Every hostess often prides herself on being the ultimate role model for the etiquette surrounding the hosting of breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and all other events. For example, these are the girls that always RSVP ahead of the due date and won’t even dream about showing up to a party without anything in hand. However, one can’t help but simply wonder what entertaining was like back in the day.
Well, asides from the glaringly obvious differences i.e. invitations came by mail and not by email, there is actually a highly interesting number of outdated practices that came along with ‘olden-day’ entertaining. Want to hear what they are? Come on, and continue reading…
“It doesn’t matter if the hostess knows what the menu is like because her hired cook will be more than able when it comes to taking care of it.”
Unfortunately, in the typical modern-day home, most of us do not have a full time, live in cook that works at the mere click of our fingertips. In addition, with the wider range of dietary needs that people have these days, it is essential that every single hostess knows exactly what her guests require and what she is going to serve before she hosts a party.
“It is essential that at every hosted event, regardless of the size, there must be both a host and a hostess present.”
This totally outdated etiquette of entertaining was probably set pre-feminist movement. I mean, what if you wanted to throw a Valentine’s Day Bash for all you single girlfriends? Do you still need a man by your side?
“Always seat people with a similar social and educational standing with each other. Do not place those with charismatic personalities with those that are more demure, nor the boring with the clever. That is unless the demure and boring is a pretty young lady with a talent for listening to others and the charismatic and clever is a man who admires all things beautiful.”
Well, this is definitely wrong on so many levels. While the majority of hostesses skip out on the seating chart these days, when it comes to the more formal affairs, you shouldn’t be thinking about class, education and personalities – actually, maybe the last one. But when you draw up a seating chart, it should be with the thought; “will these people have fun being in each other’s company” and definitely not “this woman finished her PhD at Colombia and this man barely made it through high school, so lets not place them together”.
“A lady should not talk to any man who she has not been formally introduced to by either a mutual acquaintance or her husband, son, father or brother.”
Okay, so what if you know absolutely no-one except your brother who seems more interested in picking up girls than he is trying to get you mingling with others? Are you supposed to be sitting at a corner all by your lonesome self? While your great-grandparents might be rolling over in their graves, thank the stars that you are living in the 21st century where it is perfectly fine to get off your lazy butt and talk to whoever you want.
“When you are hosting a picnic, the best idea is to make sure that absolutely everything is neatly wrapped up with the appropriate labels stuck on them. In addition, once something has been used, do not try to keep it, burn it.”
Maybe back in the day the word picnic was synonymous with camping. Nowadays, it is illegal to set a fire in any park, making it rather difficult to carry out this form of party etiquette. Not to mention, these days you can simply opt for something recyclable/reusable such as plastic plates, govino cups, compostable utensils etc. So while these probably are in the big black book for the entertaining rules set in the early 1900’s, these are all etiquette-correct in the 21st century.
“If you are hosting a tea party, it is important that the tea and chocolate are only poured and served by two of the hostess’ most intimate friends. These ladies in charge of pouring and serving are always invited beforehand, having been selected because they are reliable in terms of showcasing gracious mannerisms regardless of the situation that they may face.”
Can you imagine texting your two BFFs to get to the party ASAP because they need to come and act as your pourers and servers? To be honest, I bet they’ll be laughing at your face rather than jumping at the opportunity to take on this ‘honorable’ role.
Tell me, do you know any other rules of etiquette that are no longer applicable today?