You’d have to attend a finishing school to learn these things today, but back then these were things that were taught in public school and by the adults around us. They were taught as part of high school classes, and by the adults we trusted in our lives. They wanted to make sure we always knew how to act! It’s amazing what a little instruction can do!
We were taught to always sit up straight. Slouching was showing a lack of respect for yourself and for those around you. And who else had to balance books on their heads to improve your poise and posture?
End of the Night
The lady decides when the evening is over, through some subtle, but noticeable cues, like passing on dessert. Of course, this means her date has to pay attenion!
Respect for Older Ladies
Young ladies should rise when an older woman enters the room. This is an old one from way back when!
Phone manners were taught as an extremely important part of daily life. “Please” and “thank you” were paramount, as was being courteous at all times.
We were shown how to avoid slurping our soup and that hands should rarely touch the food on our plates. But, the bread can be used to pick up the gravy. And elbows off the table!
Some of these rules of etiquette might seem like no-brainers, but they are fading in most places. Today, these guidelines for politeness are considered specialized knowledge by many people. When we were growing up they were common!
Back in the day, personal grooming was done in private, preferably in the ladies room. Applying lipstick at the table was a big no no.
Don’t Say “Yes” After Wednesday
This one faded very quickly, but there was a time when a boy wouldn’t even think to ask a girl out for the weekend after Wednesday. To do so meant that either she was not his first choice or that that he was an extremely bad planner. And, if he called you up too late in the week? Always say “no.”
Cross At the Ankles
Growing up we were told that crossing legs at the ankles is the most ladylike way to sit down. And, it’s true! It’s also more comfortable.
Pick Up the Check
The girl’s date always paid and always ordered, even if she gave him money beforehand or told him what she wanted to eat. It was unseemly to go Dutch back then.