Friday, July 12, 2013

Free Form Friday: It's Not About the Fork (Unless it is.)



I had coffee with a friend the other day.  He encouraged me to "pick the blogging back up."  He's an incredibly smart and perceptive person whose opinion I trust immeasurably.  (And it will also make him blush to read that, which shows how darn nice and modest he is.)

He observed that it would probably be hard to resume blogging again as more and more time passes.  If you've created a voice on a blog and used it to speak, and then you let it get rusty, what happens?  Does it atrophy?  Is it the same?  

I had been missing my soapbox, as it were, as Proper Paige.  The conversation was motivating.

And then he said, "And, you know, if you wait too long, your 'welcome back' post has to be pretty phenomenal."

Dammit.

The reason for my silence is my business.  And water under the bridge really.  Life happens, you know?

My phenomenal etiquette revelation, to reopen the dialogue and, as it were, warm up my voice again?  The more I pondered it, I realized he had inadvertently given me that, too.

Give sincere advice.

Sneaky, right?  But it's true.  His advice wasn't critical, self-interested, or difficult.  It was simple, well-intentioned, and sincere.

But, Proper Paige, isn't that what advice IS?  
Someone telling you nicely what they think you should do?

Well, yes.  I suppose so.  But have you ever had the experience where someone tried to give you advice that just sounded bossy?  Have you ever had someone give you advice about something you needed to change that just felt, well, like criticism?  Have you ever tried to give someone "tough love" and then been annoyed when they seemed too obtuse or sensitive to get where you were coming from?

I have.  And I've given advice that I'm sure has fallen into those categories, too.  Ouch.  It smarts to admit it, but it's the truth.

So, therein lies the rub.  I've been saying this since the beginning:

Etiquette isn't just about what fork to use.  
It is about How You Treat People.  
So, give sincere advice.  

I mean it.  And so should you.

Sneak attack flatware lesson!
From left to right:
cold meat fork, 2 serving spoons (one "pierced" as in, with holes), butter knife,
and sugar spoon, which is called a sugar shell.  (Link)

Hope you get some kick ass advice over coffee today.  Or give some.

Ta ta for now,
Proper Paige

2 comments:

Erin @ Domestic Adventure said...

I have surely given advice that sounds bossy and critical. And I am pretty sure I receive it nearly every single day! It is wonderful to hear your blog voice and to receive such a thoughtful reminder!

xoxo

Sara Panza said...

It's the "welcome back" post that gets me every time. I choose to ignore it, much like veiled "advice" that usually starts with "you know what you should do?"