24 January 2007

Emily Post

Journal report: I just found Emily Post on line, at Bartleby.com, and I've decided to peruse the words over the coming weeks.

Here, from the introduction, are some interesting thoughts about how etiquette, society and even Christianity meld:

Selfishness is at the polar remove from the worldly manners of the old school, according to which . . . others were preferred to self, pain was given to no one, no one was neglected, deference was shown to the weak and the aged, and unconscious courtesy extended to all inferiors. Such was the “beauty” of the old manners, which . . . consisted in “acting upon Christian principle, and if in any case it became soulless, as apart from Christianity, the beautiful form was there, into which the real life might re-enter.”

23 January 2007

A Commitment to Loveliness

I just skipped across this weblog, by a 26 year old Mama with a little baby, and thought it a sweet sentiment. We can be modest and chaste ladies without turning into old frumps, right? ;)


From : My Commitment to Loveliness for January 21 - January 28...

* With the cold weather finally here, I will be sure to moisturize my skin (especially my face, hands, and elbows) each day this week.
* I will pack away all of the clothes that my sweet girl has outgrown ( I was able to weed them out last week but just piled the clothes onto the floor of the nursery.).
* I will drink lots of water (instead of lots of Pepsi)!
* I will plan a special date night for Husband to enjoy with me... it might even include a bottle of sparkling cider and a video rental! Hopefully Baby Bear will cooperate!
* Since I got my hair cut this past Friday, I will be sure to "do" it everyday... I will also wear makeup each day (even if I have no place to go).


Here's part of my own "commitment to loveliness" this week:
*get and wear pretty sweaters instead of sweatshirts and old tops that don't fit anymore
*seriously work on those fingernails
*organize the girls' clothes in their room
*practice only speaking words that are encouraging - in an encouraging way!
*keep up with the "flylady" basics in the kitchen

08 January 2007

The Modern Modesty Movement

TheRebelution.com: Join The Modesty Survey

Just read: article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, about the new modesty movement (to coin a phrase)

In this article, a review of a recent experiment by one church group to expose the local young people to an alternative to the modern styles of un-dress or "gang attire", including the following information:

In 2004, Nordstrom department store executives promised to provide more modest clothing for teens after receiving a letter from Ella Gunderson, then 11. The letter said: "Your [clerks suggest] that there is only one look. If that is true, then girls are [supposed] to walk around half naked. I think that you should change that."

In 2005, commentator Wendy Shalit, author of A Return to Modesty, started a Web site called modestyzone.net. Its manifesto: "Whether you're a virgin waiting until marriage, or just against casual sex more generally, you can find a safe harbor here to share your ideals, interests, and goals for the future."

Other Web sites now offer modest clothing, including modestapparelusa.com, modestbydesign.com, dressmodestly.com and funkyfrum.com.

In State College, Pa., there is a ministry called Pure Freedom, which focuses on sexual abstinence. The ministry, founded by writer Dannah Gresh and her husband, Bob, offers weekend workshops for adolescent boys and girls, and includes a core component on self-esteem, modesty and "refusal skills" - how to stand firm against early sexual come-ons.
It's out there: Modesty. I think it time for the true ladies and gentlemen to stand up for what already believe in, but were afraid to say anything for fear of sounding like "prudes". It's not as if we obsess over it, as some claim - that would be vain, the opposite of modesty, and of our way.

03 January 2007

"As I Pass Through"

A poem from a gracious older lady, known as "Granny" to a dear lady friend of mine

I want to leave a little cheer
A moment to laugh and sing
A little lightness in the heart
To replace the hurt and sting
I want to smile instead of frown
Smell roses instead of dust
And where there’s so much doubt and fear
I want to put a little trust

I want to laugh and dance and sing
I’m free – I’m free – I’m free
I want the word to feel much better
When it looks at me
I want my husband to be proud
To say that I am his
And to be proud that I’m the mother
Of his lovely kids

I want a beautiful diamond ring
To flash about awhile
Then I want to trade it for a doll
And give it to a child
I want to see the sun come up
And feel the morning breeze
Smell the coffee in my cup
And pray upon my knees

I want my daughters to feel loved
when they are there with me
Or many, many miles away
To be happy and joyful and free
I want them to know I’m proud of them
And the wonderful things they do
I want to earn their respect and love
And make them proud f me too

That I’m not an out-law in-law
I want my sons-in-law to know
And that I too would give my life
For the ones whom they love most
I want to spoil my grandchildren
And hold them to my breast
I want to tuck them in their beds
When they lie down to rest

I want to hear their giggles
And chatter of little words
And see their happy little faces
As they play in their world
I want to meet my mother
Inside the great white throne
I want to hold her close to me
And hear her sing a song

I want to see my daddy
And kinfolk who aren’t here
Sometimes I miss them so very much
And wish that they were here
I want to do so many things
One body just can’t do
I’ll do a little, God, each day
And leave the rest to you

© Estella Grace Watts

02 January 2007

More on Being a Gentleman

"The true gentleman is one who has been fashioned after the highest models...his qualities depend not on fashion or manners but upon moral worth--not on personal possessions but upon personal qualities" - Happy Homes and the Hearts that Make Them, 1882
I have found another page on "How to be a Gentleman", from an actor's website, and focusing on the 1800's to the turn of the century. It is called "The Gentleman's Page," and contains internal links to pages concerning such subjects as General Behaviour, Deportment, Foreign Observations on, Ladies, Table Manners, Greetings, Calling, Visiting Cards, The Ballroom, The West, Vice and Humor, as well as pages on the attire of a gentleman of this period. The quotes used in the pages come from actual etiquette books of the 19th century. "This site is maintained by the Lively Arts History Association, a California non-profit corporation," - links provided on the page. A reading from the general behaviour page:
"The manners of the 19th Century, as expressed in etiquette books, do contain many elaborate social rituals which seem a bit quaint to us moderns, but the vast majority of their space is devoted to what would seem to be common sense rules like "Don't chew with your mouth open" or "Don't interrupt people" or "Don't be a lot of bother when you are a house guest". Two things may be drawn from this. First, there must have been a lot of people back then (just as there are today) who lacked "common courtesy" and needed to be told such things, and second, if you wish to portray a refined 19th Century American, just do the things your mama taught you, and you are more than half way there already. Perhaps the rest of this website will help you get you over the other half."
Photo from the designer's own page, at http://walternelson.com/
Here are a few gentlemen's websites and blogs that I found in my "research":
What is a Gentleman?, an 1872 article, reported in Victorian Station
The Gentleman's Blog, an older blog, not updated since Sept. 2006
Gentelman, definition and more from Answers.com
Gentleman, information from Wikipedia