I was lamenting one day about the lack of pride some military wives take in themselves, and how I wish they would do a better job of representing themselves, their husbands, and all of us Military Wives as a whole.
I was discussing this with someone at one of my volunteer "jobs" and he smiled, and reached across his desk and handed me this book.
Now this may appear to be some kind of out-dated, old-fashioned book.
You would be surprised. This was printed in 2001.
As he handed me the book, I looked at it in awe. I said, "Where did you get this!? Why haven’t I seen one of these before?!?! I have been an army wife for nearly 21 years and I had no idea such a thing existed!" He was shocked.
I was in total awe.
As I flipped through the book, everything you needed to know was there!
How to properly greet a person.
Tips for learning to memorize and KNOW people’s names!
"The Art of Communication"
Knock me over with a feather…..the etiquette of an RSVP!!!
That is another personal pet-peeve for me. I hosted a function last year, where I was doing all of the cooking. I specifically asked everyone to RSVP so that I knew how many to cook for.
1 person RSVPed that they were coming, and a second person gave me a "Maybe."
7 or 8 people showed up.
I can’t begin to tell you the stress that caused me. Last-minute scrambling to make sure there was enough food for everyone….all of these people that "just showed up."
For the record, RSVP stands for "Respondez s’il vous plait." Which means "Respond if you please."
That doesn’t mean if you feel like it.
It means tell me if you are coming or not.
To leave people hanging is simply inconsiderate.
I love this quote from the book:
"All invitations are flattering, for they express friendliness and offer hospitality.
So you’ve just received an invitation — great! Whether you accept or regret is your decision, but your social responsibility is to reply immediately."
Isn’t that awesome?!
And it doesn’t stop there.
Does anyone even remember how to do this anymore?
And here’s another great one for you…
The conversation I had with this person worked it’s way around to the clothing thing again as I went through this book.
The last ball I went to wasn’t bad. I really didn’t notice anyone dressed inappropriately. But honey, there are whole websites out there dedicated to "Worst Military Ball Gowns."
There we go again…..those stereotypes and impressions that are being given of all MilWives because of the poor choices of a few.
I mean really….does this look like something Cinderella would wear?
And honey….that girl popped out of that dress. Top and bottom.
Now there’s class for you.
In the past, people actually stood at doors of formals and turned people away if they were inappropriately dressed for the occasion.
When you are dressing for a ball, there’s nothing wrong with looking beautiful, stunning, attractive, amazing. But you are supposed to wear a ball gown.
The conversation I had with this person brought up a great point.
People just don’t know….because no one ever taught them the difference.
And the funniest thing happened. The next day one of the units here at Wainwright, actually contacted him, and asked for a class to teach everyone the etiquette of how to dress and act at a ball.
So he let me borrow the book, since I had never laid eyes on one.
I took it home, looked it over, and decided I had to have one! So I hit up my used book websites and found a copy of my very own.
And just as a side note to this post….
The army actually has classes to teach some of these kinds of things.
Army Family Team Building, Level 2 has "Traditions, Customs, Courtesies & Protocol" (Hint…hint…I’m a certified instructor!)
or there is "Senior Enlisted Spouses’ Training."
There are resources out there…..if one is interested.
But like I mentioned, there are certain things that should never go out of date.
And courtesy and class should define a military spouse.