Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Edna: Margie, I was up in the attic and I found this old etiquette book of Mama's. I think there are some passages in here that our readers might find useful. Let me blow the dust off and give it a look-see.

Here's one for you, Margie! "Flirtation: The coquette should remember that, with every successive flirtation, one charm after another disappears, like the petals from a fading rose, until all the deliciousness of a fresh and pure character is lost." You'd better pay attention, you old hussy.

Margie: Edna, you lie. Not only have you never understood the art of flirting, but your character was lost when you turned 16.

Edna: We’re not going to get into a contest of who has the better character, because you know I’d win, you reprobate. Listen to this one: "Etiquette of the Street: A gentleman should always offer his arm to a lady in the evening. In the day this is only in order in case of the pavement being slippery, there being a crowd, or the lady being old or needing support. If there are two ladies, he should offer his arm to one, and let the other walk beside her."

Margie: So that's why all the gentlemen offer me their arm and you walk beside us. Interesting.

Edna: Margie, I only walk beside you because I don’t want to even touch the man that would offer you his arm. They usually have hygiene issues.

Oh, this one is my favorite: "How to Grow Old Gracefully: A charming old lady revealed the secret of her fair and rosy complexion to a group of young women as follows: “Late hours,” said she, “and oversleeping ruin the complexion. Go to bed early, arise early, and you will grow old slowly, and retain your good looks to an advanced age. If, however, your position forces you into society and you are obliged to be up late at night, sleep an hour every afternoon. Before going to bed take a hot bath and remain in the water only a few moments. Then drink a cup of bouillon, and a small glass of Malaga wine. Sleep will soon follow, and last until the natural time of awakening, which is about ten o’clock in the morning under these circumstances. Take a cold plunge or sponge bath, a light breakfast of cafĂ© au lait, and bread without any butter.” She continued: “Out-of-door exercise is an absolute necessity, but must not be carried to excess. A daily walk is excellent and it is scarcely necessary to say that whole days of lawn tennis, croquet, etc., are not favorable to the complexion.”

Margie: Edna, I told you to stay out of my diary, you old fool.

Edna: Margie, the day anyone describes YOU as having grown old gracefully is the day I eat my hat.

Excerpts from: The Home Library of Entertainment, Instruction, and Amusement, by Thomas Sheppard Meek. Published 1902.



Matt said...

You had me rolling on the floor you old biddies, its the sort of conversation I could see two of my great aunts having when they reminisce about the good old days

Elle said...

Love love you two!

Margie and Edna said...

Margie here. Young man, you watch your tongue! The only old biddie here is Edna. If she sees what you said here it's your head that will roll on the floor after she whacks it off with her sword@
Elle, I see you are a wonderful person with exquisite taste.
Thank you both for visiting our basement. Please come again soon.

Balceroregontr said...

Margie and Edna I always look forward to your insight into topics. You are so funny.
Debby from SC

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