Tag Archives: The Lost Arts

The Lost Arts – Introductions

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Shawn MacKenzie: This whole idea has me thinking – I wonder, aside from the generational or regional differences, if the modern cyber world in which we live doesn’t foster distance. We use e-monikers, avatars, and digital personae, which may or may not be based in truth. To actually meet someone face-to-face takes one into a whole new – very real – world. You can no longer hide behind aliases and cyberian anonymity.

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I remember…years and years ago…how, when people walked into the same room, or happened upon each other on a city street, or bumped into each other at the drug store, introductions ensued.

“Oh, hi, John. May I introduce my mother, Lois Sanderson? Mom, this is John Smith, my friend at school.” They shake hands. Chit chat a bit. Ask and answer a few questions.

Many times in the last few years, I’ve been the stranger in the room. I walk in. No introductions. Another person walks in, no introductions. A couple walks in, no introductions.

I have been in situations where I have to introduce myself. I’m not shy, so I say things like “Hi, I’m _________’s _______. Who are you?” Or “Hey, you must be ________, I’m ______.”

If you have an encounter (same room, city street, drug store) and you think, perhaps the person you are with and the person you ran into might not know each other, you should extend an introduction.

It’s not complicated. Though I do remember from Emily Post that you should “present” the older person first. Hence, I would present my mother to the younger pal o’ mine we ran into.

But even if you don’t follow Emily Post (and who does any more), you should at least say something that resembles an introduction.

A few comments about introductions, from friends…

Shawn MacKenzie: Hmmm. We are a curious species. I remember when I came to Vermont people greeted/introduced each other differently than in MN – always a handshake but often only first names. It would be sad if it’s another sign of declining civility.

Jessica Messinger: Perhaps making introductions is a lost art, or feels too formal for today’s society. I try to introduce people, but sometimes I forget names (even if I’ve known them since I was little!) and then it’s kind of awkward to make introductions,

Nancy Winden Gooch: Forgetting names is often my excuse. Embarrassing! I still think about those “rules” when I introduce people, although I don’t always get it right.

Esther Hastings Miller: This has bothered me, too. I remember practicing in grade school how to introduce people…older people first, women before men, etc. Maybe that’s overkill now, but I still appreciate being introduced when two people meet who know each other and I don’t know the third party. I usually try to do the same.

Ilil Arbel: It is one symptom of a strange decline in general manners, but I realize that perhaps that is how my parents felt as my generation grew up. Customs change. I don’t like the current manners, but I feel I must adjust.

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I don’t like adjusting to things that I feel are rude, or at least not very nice. You stand with a friend…another person walks up…how hard is it to say, “Hey, do you know so-n-so?” Not hard at all.

 

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The Lost Arts – Being on Time

FullSizeRender-6I’ve had a list of “The Lost Arts” on my laptop workspace for months. The Lost Arts are those things Mom and Ang harped on constantly.

Even though I’ve made loads of mistakes, I have certain ingrained manners in my head. All those manners speak to me in Mom’s (and/or Aunt Ang’s) voice.

So, a while back, I posted The Lost Arts – The RSVP. What the heck is wrong with people who don’t think it’s important to RSVP?

Another while back, I found this article by Greg Savage on Vitabites –

You Are Not Running Late – about serial late people. I love that he used that word – serial.

To some people, that’s what this little tardiness is. A serial offense.FullSizeRender-7

I’m not talking, “I had a flat tire, I’m running late.” Or, “My babysitter had a flat tire, so I’m running late.”

I’m talking no matter what time you agree to meet the serial late person, that serial offender shows up late. I’m not sure if it’s bad time management…or your time means nothing to this person.

Growing up, I remember my Aunt Agnes telling me if I was late to anything, I was, in effect, saying, “My time is more important than your time.”

If we are having brunch at 10:00, I usually show up by 9:50. If I am supposed to meet you for dinner at 5:30, I’m gonna be waiting for you by about 5:20. Because I do not want to be late and make you wait for me.

FullSizeRender-5I do not need it tattooed on my leg.

I experienced a few recent instances of waiting on late people. And Ang is right. It ticks me off that the other person cares nothing for my time.

What really ticks me off is meeting facilitators who decide, at the appointed hour, “We’ll wait just a few more minutes for stragglers.” Why the heck should a room full of on-time people wait for late people? That burns my buns.

 

Do you have a serial late person in your life? Have you talked to him/her about it?

 How do you handle people who are late, consistently?

Are you a serial late person? Do you think it’s important to be on time?

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The Lost Arts – The RSVP

IMG_2169 (1)If you have ever planned an event, you know how important receiving the RSVP is.

Do you plan for 10 or 50? Do you spend $50 or $300 on food? Do you have seating for 15 or 150?

How hard is it to respond to an RSVP request?

It’s fairly simple actually –

You get an invitation. You check your calendar. You talk to your family.

Can you go? Yes – you RSVP. Can you go? No – you RSVP.

It ain’t rocket science.

But, apparently, to some people, an RSVP is beyond their skill set.

Why don’t people respond to an RSVP?

Are they waiting for sometIMG_2167 (2)hing better to come along to take up that portion on their activity calendar? Or do they just not care about the person planning the event?

My mother taught me better.

If we had something else planned that day, we would RSVP our regrets. And stick with it.

And for “yes” – Even if I didn’t want to go to Laura’s lame old 10th birthday party that day, I went. Because I RSVP’d I would be there.

An RSVP is an obligation. An RSVP is a promise.

Old fashioned? Maybe.

I think it’s just good manners.

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Have you ever planned a party?

Do your prospective guests RSVP? 

Have you ever been disappointed by a party turn-out? 

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