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ETIQUETTE EXPERTS TAKE ON NEW YORK

posted Jun 1, 2017, 7:18 AM by PHS Warrior Beat

By Ashleigh Dillon

    While wearing a necklace with the word ‘Fearless’ author of “Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps,” and “Gracious: A Practical Primer on Charm, Tact and Unsinkable Strength,” Kelly Williams Brown boarded a downtown No. 6 train in New York City. She politely asked a stranger, “Excuse me, do you mind if I sit here?”. Her friend Lizzie Post, the great-great-granddaughter of the expert of etiquette Emily Post, was a few steps behind her. The two friends have set out to assess and discuss the state of modern manners around in New York City.

    “Arm around, a leaning in, a quick smooch is fine,” Ms. Post said. “The lingering and the caressing is what people don’t like.” Ms. Post is also the author of the 19th edition of “Emily Post’s Etiquette.

    “Make-out noises aren’t O.K. anywhere in public,” Ms. Post said.

    “A head on the shoulder? Yes,” Ms. Brown said. “Erotic inner arm rubbing? Probably not. Don’t be moving a lot and you’ll probably be O.K.”

    Later, the two went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    “If I am in a museum by myself, I always carry some headphones with me for those times I want it to be quiet even though it might not be,” Ms. Brown said.

    “That, to me, is a big part of etiquette. It’s not about changing the world around you and pointing out the mistakes of others; it’s about finding your own way to be centered and at ease.” stated Ms. Post.

    “It might be a first date, and you don’t know whether it’s a woman who values chivalrous acts or doesn’t. The best thing you can do is ask. And that way it becomes a choice for the woman.” Ms. Post stated.

    “Standing up for myself while still maintaining a very high level of politeness only further underlines maybe how poor that behavior is,” Ms. Brown stated, adding: “‘John, I love your enthusiasm for this. I’m almost finished with what I have to say.’ They might feel chastised, but that’s O.K.”

    “Everyone talks about manners as a thing of the past,” Ms. Brown said.

    “You and I certainly don’t,” Ms. Post said. “We are on a crusade. Etiquette is alive. It is real. It is living.”

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