Good Manners

What You See is What You Get … Sorta

11-01-2009-j0440987_blue_people_sihlouettesToday was a beautiful fall day with some rare quiet time at my house. Such a treat with an extra hour or so to go through a box of mail, papers, and magazines that have set too long and are begging to be sorted. They’re full of good articles that I wanted to re-read.

One of the brochures and an article prompted me to share a couple things I came across. A professional mailer (from a well-know institution) featured four of their 30-ish year old office employees on its cover. They were asking for our support and business …one woman, two guys, and a fourth person of uncertain gender identity –whose non-descipt appearance said “missing person”.

All wore unflattering clothes– mostly poor fitting jeans, sloppy shirts, dirty shoes, unkempt hair, and, well you get the idea. I asked myself, “Is what you see, what you get?”.  Continue reading

What is a Gentleman?

10-27-2009-knight_chess_piece_j0177919We see Christianity’s timeless, powerful and wise influence upon the world of manners from one of my older etiquette book’s first chapter:
“What is a gentleman? The question is an old one. It cannot be ancestry, for often the son of the most noble and honored parentage is merely a coarse compound of clay and money…It cannot be dress–for surely Beau Brummell  (and today we could include famous well dressed entertainment and political personalities) was not what the world loves to call a gentleman, despite his stiffly starched cravats and brightly polished boots. It cannot be money, for then many a common thief, made wealthy by ill-gotten gains, would be entitled to the name of gentleman. No, it’s something that goes deeper than ancestry or dress or wealth–something that is nobler and finer than any, or all, of these….by faithful constancy to the rules (of  good manners)  he and we gradually mold our characters until, in our outward dignity and charm, the world reads and understands our ideals.” Continue reading

Spitting–Missing the Mark

Spitting in public is nothing new. It’s not unsual when out and about to see youngish swaggering guys launch their slobbery marks in an attempt to appear awesome.  However, rather than being a cool macho thing, spitting has long been recognized as inconsiderate, rude, and even childish.  Continue reading

Don’t worry, be Happy

happiness includes more than thinking right thoughts

In case you haven’t noticed–happiness includes more than thinking right thoughts. It involves wise actions that are taught and learned. Insightful training and the practices of good manners, including  etiquette’s many trustworthy Christian based rules, contribute greatly to happiness. Yes, they do! Continue reading

A Stitch in Time

The saying “Good manners are the stitches that hold the fabric of society together” also applies to the home front. Happy households are safe places where individual actions and words build up others, rather than tear down. Continue reading

A New Look for Protocol Matters

Welcome to Protocol Matter’s new look … photos and a few cool additions are still to come, but thanks to Carl from Adonai Media, Inc., we are up and going again.

I think you’ll like the new tags and categories, which make it easier to locate specific topics and scout out the vast terrain of etiquette discussed in the posts, comments and questions. I appreciate all this technology! (Still working, however,  on moving posts into proper categories).

Thank you visitors and friends for your significant contribution and interest in good manners.  Your practice of etiquette shines like a light. It breaks up cultural currents of selfishness and rudeness. This means you bring refreshing considerate order into every life you touch — especially the children around you. Protocol Matters!

Can I do my own birthday party?

j0336569_happy_birthdayQuestion: Could you address the topic of throwing a party on the occasion of one’s own birthday? Are there guidelines for doing so graciously, or is the entire concept just tacky? Continue reading

Bridal registry & gift protocol

Question: We have many friends from out of town who will not be able to attend my daughter’s wedding or her bridal shower. The groom’s family is also out of state. Yet these families would like to send a gift. What is the best way to inform them where the bride and groom are registered? I know it is not appropriate to put gift registry information on the wedding invitation. How do we get the word out without giving the impression that the couple expects a gift? Thank you for your advice.

Answer: It helps to know that if an invited guest would like to send a gift it is the guest’s prerogative to inquire about a bridal registry. The initiative for information and gift giving belongs to the guests; not to the bridal couple or parents. Continue reading