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#81 Take care of your personal belongings.

27 Dec

Why am I so concerned about what you do with your personal belongings, you ask?  After all, it is yours and you can do what you want with your stuff.  Yeah, you’re right.  It’s yours.  Do what you want.  But I’m advising you to take care of your belongings for one simple reason:  People will judge how well you will take care of their things by how well you take care of your own things.  Plain and simple. 

Can I be honest with you for a second?  I’m one who doesn’t really like to let people borrow my things.  Call me selfish if you want, but I’ve just had too many experiences where I let someone borrow something only to have it come back to me in a raggedy condition.  But when I stop and think about what condition I usually see their stuff in, I shouldn’t have expected anything else. 

Have you ever let someone borrow a book that you kept in new condition only to have it come back with pages dog-eared and corners bent?  Or let someone borrow a dress and it come back to you with a tear in it that you know was not there when you let them borrow it?  Or let someone borrow your car and you get it back with a coffee stain in the carpet?  And then they have the nerve to get upset with you and call you selfish or stingy when you don’t want to let them borrow anything else?  Of course accidents happen, but sometimes you can tell the difference between an accident and something that just was not well-cared for.  Let’s take a look at the evidence:

Exhibit A:  The dog-eared book

  • The book seemingly comes back to you in the same condition that it was in when you let the person borrow it.  You flip through the pages and find one page slightly folded back at the corner.  Ruling:  Accident.  (It might have even been you who did that.)
  • The book comes back to you with the front cover hanging off, the pages crumpled as if it got wet, and the back cover with a million creases.  Ruling:  Not well-cared for.  (Umm, they should have kept that book and bought you a new copy.)

Exhibit B:  The torn dress

  • The dress comes back clean and in good condition, but upon further inspection, there is a slight tear in the lining of the dress.  Ruling: Accident.  (No one sees the lining anyway, so you’re not really concerned.)
  • The dress comes back with food and wine stains, deodorant on the side of the dress, dirt near the hem, and a rip near the arm hole.  Ruling: Not well-cared for (and you’re gonna be sending them a bill for drying cleaning and alterations).

Exhibit C:  The stained carpet

  • You get your car back and except for added miles to the odometer and a few crumbs on the seat, it’s just as you left it.  Ruling:  Accident (No worries.  You eat while driving too and it can easily be brushed off the seat.)
  • You get your car back and their belongings are all over the backseat, papers on the floor, and empty fast food bags littered throughout the car.  After moving the stuff, you see a big coffee stain in the carpet.  Ruling:  Not well-cared for.  (And once again, you will be sending them a bill for the cleaning.)

The moral of this story is that if you ever want to borrow something from someone (me), take care of your own stuff before you even think about asking to borrow theirs (mine).

#19 Don’t leave the house with rollers in your hair or house shoes on your feet.

18 Jul

We’ve seen them everywhere.  The mall.  The grocery store.  The post office.  Your organization’s last convention.  The church kitchen preparing the post-service dinner.  Maybe we even saw you.  (GASP)  Yes, you. 

House shoes.  Shoes for the house.  “Do not leave the house in these shoes” shoes.  It says it in the name.  If you wear your house shoes outside of the house, you’ve defeated the purpose of house shoes.  They now have dirt from the outside on them that you are going to drag all through your house. 

Maybe this advice is slightly selfish.  Maybe I’m writing this because I no longer want to feel embarrassed when I see someone in public with rollers in their hair or house shoes on their feet.  If all of your shoes are that uncomfortable, why not buy more comfortable shoes?  Heard of sneakers?  How about flip-flops?  Dr. Scholl’s ® Massaging Gel Insoles?  If you are going to be in a position where you will be on your feet for an extended period of time and the thought of standing in your heels does not appeal to you, buy and wear some flats that match your outfit rather than wear the too small, too tight, too high heels, that will make you want to slip into your house shoes 5 minutes after arriving at your destination.  Who’s even going to notice or comment on your dress you spent months shopping for if you’re wearing house shoes?  Their eyes will be drawn to your feet. 

Here are a few exceptions to this “don’t leave the house with rollers in your hair or house shoes on your feet” advice:

  • It’s your wedding day and you don’t want to take the rollers out until you get to the church.  That’s understandable.  It’s your big day.  Every eye and every camera in the building will be on you.  You want to look your best.  You get a pass; however, you must drive directly from your home to the church, wedding hall, or wherever your wedding is being held.  No stops between the two.  Straight to the church.  (Notice that this exception only allows you to leave the house in rollers.  It doesn’t say anything about it being okay to wear house shoes before, during, or after the wedding and/or reception.  Not even when you get home.  Your husband does not want to see you in house shoes or rollers on your wedding night.)
  • You are at the salon and your stylist has had you sitting with rollers in your hair for the last 5 hours because he/she is terribly overbooked and you decide to go next door to the convenience store/fast food restaurant to get something to eat.  This is the “I don’t want to die of starvation/I’m so mad I’ve been here all day that I dare someone to say anything or even look at me like I’m crazy” exception.  Exception granted.
  • You’re leaving the hospital in a wheelchair, not simply because it’s hospital policy, but because you truly can’t walk out of the hospital on your own.  You’ve been through a lot (surgery, stroke, child-birth, etc.).  You deserve to be comfortable. 
  • Your house is on fire. 

So, what do you think?  Are there any exceptions that you would add to the list?