just some thoughts

Modern Day Etiquette: What advice would YOU give?

There is nothing more exciting than receiving a parcel in the mail. Especially when it’s a surprise! As I was sitting on the toilet going about my business yesterday, my husband called out.

“There’s a package for you! Are you expecting anything?!”

I then quizzed him through the door (we’re married – get over it).

“Whose handwriting is it in? Is it from Australia? Did I order something online and forget about it?”

“I don’t know. Should I open it for you?” came the reply.

“OK…but be careful. It could be a bomb or anthrax or something. I might have made some enemies.”

So anyway, fast forward a few minutes and it turned out I had been sent a really cool book by a really thoughtful lifelong friend. A book I’d been eyeing off for a little while but never really had the nerve to buy (in case it made me realise that I am indeed joining the “Mummy” ranks for realsies):

It’s called The A to Z of MUMMY MANNERS by Libbi Gorr and is “an etiquette guide for managing other children’s mothers and assorted mummy dilemmas”.

It also came with a card that my friend thought appropriate, emblazened with the word “FEARLESS”…perhaps she didn’t get the memo that impending motherhood is thrilling, exciting but mostly sh*t-scary?! Bless.

Inside the book are gems of wisdom like how to explain why one or both parents are in jail, “Mummy had a sleepover. Daddy or Grandma has to pay to let her come home.” (page 81)

Or how to accept that you’re not a domestic goddess: “Face it sister, you weren’t bred to bake. Own it. Get your PhD. Move on.” (page 43)

There is also useful information on how to interact harmoniously with other mummies and how to deal with the competitive nature of women (you or someone else).

It’s a fantastic gift which I am looking forward to reading properly from cover to cover!

There’s nothing that the old school me loves more than modern day lessons in etiquette. I think my friend knows me quite well 🙂

If I was writing a book on general modern day etiquette, I’d probably offer useful advice like this:

Facebook: Your status is supposed to let people know what is on your mind at any given time. It is designed for your social network to see what you are up to, what you’re thinking about and how your life is going. In-jokes (that no-one but you and two other people will understand), passive aggressive jabs at other unnamed friends or the airing of one’s dirty laundry in the heat of a moment is never appropriate. Thought should go into what you choose to publish and how you want to be perceived. Once published, it will not be forgotten. People also have the ability to screen capture your words for later use against you. Tread wisely and represent yourself well. Also, stop annoying EVERYONE with your drama (the voyeuristic novelty wears off really quickly – especially if you do not know how to spell or use apostrophes). Private chat or messaging is best in these situations.

RSVPing: Always RSVP by the date specified on an invitation. It is respectful and shows the event host/organiser that you respect them enough to allow them time to arrange the appropriate quantity of catering and to arrange an appropriate amount of seating or party favours etc. By not letting someone know whether you are attending, you are putting them in a position that is unnecessarily stressful and shows your lack of thoughtfulness. It also makes you appear quite inconsiderate and self centred. If you truly do not know whether you can attend or not (perhaps due to exceptional circumstances) it can be nice to let the host know – they will surely be understanding.

Double Dipping at Parties: If you must dip again, make sure you turn your breadstick around or break it up first!

Socialising while Contagious: Don’t do it! You might be having a great time, but the people you’re spluttering on are not going to enjoy themselves when they catch your cold/flu/flesh eating virus! You might want to consider the fact that other guests may have jobs to attend, exams to sit, children to look after or very vulnerable relatives of their own who cannot afford to catch a virus as well. Same goes for Working while Contagious. And all the employers/friends who pressure you to turn up anyway? Shame on them!!

Ending a Relationship (this one’s for you, Bronnie): Don’t do it via text message. Especially if it’s going to seem like it’s come out of nowhere. You cowardly twat.

Basically, all pieces of advice I would have to give would come under the one category: Don’t be a douchebag. Simple, really. In fact, that would totally be the title of my book. I really think I might be onto something. Get me a publishing deal, stat!!


If you were writing a book on etiquette, what advice would you give?