Saw Judith Martin AKA Miss Manners on her book tour today. She is very funny! She kept referring to the fact that she was in charge of manners – it was pretty funny – like, "It’s correct until I say it isn’t." Someone asked her who put her in charge and she said, "I put myself in charge because I don’t trust anyone else to do it. Napolean put himself in charge, too."
She hit the nail on the head when she said that manners are becoming more important as people watch their toddler at the front window wondering if anyone is coming to his birthday party and people regard gift registries as just another bill to pay.
Another funny moment was when she said she didn’t subscribe to the new move towards bluntness – if someone comes up to you and says, "Can I be perfectly honest with you?" you should say, "No!" because, "Nothing good could come of it."
She recommended that if we are going to do away with men opening doors for women that we should have a new rule where elders are respected – why? Because of her age 😉 and because she said she’s, "Probably one of the only Americans who is not young at heart. Even when I was a child I had an inner adult screaming to get out."
One point I thought was interesting was that manners and morals are two different things – if you do the wrong thing you have to deal with the moral repercussions but if you don’t get caught you are scott-free when it comes to manners.
She was a delightful speaker – I recommend seeing her if you have the chance.