Sure, Jane Austen is sooo two centuries ago, but her guide to good manners still apply, even in the modern era.
I can practically hear eyes roll, as well as the cries of protest, “ANTI-FEMINIST!”
Okay, look. I am a feminist, I really am. I believe in the strength and in the power of women, but I also appreciate that they reinforce their rights with grace and poise, and that’s when I respect them.
I just recently caught up with a friend who I haven’t seen in over three months. A lot of things has happened in that time we haven’t seen each other: me, I went through another life overhaul, and he — well, he met a girl.
Now, this is the buddy of mine who, despite having an extremely clingy ex, got cheated on by said clingy ex. The worse part? She dumped him on Facebook.
That being said, I doubt his judgment when it comes to women, and when he told me that he likes this other one, well, of course I got a little curious.
As it turned out, this new girl can learn a lot from Jane Austen. I mean, I’m not trying to be nasty, but seriously, if women wanted men to treat them properly, they too, should have the tact to act appropriately.
Here are two common rules about calling and conversation that I think she should have the grace to apply:
Rule 4. Do not call to briefly.
Any visit should last for at least fifteen minutes.
Putting it in a modern perspective, if you agree to meet with someone, you don’t say “hi” and run. Especially if you made him/her wait.
“But shouldn’t women make men wait so as to show that they are not too eager?”
Sure, if you’re old-fashioned (or just too high maintenance) like that, but if you have the gall to make him wait for an hour and a half and then drive him on a wild goose chase, at least have the decency to go through with your arranged date, not say “hi” then “good-bye.”
I mean this girl made my friend wait for an hour and a half, and when she finally arrived, she decided to make a bathroom run, then ate dinner with her friend instead of my buddy (they made plans to have donuts, which would have been proper at five in the afternoon like they planned) then left. Seriously? It wasn’t only rude, it was also tacky.
Rule 7. Make polite conversation
Over-much shyness during a social visit may be no less taxing to others’ politeness.
I am glad to say that despite my friend’s asshole moments, he is quite a polite lad with breeding, and it is quite frustrating that a girl who claims to be “shy” made him go on a wild goose chase. I don’t know about you, but if you’re not confident enough to go out with a guy, the least you can do is be polite.
If you’re not comfortable being alone with him, say no. Or bring a friend, but make sure that since your friend is there as a chaperone, he/she knows his/her place: that is to get you in and out of the date, not to intervene with it or make you miss it altogether. Again, have the sense to be polite.
I can hear you. “You’re too uptight and formal.”
The book already has a response for that:
“Manners are, indeed the foundation of a civilized society. . . The codes of behavior which govern daily life should not be confused with mere formalities. They are based on solid principles of courtesy, propriety and, most of all, regard for the feelings of others.”
In short, live by the golden rule.