal). So the hat stays on. At the sight of it however women of my age utter little humphs, purse their lips, of it avert their eyes. My face reddens. To halve these elevator contretemps, I no longer go out for lunch. I am brown-bagging (attache´-casing, actually). But the sandwich fare, through economical, is monotonous. Far more serous, this desk dining deprives me of any chance encounter with an attractive woman who might not instantly humph. If you will please proclaim lift-hats-off passe´, I shall display your decree in my hatband. On the elevator, lids will flutter, lips part, humphs give way to susurrations. Soon, lunch counters will no longer be needed, I shall have a new friend who knows countless kinds of sandwiches, and every morning --as my attache´case and her ample handbag leave home to start the workday-- we shall tip our hats to you.
Gentle Reader:
How can Miss Manners resist you? Three little words, you beg, and happiness will be yours. Yet she cannot bring herself to say them. Hold the hat in the space not occupied by the attache´case, which you will no longer need as a sandwich carrier because hordes of women, falling in love with the gallantry, will compete to take you to lunch. Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior © 1982
I hope you enjoyed Miss Manners! My readers will be well versed on the proper way to conduct themselves.


Junk Diva said...

I also refuse to speak to men in elevators who do not remove their, do-rags, stocking caps or backwards ball caps. Much less a man who holds his hat under his chin. HUMPHS !!!!

I prefer a good firm hand shake even if it hurts for a second, to a whimpy one, it gives me the creeps.

Course of Perfection said...

I like firm hand shakes too. (and hugs that squeeze the breath out of ya for a second)

Buck said...

Hats? Men actually wear hats now (outside of the southwest, where Stetsons still rule)? Not ball caps, etc., etc.

I used to have the coolest, and I mean WAY-frickin'-cool Trilby I picked up in a flea market in London. I wore that thing everywhere while I was in Ol' Blighty because the Brits still appreciate hats (and men who wear 'em). Not so back home, though.

Even though I said Stetsons rule... I have a Scala sorta like this one, but with a plain leather band. And a frickin' TON of USAF and Navy unit ball caps.

I like hats. Can ya tell?

Firm handshakes, too. But not bone-crushers given by asshats with something to prove. ;-)

Bag Blog said...

Diva, what elevators are there in duncan - grain elevators?

CoP, you've had a Lindz hug - I like them too.

Buck, I think I might swoon at the sight of you in a trilby - very nice.

Inquiries said...

Diva: Firm handshakes are great but bone crushing is not. I get the bone crushing ones.

Perfection: I like those too.

Buck: I am with Lou, you in a tribly is swoon worthy. Do you have a picture we can drool over?

I don't know what the bone crushers have to prove to me. I have small hands, and not a very strong grip. It is not me gripping their hands. I don't know it is I just wish they would stop. It HURTS!

Buck said...

Do you have a picture we can drool over?

Well...first: thank you, Ladies. You do an ol' geezer's ego good.

Second: I haven't seen a pic of the trilby in the archives, yet. Strange, that, coz like I said... I wore that hat everywhere back in the day.

Becky said...

I'm with you on the handshake thing. I do not like the limp fish thing, but neither do I want the bones in my hand broken. Maybe it's the age thing. I seldom get bone crushers from men my own age or older.

Anxiously awaiting the picture of Buck in a trilby...