I am a kind of stickler for manners and etiquette so when I found THE HATLESS MAN (published around 1998) at the library discard book sale, I had to pick it up.  It is full of odd and forgotten manners that make me laugh.  I’d like to share some of the oddities in the book with you, most date from the late 1800s to early 1900s:
OMG, this one is soooo good!
“A dinner invitation, once accepted, is a sacred obligation.  If you die before the dinner takes place, your executor must attend the dinner.”
“Do not say to your host or hostess that you do not like any of their friends.”
“It is unwise to invite your psychiatrist to your parties and other social events.”
“Avoid looking at a boy with your soul in your eyes.”
“Don’t flutter ecstatically around men, is if you were a moth and they were a light, and you wanted to get close but were afraid of singeing your wings.  To most men this signifies that you have already been burned…..”
“Don’t marry a man who has no time for dogs.  Ten to one such a man will only have time for himself.”
“Neither partner should take along a pet on the honeymoon.  Pets can be jealous creatures ~ and provoke jealousy.”
“If a woman has had more than four husbands, she poisons them, avoid her.”
“If you ask the waiter for anything, you will be careful to speak to him gently in the tone of request, and not of command.  To speak to a waiter in a driving manner will create the suspicion that you were sometime a servant yourself, and are putting on airs at the thought of your promotion.”
“Never apologize to a waiter for requiring him to wait upon you; that is his business.”
this one is too funny!
“Gloves and veil may be removed before going to the table or the veil may merely be turned up at the table.  A veil must never, of course, be allowed to hang so that each mouthful of food must be passed under the veil.”
I can just see you guys wearing a veil at table!  hehehehe
“Never put your feet so far under the table as to touch those of the person on the opposite side; neither should you curl them under nor at the side of your chair.”
“When the host is carving, family and guests should forget him.  If he is in trouble, it will not help to give him the hypnotic eye.”
“Don’t, when offered a dish at a friend’s table, look at it critically, turn it about with the spoon and fork, and then refuse it.”
“Don’t make a wall around your plate with your left arm, as if you feared somebody were going to snatch it from you.”
“It is not the correct thing to put the spoon or fork so far into the mouth that the bystanders are doubtful of its return to the light.”
“It is not the correct thing to turn up the glass or mug on the nose, or to look at people while drinking, either over or through the glass.”
“To take up a whole piece of bread or toast and leave the dentist’s model of a bite in it seems uncouth… Let us break our bread and nibble mouse like at the edge.”
“Background music in the dining room is suitable only for resort hotels and ocean liners.”
“Enter a room as if you felt yourself entitled to a welcome, but wished to take no undue advantage of it.”
“Avoid restlessness in company, lest you make the whole party as fidgety as yourself.”
“Don’t fold your arms across your chest and hug yourself…this makes you look tense and aloof.”
“A sudden and complete silence should never follow an introduction.”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s