Today’s Obsession: HRH Emily Post

As stated before, I don’t how people typically celebrate Hooray for Buttons Day, but there’s something more to celebrate. This week is National Etiquette Week, and to honor the occasion, today’s obsession is what should basically be considered the Etiquette Bible.

Emily Post, likely hailed the queen of etiquette, was born in Baltimore in 1872 and educated by governesses and at private schools. She had a formal debut, where she met her soon-to-be husband, and later had two sons (whom, of course, she sent to boarding school). While she would likely find me brash (Gasp! I’m a female with a job), she does know a thing or two about class.

She wrote a couple of romantic stories before publishing her first non-fiction, “Etiquette.” In 1942, she founded The Emily Post Institute with her son. According to her website, the EPI acts as a “social civility barometer,” and “elucidates new manners for today’s world based on core values of honest, respect, and consideration.”

Emily Post on her honeymoon. Check out that corset! Wowza.

After Emily Post’s death, her family continued to keep the Post name active. They maintain a collection of 25 books, columns in several nationally-acclaimed publications, and even put on little seminars and training sessions (Hint: My birthday’s in a month!).

The Emily Post website is a great resource, too. There’s a handy Etipedia to search whatever keywords you’re looking for. And they have various pages tailored to people of different ages and walks of life. Personally, I love the College and Beyond page, which covers everything from roommate troubles to library behavior and cell phone usage.

I’ve long been fascinated by etiquette because I think it’s such an archaic (but still relevant) art. It’s grace and composure. It’s “My Fair Lady.” It’s a means to making oneself a ten. It’s class.

SureSister.com, a sorority-themed site meant for potential new members interested in recruitment, recently released a blog post about suggested summer reading and I was thrilled to see that Emily Post’s Etiquette (17th Edition) was on there, along with various student leadership books. I’ve thumbed through the book before and it’s both comprehensive and easy to navigate. But I never bought it (damn you, nonexistent income!). Maybe Etiquette Week is reason enough to splurge! Obsessed.

Emily Post’s Etiquette (17th Edition), $24

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