Is Preppy Polite?

The impending publication of True Prep, the sequel to The Official Preppy Handbook  causes one to consider.  Is madras inherently well mannered? Do a penchant for plaid and a liking for Lilly mean you know how to behave? Do the teachings of Emily Post belong to the entitled?

Certainly not. Anyone can be well mannered. You don’t need docksiders and monogrammed tumblers. So why do so many self styled “preppy”people seem so focused on manners? Is it because they have the time to care? Is it because they frequent exclusive locales where one is judged on such things? No matter how flamboyant one's trousers, all people appreciate it when someone is polite. Having good manners really means being considerate of the feelings and needs of others. Introducing yourself to a stranger, shaking hands, holding a door, offering someone a drink are all designed to put another person at ease. If one uses fancy manners to exclude another person she is not being polite. Think of the elegant hostess who drinks out of her finger bowl because a guest has mistaken her own for a water vessel. This kindness cost the hostess nothing and is much more considerate to the guest than pointing out her mistake in a room full of people.

Bring on True Prep and reissue the original but just remember wearing plaid does not make you polite.  Being polite makes you polite and being rude in plaid just makes you look like an ass. 


Anonymous said...

I hear you, sister!

Anonymous said...

So true! It has always bothered me when "polite" people spend their time making others feel inadequate. A great hostess makes her guests feel comfortable not inferior!!

StreamingGourmet said...

Remember when Lisa Birnbach was at St. Andrew's during the filming of Dead Poet's Society? She was (is?) married to one of the producers. It was so eerie, in a bizarre self referential way, to listen to her commentary on the set.

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