Sunday 8 September 2019

Modern Manners 5


Invite the single, widowed and divorced.
Drop the subject if someone doesn't want to discuss it.
Project your voice when addressing a roomful of people without a microphone.

Post revolting pictures on Facebook and Twitter.
Keep telling everybody you’re from Yorkshire.
Moan about others all the time.
Make sweeping statements about groups.
Force anyone to do something they don’t want to do – or are frightened of.

Tell “funny” anecdotes that go on for ten minutes.
Turn your life into a succession of “funny” anecdotes.
Tell "funny" anecdotes about family members.
Repeat entire sketches from the TV or radio, word-for-word.
Tell the kind of jokes that start “Have you heard this one?”
Hold an entire conversation in a comedy Yorkshire accent.

Tell friends too much about each other before they meet.
Psychoanalyse your friends and family – especially to their face.
Put everybody else in the wrong.
Discuss the party in front of the one person who hasn't been invited.
Guilt your flatmates by washing up their pots and pans while they're still eating.
Tell people off for something they would have done if you hadn't told them not to in time.
Keep mispronouncing an unfamiliar name.
Give people nicknames.
Push someone’s boundaries for years.
Live other's lives for them.
Try and train your friends and family to be more proactive, or independent, or whatever.
Set traps for visitors.
Lend visitors unflattering sunhats.

Disparage someone else’s allergy.
Snap or video a disabled person in a public place.
Grab the arm or belongings of a blind person – ask them if they need help.
Tell anyone that they don’t look disabled enough for a wheelchair.

Turn any conversation into a lament about “kids today” (or "parents today" who fail to teach their kids manners).

Don’t sit on people’s cars! (@TheRoyalButler)
Don’t tell the bereaved to smile, or cheer up, or any other asinine BS. (@Living400lbs)

Mrs Gillette, of the White House Cook Book, 1887, explains why you shouldn’t cut or bite your roll at dinner, but tear off a piece and butter only that piece. You don’t want to leave your buttered roll on your side plate with a bite mark everybody can see. She also adds that you shouldn’t mix the food on your plate, or drop pieces of bread into your gravy.

I have an aunt who is mostly cool but anytime I posted something on Facebook, she would correct me. Publicly. (@KaleidoscopeJen)

"Take care how you comment on public FB groups – your family and friends may see it, even if you’ve blocked them!", says Samantha Upward.

"Remember what I said before about not correcting your family’s anecdotes – or their social media posts?", says Caroline Stow Crat. "And if your friends keep posting annoying memes on Facebook, click on the three grey dots and block the source. And you know what else I find boring? Competitive ignorance of popular culture. You know, 'I haven’t heard of any of the contestants on this year’s Strictly!'"

"And competitive refusal to use new technology," says Sam. “ 'I’m so refined I don’t watch Youtube!' And I met an academic who told me his Wikipedia page was out of date, but it wasn’t worth anybody’s time and effort to update it."

"That usually means “I don’t know how”!"

"I bossily thought I'd do it for him – but it had been updated, he just hadn't bothered to look!"

More here.

More here, and links to the rest.

Thursday 5 September 2019

What to Wear 11

Don’t wear very small hats.
(The Well-Dressed Woman’s Do’s and Don’ts, Elise Vallee, 1926)

Cardigans with mismatched “whacky” buttons.
Anything turquoise, unless it’s jewellery.
Anything machine-knitted.
Too many rings, khaki or blue nails.
Short dress, bare legs.
Floral fabric, lace and sequins.
Bracelet-sleeved jacket over a long-sleeved shirt.
High round neck.
Long hair.
Per the broadsheets: No all-beige outfits, no elasticated jeans, no wallet that closes with velcro.

V-necks or an open shirt/jacket over a camisole.
Hats and fascinators need short hair or an updo.
Buy new bras every few months and shorten the straps.

I recently read a thread about young women in academia and what they should wear to be professional. Why, oh why, were the proposed solutions:
Don't wear colorful clothing.
Don't wear "too much" makeup.
Don't wear "flashy" jewelry. (@CallMeRichier)

Anna Murphy in the Times says the following rules should never be broken:
No navy and black together.
Don’t mix silver and gold jewellery.
No trainers with a tailored jacket.
Sleek clothes call for sleek hair.
Don’t mix the seasons “no chunky knit with summery silk skirt”.
No socks and heels.

An older woman always looks good when groomed, and wearing good quality clothing that is stylish, simple and well tailored. A well-cut blazer-style jacket, with slacks or skirt, can then be made modern and younger with T shirts, blouses and ONE new fashion item. This may be a belt in a bright colour or modern-style shoes and bag. Or team the blazer with a good pair of jeans. This will stop you from looking “like a Nana”, and be comfortable at the same time. Also, tone down your makeup if you have always worn it, or start wearing a little if you haven’t – you will need subtle colouring to stop you looking washed out and pale. (Top Tips for Girls)

She had about nine bracelets and bangles, consisting of chains and padlocks, the Major's miniature, and a variety of brass serpents with fiery ruby or tender turquoise eyes, writhing up to her elbow almost, in the most profuse contortions. (W.M. Thackeray, Snobs)

In my first few weeks at the convent, aged 10, we were supposed to follow the hunt, which “met” at the school. A notice went up telling us what to wear: “Jeans, not slacks, may be worn.” I remember thinking at the time that the nuns had got it the wrong way round – surely they wanted us to wear old-fashioned “slacks” – tapered, terylene and uncool – rather than working-class jeans? 

In the 50s we were dressed rather plainly, with an avoidance of overt femininity. Mum sneered at mothers who dressed their children in party dresses for every day – particularly very short black velvet with lace collars. Frilly white lace knickers probably went with these. And she would never get me an organza party dress like my friends had, with several layers in the skirt. Instead she made me a dress out of pale blue velvet, with a net overskirt. It was lovely, and a white rabbit cape went with it, but it wasn’t the real thing.

Stow Crats and Upper-Upwards were still changing for dinner in the 70s – men in DJs, women in a long tweed skirt (what Jilly Cooper called “horse-blanket skirts”), and either a white silk blouse or a cashmere jumper. This outfit was a long way from the evening dress that used to be de rigueur, but Upper-Upward houses were still freezing. When Agatha Christie first got married, everyone changed for dinner, but, she explains, you made one dress do for about five years.

More here, and links to the rest.