Over the last number of years, we have witnessed a rapid decline in elegance, be it manners, dress code or living style.
Some of us remember dressing for dinner, cocktail parties, and the appropriate behaviour to go along with it. Proper polite introductions, and making guests feel welcome and included in conversations.
Spectacular table settings with elegant seating, magnificent linens, mind blowing flowers, spectacular silver, cutlery and tableware. Alternating between speaking to those on the right and left, then across the table. NO cellphoes. Remember those days??
Women for the most part, dressed appropriately, not with flouncy dresses and hooker shoes. Men wore elegant suits with crisp, white shirts, and fabulous silk ties……
In London, one continues to see formal dress codes, although today they are finally being relaxed a little. Women are increasingly wearing tuxedos and trouser suits, which noteably, I have been wearing for longer than I will admit to. Absolutely NO dresses for moi.
I recently had an interesting conversation with a friend about the lack of elegance. (yes, of course it is you!!!)… she always looks quietly elegant in a Black Yves St Laurent Suit, understated, elegant, and total simplicity.
Elegant dress and behaviour seem to be something of the past, and many of us truly miss it.
People sent ( In England, they still do…) crisp, engraved invitation cards with gold leaf borders in nice stiff envelopes. One sent back a proper RRSP card, and subsequently a Thank You card and thoughtful gift to the hostess. Over the years, I have attended some extraordinary events around the world, some with a Footman for each guest.
House decoration has experienced a similar decline, all white cheap furniture does not make for an inviting or comfortable home. Remember huge down sofas and pillows?? Thick carpets, spectacular art works, period furniture?? ….Linen and fine cotton sheets with fluffy down duvets??
Remember when table settings were breath taking?? Dollar store glasses and dishes do not really inspire…..
These days we see individuals who should know better, arrive at Vernissages in cut off pants, open toe sandals (vulgar at the best of times, this is NOT the beach) and Tshirts….. who on earth does this??
Women arrive dressed like tarts with decolletages down to the naval and hooker shoes…..do you REALLY think those tacky gladiator heels are elegant??
I was at an event a few months ago, when a Senior Partner of a Law firm arrived very late, unshaven, his clothes looked and smelled as though he had been sleeping in them, upon entering the room, his behaviour was breathtaking, pushing and shoving his way through the guests to speak with someone he deemed important. Eyes were rolling quietly at his ghastly behaviour. It did not improve.
If his personality and presence were even remotely sparkly, his conversation entertaining, it would be one thing, but he is a dour, humourless, arrogant man. Age has not been kind to him….his real personality is increasingly showing, and sweet is certainly not an adjective which is even remotely present in one’s mind to describe him……
These events are meant to be happy social gatherings, a modicum of enthusiasm and curtesy towards the attendees is expected. But then, once again, he arrived empty handed and scarfed his way through the food and alcohol being served.
Perhaps I am harsh, but I was not brought up to behave in such a callous, inconsiderate fashion.
The latest social demise appears to be Birthday celebrations. Apparently they are acceptable for children and no one else.
In the past they were celebrated with style, elegant, thoughtful gifts and cards chosen to please the recipient and often to entertain the guests.
Today, people turn up late, inappropriately dressed and empty handed. Somehow they are under the impression that their presence is sufficient.
Let me be patently CLEAR, it is NOT.
It is the height of bad behaviour, and complaining about the cost of gifts being too expensive when you are alternatively bragging about your most recent purchase is utterly classless.
To accept lovely gifts from others, and not reciprocate, take a moment and consider just how rude that is….
Last word on the subject, corner store flowers and wine, and dollar store items are not acceptable, ever.
A sad anecdote on the subject. I used to have a girlfriend who was extremely generous towards her friends, both in terms of throughtful beautiful gifts, but also generously entertaining them. Year after year I was the ONLY one attending her birthday parties who showered her with wonderful thoughtful gifts. On more than one occasion, at the end her birthday party, she would be in tears, simply not comprehending just how these women who claimed to be her ‘best friends’ could be so inherently selfish, arriving either empty handed or with only a cheap bottle of wine.
NO, none of them have financial constraints.
Vicious trolls onilne……
WHAT is with that???
Ruining someone’s reputation posting untruths which can’t be removed. I do not understand what is the point, or how one derives some pleasure from such cruelty.
Posting an endless barrage of insults and distruths about total strangers.
There is something inherently wrong with our society when someone has to hire a lawyer at great expense and inconvenience to protect one’s reputation from these ugly trolls.
The mere fact that there are now companies whose entire business is trying to remove hateful, inaccurate posts is inconceivable and totally disgraceful.
Table Hopping is another social no no that I simply can’t abide. It is the most disrespectful thing I have ever seen. Individuals who go to a restaurant with someone, then walk around holding court as if they own the place, shaking hands, speaking with people for more than simply a polite acknowledgement ,and speaking loudly all the while leaving their dinner partner(s) wondering why they are there at all. How someone can possibly think this behaviour makes them look important escapes me.
Clearly I am not the only one feeling this way, it is becoming a subject on the lips of more and more people.
Hopefully this trend will reverse and we will return to a more elegant, considerate way of living…..
What do YOU think??