Saturday, November 26, 2011

An Emily Post Post

Whereas we are all periodically exposed to bad manners, it should be pointed out that usually it is even worse manners to draw public attention to such social transgressions.  Social faux pas should always be allowed to continue without comment (within reason) - and therefore without challenge - assuming no one's health or reputation is seriously at risk.  Etiquette demands it.  However if the situation worsens, an appropriate person should take the offender aside for a friendly (and discreet) admonition.  The transgressor may not appreciate it being pointed out at the time, but most certainly will on the morrow.  We all wish that certain lines of decorum weren't crossed, and each one of us establishes those lines for himself or herself, but when they are crossed the real test is of the host - to see how they handle it.  At times, of course, it will be the host (or hostess) who is the transgressor (I succumbed once back in 1985), and then the host's better half must - and usually does - take the bull by the horns.