Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I’m Not Making This Stuff Up…I Promise

So when I embarked on this blogging journey I stockpiled my bookshelves with all the Emily Post books I could get my hands on. Since I’m just a twenty-something midwestern gal typing away on my laptop and shouting this to the world I thought I needed some validity. In college they teach you to reference everyone you get information from when writing, so since that was so engrained in me it is hard to walk away from it. So, I picked up a few materials.

Starting a blog from scratch is a bit scary, especially if you want to use it as a tool for growing your professional life. I knew of Emily Post’s original book because my mother had one on our bookshelf growing up. During my search I was pleasantly surprised to see all these new etiquette books on various topics. Ultimately, they all contain the same information as the big blue book (see picture), but some of the specialized ones take everything a few notches deeper.

Each and every one of these books suits young adults. Topics include business etiquette, wedding etiquette (my personal fav of course), a guide to raising kids with good manners (my future fav I’m sure), and entertaining etiquette. You can see I’ve taken photos of each of these so you may see. Cindy and Peggy post also have written a series of Children’s books. The one I have is called Emily’s Magic Words…Please, Thank you, and More. I thought about getting one of the children’s books and the guide to good manners for a friend’s baby-shower gift recently, but I thought it might give the wrong impression. Of course I would have given a plug for my blog in the card! Don’t be surprised, or offended, if I do that for you in the future.

I found all the books for under $4.00 on Amazon.com, so if you’re ever looking for a book always check that out first. Of course some are used and came from a random Good Will store in Maryland, but who cares! I will admit, I did buy myself a brand spanking new copy of Etiquette, 17th Edition (the big blue book in my hand). I just couldn’t resist. Can you believe in the downtown Chicago Borders, Books, and Music there were only TWO copies?!?! I guess not too many people are looking to update their etiquette library these days. I think there was even some dust on the plastic.

In life it is helpful to know proper etiquette, and having the books to back it up, because it tends to end a lot of debate, especially when planning a wedding. For example, if an in-law is trying to do one thing but the bride and groom want it another way you can whip out the etiquette book and go that route because Emily Post said so. Most people won’t fight Emily Post. Sometimes when you are faced with a tough decision you can reference your etiquette book and the decision is made for you. Situations like ‘what is a proper Christmas gift for my boss’ and ‘when do I send a thank you note verse a thank you gift.’ These situations come up more often than you would think, right?

Send me your burning etiquette questions and I’ll get the answers for you! I’ve got the books to back me up.

That’s it for tonight!


  1. I love the etiquette books for children! My brothers (and I, unfortunately) could have benefited from those =)

  2. Dear Etiquitte Queen,

    I was recently asked to be a bridesmaid in a friends wedding this fall. I am close to both the bride and the groom and I am so happy to be a part! What is the etiquette for gifts, etc. Do I send a thank you note for asking me? I've never been in a wedding before (assuming you don't count being a flower girl at age 3), so I'm not sure what the modern-day etiquette is for these situations! Thoughts?!

  3. Great question. When asked to be in a wedding it isn't necessary to write a thank you note. The proper thing to do is to verbally thank the couple, either on the phone or in person, and let them know how excited you are to be a part of their special day. Standing up in a wedding requires a great deal of personal time and money, so they'll actually be thanking you in the end. Thanks for your question and good luck with all the wedding activities.

  4. To Leigh and her fellow readers,

    Please always remember while it is great to get a deal on books at Amazon.com, Goodwill, and other bookshops most local public libraries will carry a variety of books on etiquette and other subjects. If the library that you use does not carry a title that you want try checking with the librarian and they can either borrow it from another library or order a copy that can be added to the collection.
    Keep writing Leigh, I love learning new things!