“There are three possible parts to a date, of which at least two must be offered: entertainment, food, and affection. It is customary to begin a series of dates with a great deal of entertainment, a moderate amount of food, and the merest suggestion of affection. As the amount of affection increases, the entertainment can be reduced proportionately. When the affection IS the entertainment, we no longer call it dating. Under no circumstances can the food be omitted.”—Judith “Miss Manners” Martin
“Miss Manners' solution to adjusting the conventional salutation to an age in which women are as likely to be in business as men, is to use 'Mesdames' or 'Dear Madam,' under the assumption that a well-run business is run by women. If she sends a letter of complaint, she uses 'Gentlemen' or 'Dear Sir.'”—Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior by Judith Martin, published 1983
“There are three possible parts to a date, of which at least two must be offered: entertainment, food, and affection. It is customary to begin a series of dates with a great deal of entertainment, a moderate amount of food, and the merest suggestion of affection. As the amount of affection increases, the entertainment can be reduced proportionately. When the affection IS the entertainment, we no longer call it dating. Under no circumstances can the food be omitted.”—Miss Manners (Judith Perlman Martin, Wellesley Class of 1959)
“Some people are quite rude to women they meet socially these days, asking them right off "What do you do?" as if they wouldn't be worth talking to unless they had professional affiliations. Others are quite rude by not asking women what they do, as if to assume that they wouldn't be doing anything professionally. Social life is so much more interesting now than it was when there was only one way for a gentleman to insult a lady. Miss Manners herself has managed to alienate various gentlemen who have asked her, "Do you work?" or "Do you still work?" or "Do you work full time?" simply by replying to each, "Oh, yes; do you?" Gentlemen are so touchy. ”—Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, Judith Martin, published 1982. The origin of “gentlemen are so touchy.”
“A ceremony is not a show, and the emotion connected with it is supposed to be derived from participating in a known ritual, not from being diverted by jokes and surprises. The tendency to undercut ceremonies -- which is being done frequently, not just at graduations but at weddings and even funerals -- all but directs the participants and audience to be bored. And by the way, it is not itself amusing.”—Judith Martin (Miss Manners)
“DEAR MISS MANNERS: What am I supposed to say when I am introduced to a homosexual "couple"? GENTLE READER: "How do you do?" "How do you do?”—
Judith Martin, Miss Manner’s Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior
I love Miss Manners, for her unwavering desire to treat all people with respect. sometimes, she writes about how good it feels to respond to awful people with unflinching politeness, as a subtle form of shaming disrespectful behavior. here, Miss Manners has done just that. she fails to take the homophobic bait of the writer and instead provides them with an answer that is both correct and delightfully to the point- an excruciatingly polite smackdown that says Miss Manners is not going to give you her approval to be an asshole to gay people, gentle reader.
you can usually find a copy of this book for under $5 at thrift shops, and I reccomend it. you might think that someone with an encyclopedic knowledge of etiquette would be boring, but Judith Martin is a kind, witty woman who clearly enjoys what she writes about.
“Dear Miss Manners: What is the most efficient way of eating artichokes? Gentle Reader: For those who want to eat efficiently, God made the banana, complete with its own color-coordinated carrying case. The artichoke is a miracle of sensuality, and one should try to prolong such treats rather than dispatch them speedily. An important part of sensuality is contrast. First pull off a leaf with a cruel, quick flick of the wrist, dip it in the sauce and then slowly and lovingly pull the leaf through the teeth, with the chin tilted heavenward and the eyes half closed in ecstasy. If the sauce drips, a long tongue, if you have one, may be sent down to get it. When the leaves are gone, the true subtlety of the artichoke reveals itself: a tender heart, covered with nasty bristles. To contrast with the fingering, there should be a sudden switch to cool formality. The fuzzy choke should be removed with dignified precision and a knife and fork, so that the heart may then be consumed in ceremonial pleasure. ”—Judith Martin, Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior
What Does A Man Do At A Restaurant, Part 4028
Miss Manners, 10 May 2013:
Dear Miss Manners:
Who should a husband seat first at the dinner table, his mother or his wife?
The one he loves the most.
I am a gentleman in my 20s!
Miss Manners, 26 April 2013:
DEAR MISS MANNERS: I am a gentleman in my 20s and work in a very large office building. I am absolutely smitten (!) by a most angelic young lady who also works in the building. We cross paths in the lobby at least weekly and exchange repeated glances and smiles.
Unfortunately, I know nothing about her except that we work for different employers (she rides a different elevator bank), so getting a proper introduction seems impossible. I know from reading your column that a gentleman wouldn’t try to pick up a stranger in public, nor would a lady respond to such an overture. However, in such a situation, isn’t it permissible for a lady to “accidentally” drop her handkerchief in the gentleman’s direction, he picks it up and offers it back, thus giving these two strangers a legitimate reason to engage in conversation? If so, is there a similar maneuver that a gentleman may use?
Did I mention I am absolutely smitten (!)? I know you don’t dispense dating advice, but I would really appreciate your help here.
Have you considered casually tossing your monocle at her skirts?