I’m reading a great book right now, Miss Manners' Basic Training. Yes, an etiquette book – I’ve actually looked up more etiquette books online and am ordering some new ones through inter-library loan because I’m enjoying this one so much. I believe in manners. I think sometimes people confuse manners with being shy or reserved (this was a comment I got in my recent job review). A former beau complimented me on being polite and at that time, I was surprised to have this quality ascribed to me. After some thought, it’s a quality that I look forward to further cultivating. I remember being impressed and pleased to receive a thank-you note after having some new friends over for a game night. Such a simple gesture meant a lot to me and enhanced my desire to share my hospitality. (I know, I know, I have not gotten into that habit myself – Thanks, C – for a beautiful NYE dinner!)
In Basic Training, Miss Manners is advising people about what to say for all occasions and addresses the case when people have troubles in their lives. What should we say? According to Miss Manners, a simple 'I’m sorry' is enough and she reminds us that saying “Just do…x” is not appropriate as it belittles the person, suggesting they could not have come up with your seemingly simple advise on their own (and many other interesting and amusing unmannerly habits – you’ll have to read the book for more!).
I was thinking about writing about a party I attended last night and thought to myself, "I should have just not gone," and realized that I was ‘just’-ing myself! I was being rude to myself. Yes, I think staying home or leaving the party earlier would have been my preference for the evening and may have resulted in a better outcome, but there is no ‘just’ about it. For all today’s “I should have just,” it was a bit more complicated at that time I decided to go and learned that I was not going to be supported in leaving early. So, I want to treat myself with better manners and sincerely say “I’m sorry, self, that you felt bad or did not have the evening you intended.”