If this etiquette pamphlet from the 1920s tells us anything about its author, "Aunt Rebecca," it is this:
- She really thinks you need something called "Vinol," which appears to be the "5-Hour Energy" of the '20s.
- Don't ask her about her furniture.
- There's hell to pay if you even think about bringing an umbrella into her parlor.
Flickr photo by Deseronto Archives
I kind of agree with a few of her points. It's really not OK to feed oneself with a knife, but I never thought it was something that would need to be said. Knives just aren't conducive to eating things off of. But I wasn't alive during that vibrant decade, so who knows. Maybe there were more avant-garde thinkers back then who felt that forks were mere suggestions.
And that business about whispering? That is indeed "unpardonable" to do in the company of guests. You might as well hold up a neon sign that says "I'm talking about that outfit you were hesitant about wearing out, for good reason. Also, that hair style makes you look like Tom Jones."
But what I get a kick out of is the detectable seething tone of this guide. You can tell that business about not presuming "acquaintance" to a lady based on that one time you provided a service to said lady, was taken from personal experience.
What could have happened? Did a chimney sweep get a little too chummy? Did she once have to say "Hello" to a lowly florist? It's just exhausting to be Aunt Rebecca. No wonder she needs "Vinol."
We'd rather have buckets of "Vinol" than have to deal with these sexist ads.
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