Culture on the Cheap
Bluntiquette in Bed-Stuy
Since Amy Vanderbilt published her Complete Book of Etiquette in 1952 the world has become a curiously more complicated place. Antiquated or not, I actually possess this book. Not so much for the advice (the contents would be wasted on most people I interface with anyway) but for the illustrations: they were drawn by none other than Andrew Warhol.
Given the oppressive time she lived in, Amy was pretty progressive. She was once quoted as saying:
The modern rule is that every woman should be her own chaperone.
I cannot agree more. It has been my experience that when left alone I find myself in a lot less troublesome situations than when I have a man in tow. But that’s another story.
Being the forward-thinking woman Miss Vanderbilt was, I suspect she would whole-heartedly sanction the following piece of “bluntiquette” I found at 184 Van Buren Street Sunday.
I am a journalist in the field of etiquette. I try to find out what the most genteel people regularly do, what traditions they have discarded, what compromises they have made.
In the spirit of such compromise Bed-Stuy blunt aficionados please dispose of your “reefer cigar leaves” in the appropriate place: in the garbage or on your (own) sidewalk.
Good manners have much to do with the emotions. To make them ring true, one must feel them, not merely exhibit them.
Amy Vanderbilt Photo Credit: Encyclopedia Brittanica Online via Cooked Books.