Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Failing Etiquette

A sign of social decadence. To quote:
Etiquette is something not readily taught in school. It is learned early by trial and error, by lessons, a training, of sorts, by family and friends, and by observation. Observation, i.e., a good example. Most likely it is set in place by the age of seven, and from my point of view, constantly corrected throughout one's life. It is called good breeding. It is called an education.

Of course etiquette is somewhat different everyplace I've traveled. My wife has consciously chosen to adapt to the French way of using utensils, as she has spent one third of her adult life there. And though I distinguish it to be far more functional, I can't seem to make the switch. What I originally learned is hard- wired, and so too are all of the subtle nuances that have followed me from the time I sat on phone books at the kitchen table.

Similarities in bad taste however, are universal, and the utilitarian differences are little but methods for accomplishing what is considered good taste. Even in India, where eating local cuisine with one's fingers is acceptable, no child would use a napkin that had fallen to the floor without being corrected. And here I was, observing what I considered the most civilized country on earth. (Read entire post.)

1 comment:

julygirl said...

The behavior he describes in the restaurant makes me wonder where he was eating....I have observed better manners in our local Burger King, however I live in an area where good manners and thoughtfulness is found among all economic levels.