Are we a mannerless society? Have we lost our poise, our charm, our refined ettiquettian ways?

Ah remember the days when crossing the ankles was the way to go and going leg over knee meant you were some kind of hussy? Rulers were used to shift elbows from tables and books were balanced on dainty little heads.

Walking was important. How you greeted a stranger or an elder was crucial. Eye contact, particular words and even how you enunciated them were learnt at particular schools. Clothes were worn modestly and in bland, beigey colours. A lady always had to have a heel but not too high sisters! Oh no, you don’t want to tower above the men.

Then there was marriage. Dinner was to be on the table pronto as soon as poor old hubby got home. The children were to be washed and heaven forbid if you looked like a dirty old dishrag with crazy hair and no makeup for hubby.

The house had to be spotless. This meant mopping, sweeping, polishing silver and scrubbing floors on hands and knees. Cooking meant hours of work, preparation, perfection. Any frivolous fun had to be done after the chores and when the children were out and about.

It was all about playing the part. The happy, successful, functional family with the picket fence was all the rage. But what about now? Gone are the days when the husband was worshiped but have we gone too far? Do we simply worship ourselves these days?

Many of us live a pretty comfortable lifestyle. Choosing to miss out or suffer is way down the bottom of our list of priorities. I don’t blame us but I wonder if we’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater because some of the best things in life come out of times of suffering.

If everything is comfortable it means that there are no challenges. If we’re focused completely on ourselves it means others miss out. There must be a balance between the old fashioned ways and our modern lifestyle.

I wonder what that would look like?

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