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June 4, 2010

Last year I was lucky enough to happen upon a 1948 copy of Vogue’s Book of Etiquette. No, I wasn’t necessarily scouring the Internet or vintage book stores looking for it, as my time is far too filled with reality TV for that kind of persistence.  In fact, I didn’t even know that such a thing existed.  In my mind Vogue is nothing more than an advertisement book thinly veiled as a fashion magazine with a few articles here and there printed in such tiny font that the idea of making my way through 620 words on, “The History of a Versace Dress,” almost shuts my eyes immediately.  I usually go for the glossy trashy mags with a bikini pic of Jennifer Anniston and a 100 word essay on why Lindsay Lohan is out of control (a story told mostly through a series of pictures).  So when my grandmother’s passing left me with this amazing find I was intrigued to say the least.

My grandmother exuded class, style, elegance and most of all – etiquette her entire life, all 91 years of it.  As early as 10 years old I was being gifted with Emily Post books and instructed on the proper way to cut my food (and though dicing up all of your chicken at once may seem efficient for stuffing your face, it is not considered couth).    I believe I was the only teenager at the sports banquet (ok, and yes, drama banquet too but it was cool at my school) who knew which water was mine (FYI, it’s BMW, bread, meal, water in that order from left to right).  Yet even with my extensive training early on I had no idea that the rules of etiquette reached so far – 644 pages worth.  Who knew!  There is an entire page of proper manners when having a wedding in a time of mourning and a whole chapter on appropriate clothing when visiting the country on holiday (and not just specific pieces, but fabric types too).  Anyhow, as I make my way through the book I have been completely enlightened and I feel it would be improper and just plain rude if I were not to share some of my findings with you.  I am certain you will thank me should you ever have to write a letter to the governor of a social club or entertain a head of state.


More to follow next week!

See - BMW. Also note that once used a utensil should never touch the table again, though I am sure this rule is null and void when dining at Lubys.

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