Mind Your Manners


I thought she was just kidding.

Lintilla has signed the kids up for “White Gloves and Party Manners“. I don’t know if I can handle the fallout. Here’s a description of the class:

Since 2000, Davis and her partner, former fashion director Evelyn Moore, have been teaching the children’s manners class “White Gloves and Party Manners.” Designed for groups of 5- to 8-year-olds and 9- to 12-year-olds, the course teaches kids — both boys and girls — etiquette essentials like how to perform at a wedding, how to be a good guest at someone’s house, the proper way to do introductions, the importance of handwritten thank-you cards, visual poise, how to carry yourself on the telephone, and good grooming.

Oh, Trillian will do just fine. She’s the “aim to please” child, extremely teachable. Zaphod, well he’s another story altogether. 10 years old, and he’s already as snarky, cynical, and angst-ridden as any 16-year-old goth kid. He doesn’t take well to doing things he enjoys, if a parent is making him do them. When James Dobson wrote “The Strong Willed Child”, he had Zaphod in mind.

He’s a good kid. He’s smarter than I, and when he puts his mind to something, Heaven and Earth cannot stop him till he finishes his quest. But his role models are Happy Gilmore and Spongebob Squarepants. (That’s another subject for another day: why all the protagonists on Nickelodean are perpetual smarta**es, and all the parents idiots?). He has a way of talking that many would consider “sassy” at the least. We’ve tried to curtail this with punishments, rewards, and all things in between, but the only thing that seems to work is taking away the TV. Then we have to deal with what seems to be a pitiful little heroin addict.

Anyway, I know this class will do him good. I come from a different circle of people than Lintilla, and when we first got married, I was completely lost in social situations. I had to watch her at dinner to figure out which fork to use. I still don’t have the proper way to introduce people figured out yet.

So, I’m happy that the kids are doing this, even though it (IMHO) is a little costly. Did any of you send your kids to a class like this? Charm school, maybe?

When Lintilla was telling me about this, she said how she had spoken to the lady that runs the program, and tried to warn her about Zaphod’s attitude.

“Oh, he’ll come around”, she said.

I could almost picture her rubbing her hands together, with a hearty Mwuahahaha!!!

I might need you to pray for Zaphod.

Posted in Kids. 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Mind Your Manners”

  1. SistaSmiff Says:

    The makings of a funny reality tv show. Please video.

  2. Busy Mom Says:

    IF WGaPM withstood my peers, they’ll be ready for Zaphod. They’ve been doing it for a long time.

  3. Laynie Says:

    To answer your question, I didn’t go to any classes like this when I was growing up. I did, however, learn all of it from my grandmother. She was a very casual person, and we were not a wealthy family, but she knew how to carry herself elegantly. She impressed upon me the importance of at least knowing how to do so as well, even though I had very few occasions to practice most of the etiquette I learned. When I did encounter a social situation, I performed beautifully.

    By the time I was 12, I could set a formal, semi-formal, and casual place setting for any meal; practice proper social posture for all occasions; perform proper introductions; instruct anyone (including the bride) on the proper attire for any type of wedding at any given time of day; discern which were considered appropriate in inappropriate topics for conversation; and practice proper performance at meals from picnics to formal dinners. Even though I had no occasion to use the information, my grandmother lovingly encouraged me to practice at home and made it fun.

    As far as every-day manners, I always said (and still say), “Yes, ma’am,” “No, sir,” “Please,” “Excuse me,” and all those other polite comments meant to acknowledge and respect other people. Concerning thank-you notes, my mother wrote them according to my dictation (however simple and childish it was at the time) and let me scribble my name at the bottom until I was old enough to write them myself. I wrote a thank-you note for every single gift I ever received growing up. It is still my practice to do so.

    My family had no reason to expect that I would ever need to know most of these skills. I was a poor kid in an anything-but-formal world. No one in my life even used proper grammar, which irritated me to no end. However, I have never been more thankful for my training than when, as a pastor’s wife at age 20 and fresh out of college, I knew how to give a formal dinner for some wealthy, socialite church members. I cannot convey to you their shock. They came to criticize, and they left speechless, having enjoyed a proper evening. My husband was very pleased, and I was pretty proud of myself.

    I grew up in the inner city of New Orleans and now live in rural Arkansas, but I certainly know how to be a lady.

  4. jag Says:

    I think this is a great idea for kids, after thinking about it for a minute. We were taught a lot of the manners-type things from different family members growing up (thank you, please, excuse me, introducing yourself, handshakes, etc.). I learned the ma’am/sir thing when we moved to the south, and then formal dining when I started working at Country Clubs.

    While my parents tried to impress a lot of this (including the thank you card thing, which I’m admittedly TERRIBLE at) on us when we were young, it probably would have sunk in more had instructions come from a third party like the teachers of this class.

    Keep us posted on how they do! I’m very curious.

  5. Hannah Says:

    My name is Hannah Cochran,
    and I took the White Gloves Society class.
    Mrs. Moore, and Mrs.Davis were life savers for me.
    Ive grown to be a polite young lady “so Ive been told” and I do believe it was do to their class. They were good to me. and I would put any future children I may have in their class it was inspiring and it straightend me up

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