Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

18 December 2005

"You're Welcome" is a completely lost art

"You're Welcome" is a completely lost art, I swear!

I finally went out Christmas-shopping yesterday. I got some groceries, mostly at the Aldi's store, which I love. Fill the cart, pay $40.00. And I got a few gift-y things here, a few things there.

I have belly-ached about this before. When I was growing up, we were taught to say, "Please" to ask for something, "thank you" when it was given to us, and "You are welcome" in response to "thank you".

"You're welcome" seems to be one of those lost arts, like something out of my 1920's Emily Post Etiquette books. Here we go, the 1927 edition, opened at random:

"The Etiquette of Tea Serving and Drinking".

"As tea is the one meal of intimate conversation, a servant never comes to the room at tea-time unless rung for, to bring fresh water or additional china or food, or to take away used dishes."
A servant, how nice. In my case, there is no need to worry about the servant hanging around after bringing the tea water, as there is no servant to lurk around and listen to my intimate conversation. And being that I am a stay-at-home mom living in a rural area, usually my intimate conversation is between me and the dogs, who are among the more discreet of companions.

When you are looking for something in the store these days, and ask an employee, "Do you have any plaid ribbons?" ninety-seven times out of a hundred when you tell them "Thank you" for pointing out that it is staring you right in the face, they say "Thank you" back! No no no! It's "You're welcome" I'm listening for.

I guess what really gets up my nose is that I find myself doing it. Thank you, no, thank YOU. Echo manners are contagious! But I have heard some sweet ones. "You are entirely welcome, my dear," is my favorite this season. "It's my pleasure," is another great favorite.

Try saying it, it's not hard: "You're welcome!" I promise the servants are not hanging around to hear you!


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