What Happened to Manners?

Image result for manners 

Have you noticed that sometimes during the last decade etiquette has practically become extinct?  What has happened to manners?  Where have all of the Emily Post coffee table books gone?  Where are the classes that were taught when I was in high school?  What is happening to this world?  Am I the only one who has noticed this decline?

For example, below are some situations I have personally witnessed where manners were nowhere in sight:

  • A person knowingly lets a door slam on the woman struggling with a stroller.
  • A teenager bumps into someone and never utters a single “excuse me” or “I’m sorry.”
  • A guy puts his feet on the theater chair in front of him while someone is sitting in it!
  • A young man burps while dining at an upscale restaurant and laughs.
  • A driver stops to let a car exit a driveway amid a traffic jam and is never thanked.
  • Gifts are given and a thank you note is never received.


I could go on and on, and I am sure that each of you have similar stories and more.  The lack of decorum that is developing in our society is troubling, and it is something that needs to be addressed and corrected as soon as possible.   So, let’s start here.


Why are manners so important?  The reasons are so great that they deserve a bulleted list:

  • You will feel more comfortable and, therefore, more sure of yourself in social and business situations.
  • Those around you will feel more comfortable because displaying proper manners means that you care for others’ feelings.
  • Your communication with others will be clear and concise.
  • You will appear more successful and educated.
  • You will always make a good first impression.


How can we help to ensure that etiquette is not forgotten?

  1. In short, begin at home! Manners need to become an ingrained part of your everyday interactions and, therefore, must first be practiced at home.  Furthermore, children develop habits by watching their parents and siblings.  If you are practicing proper etiquette in your own home, it is sure to rub off on them.


  1. The rules of etiquette tend to change as society evolves, so keeping up with those changes is imperative. I recommend taking a refresher course in manners at least every five years.  All in all, the one rule that stays constant is The Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Stick to that rule, and you will always come out ahead.


  1. Talk to schools and churches about welcoming an etiquette teacher to share her skills with the students, staff, and faculty. When it comes to manners, practice makes perfect, so reiterating the rules on a yearly basis is a great idea.


  1. Host an “etiquette party.” After all, learning can be fun!  Invite friends and family members over for dinner and drinks, all while learning how to navigate a table setting and how to properly hold a wine glass.


  1. Make displaying and learning proper etiquette easy for you and those in your home. For instance, I recommend having plenty of books ready for any social situation that may occur. I even love the idea of having an etiquette book on a coffee table for all to peruse when they enter your home.  Also, have plenty of “thank you” notes and a good pen ready when needed.


In the end, it all starts with YOU!  Keeping manners at the forefront of your own life is the only way to ensure that they remain an important part of your world.


I would love to hear your thoughts on this article!

Thanks for reading!

Erin Love










Utensil Etiquette

First of all, if you participated in this Facebook post, thank you!!  I love seeing all of that interaction on my posts!!  Wasn’t this etiquette quiz fun?  Did it make you want to learn more?  I hope so!  I am planning an etiquette course for adults and children, so stay tuned! If you would like to be notified of the courses, please consider subscribing.  🙂

Ok…on to the answer to my quiz!  Where do your utensils go when you are FINISHED with your meal?  The answer is C!  How many of you got that??

The picture in Exhibit A is what your plate should look like DURING your meal.

The picture in Exhibit B is what your plate should look like if you need to get up from the table and you have NOT COMPLETED your meal.


The picture in Exhibit C is what your plate should look like when you have COMPLETED your meal.

Now, next time you go out to dinner you will be confident and relaxed because you know what to do!

If you have any etiquette questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments!

Thank you for reading!!

Erin Sharplin Love

Panache by Erin


Master the Top Dining Etiquette Mistakes

Master the Top Dining Etiquette Mistakes

1.  Bread should always be broken piece-by-piece, buttered, and then eaten.  Never butter the entire piece of bread and then take a bite from it.
2.  Anything that is dropped on the floor should remain there.  If it happens to be your utensil, simply notify the waiter and he should bring you a replacement.
3.  Salt and pepper should always be passed together.
4.  Never pick your teeth or blow your nose at the table.  (I know!  This doesn’t actually seem like one of the “top” etiquette mistakes, but it is!)
5.  A sweetener packet should be folded and placed under the edge of your saucer or bread plate.  Never crumple it up and toss it in the middle of the table, for instance.
6.  Remember to say “please” and “thank you” to your server.  It always amazes me when this simple mannerly rule is neglected.
7. If you discover a piece of bone, gristle, or a seed in your food, remove it the same way it went in. For instance, if you put a piece of fish in your mouth only to discover a tiny bone, gently place the bone on the fork with the tip of your tongue. Don’t spit it out in a grotesque way.
8. Never double dip
9. Never push your plate away from you when you are finished. The server will be able to tell when you have completed your meal.
10. Wait until everyone at your table has been served before beginning. If you happen to be seated with a large amount of people it’s ok to wait until those sitting directly beside you get their plate instead of waiting for the entire table.
11. Place your napkin in your lap almost immediately upon sitting and in your seat should you need to be excused for any reason.
12. Food is passed counter-clockwise.

So, did I refresh your memory? I hope so!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!


Flag Etiquette

The fourth of July means that many will be flying their American flags high, so I wanted to let you in on the fact that there is etiquette behind the tradition.  Please check out the rules below:

The U.S. Flag, when carried in a procession with other flags, should be either on the marching right (the flag’s own right) or, if there is a line of other flags, in front of the center of that line. Never display the U.S. flag from a float except from a staff, or so suspended that its folds fall free as though staffed.

When displayed either horizontally or vertically against a wall, the union should be in the uppermost corner and to the flags own right, that is, to the observer’s left. When displayed in a window, the flags should be displayed the same way, with the union or blue field to the left of the observer in the street.

When flags of states, cities, or localities, or pennants of societies are flown on the same halyard with the flag of the United States, the latter should always be at the peak.

No other flag or pennant should be placed above, or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America, except during church services conducted by naval chaplains at sea . . . for personnel of the Navy . . . when the church pennant may be flown above the flag. No person shall display the flag of the United Nations or any other national or international flag equal, above, or in a position of superior prominence or honor to, or in place of, the flag of the United States at any place within the United States or any Territory or possession thereof; provided, that nothing in this section shall make unlawful the continuance of the practice heretofore followed of displaying the flag of the United Nations in a position of superior prominence or honor, and other national flags in positions of equal prominence or honor, with that of the flag of the United States at the headquarters of the United Nations.

When the flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the flag of the United States should be hoisted first and lowered last. No such flag or pennant may be placed above the flag of the United States or to the United States flag’s right.

When displayed outdoors with other flags, the position of honor for the U.S. flag is the U.S. flag’s own right which is normally the extreme left position as the flags are most frequently viewed.

Saluting the Flag: When a national flag is raised or lowered as part of a ceremony, or when it passes by in a parade or in review, all persons, except those in uniform, should face the flag and stand at attention with the right hand over the heart.

Those in uniform should give the military salute. When not in uniform, a man should remove his hat with his right hand and hold it at his left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. The flag should be saluted at the moment it passes in a parade or in review. Citizens of other countries stand at attention, but need not salute.

It is the universal custom to display the national flag from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary Flagstaff in the open on all days that weather permits, but especially on national and state holidays and other days that may be proclaimed by the President of the United States. On Memorial Day, the U.S. flag should be half-staffed until noon.

The U.S flag may be displayed 24 hours a day if properly illuminated during hours of darkness.

When Flown at half staff: the U.S. flag should be first hoisted to the peak for a moment and then lowered to the half staff position. The flag should be raised to the peak again before it is lowered for the day.

When other flags are flown from the same halyard: the U.S. flag should always be at the peak. When other flags are flown from adjacent staffs, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first and lowered last. No flag may fly above or to the right of the U.S. flag.

Always hoist the U.S. flag briskly. Lower it ceremoniously.

It is generally not desirable to fly the flag outdoors when the weather is particularly inclement because exposure to severe winds and rain may damage the flag or the pole on which it is displayed. Never in any way should disrespect be shown the U.S. flag. The U.S. flag should never be dipped into any person or thing. Regimental colors, State flags, and organization or institutional flags are dipped as a mark of honor. The U.S. flag should never be displayed with the union down except as a signal of dire distress in instances of extreme danger to life or property. The U.S. flag should never touch anything beneath it – ground, floor, water or merchandise. The U.S. flag should never be carried horizontally, but it should always be aloft and free. Always allow the U.S. flag to fall free- never use the U.S. flag as wearing apparel, bedding or drapery, festooned, drawn back, nor up, in folds. For draping platforms and decorations in general, use blue, white and red bunting. Always arrange the bunting with the blue above, the white in the middle and the red below. The U.S. flag should never be fastened, displayed, used or stored in any manner which will permit it to be easily torn, soiled or damaged in any way. Never use U.S. flags as a covering or drapes for the ceiling.

Never place anything on the U.S. flag. The U.S. flag should never have placed upon it, or on any part of it, or attached to it, any mark, insignia, letter, word, figure, design, picture or drawing of any nature. Never use the U.S. flag for receiving, holding, carrying or delivering anything. The U.S. flag should not be embroidered on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs and the like, printed or otherwise impressed on paper napkins, boxes or anything that is designed for temporary use or discard. Advertising signs should not be fastened to a staff or halyard from which the flag is flown. Never use any part of the U.S. flag as a costume or athletic uniform. A flag patch may be affixed to uniforms of military personnel, firemen, policemen and members of patriotic organizations.

When the U.S. flag is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, it should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably via flag disposal ceremonies held at your local VFW or American Legion Posts.

The above information was derived from Emily Post

Happy Fourth!!



Ask Erin

Ask Erin

With all the technology today, is it proper to send a thank you note via email or fax?  Or is it considered poor taste?

Thanks so much for this question!  The best choice is always a handwritten thank you note.  If, by chance, the only way you know how to get in touch with the person is via email, then it is ok to send the thank you via email.  Another time when it is ok to send a thank you via email is if you accidentally waited too long and you want to get them a thank you asap.  If that is the case, however, I would suggest you go ahead and send a handwritten thank you note, as well.  Handwritten notes are a lot more personal and therefore mean a lot more to the recipient.  In the end…ANY thank you is better than no thank you.

Hope this helps!!  Thanks again!



If you have a question for me please email erinlove@panachebyerin.com.


Manners for the Yogi

Manners for the Yogi

Each year, yoga gains in popularity, and numerous new studios are opened to keep up with the demand.  The good news is that these studios are crowded with new practitioners eager to reap yoga’s health benefits.  The bad news is that many of these well-intentioned people do not realize that yoga requires its own rules of etiquette:

  1. Always arrive five to ten minutes before class begins.  Yoga teachers strive to create a stress-free environment in their studios, so being on time and unrushed lends itself to that environment.
  2. ALWAYS remove your shoes before entering the yoga studio.
  3. Turn off cell phones and other electronic devices that may interrupt instruction and disturb others in the room.
  4. Enter the studio quietly.  In other words, don’t come in talking loudly on the phone or chatting enthusiastically with other yogis.
  5. If you can’t avoid being late to a class, be as quiet and respectful of the others as possible.  If you are more than five minutes late, however, it’s best to attend the next class if possible.
  6. Bring your own yoga mat unless the studio provides one for you.  Always call before your first class to find out if you should bring your own equipment.
  7. Be respectful of space in the yoga studio and place your mat in a way that maximizes that space so others have room also.
  8. Bring a towel if you tend to sweat a lot.
  9. Wear comfortable clothing that you do not have to tug on.  You should also choose tasteful outfits so you do not make others uncomfortable.
  10. Forgo heavily scented perfumes and lotions as some people are allergic to them.
  11. Always mention pre-existing conditions to your teacher so she can alert you if you should sit out a pose or readjust the pose.
  12. If you must leave class early,  always notify the teacher and those who sit close to you.

Observing the proper rules of etiquette ensures that you and everyone around you remains comfortable, and I can’t think of a place where comfort means more to me than in a yoga studio!

Thank you, Arely, for inspiring this post.





Wine Etiquette

Wine Etiquette

Ah yes!  My mouth is watering already!  I love wine, especially Chardonnay and Cabernet, although if the only choices are the Pinots, I won’t turn them down!  LOL!

But anyway, on with my post…I got sidetracked.

Have you been out to dinner and ordered a bottle of wine only to be confused by the what to do when the bottle actually gets to your table?  Let me help!

First things first – If you have an idea of what you will be ordering (fish or red meat), and you like to order a wine that works well with your dish I suggest white wine with fish and red wine with red meat.  However, that is a fairly dated rule and you can and should simply go with what you prefer at the time.  For instance, I prefer white wines in the spring and summer and red wines in the fall and winter.

After you place your wine order, the server should return with an unopened bottle of the wine you ordered.  He will then show it to you.  Nod if the bottle is indeed the wine you ordered.  If it is not, tell the server immediately.  If the server knows that it is not the correct wine, he should tell you immediately, before you notice, as to why.  He should then suggest a comparable wine.

Your server then uncorks the wine at the table and pours a small amount into the glass of the person who ordered.  You should briefly swirl the wine (to release the aroma), take a slight breath of the fragrance, and then sip.  If the wine tastes good, simply nod that it is ok.  Your server will then pour everyone else their wine before finishing with you.

If the server hands you the cork, simply set it on the table.  No sniffing or squeezing necessary.

From this point on, if the server does not return to refill glasses, the orderer should fulfill the task.  Tip – Wine should be filled to the widest point of the glass.  No more and no less.  🙂

Well, I think I’m off to have a glass of wine!  How about you?