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It was old and wrinkled, but Justin handed me a list of rules Aunt Rebecca compiled for him, Chad, and Mitch many years ago. It’s nice to know I’m not the only Carter child she picks on.
My dear nephews, If you will take these practices to heart, you will show yourselves to be true gentlemen in every sense of the word. Your loving aunt, Rebecca.
Always . . .
- Wear gloves on the street, in church, or in other formal occasions, except when eating or drinking.
- Wear gray or darker colors for day and white or cream-colored for evening.
- Remove your hat when entering a building.
- Lift your hat fully to a lady in public; a greeting between gentlemen may be an inclination of the head, a gesture of the hand, or a mere touching of the hat.
- Stand up when a lady, elderly person, or dignitary enters a room, comes within your presence, or stands.
- Offer a lady your seat if no others are available, and assist with her chair when she sits down or stands, especially when at a table or when chairs are small or light.
- Offer your arm to a lady with whom you are acquainted when entering or exiting a building or a room, and whenever walking on uneven ground.
- Open doors for a lady and offer to help her with hat, cloak, shawl, packages, refreshments, etc.
- Turn and walk with a lady if she wishes to speak in public, and leave with a bow and lift of the hat when all has been said.
Never . . .
- Use tobacco in any form when ladies are present.
- Curse or discuss impolite subjects when ladies are present.
- Call someone by their first name in public.
- Acknowledge a lady in public unless she acknowledges you first.
- Remove your gloves when making a formal call.
- Use too much perfume . . . or smoke before entering a lady’s presence.
These rules made a lot more sense to me than some of the ones for ladies. The boys have it easier. Their rules sound like good, common courtesy!