July 06, 2005

Christmas in July

Had a message from my father the other day to expect a parcel from Chapters in the mail. The box turned up, with Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, Freshly Updated by Judith Martin and Pig Perfect: Encounters with Remarkable Swine and Some Great Ways to Cook Them by Peter Kaminsky within. Thanks, Grandpapa.

Miss Manners' latest is very funny, and often useful (well, depending on who your friends are), such as when she advises on the subject of
~Calling on the President~

Dear Miss Manners:
I am invited to a White House Dinner, and I heard that it is proper to leave cards for the president and First Lady the next day. Is this true?

Gentle Reader:
That was once, indeed, the charming custom. Unfortunately guards are now instructed to transfer to a psychiatrist anybody who approaches the White House exhibiting what they consider bizarre behavior.

By the way, speaking of books, don't worry. I'm not going to have an Amazon, Chapters, or Bookcloseouts affiliate button so that you can help defray my blogging costs or see my Wish List or even, egad, "buy me things" as I've seen elsewhere. After all, I'm here blogging for my own benefit, and you're all along for the ride. As Miss Manners says, "there is no tasteful way -- not even any moderately decent way -- of directing present-giving when you are on the receiving end." Further,
~On Profiting from Others~

"I'll scrub floors before I'll accept charity."
"We may be poor, but we have our pride."
"I've always been independent, and I always will be."
"Thank you, but I wouldn't dream of taking your money. I'm sure I'll manage."
"I may not be legally responsible, but I consider this a debt of honor, and I'll pay off ever cent if I die in the attempt."
"I don't accept tips."

When was the last time you heard any of these statements? If ever. The young must think that allowing pride to trump avarice dates back to a long-distant age of romance and stupidity.

Miss Manners does not exactly complain that she misses what were, after all, responses to difficult, perhaps tragic, circumstances. But she sorely misses the quaint attitude they represented. The rapidity with which begging and bankruptcy shed any sense of shame and took on an air of insouciant cleverness astonishes her. ...

Nevertheless, Miss Manners saw it all coming. Once the commercial gift registry (originally kept only in case customers inquired about a bride's silver or china pattern) expanded to put generosity under the control of its beneficiary, the rest was inevitable. Now would-be beneficiaries are saving others the trouble of volunteering by listing demands -- whether directly or through web sites, gift registries and notations on invitations -- without waiting to be asked.

A review of Pig Perfect, and probably a recipe or two, coming up at another time.


Anonymous said...

Looks good little Miss Becky! I think you've got this blogging thing down!!


Anonymous said...

Welcome to the world of blogging, Becky. I've put your bookmark at the top of my list! Can't wait to read more about Pig Perfect (and other things, of course!).


Becky said...

Many thanks for the warm welcomes, Tamy and Gina. I'll try to get through Pig Perfect as soon as I can!