Confections by Shara's Paperie

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Manners, Etiquette and More

Posted April 6, 2011

Last summer my husband and I loaded up the 3 kids and drove up to Michigan to visit family.  It was a great trip and we came away with memories and great pictures.  Moreover there were no casualties in the car which was wonderful considering the length of time that all 3 of my kids were in the back seat.  One of the places that we visited was the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit.  What a fabulous place!  I could have spent hours looking through it all.  But one of the things that really caught my eye was this booklet from way back when....

How fascinating!  There was literally a blue book on motor manners.  Can you imagine something like that today?  Sometimes I think I am doing well if I don't get cut off during a drive, let alone polite driving manners.  I think this leads into the issues of manners and etiquette over all.  With everyone and everything moving so fast simple polite behavior seems to be getting lost in the shuffle.  There are times in life where you need to write a thank you note, send a beautiful invitation or even just stop talking on your cell phone. 

While I completely understand (and a big fan of) digital technology and communication I do not believe that it should in any way usurp good old fashion manners and etiquette.  In my opinion there is a right way and a wrong way to do things. Sending an email to a girl friend to go the movies is great....sending an email invitation to a baby shower?  Where is the care and thought in that? Ten years from now are you going to pull out the emailed invite to show your child?  Probably not.  Take that one step further and you get to emailed wedding invitations.  Now honestly that one is too much for me to bear. Every year on her wedding anniversary my mother in law pulls out her wedding scrapbook and looks at it.  What is in there?  Pictures and invitations.  She has been married going on 45 years and those items are her memories, can you imagine a printed out email as her wedding invitation?  As anyone's wedding invitation?  Wanting to have those keepsakes will not change no matter how fast the internet gets and neither will the importance of doing things right.

Now all that being said I of course am a paper lover and know my etiquette back and forth.  I have to, that it is what I do.  However I also want to teach my children and my clients that somethings in life are just too important to leave in cyberspace.  In the end I think in this digital age we might be making a lot of things easier but what is being lost are memories, keepsakes and things for your scrapbook.