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Old 02-08-2019, 11:09 AM
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The Latest Taboo Thread

It would be nice if you say where you're from, or at least where you picked up the ritual. All I've got are guy rules that apply to grown men, or people who wish to be perceived and treated as grown men. I've seen my boys get worked up over "bro code" stuff, but I think those rules are different and based more in ego and insecurity as opposed to default deference and respect. Happy to be schooled, however. I'm not being intentionally sexist, I just don't know women rules. I would be curious to know what they are if they exist. As with all rules, there are practical exceptions. Let's not "What about" this one to death, but if you disagree with a rule it would be cool to hear some reasoning.

* You stand up when you shake someone's hand. And don't bother reaching if you're not going to try to make eye contact. You are well within your rights to ignore (or look at and look away from, in truly egregious cases) a hand extended by an able bodied man who is sitting. (Eastern Washington State)

* Sunglasses come off when you: 1) meet a stranger (at the drive thru, asking for directions, buying a movie ticket, etc.) 2) go indoors (got that one from Dad who was a St. Louis native)

* At meals you sit last, are served last, and start last. This obligation is immediately surrendered to an elder or higher rank who exercises it, but you stay as close to last as possible. (Rural Mississippi & Military)

* Take your hat off when you're indoors, or else get back outdoors. This one absolutely makes my blood boil, and I have no idea why. (Western Washington, Colorado, Military--evidently not a thing in rural Georgia)
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Last edited by Inigo Montoya; 02-08-2019 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 01:52 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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How is the meal supposed to start if everyone is trying to be last?
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Old 02-08-2019, 02:15 PM
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Not sure about the sunglasses thing. Some peoples are prescription lenses or the transition type lenses.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Really Not All That Bright View Post
How is the meal supposed to start if everyone is trying to be last?
If you have to ask, I'd suggest you start with the chicken--it's fantastic.

Beck: I'm a victim here--the rule was slapped into my head before transitions were a thing. Transitions unnerve me. My prescription sunnies come off.
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Old 02-08-2019, 03:51 PM
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If you have to ask, I'd suggest you start with the chicken--it's fantastic.
No soup, no salad, no appetizers?

Heretic!
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:10 PM
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Arrogance Ex Machina Arrogance Ex Machina is offline
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Not sure about the sunglasses thing. Some peoples are prescription lenses or the transition type lenses.
Yeah, I'm basically blind without my glasses so they aren't coming off. Me being able to see you at all > you being able to see my eyes. That said I currently have big sunglasses that go over my normal glasses and those come off when I go indoors, but back when I used prescription sunglasses the only time I got yelled at for using them was by an American here in Finland. I told her if she wants me to switch to normal glasses she can go walk the 3 km to where they are and bring them to me but I'm not going to be blind just for her amusement.
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Old 02-08-2019, 04:23 PM
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How is the meal supposed to start if everyone is trying to be last?
Somebody breaks that taboo. I have made a conscious decision that that someone is going to be me. I have been at too many parties where a Buffet is opened and everyone stands there staring hungrily at it because no one is willing to go first. Also at the end near the deserts there is always this pie or cake that is untouched because no one wants to be the first one to take a slice.

I finally decided that as a public service for the good of my fellow man I would give in to gluttony. There also may be a bit or rebellion against my dad (Nebraskan Native) who will absolutely insist that he be the very last person in a buffet line.

Last edited by Buck Godot; 02-08-2019 at 04:24 PM.
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Old 02-08-2019, 05:49 PM
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* You stand up when you shake someone's hand.
I have never understood this.

A human arm is a remarkable appendage that can bend, twist, and extend. The combination of the three allows for a large degree of flexibility. So (as a general rule) standing cannot possibly be an issue of practicality.

Quite the opposite, actually. It takes longer to stand and then shake hands than it does to simply shake hands. And some people have mobility issues that makes standing at least a little bit difficult.

The only thing I can think of is that standing is somehow viewed as some sort of symbolic equality thing. But I don't know why or how. Nobody has ever attempted to explain this one to me.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:12 PM
enalzi enalzi is offline
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* Sunglasses come off when you: 1) meet a stranger (at the drive thru, asking for directions, buying a movie ticket, etc.) 2) go indoors (got that one from Dad who was a St. Louis native)
If I'm going through the drive-thru, I'm not "meeting" anyone.
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Old 02-08-2019, 06:52 PM
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I think people are misunderstanding the last to eat thing.
You are last if you are the higher ranking individual.
It's a symbol of taking care of those under you first.

In private it's a symbol you are the provider and putting others before you. Usually the patriarch in a given scenario.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:15 PM
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I have never understood this.

A human arm is a remarkable appendage that can bend, twist, and extend. The combination of the three allows for a large degree of flexibility. So (as a general rule) standing cannot possibly be an issue of practicality.

Quite the opposite, actually. It takes longer to stand and then shake hands than it does to simply shake hands. And some people have mobility issues that makes standing at least a little bit difficult.

The only thing I can think of is that standing is somehow viewed as some sort of symbolic equality thing. But I don't know why or how. Nobody has ever attempted to explain this one to me.
It's just giving your full attention.
Handshakes were originally to be initiated by the person of higher status. Standing basically indicated you're ready to take orders. Sitting would have indicated you're uncooperative.

I think it held out more as a sign you're ready to work together.

Historically just standing was a sign of respect too, like when a lady ( or officer) entered or left a room. Showed you were willing to interrupt your activity to take notice of someone and commonly signifies a change in expected behavior in their presence.
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Old 02-08-2019, 07:53 PM
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Roderick Femm Roderick Femm is offline
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I understand these rules and agree with some of them (especially hats!), but the status thing bothers me. I have consciously fought for my entire life against giving automatic status to anyone due only to their position. I also don't expect anyone else to grant status to me based anything except their own evaluation and respect for my qualities as a person. This doesn't mean I feel free to be rude to anyone, common politeness is different from granting status.

As for standing for a handshake, my knees cause me a certain amount of pain every time I stand up, so I would probably settle for apologizing for not standing while I stick out my hand to shake. I hope you would not view that as disrespectful.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:23 PM
Littleman Littleman is online now
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Eat whatever is put on your plate.
( I'm a fan)
Never be alone with an attached woman.
(Also a fan generally)
Never get anything out of a woman's purse even if she asks you to.
( Also a fan)

I'm from rural Ohio btw.
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Old 02-08-2019, 08:40 PM
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Some of those were so engrained they led to logical fallacies or at least people questioning the matter.

Being asked to grab someone's cigarettes from the side pocket of their purse they were sticking out of it and returning with the entire purse.

I had a group of friends , we all hung out a lot at one guys house in particular. I'd occasionally be asked to come over and get the fire ready or whatever and it happened to be before he got home. It was eventually noticed I'd refuse to come if I weren't bringing another female friend or he wasn't there or there wasn't a group there already.

He actually talked to me about it. Saying it was fine and he trusted us and it's usually like 15 minutes anyhow and why did i do that?

Simple answer ,just how I was raised. No matter anything else, it avoids all scenarios of even the slightest thought something could happen.

Ironically i think it actually made him suspicious i was attracted to her where he never would have been and I wasn't.
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Old 02-08-2019, 09:04 PM
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A strange one:

When you're visiting someone and they offer you food, don't take any, no matter how hungry you are.

This was taught to my father as a kid. He was born in 1913 of immigrant parents. I have no idea the reasoning behind it, if any.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:12 AM
Fir na tine Fir na tine is offline
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A strange one:

When you're visiting someone and they offer you food, don't take any, no matter how hungry you are.

This was taught to my father as a kid. He was born in 1913 of immigrant parents. I have no idea the reasoning behind it, if any.
In many cultures, the offer MUST be made in order to considered polite. And equally, the offer MUST be declined by the visitor for the same reason.

And for the life of me I can't remember the exact source of that statement! I think it was from a sociology class some 50 years ago.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:26 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
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Eat whatever is put on your plate.
Definitely not for me. I think it is the duty of the host to make sure the food you serve to people is acceptable to them. That's why I'd always ensure a meal for guests is on a "help yourself" basis.

Quote:
Never be alone with an attached woman.
Would never even stop to think that this was an issue. A fair chunk of my professional life has seen me doing that.

Quote:
Never get anything out of a woman's purse even if she asks you to.
I think it would be rude not to do it, particularly if she asks you.


I'm from the UK if that makes any difference.
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Old 02-09-2019, 10:48 AM
Defensive Indifference Defensive Indifference is offline
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I always stand to shake hands, too. I don't recall being taught to, just that it seemed like it was what you did. Also, if I'm wearing gloves, I usually take off my right glove to shake hands. Does anyone else do this, or am I a weirdo? This also seems like something I just sort of picked up as good etiquette. Sometimes the person I'm shaking with does it, too, but maybe they're just humoring me.

Last edited by Defensive Indifference; 02-09-2019 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:57 AM
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Somebody breaks that taboo. I have made a conscious decision that that someone is going to be me. I have been at too many parties where a Buffet is opened and everyone stands there staring hungrily at it because no one is willing to go first. Also at the end near the deserts there is always this pie or cake that is untouched because no one wants to be the first one to take a slice.
How is refusing to eat not offensive to the host? I mean, if I worked hard to provide a table full of delicious food, I'd be pissed of if everyone there just stood around looking at it.



Edit: in retrospect, you're from the Midwest, so I guess delicious food isn't really an option.

Last edited by Alessan; 02-09-2019 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 01:16 PM
Littleman Littleman is online now
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Definitely not for me. I think it is the duty of the host to make sure the food you serve to people is acceptable to them. That's why I'd always ensure a meal for guests is on a "help yourself" basis.


Would never even stop to think that this was an issue. A fair chunk of my professional life has seen me doing that.


I think it would be rude not to do it, particularly if she asks you.


I'm from the UK if that makes any difference.
I eat everything happily so I'm good with that. Some people are crazy over this. I've known kids who were sick because mom accidentally used baking soda in place of flour and dad made them eat it because it was put on their plate.

The attached woman thing I've generally extended to women or girls or most kids in general. It was also a general rule in military training. These days it's basically self protection.....you simply can't be reasonably accused of any bad activity.
If I'm alone with a female it's usually because we want privacy. Though I make plenty of exceptions, I still avoid it unnecessarily.
Mom even explained that it's easy for a girl being abused or a woman cheating or whatever to blame someone who's not really close to the situation to avoid associated drama if it comes up, or to keep someone from getting in trouble who they care about.

The purse thing I just find convenient anyhow. They are generally a clustered mess with no organizational system and if there is one it only makes sense to her. So good luck. I'd rather just hand it over and let her dig in there anyhow.
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:33 PM
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The first (handshake) and fourth (hat) have been around since I was a little kid (over 40 years). It's just common courtesy. I also eat whatever is put on your plate. Grew up in Maryland.
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:34 PM
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In many cultures, the offer MUST be made in order to considered polite. And equally, the offer MUST be declined by the visitor for the same reason.

And for the life of me I can't remember the exact source of that statement! I think it was from a sociology class some 50 years ago.
I'd be curious to find out which cultures, since my number one rule is: If offered food take it.
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:36 PM
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It does kind of bug me when people wear sunglasses where there's no glare, because it gives me the same unsettling feeling as trying to make sense of an optical illusion. Or it did. One day I realized a lot of those people are high, and those that aren't I can imagine are. Now it causes the same amused feeling as pretending your audience is naked.

The hat thing though, is ridiculous. It's one of those traditions for which the irrational emotional attachment to versus actual resemblance to my sort of virtue ... ratio is vastly skewed towards the former. It is also grossly sexist in both concept and execution, and kind of cruel or invasive in certain situations. I suspect it is one of those things that originated purely as a dominance display and somehow got misconstrued as manners. And it is purely anecdotal, but every person I've met who has expressed importance to it, tended to be a huge dick in other ways.

To take that notion even further, I've noticed two general approaches to manners and taboos, other than habit. The first is genuine care for other people. In those cases, the authenticity shines through, and the particulars of their behavior are almost irrelevant. They could do something which, described in words could be interpreted as rude, but in person and in context, becomes deeply kind. The second is those who follow codes of behavior for what must be either selfish or dysfunctional reasons, to validate a dysfunctional upbringing, to create a power dynamic, to put others in their debt, etc. These are often the same people trying on enforce their own codes on others. And despite bringing up issues of respect or morality, you never really feel like you are being respected or treats kindly.
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Old 02-09-2019, 02:50 PM
Isosleepy Isosleepy is online now
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I’m from: Netherlands, SE US, Pennsylvania. You pick.
*Shaking hands while standing, ungloved. Some exceptions- while blocked in while at table, or pissed because someone is rudely late. Even then an attempt to stand is mimicked.
*Hats off inside, unless golf cap when getting drinks at the turn.
*Conversations require sunglasses to come off, unless doing so is truly uncomfortable, because of intensity of the light etc., in which case, leaving them on is apologized for. Drive-thru =/= conversation. Merely ordering at the pool bar =/= conversation.
*If the sitter is female, a female drives her home, never the man
*The guy walks on the traffic side of the sidewalk when accompanying a woman.
*on-time is late. Early is on time. Being late is very rude. ( this one is Dutch, but still strong in me)
*When visiting someone’s home, bring flowers. (Very, very Dutch, and fading for me)

Last edited by Isosleepy; 02-09-2019 at 02:51 PM. Reason: I need to have a little talk with predictive autocorrect
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:08 PM
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About the only one mentioned that really gets me is being on time. If you arrive at the stated time, you're late, and making me late as well as crabby. The hat indoors is pure power play and sexism in one unsavory ball, I violate this one intentionally. I do take off a work glove to shake hands if the other person is barehanded. Its a matter of dirty gloves and presumably clean hands. The offered refreshments thing, it depends, I generally try to not accept, but in my work we are often offered drinks and food and if its hot enough, I will accept water.
In our family the rule(well one of them anyway) is to always explain the rules of service to guests, and different guests get different service depending on how close and familiar they are. The better the service, the less intimate the relstionship. If your cup is consistently refilled for you, probably never coming back to my house, or not with status beyond "guest" at any rate
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Last edited by guestchaz; 02-09-2019 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 03:57 PM
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I am genuinely amused about the hat kerfuffle, and why it is seen sexist and/or manipulative, even a power play? You don't need it on when you're indoors, and it conceals, either directly or by shade, part of your face. When my cave is invaded by a hat-wearer I'll usually be mildly annoyed and just try to get over it. Cowboy hats, however, will move me to actually say something along the lines of "remove the hat, or remove yourself," and it's one of the few times I will become unkind without immediate compliance.

Eating what you're served: when in Rome, don't be a fuckin barbarian and make someone uncomfortable in their own home--you eat what you are served. If you can't manage that, then don't visit people at their homes. The corrllary is, if you're serving a meal, make an effort to identify dietary issues and accommodate them.

And time: absolutely never be late because that means you value your own time more highly than the other person's. I mean, be as late as you want if that's the signal you want to send, I guess. 15 minutes early if meeting on neutral ground, on time is ok if you're going to someone else's cave--they might be making preparations right up until your anticipated arrival time, and it's not cool to interrupt that.

Last edited by Inigo Montoya; 02-09-2019 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:06 PM
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The hat is to protect you from the sun and rain, of which there is none indoors. So, youy take it off unless it's a jewish thing.

Especially larger hats, like cowboy hats as Inigo Montoya mentions. There are exceptions, like sports caps at game day, of course.

I never heard of "At meals you sit last, are served last, and start last. " because somebody has to go. That's just plain silly.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:49 PM
Littleman Littleman is online now
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Hats are dirty , wet, dusty, and what have you. Not too long ago you took off your hat and coat because it would get the house dirty.

Though this probably originated with removing your helmet as a sign of trust and non agression.

There is no sexism or power play. In fact the same rules apply to women for unisex hat types.
Only fashion hats can be kept in because they basically become part of your hairdo. I suppose if a guy is wearing a fascinator with his hair pinned in he can leave it on if he wants too.
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Old 02-09-2019, 06:56 PM
Littleman Littleman is online now
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The hat is to protect you from the sun and rain, of which there is none indoors. So, youy take it off unless it's a jewish thing.

Especially larger hats, like cowboy hats as Inigo Montoya mentions. There are exceptions, like sports caps at game day, of course.

I never heard of "At meals you sit last, are served last, and start last. " because somebody has to go. That's just plain silly.
Again the last to eat is not applied to everyone, it is the patriarch, matriarch, or in the military the higher ranking individual.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:13 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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A strange one:

When you're visiting someone and they offer you food, don't take any, no matter how hungry you are..
That's if they offer to cook you up something special. But if dinner is there, you're supposed to (I dunno why) make one polite demurral "No, I couldn't, really...) then accept if they insist.
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Old 02-09-2019, 07:18 PM
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How is the meal supposed to start if everyone is trying to be last?
You wait until the hostess raises her fork. Jeez, I can't believe you don't know that.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:29 PM
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What about being asked to take your shoes off when visiting for dinner or the evening. Irritates me no end.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:30 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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What about being asked to take your shoes off when visiting for dinner or the evening. Irritates me no end.
Some people are neat freaks, that keep the carpet clean. I have no problem with it, if they are nice about it and dont act like "well of course you always do that!"
  #34  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:26 AM
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commasense commasense is offline
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I always stand to shake hands, too. I don't recall being taught to, just that it seemed like it was what you did. Also, if I'm wearing gloves, I usually take off my right glove to shake hands. Does anyone else do this, or am I a weirdo? This also seems like something I just sort of picked up as good etiquette. Sometimes the person I'm shaking with does it, too, but maybe they're just humoring me.
I was taught to stand when being introduced to someone and shaking their hand, and always do it. However, I was never explicitly taught to remove a glove before shaking. I somehow figured it out on my own. I clearly remember the occasion, in winter, when I was about to shake someone's hand while wearing my gloves, and in that instant realizing that it would be disrespectful to leave the glove on, and quickly pulling it off before shaking. I later discovered that, in fact, my "natural" instinct was proper etiquette, for exactly the reason I had imagined.

Standing is a general mark of respect: people stand when a judge enters the courtroom, and in the presence of monarchs, presidents, heads of state, religious leaders, etc. Doing so when meeting an ordinary person in ordinary settings is likewise a mark of respect, although traditionally ladies were excused for reasons that would undoubtedly seem sexist today. (I wonder if Miss Manners has opined on this recently.)

Another old school rule of etiquette is that gentlemen rise whenever a lady enters or leaves the room, or when dining out, comes to or leaves the table. You can see this in old movies occasionally, and I have been known to do it once in a while, sometimes eliciting comment (usually positive).

As for punctuality, being early to a business meeting, a show, or a public event, or to a meeting with friends at a restaurant is generally okay, but being early to a private dinner party is at least as rude as being late. You run the risk of interrupting their preparations. If I arrive early for a dinner party, I'll wait in the car until a minute or two after the time of the invitation. Of course, in the case of many non-dinner parties among friends, being "on time" is being early: arriving 30, 60, or more minutes after the nominal starting time may be expected.

Here's one my father taught me. In public, a gentleman never greets a lady of his acquaintance, especially if she is with other people. He allows her to recognize and greet him if she chooses. The rationale is that she may have reasons for not wanting others to know that she knows the gentleman.

Last edited by commasense; 02-11-2019 at 12:28 AM.
  #35  
Old 02-11-2019, 12:47 AM
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panache45 panache45 is offline
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*When visiting someone’s home, bring flowers. (Very, very Dutch, and fading for me)
I went to a friend's large party a number of years ago, and brought flowers from my yard. He was surprised to receive them, as not a single other person brought anything.

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Originally Posted by commasense View Post
Another old school rule of etiquette is that gentlemen rise whenever a lady enters or leaves the room, or when dining out, comes to or leaves the table. You can see this in old movies occasionally, and I have been known to do it once in a while, sometimes eliciting comment (usually positive).
I've seen a couple of old movies in which a woman enters, and the man, seated, says "You're looking beautiful, so you'll excuse me if I remain seated." The implication was that he had an erection.

Last edited by panache45; 02-11-2019 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:24 AM
Derleth Derleth is offline
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* Sunglasses come off when you: 1) meet a stranger (at the drive thru, asking for directions, buying a movie ticket, etc.) 2) go indoors (got that one from Dad who was a St. Louis native)
Rather interesting when you have photogrey prescription lenses.

Shoes off in the house. (Midwest, West)

Friends enter through the garage, which usually opens into a mudroom. Only strangers enter through the front door. This isn't a taboo, it's just observed fact. (Midwest, West)
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:45 PM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
* You stand up when you shake someone's hand. And don't bother reaching if you're not going to try to make eye contact. You are well within your rights to ignore (or look at and look away from, in truly egregious cases) a hand extended by an able bodied man who is sitting. (Eastern Washington State)
I stand when I shake someone's hand. I'm not too sure about the last part. In a casual setting if I'm standing and I'm meeting someone who continues to sit; I don't even think I'd give it a second thought other than to wonder of you're lazy or handicapped.
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Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
* Sunglasses come off when you: 1) meet a stranger (at the drive thru, asking for directions, buying a movie ticket, etc.) 2) go indoors (got that one from Dad who was a St. Louis native)
As a (former} collegiate Umpire, I was taught to remove my sunglasses when talking with coaches. I kind of follow that in day-to-day life. If I have to talk directly to someone, I'd usually remove them. I think wearing sunglasses indoors generally makes you look like a douche. I say generally because of transition lenses, etc. Plus like other people in this thread, I've done it myself. When I was on a vacation in Ireland, my prescription glasses broke; so I had to wear my prescription sunglasses everywhere. I would mostly just wear them long enough to see a menu or read something; and then push them up on my head while I didn't need them
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Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
* At meals you sit last, are served last, and start last. This obligation is immediately surrendered to an elder or higher rank who exercises it, but you stay as close to last as possible. (Rural Mississippi & Military)
I generally sit last because I'm the guy holding a door open for others and it just occurs naturally. If I'm with a group of people sitting at a restaurant, It would cause more chaos to try to 'force' sitting or being served last. I think that one is just a little silly.. I don't know how I could have a chance to be served in any particular order, let alone being served last. Eating last seems a little forced also. That being said, I won't eat until everyone is served so we can begin eating together. A side story on politeness while eating. My late father in law, was the epitome of politeness. This is a guy who in his late 80s would stand up if a women entered the room because she might want to sit in his chair. He wise that nice and thoughtful in everything he did. Now the flip side. During meal conversations he would completely stop what he was doing, put his silverware down and converse with you. He would then pick up his fork and knife and begin to eat again until he was to say something; in which case he would set down his silverware again, to converse. Super polite? Absolutely. Did everyone finish dinner WAY before he did? Again; ABSOLUTELY. The guy hardly ever finished a meal in his life. My moral of the story is kind of like good driving... sometimes breaking convention and going with the flow is more important than following all the rules.
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Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
* Take your hat off when you're indoors, or else get back outdoors. This one absolutely makes my blood boil, and I have no idea why. (Western Washington, Colorado, Military--evidently not a thing in rural Georgia)
Yeah this one is a sign of the times. Back when the only type of hat you wore was felt hat of some sort, then you would take it off. Today's days of baseball caps, etc. I don't adhere to this one too much. If I'm going into church, then yes; but If I'm going into a mall? It's not going to happen.
  #38  
Old 02-11-2019, 04:20 PM
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Inigo Montoya Inigo Montoya is offline
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Originally Posted by Enright3 View Post
kind of like good driving... sometimes breaking convention and going with the flow is more important than following all the rules.
Word. Any pedant can follow rules, politeness is about applying empathy (which just happens to dictate behavior patterns).

Last edited by Inigo Montoya; 02-11-2019 at 04:20 PM.
  #39  
Old 02-11-2019, 04:36 PM
enipla enipla is online now
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Originally Posted by Graymalkin View Post
What about being asked to take your shoes off when visiting for dinner or the evening. Irritates me no end.
Same here. Makes me uncomfortable, and it's just too casual for anything but family or very good friends.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:13 PM
Apollyon Apollyon is offline
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My wife and I, both the same age and raised in New Zealand, encountered an odd little clash of cultures / learned behaviors with regards to taking food / drink contributions to a party.

I'd been taught that whatever you took was left there, whether or not it got opened, part consumed... whatever. And if offered to take back anything you'd politely refuse.

Her family were very often involved in large communal meals with people contributing victuals. (Dad was a Methodist minister.) Her expectation was that at the end of the gathering people would definitely take away leftovers... even things they didn't bring!

The first time this happened to us as a couple she was happily chatting with our host and gathering up things to take away and I was totally mortified and trying to get her to put everything back and leave.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:18 PM
Declan Declan is offline
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The only thing I can think of is that standing is somehow viewed as some sort of symbolic equality thing. But I don't know why or how. Nobody has ever attempted to explain this one to me.
Basically thats what it is, your meeting someone on an equal basis and looking them in the eye when shaking that hand. Solid hand shake , solid person type thing. Part of how you project yourself to a stranger on first meeting.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:22 PM
Declan Declan is offline
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I'd be curious to find out which cultures, since my number one rule is: If offered food take it.
That might have had to do with famine, your still expected to offer but then your hosts starve if you partake.
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  #43  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:06 PM
Emergency911 Emergency911 is offline
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Raised in the midwest by 1st generation german grandparents in a predominantly german/catholic area, if it matters.

Hats shoes and coats always came off when indoors, even if you are only in for a moment. They are also left at the doors unless the host says otherwise.

If you aren't 15 minutes early, you are late.

Sunglasses came off if you were talking to anyone and you were expected to maintain eye contact.

In a formal setting, you were expected to stand if any woman, priest/reverend or someone older than you came into the room or approached your general area.

Decline the first offer of food and drink, but when they insist, you take it and compliment them on whatever they give you. -- This one was always the most interesting when I was growing up. My grandmother would complain if you, as a guest, accepted on the first offer, or continued to say no after the second offer. (not in front of them, but after they left of course). If you didn't accept her offer at all, there was a good chance you wouldn't be invited back! It was also hard to come up with good compliments for a glass of water, but it was still expected.

These 'rules' seemed to be the same throughout or rural area.

The only thing that still bothers me today is lack of eye contact and being on time, although I will still stand for anyone that I believe deserves the respect.
  #44  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:59 PM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Originally Posted by Emergency911 View Post
Decline the first offer of food and drink, but when they insist, you take it and compliment them on whatever they give you. -- This one was always the most interesting when I was growing up. My grandmother would complain if you, as a guest, accepted on the first offer, or continued to say no after the second offer. (not in front of them, but after they left of course). If you didn't accept her offer at all, there was a good chance you wouldn't be invited back! It was also hard to come up with good compliments for a glass of water, but it was still expected.
Yep. politely refuse, then accept when they insist.

"Ah, that wet the old whistle!".
  #45  
Old 02-11-2019, 08:01 PM
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Ambivalid Ambivalid is offline
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Originally Posted by Littleman View Post
I think people are misunderstanding the last to eat thing.
You are last if you are the higher ranking individual.
It's a symbol of taking care of those under you first.
So this rule of eating last only applies to specific instances of military dinners and family dinners featuring a father figure and his family? Seems to be more of an exception than a rule.

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Originally Posted by DrDeth View Post
Some people are neat freaks, that keep the carpet clean. I have no problem with it, if they are nice about it and dont act like "well of course you always do that!"
Yeah I dislike this custom. Seeing as how I use a wheelchair (which unavoidably gets dirty wheels, living in Michigan), having everyone else take off their shoes makes me feel particularly rotten and in the spotlight for tracking dirt and grime into their clean home (I often have no way of hosing down, or cleaning off at all my wheels other than the most superficial brush-off).

Of course, nobody would ever say anything to me about it ever, ever. I could have 10 lbs of green baby shit smeared on my wheels and I could track it on someone's carpet and get nothing but awkward smiles in return. This only adds to my awful feelings.
  #46  
Old 02-12-2019, 10:37 AM
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TRC4941 TRC4941 is offline
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Originally Posted by Buck Godot View Post
Somebody breaks that taboo. I have made a conscious decision that that someone is going to be me. I have been at too many parties where a Buffet is opened and everyone stands there staring hungrily at it because no one is willing to go first. Also at the end near the deserts there is always this pie or cake that is untouched because no one wants to be the first one to take a slice.

I finally decided that as a public service for the good of my fellow man I would give in to gluttony. There also may be a bit or rebellion against my dad (Nebraskan Native) who will absolutely insist that he be the very last person in a buffet line.
I'm with you! I never wait around for someone else to get in line at a buffet. The food is there to eat, I'm not going to be shy about it (and I'm a basically shy person!). I'm not shy about the dessert either. Why would anyone want to be last in line? I'm always afraid there won't be anything left that I like to eat!
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