Wednesday, July 16, 2008
On the decline of manners
i know i have written some words on manners and social skills before today - mainly because when i googled a picture for Miss Manners .. the search words were already there.. BUT it is something that has been on my mind for a month or so....... so here we go again.
i think, in a past life, i must have lived during a time when social skills and manners were respected and honored... (either that or being raised - partially - by a Victorian grandmother altered my perceptions of how things should be)........ either way....... i am disappointed by the state of the universe's etiquette.
This total lack of manners is manifesting itself in all forms of daily living........ road rage .. pushing in front of people in line.. service orientated people who have NO idea how to serve with grace and style.....monopolizing conversations......no thank yous for gifts or acts of kindness...... no holding doors for the person behind you.. the list goes on and on ... ad nauseum.
And god... don't get me started on R.S.V.P.'s ........ i just went through a month of wedding activities - from bridal showers - to bridal teas - to the wedding itself.. and i was shocked !!! at how many people did not see the need to R.S.V.P. Sir and i have experienced that when we were trying to organise munches or play parties... BUT weddings?? !!!
i honestly think i would like to go back in time.. to a more gentile era.. to an era of manners and social skills....... at times i feel so out of place in this era........
When i first started 'dabbling' in BDSM....... etiquette was strictly enforced... people's privacy was respected. You didn't just log on to any computer punch in BDSM (enter city of choice) et voila a whole mess of people willing and able to show you the ropes.
Nope that's not how it worked when i first started......... i used to think that one just kinda stumbled onto the BDSM scene. There were no advertisements for play parties...... no public munches. There were quiet formal dinner parties by invitation only. There were underground clubs but again by invitation only. You met someone who knew someone who knew someone else....... and you had to have a 'sponsor' to attend any of the above activities.
And the rules and protocols one had to follow !!! They make the rules of today look like child's play. Take the hanky code for example.... i wonder if i would have ever gotten it all straight.. if the hanky was in the left pocket it meant Dominant and right would mean submissive.... then there were the colours.. black meaning whipping.. blue meaning fucking.. etc etc.. If you want to read more about the history of the Hanky code .. click here
Even when i first started dabbling one could tell who was Dominant and who was submissive by the way they dressed. The submissive wore a collar and the Dominant did not. Today?? god everyone wears collars if they think it looks cool ?!? And the leash code/rule - one i rather enjoyed because it made life simple (actually most rules make life simpler in the long run) .. the leash rule was usually used in public venues..... if the submissive had the leash in his/her mouth - it meant they were not allowed to speak...... if the Dominant was holding the leash - then permission must be given to speak to the submissive....... It was all so simple then.
And there was code of silence...... what happened at a party or dinner stayed there. It was never talked about in mixed company! People's reputations were protected. You felt safe when you left a party... knowing that people would respect the no talk rule.
Today that has changed too.............everyone gets so wrapped up in what they see and do that they can't wait to tell their neighbours and friends. A good example was a private intimate play party that Sir and i attended about 5 years ago. A woman arrived - uninvited - with someone who was invited. Ok .. not so bad.....at least she was with someone who was invited. It turned out i knew this woman from work......... a week later i received a phone call that this woman had told someone who told someone else (about me being at the party) and the next thing i knew it was being talked about at kid's soccer game at my school !!!!!!!!!!! In the old days this would never have happened.. or there would have been consequences for the Dominant who brought her.. as well as for her.. They would have been ostracized from future parties.. and the Dominant would have received a lecture about the safety and anonymity of party guests.
Today people tend to shrug their shoulders and the attitude says quite clearly "sucks to be you"......
yes i miss the old days...... which probably makes me sound very old to the youngsters that are now the new life in the BDSM community... maybe i am too old.. too prickly.. too set in my ways.......... but i rather liked the protocols and rules that kept us all safe.........