The Theory of Etiquette Relativity

Ollie, you are the yin to my yang. The Charlotte to my Miranda.  The Ashleigh Wilkes to my Rhett Butler. This is why we are virtual same-sex partners for life.  Clearly, I’m the butch half. You crack me up with all your affinity for rules, decorum and chivalry.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate some courtesy…I’d gladly flash my ta-tas to any gentleman who let me scoot in the left-turn lane 2 seconds before the signal turns red. It’s just that all those RULES advocates seem stuck in the muck with just one more attempt to codify behavior and spoil my afternoon.


Harkening back to a more “civilized” time conjures up visions of me serving roastbeef and potatoes while asking my breadwinner if I could have some money for apron fabric.  When men open doors for me, it throws off my walking rhythm, and besides, my biceps are often bigger and more capable than those of today’s metro-sexual men. Chivalry just isn’t on the top of my priority list. Then again, I got married in a red hoodie, so consider your source.




My etiquette icon?  Can’t say that I have one.  Why?  Because frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn. I’d like to think I’m kind for the sake of being kind, and my actions reflect that. The Golden Spoon Rule, if you will. Beyond that, I could care less what font your wedding invitation is in.  I’m just glad I made the B-List, and received it in time to shave my legs and get myself there before the champagne goes flat.



As far as icons go, I like boundary busters. I would gladly trade all the Queen’s silverware to have been Nan Kempner’s dinner partner at La Cote Basque in 1968. Upon being informed by the Maitre d’ that ladies were not to be served wearing pants, she famously dropped trou and dined in her le Smoking.
As a wise bumper sticker once said, well-behaved women seldom make history.




However, I suppose, one woman’s Nan Kempner is another woman’s Anna Nicole Smith.  So I will concede on one point….Etiquette is a relative thing.

So I can see that you are just about ten pearls to the right of me on the etiquette spectrum, and I can respect that. And Ollie, if you love the ease and decorum of the civilized folk over at Easy & Elegant Life, (where you will no doubt seek refuge after reading this post) you’re going to pop the pearl buttons right off your cardigan when you read Etiquette Hell.

Etiquette Hell is devoted to illuminating the path to civilized society.  From what fork to use, to how to properly address a thank you card. 

The thing is…(Ollie, this is where our opposites-attract-virtual-lesbian-lady-love-affair comes in)…I freakin’ love this site too!

It’s an entertaining read from top to bottom. And educational, too. Nothing teaches good manners like story after story of the most horrifying etiquette faux pas you’ve ever read. Like the pregnant mom, who throws herself a live Ultrasound viewing party, and then tries to sell guests the DVD of the whole shebang. And after spending the better part of my morning in the “Weddings from Hell” section, I only confirmed what I had suspected, that today’s matrimony “festivals” are turning into cash cows, what with all the pre-wedding gift-getting opportunities. The goal, apparently, is to have your gifts out-value the cost of each guest. And these brides are a-counting. 

But I have to say, the most delightful part of this website (for me personally) is the women getting their La Perla skivvies in a bunch over the lack of etiquette of others. Wouldn’t the civilized and proper thing be to never mention the dastardly behavior, even under the mask of an anonymous post on a website?

But then, perhaps these Emily Post society girls can learn a thing or two from my very own icon, Ms. Kempner: Certain rare occasions simply call for the airing of your unmentionables in public.

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3 Responses to The Theory of Etiquette Relativity

  1. This post makes me smile. Yes, etiquette is relative. Kindness and rudeness are not. Do unto others, smile and split. To be well-mannered needs no recognition.

    And thanks to those like Ms. Kempner, we’ve all come a long way, baby. Thank God, I’d be lost without Mrs. E.’s contributions (in all areas) to the quality of our lives.

  2. ollieoof says:

    Lord. Don’t encourage her.

  3. thecreme says:

    Thanks E&EL! I knew you were a woman of reason. ; )

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