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More on manners.

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Experts offers tips on nightlife manners.

Do agree? disagree? Any that you care to flaunt?

To me these were all common sense.

http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/relat...

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  1. I disagree with "everyone stands until everyone sits". In fact, I hate when groups hover around empty bar stools that they are not sitting in, but aren't really leaving open for people to slide right in, either.

    1. also disagree with the "everyone stands" rule - people get to sit as chairs become available - women first (though really I'm not sure why)

      and disagree with dress codes - what you wear doesn't send "a message to the world about what kind of person you are." having that belief however does.

      44 Replies
      1. re: thimes

        That might be good for an offshoot discussion. I definitely think it does send a message. Don't interpret that to mean I think you should dress up all the time, quite the contrary. But it does send a message. A lot of people think it "shouldn't" and I hear that a lot, but it does, whether you think it does or not.

        1. re: rockandroller1

          we'll never agree on this one, but I'm good with that - it doesn't for me - whether you think it should or not :)

          Edit: Let me rephrase that. I guess I can see why people feel that how you dress causes people to have preconceived notions of "what type of person you are". I guess I've learned that it doesn't translate to "how well you behave or interact with others". And I have a serious problem with establishments that have dress codes, as if how you dress will somehow dictate how well you behave - or are they saying "we only want people that are willing to take on the outward trappings of this stereotype". It just doesn't work for me.

          What do I wear to send that message of "what type of person I am"?

          1. re: thimes

            In certain circumstances it will make you appear to be disrespectful. In some those circumstance you might be be able to prove otherwise but to some the damage will be done.

            I have a family member that showed up at our siblings formal wedding in polo short, athletic shorts and high top, dirty sneakers that were not laced and no socks. My (now) SIL still talks about years later as does her family. It is made even more obvious due to the family photos.

            He dressed similarly for our fathers memorial service and worse left his hat on until my mother said to take it off. She took it as a direct slap, as did my brother. I can tell that every single person at those occasions questioned what kind of person his was.

            Again, we are reminded often as it these type of occasions where we are able to take group photos. I have had many people ask who that "bum" was since we are all dressed up in the pics.

            He is also morbidly obese which he used as excuse for not "dressing up". However he insisted on black tie for his own wedding and wore a top hat and tails. He did not understand why people didn't want to do that for an outdoor garden wedding at midday. He looked just as foolish that day as he did dressing poorly but made the rest, who took his request seriously, miserable.

            1. re: thimes

              Themes, I have the perfect story to support your argument. Back before I became a truck driver I worked in a metal fabrication facility in Reno NV. It was hot dirty work and I worked from 330 in the afternoon until 2 in the morning 4 days a week and we were off Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. we were paid every week at the end of our Thurs shift, and we would go out and cash our paychecks. more often than not I would go to a specific Denny's restaurant to have dinner/breakfast before I went home to sleep. I guess they had a new waitress who took one look at me and sat me in a closed section where she could keep an eye on me. I received the worst service I've ever received in that restaurant and called the manager the next day to let him know about it, but you should have seen her eyes when I opened my wallet in order to pay the bill. I am assuming that she knew why she only received a $2 tip and I never did see her on that shift again.

              1. re: PotatoHouse

                In your case your clothes probably were sending the correct message. Here is a guy who works in a factory of some sort and gets hot and dirty. The kind of guy who might enjoy breakfast at Denny's when he gets off work and who might leave a nice tip if the waitress takes care of him.

                Waitress was to dumb or inexperienced to "read" it.

                I've worked in factories and have done other hard manual work. There is a great deal of difference in appearance between somebody who gets hot and dirty at work and a bum who might run out on a check.

                Of course when I got off shift at the plywood factory I frequently stunk so bad that the other customers would have complained if I had been within 50'.

                1. re: kengk

                  I understand that and that is one reason I went to that particular Denny's rather than a casino restaurant, because the Dennys was usually empty when I went there.

            2. re: rockandroller1

              Some variations on the 'what you wear sends a message' idea:

              "If you want to treated as a lady you should dress like a lady."

              "A woman who dresses like a slut deserves to be ..."

              1. re: paulj

                I do want to add that most of us are not black and white on this. We may want to be completely black and white, but we are not. I like to think that I don't judge people based on their clothing, and I try, but I have noticed that I do. I want to improve on this, but I have to be honest that I still do -- unintentionally.

                That guy has a brandname powesuit. Oh, he may have a lot of money...etc..etc.

                I think we may have mentioned in another thread. Why do medical doctors wear a labcoat in their office? There is no practical reason -- not this day and age anyway. But it has been showed that uniforms send a certain level of command and authority.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  There''s a thin line between authority and pretension.

                  1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                    yes and the thought process behind school uniforms is that eliminates/reduces these type of jusdgements.

                    However as many parents of kids who wear uniforms will tell you the kids still are victims of status and the uniform does not leave them free of judgment. What it does is make the shoes/sneakers you wear, the back pack you carry, your notebooks/school supplies, etc even more “important”.

                    Not wearing the “right” clothes is the most common type of bullying in schools, even ones with uniforms.

                    1. re: foodieX2

                      So, I guess the solution is that parents should spend more time teaching their kids not to judge and less time judging others?

                      1. re: MGZ

                        Wow. Wow. That is a very insight -- not saying that you are necessary correct, but definitely insightful. At the very least, worth thinking about.

                        Kids earn from parents -- good or bad. If parents are concern about judging other people's look and making fun of people's clothing, then their children can and will pick that up. Not to say that bullying is learned from parenting, but this is a very insightful view.

                        1. re: MGZ

                          No that is not the answer/solution because I am sure a number of these kids parents have done just that.

                          I don't think that once you get to your pre teen/teen years it matters what your parents are telling you and modeling every day. Adolescents are trying to figure out who they are and where they fit in and clothes are often what is used. She a stoner, she’s brain, she’s a drama kid-forten identifiend by how the dress. It’s what many of them do. Doesn’t make it right. It just is.

                          My parents taught me well and I still wanted to look and be like everyone else starting in middle school and thru my early high school years. It wasn’t until my junior year that I developed my own "sense of style" but honestly looking back 35 years later it was still an effort to fit in/be cool and if I couldn’t to be that than to be “different”.

                          By college it started to matter less but it was also the '80's where "dress for success" and status symbols reigned. You were judged if you didn't research a company's culture before an interview or showed up at club with the wrong jeans.

                          1. re: foodieX2

                            <My parents taught me well and I still wanted to look and be like everyone else starting in middle school and thru my early high school years.>

                            Yeah, but you did that to feel belong, to survive. You want to be liked. That is NORMAL. However, you probably were not the bully. I was like that. My parents me well, but I still want brandname cloth because other kids have them. I waned to be cool. However, I did not make fun or bully others who did not. It is like: I wanted the brandname clothing or shoes to feel belong and to get accepted, but deep down I also know that it is not that important and therefore never made fun of others who do not.

                            This is, however, different from people who really do believe that "dress represent people". I think parents can influence on that level.

                            <ou were judged if you didn't research a company's culture before an interview or showed up at club with the wrong jeans.>

                            I don't remember that part or maybe I was completely stupid and ignorant about it.

                          2. re: MGZ

                            That's better modeled than taught.

                  2. re: thimes

                    Disagree about clothes. Clothes send a message whether you want them to or not. Right or wrong, they still do.

                    1. re: kengk

                      Thinking clothes matter is silly. I refuse to participate. Judging people on their appearance is predicated on the assumptions that you draw from 'em. If someone's wearing dirty clothes do you assume they are poor and unworthy or maybe were cleaning their gutters before having to run into town? Does someone's hairstyle really tell you much about 'em or are you drawing conclusions based upon your prejudices? At bottom, such assumptions are only one (really short) step away from judging someone on the color of their skin or whether or not they have the right genitalia.

                      1. re: MGZ

                        So if you are invited to black tie wedding (or any type of ooccasion where certain dress is expected/required) you would not attend? Or would still attend and dress however you felt like?

                        1. re: foodieX2

                          Nah. I own a nice Brooks Brothers tux and three bowties. If dress is required/suggested, I’ll wear it – been doin’ so since my first prom when I was fifteen. Even wore it to a celebration for the current Vice President's reelection as a Senator. I might chuckle at a pompous guy who wore a clip on, but I’d never assume that the guy who was only in a suit was inferior to me.

                          At bottom, I’m good at a lot of things, have had over twenty years of formal education, but realize that there is always someone who possesses skills that I don’t.* If they don’t have a tux to wear to a wedding, it doesn’t mean they deserve less respect as a human being or are somehow someone I should look down upon. All I’m sayin’ is, I know people judge, I’ve been (wrongly) judged myself. I just think we should be better and avoid prejudging. You know what the old saying is about “ass u ming”

                          *I once had a really rich client, discussing what an ass Donald Trump was (after he ran yet another company into bankruptcy), note that he always realizes that there is always gonna be someone richer or smarter than you. "You might hold the honor for a day or two, but it can't last."

                          1. re: MGZ

                            Got it. You talk a good game but you still follow the rules.

                            1. re: foodieX2

                              I honor specific requests and I don't prejudge. Each is in accord with refusing to elevate rule over reason.

                              1. re: MGZ

                                my b/f works from home and mostly wears t-shirts, sneakers and jeans when out. when we go anyplace slightly spendy he has the sense to wear something more dressy and regardless of where we are has excellent manners, engrained by 2 very mean german grandmothers, lol.

                          2. re: foodieX2

                            I think there is a very different expectation when invited to "an occasion" (such as wedding and funerals that you mentioned) and going to a bar or nightclub (which is what the article was about).

                            For me those are two different discussions.

                          3. re: MGZ

                            " If someone's wearing dirty clothes do you assume they are poor and unworthy or maybe were cleaning their gutters before having to run into town?

                            If I were dirty from cleaning my gutters, I would clean up and change clothes before running into town. That's how we were raised. Guess the times change.

                            1. re: ttoommyy

                              OK, so that I understand. Let’s say you’re me. You’ve been up and down the twenty-five foot ladder and powerwashed four gutters. When you get to the fifth, you realize that you have a coupla missing screws. You then get down off the ladder, shower, change clothes, and go get the parts you need? Then go back and finish the work you were doin’? Would you do the same if you had just drained the oil outta your car and realized you were a quart short? That, my friend, perfectly illustrates rule over reason.

                              At bottom, I see no value to pretense.

                              1. re: MGZ

                                I misread your post. I thought your going into town was after you were done with the chores. Of course I would not shower and change if I had to run into town for a couple of minutes to buy supplies for the job at hand.

                                That said, I see people in my town sitting having lunch in nice restaurants in "work clothes," baseball caps and other inappropriate clothing for a respectable, sit-down restaurant. That I disagree with.

                                1. re: MGZ

                                  You seem to be confusing "clothes send a message" with something else. Intentionally I'm sure.

                                  Now; somebody has a little motor oil smeared on their face and they are buying motor oil at the store, what is the message? A guy who is changing the oil in his car or some worthless human being that we should all shun and ridicule because he has motor oil on his face and dead grass in his hair? Hmmmm.

                                  1. re: kengk

                                    "You seem to be confusing "clothes send a message" with something else. "

                                    Nah, I ain't confusin' anything. My point is that clothes don't send a message, It's just that some folks choose to assume one from what they see, based upon their past experiences/ingrained prejudices. What if that same guy stopped to get a sandwich while he was out? Keep in mind, I've been that guy.

                                    1. re: MGZ

                                      It's interesting that we keep talking about "dirt" in this topic.

                                      I find it hard to believe that seeing someone in a suit sends a positive message after AIG, Madoff, Enron, etc, etc, etc.

                                      - like I said, this is one of those things that people either subscribe to or don't. And I wish people would type "I judge people by how they look" rather than saying "people judge", because that is what they mean when they type that but are using "people" to put the guilt elsewhere - as if we have no control over this (IMHO) :D

                                      1. re: thimes

                                        Well put.

                                        1. re: thimes

                                          and running to home depot or autozone mid-task has zero to do with going out for dinner.

                                          1. re: thimes

                                            AIG, etc., have nothing to do with it. People who wear suits may be of high character or low character. No one should attempt to judge a person's character by his suit. But if you dress like a slob, you're a slob. That much is evident. A restaurateur has the right to exclude slobs if he wishes.

                                            1. re: GH1618

                                              "But if you dress like a slob, you're a slob. That much is evident."

                                              How so? Do you really subscribe to that notion for all encounters? Does that mean that if I wear a cowboy hat, jeans, and boots I'ma cowboy? Maybe I'm just stoppin' in for a bite on my way to a costume party.

                                              "A restaurateur has the right to exclude slobs if he wishes."

                                              Conversely, than, a restaurateur would have the right to exclude the overdressed if he wishes? I mean, is a "No Suits Allowed" policy permissible? (Morally, not legally - I know the answer to the latter.) If you want to endorse prejudice, do so, but be honest about what you're doing.

                                            2. re: thimes

                                              You're connection between suits and companies that had various issues fails to take into account that many of the places you listed didn't require suits. The guys I knew at the shops you mentioned rarely wore suits and often wore jeans to work. Business casual rules at many big companies.

                                              1. re: Bkeats

                                                So, then, they were criminals and slobs?

                                    2. re: MGZ

                                      I will add this short story to the mix.

                                      About 10 years ago I was leaving for vacation but decided to come into the office for half a day to tie up loose ends. There was a "closing" taking place in the conference room and for whatever reason the client was rather upset demanding to speak to the owner/President of the company. After sending my VP/Office Manager to the conference room, with no success, I decided I would go down and see what I could to to sooth the situation.

                                      As soon as I opened the conference room door and the client saw me dressed in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt, the look of utter disgust on the clients face said it all.

                                      I view myself as the ultimate representative of my company and my employees, as such I portray myself in as formal of a manner as possible. Outside of the above mentioned story I have never gone to work in anything less than a suit and tie for 23 years.

                                      Now don't get me wrong, I'm just a well dressed horses ass!!

                                      1. re: jrvedivici

                                        But, it seems you're proving my point. You may have been dressed like a slob, but you clearly are not.

                                  2. re: thimes

                                    A dress code is the prerogative of the management — a potential customer who doesn't like it can go elsewhere. Arguing about it would be bad manners, in my opinion.

                                    You're wrong — clothes do send a message. Obviously, they will not be an exact indicator about "what kind of person you are," but they are an important part of the first impression you make. People will judge you according to how you dress, like it or not. If you are male, and keep your hat on indoors, I will think you a boor.

                                    1. re: thimes

                                      I take issue with the advice (for women) to wear heels. Per Peter Boyd, "...wearing heels never hurts." After a day in heels, it can hurt, so I'll probably be wearing flats, thankyouverymuch.

                                      1. re: tcamp

                                        Just don't put on sneakers because then they'll have to kick you out - because you are sending a very clear message to the world about who you are if you have to change into sneakers. ;)

                                        1. re: thimes

                                          An athlete?

                                          1. re: thimes

                                            < they'll have to kick you out >

                                            But sneakers are the best shoes to kick people in their heads.

                                            http://image.shutterstock.com/display...

                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                              Steel toed boots are much more effective.

                                              1. re: MGZ

                                                Those are just too painful....

                                      2. Dress code part is ridiculous. "wearing heels never hurts?" must be a man, because wearing heels and hurting go hand in hand.

                                        6 Replies
                                        1. re: jaykayen

                                          THe heels thing shows how disconnected from Boston this is. The Greater Boston area, historically the center of the shoe industry in the US, was long (in)famous for its fondness for sensible shoes.

                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            *moves to Boston*

                                          2. re: jaykayen

                                            +1

                                            1. re: jaykayen

                                              So why do all the ladies in my office building prance around in hooker shoes? Might explain why they're always sour

                                              1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                                Because some "rules" can ruin an otherwise great mood!

                                              2. re: jaykayen

                                                yes, all the peeps in the article are men, but if your heels hurt, your shoes don't fit right.

                                              3. We all know—or have been—“that” guy (or girl) who's ruined a night out with the clink of one glass too many.
                                                ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                Wasn't this last statement from the linked article the overall perspective on advice for nightlife manners anyway?

                                                For some it should be.

                                                1. As an aside...does Boston.com not have spell check? Oh well.

                                                  Their advice about "dress as you wish to be perceived"...if I'm reading it correctly...is well taken. Is it enforced by people who are paid to screen out such renegades? No.

                                                  1. Experts? An expert is someone who couldn't get a job teaching. Think for yourself is the best advice.

                                                    11 Replies
                                                    1. re: beevod

                                                      "Thinking for yourself" is a very poor way to learn manners. Manners are social conventions which, when observed, make interactions between people easier and more pleasant. People who insist on making their own rules are boors.

                                                      1. re: GH1618

                                                        I think it really depends how one interpret "think for yourself". To me, (maybe just me), beevod probably meant what you said. We should think with common sense and observe the environment. If everyone is sitting down, then don't stand up. If everyone is standing up and waiting for host, then don't be the only one sitting down.

                                                        Observe and think, don't just rely on dead books for guidance.

                                                        1. re: GH1618

                                                          Quite right, GH! Well said indeed.

                                                          1. re: GH1618

                                                            "Manners are social conventions which, when observed, make interactions between people easier and more pleasant. People who insist on making their own rules are boors."

                                                            But, if one knows the rules and chooses to contemplate the purpose underlying 'em, is that wrong. As I noted on the other thread, should we have maintained the rule where only land owning, white, men were able to vote? Shouldn't we still be using fingerbowls at every meal? How do we determine which rules of etiquette apply when there might be a conflict? Do we go by what country we're in or what the nationality of the host is?

                                                            Elevate rule of reason if you want, but forgive us heathen who choose not to see the validity in that approach.

                                                            1. re: MGZ

                                                              < the rules and chooses to contemplate the purpose underlying 'em, is that wrong. >

                                                              That is an excellent point. But what if other people are stupid? No, I am serious. I remember reading an article that some of the American table etiquette rules are due to the fact that steel used to be much softer now (not as good) and it had real application and consideration. I cannot remember. I will post it if I can find it again.

                                                              Let's just say I am correct, then this is practice based on restriction which no longer exist. Yet if you don't follow it, other people (who knows less about the history and science than you do) get pissed off.

                                                              You know what. Let's just take your example. Neck ties. There was a time that neck ties have real practical application. None exists now -- which you and I know, but others may not. So now, you have people who are going to get pissed and offended at you for not wearing a tie -- for what?

                                                              1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                As usual, my friend, you make good sense. I spose that's really the point - should we ever give up on trying to find more universal solutions, promulgate 'em, and, hopefully, make things better? In the end, we'd likely all be more comfortable.

                                                              2. re: MGZ

                                                                MGZ,

                                                                Here is what I wanted to quote. Published by Chad Ward.

                                                                "The rift started, by some accounts, with Cardinal Richelieu, chief minister to France’s King Louis XIII, who was so disgusted by a frequent dinner guest’s habit of picking his teeth with his knife that l’Éminence Rouge, as Richelieu was known, had the tips of the offender’s knives ground down to prevent it happening. Always desperate to follow fashion, others in the court soon did the same. Whether the story is true or not, once forks began to gain popular acceptance there was no longer any need for a pointed tip at the end of a dinner knife to hold and spear the food. In 1669, King Louis XIV of France decreed all pointed knives on the street or the dinner table illegal. Not only were new knives to be made with rounded tips, all existing table knives were to be rounded off to reduce the potential for violence. The new style of knife rapidly spread to other European countries, including England.

                                                                By the beginning of the 18th century, knives imported to the American colonies had the new blunt tips. Because Americans had very few forks and no longer had sharp-tipped knives to spear food, they had to use spoons in instead. They’d use the spoon in the left hand to steady the food as they cut it with the knife in the right. They’d then switch the spoon to the opposite hand in order to scoop it up to eat. Our distinctly American style of eating continued even after forks became commonplace in the United States. Emily Post calls the practice “zigzagging” in her 1920s etiquette books. I like think of it as the American Shuffle."

                                                                http://leitesculinaria.com/1157/writi...

                                                                1. re: MGZ

                                                                  That should've read "Elevate rule OVER reason . . . "

                                                                  1. re: MGZ

                                                                    :) Got it. Somehow it also made sense to me the other way around.

                                                              3. re: beevod

                                                                and if thinking for yourself means arguing with a doorman about a posted dress-code, it's a fool's errand, dripping with arrogance.

                                                                i don't know of a single restaurant in boston that has a dress-code anymore. and many bostonians are frightfully casual, especially the men. however, certain bars and night-clubs do. it's management's choice. if you think it's ok to go someplace in a backwards baseball hat and pyjama bottoms, see where it gets ya.

                                                                1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                  http://www.timeout.com/london/restaur...

                                                                  "Like most top-end restaurants in France, La Petite Maison doesn’t care a fig about dress codes. That’s one reason that lunch here, in this London outpost of a famous Nice watering hole, is such a deeply enjoyable experience. Nearly everyone was dressed casually, and two large family groups made a happy noise in the centre of the room. "

                                                              4. More of a primer on making the bartenders job easier and the possibility of increasing income and tips.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                  lol, i read it that way too, but having worked as a bartender for years each shift brought fresh hell of how ridiculously people can behave. before and after consuming alcohol.

                                                                2. What's a night life?