a victoria p

birdiebirdbird@gmail.com
brooklyn

22 September 2007

Etiquette In Public Places: The Woman Who Smokes, taken from the "Standard Book Of Etiquette"

Listen here,

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Below is a photo, backwards since i don't know how to flip it, of a page in a very old book I found on a very dusty bookshelf in my living room:

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Transcribed, it reads:

"Nowadays, women everywhere smoke as freely as men do; and there's no objection to it provided they maintain their dignity and avoid offense to others.

It's not dignified, for example, for a woman to walk along the street smoking a cigarette. It may not be wrong, actually, but it is a habit that's neither charming nor feminie, and an intelligent woman always considers appearances.

Women smoke as publicly as men, of course, in restaurants and night clubs, during intermission at the theater, in hotel lobbies, in waiting rooms, on trains and planes--everywhere, in fact, except on city streets. However, one should bear in mind that the attitude toward women smoking in public varies widely in different sections of the country. What may passed unnoticed in New York or Chicago may cause lifted eyebrows in Little Village. The woman who visits a community where smoking in public is looked upon with disapproval or distaste, should be understanding and gracious enough to do her smoking in private.

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The woman who smokes should avoid careless or sloppy smoking habits that offend people. She should never talk with a cigarette in her mouth, nor dance with a cigarette in her hand, nor hold a cigarette and coffee cup at the same time. Such actions do not help make a woman more popular or appealing!

Needless to say, the woman who smokes regularly and should not forever "borrow" them from others. But if she is with a man and he offers her one of his cigarettes, it's better manners to accept it that to say, "I have my own" (unless, of course, his brand is positively distasteful to her). And he should always let him light her cigarette; it's a courtesy a man expects to perform for a lady, and it's somewhat disconcerting to have her do it herself."



After reading this, I have one question and one statement. First, where the fuck is "Little Village"? I'm almost certain I'm not the only person who has never heard of this place. My statement being, I think I would quit smoking, or certainly cut down (although, I haven't smoked nearly as much as I used to in these most recent months) if I were to be dating someone who didn't like it. I think, I would even quit smoking for the right job, or right apartment or the right pet. I did quit smoking indoors in my current apartment, as my roommates don't even know that I am a smoker and aren't smokers themselves, as far as I know. I find smoking to be something my hands enjoy doing more than my brain, and I might just start looking for other hand-habits, like flipping off trees, or something, to keep them busy. I don't know.

The book was published in 1948 and includes etiquette of drinking, tipping, and hostessing. It was apparently purchased at Strand in 2007 for one dollar.

4 comments:

Anni said...

in some places, such as, say, korea... all this still stands true. women DO NOT smoke on the street. i've tried, it's not WORTH IT. in the presence of men, you better ask permission if they are: older or "of higher rank" than yourself (a friend of mine has had her cigarette slapped out of her hand)

and there are cases if their "ranking" is way-too-high-for-you, than you better never even think of smoking in front of them.

Anni said...

ok whatever, i'm quiting anyways

Aaron said...

This is all good advice, but something is missing. What is the protocal for kissing a man who is repulsed by fire breathing, tongue probing smoke dragons? As a physical mannerism, smoking isn't unnattractive. It is the dry spikey rank tongue commonly accompanied by an alchololic twinge of which a gentlemen is not fond. Perhaps kissing becomes a formality? Get it out of the way quickly, and move on to clothing removal and heavy petting. Use mouth to mouth contact only when it is too awkward to not, like when yours and his face cross paths as you switch positions.=)

bird said...

Aaron, you remind me of the three men I've accidentally dated. What do you have to say for yourself!?

 
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