Dear Annie: I know that I was raised in the Stone Age. But some of the things I remember sure would be nice additions to today's society. They're called manners. I recall my mother saying, "Mind your manners." Whenever she said that, I knew right then that what I was doing was unacceptable.
Manners were not anything written down. They were learned at home. There was no test to be sure you understood what to do and not do. There are too many to list, but I have a few examples:
—Don't eat with your elbows on the table.
—Don't eat with a baseball cap on at the table.
—Always say "please" when asking someone to pass the potatoes. Then reply with a "thank you"
—Never say, "I ain't got no potatoes."
—Hold the door for other people.
—Don't disrupt someone who is talking.
—Learn the phrases "excuse me" and "pardon me," and use them.
—When meeting someone new, hold out your hand to shake their hand.
—Don't talk with your mouth full.
—Open the car door for ladies.
—Pull the chair out for ladies to sit at a table.
Nowadays, when someone says, "Mind your manners," all you get is, "What's a manner?" — Longing for Etiquette
Dear Longing for Etiquette: Thank you for this reminder about the importance of manners. I'm sure that some young people know what manners are, but those who do not are missing out. Manners are a beautiful sign of respect for each other. Here's hoping that old-fashioned manners will come back in style just like some names from older generations have.
Dear Annie: For the woman who wanted her husband to walk her daily two-mile journey with her, perhaps it might be less intimidating to him if they walked short distances, and slowly, at first. Maybe walk a 1/4 mile the first week, and then 1/2 mile the second week, etc. That might seem more manageable for him, if he has been sedentary for a long time.
For the young woman who was newly independent and living with roommates, I have some thoughts about her boredom. She has been leaving jobs after a few months, and I agree that most jobs in the food service industry become boring after a short period of time. Perhaps she could work through her boredom and find the tenacity to stay for at least a year. She would then have more financial security, which is what it sounds like she is seeking. If she could tough it out while perhaps taking courses in a field in which she is interested, she could eventually find a more meaningful and lucrative job that she could stay at for a longer period of time. This could leave her more fulfilled during her employment. Employers like to see resumes where someone has stayed at least a year at one position; this shows integrity.
Thanks for considering my suggestions, and thank you also for your kindness, which is always so prevalent and refreshing in your answers! — Just My Two Cents
Dear Just My Two Cents: I always welcome well-thought-out points of view. Thank you.
"Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie" is out now! Annie Lane's debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to [email protected]