Thanks so much for finding me here! I hope everyone is having a great November and getting ready for the holiday season. In Florida, it is SEASON, and that means sunshine, snow birds, and charity events. Charity events always takes me back to finishing school and those etiquette techniques I can’t quite forget but don’t always remember. Maybe that’s why, when I pictured Vin and Reece meeting for the first time, it was at a charity event, and one where they broke one of the rules (although a minor one, in my opinion). But that minor infraction set the tone for the rest of the book, and while Vin and Reece figured out their journey, I reflected on how manners in a person really does make a difference when interacting with them.
For almost a decade now, I’ve said that romance writers know how to make the world a better place, and the first instances where I can consider a romance novelist challenging the worldview of her readers about the commonality of manners is with Jane Austen. During Jane Austen’s time, manners encompassed more than politeness (Koziar). According to Koziar, during Austen’s time “manners were increasingly a set of attributes that could be learned” (38); however, the upper class considered learning manners as pretentious. This shift in attitude where everyone could learn—and lack—manners created the society we share today, and while there are too many to list, I wanted to share the top four manners that stuck with me even after all these years. Some are silly but they’ve become habit, and others are ones I wish everyone cared to follow.
4. Say please, thank you, and excuse me.
3. Cover your mouth (with your arms, tissues, hands, or something else to block your germs) when you cough or sneeze.
2. If you’re eating, wait until you swallow your food before speaking.
1. Apologize only when you mean it.
Do you have any manners-based pet peeves? Just curious.
Work Cited: Koziar, Frances. “Manners, Mobility, Class, and Connection in Austen’s Emma and Pride and Prejudice.” Criterion: A Journal of Literary Criticism, vol. 8, no. 1, 2015, p. 7.