Wednesday, January 26, 2011

True Grit/True Manners

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Now for this week's Post:
Have you seen the movie True Grit yet?  I went to see it this weekend and I have to say I cracked up during one line toward the end of the movie - no one else in the theater thought it was funny including
my husband - I think I may have been the only one who caught it!The character Mattie is shown as a middle-aged woman going to visit Rooster Cogburn in Memphis years after they had parted ways.  When she approaches two men to talk to them about Mr. Cogburn, they speak for a short while.  One of the two men stands up when she walks up to them and remains standing as they speak while the other man stays in his rickety chair.  As she leaves these two men, she quips to one of them, "Keep your seat," and she calls him a name.  He really should have stood up.  This week, some niceties when you are first introduced or greet someone...remember, they're guidelines - not rules! But also remember, it's all about building relationships.

1) Whenever a man or a woman walks into a room or walks up to a table, it is a sign of respect to stand to say hello.  In fact, by the time you're about 12 or 13 years old, you should know and be able to rise for greetings and introductions - and it doesn't matter if you are male or female.  This is especially important if the person you are greeting is someone you're meeting for the first time.  In taking the initiative to stand, you're engaging the person on an equal level.  If you remain seated, it sends a signal that you think you are more important than the other person and don't need to stand.  It used to be that only gentlemen stood and ladies remained seated, but in today's modern times, it's appropriate for men and women to stand to say hello when they are greeting someone - or even if a person stops to talk at your table.  (If someone comes and you think it will be a lengthy discussion, say "excuse me" to your tablemates that you'll "be back quickly" and take a step away from the table to finish your discussion.

2) There is a second rule - which some may find "old-fashioned", but in a poll conducted by the Emily Post Institute, respondents (86% were women) made it clear in no uncertain terms that women DO want men to treat them with respect and they DO notice men who have good manners.  So when a man and a woman arrive at a table - let's say at a restaurant - before the man sits down, he should help pull the woman's chair away from the table and help her push it in once she is seated.  Also, if a man sees that the woman seated next to him begins to rise, it is considerate for him to stand and gently pull the chair away from the table as she pushes it to stand up.  If you are at a dinner party, it is customary for gentlemen to remain standing at their places until they are given a signal by the hostess or host to be seated.  Women should sit as they come to the table, and a considerate gentleman should help the woman (usually on his right) with her chair.  If the woman on his left has no one helping her, it is, of course, a considerate gesture for the man to help her with her chair as well.  

An exception to all of these rules would be at a business function when all parties want to be treated equally. These are gentlemanly traditions and need to be welcomed by the ladies in your party.  These things may seem offensive to some of the women in your group in a business setting - so men, you'll have to feel this one out yourselves!


  1. AGREED! Love this Jill. Love the whole thing when a woman returns to a table and some men stand and others dont...duh! I usually remain standing until they do just to bust chops!!!!

  2. I love that you do that, Diddle! So many people have said they really appreciate it when men do this....but what do men think? I think my husband thinks all of this standing is a little old fashioned, but he agrees to do it because he knows it's important to me. And he knows he better do it when he's with my family and friends in the South!!! :)

  3. This is cool!!! YAY!!

  4. "but he agrees to do it because he knows it's important to me"

    A true gentleman and a genius.

  5. Jill,
    I had a question and it would be amazing if you could give me some advice...
    My friends and I love to drink Tequila until we reach the worm, which is great, but I never know what to do when I wake up in someone else's room, and can't remember her name! In your experience, what is the proper way to handle this situation?
    Basement Boy

  6. Funny one Basement Boy.

  7. Basement Boy,
    Your problem is easily solved. You must make the "worm" an object to observe but not touch. By concentrating on your goal of reaching the worm you have given up the ability to do things like remember. Next time you wake up in someone else's room it may not be a her whose name you need to remember.
    from evil a former basement boy

  8. Dear Anonymous and Basement Boy:

    REMEMBERING NAMES: Yes, often we are introduced to someone and do not hear or remember the name the first time around…..or we see someone we need to introduce and do not remember their name. Here are a few things you can do. If you do not hear the name clearly when you are first introduced, it's the perfect time to say that you are sorry, but you did not hear it clearly. People don't do this enough and then find themselves having to introduce people later on. Just say, "I didn't hear - would you repeat your name please?"

    If you need to introduce someone and don't remember their full name, but you do remember the person's First Name, you can say, "First Name, I don’t remember how to pronounce your Last Name….” O,r you can be totally honest and considerate, because remember, that’s what this is all about, and tell the person you are so sorry but you don’t remember their name. If you say that up front, you are so much better off than pretending to remember. And the person will probably appreciate your candor. AND, you probably won’t ever forget their name again!


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