Times have changed. We're now in an age of technology with a whole new set of etiquette problems to solve. It seems as though people don't care about manners anymore, codes of conduct relegated to a lost century like men sporting hats and women in white gloves. But Miss Manners (Judith Martin) is hanging tough, refusing to give in to such lackadaisical attitudes. She's dusted off that old rule book and swept away the cobwebs, offering humorous, often hilarious, common-sense advice to anyone seeking help.
There is no topic Miss Manners won't discuss, although often with a quirky retort that makes you smile as she tackles every possible topic including children's manners, basic courtesy for all ages, conversation (especially on those ubiquitous cell phones!), houseguests, rites of passage, engagements and weddings, employment interviews, invitation etiquette, life after divorce and even bereavement. There is virtually no problem ignored and help for every etiquette concern. Let's face it, life has gotten complicated the last few years. It's a real comfort to have this impressive volume, over 800 pages, of Miss Manner's guidance on the family bookshelf.
"Etiquette is not for amateurs," and Miss Manners is adamant about the difference between "being pushy and being a pushover." How do you respond appropriately when having lunch with a "friend" who talks on a cell phone all through the meal? Is it all right to send a thank you note via email? The truth is, we're all in this together. The only reasonable thing to do is treat each other respectfully and resolve those irritating little behavioral problems we all share. Like a favorite non-judgmental aunt, Miss Manners offers her insightful suggestions, guaranteed to save wear and tear on our already fragile psyches.