Does Party Etiquette Still Exist?
I was invited to a holiday party at my boss’s fancy new home. I got all dressed up, and I made my way up their long steep driveway in my new leather boots that made my outfit complete. I was feeling confident and pretty. When I got to the door, I was welcomed with “please take off your shoes”. Well, I was immediately put off for two reasons. I suddenly felt unwelcome because their home was now too good for my “dirty” boots and me. Also, I was wearing knee-high Sponge Bob Square Pants socks and sporting a year-old pedicure. I went from looking cute to looking like a doofus in the time it took to unzip my shoes. I felt silly walking around making small-talk in my juvenile tube socks. My confidence and demeanor changed. I no longer wanted to be at the party. Years later, I was watching a show on TV, and the party hosts also asked their guests to take off their shoes, but in this case, at the end of the party someone had stolen her shoes.
Now, I don’t blame anyone for wanting to take care of their home, but I often wonder; “What’s the party etiquette of today?” Emily Post, who wrote the book on manners in 1922, is known today for creating the standard and rules of etiquette. Although some of her “rules of society, business, politics, and home” are a bit outdated, I believe she shared words of wisdom when she said, “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of other. Etiquette is the science of living.” I completely agree with Emily. Etiquette is not about bringing a hostess gift or using the correct flatware, it’s about people! Good manners and etiquette reflect our sensitivity to people’s needs and feelings. I carry this small but powerful quote with me always. I fall short so many times, but I am hopeful.