Etiquette insensitive?

19 Oct

While talking to a coworker I realized I may be insensitive to the cold, institutional rules of manners and etiquette. She was talking about buying a gift for someone who recently had a baby. In the flawless style of my mother, I suggested diapers. My mom always gives new moms diapers. She had three beautiful babies of her own, so I trust her. My coworker then mentioned that some people use cloth diapers and might not want or need pampers. People still use cloth diapers?

Back to etiquette, I’m not a hillbilly who chews with her mouth open, but then again my dinner table training is rather basic. I like to think when I eat out people are not embarrassed to be at my table, I mean, no one’s ever complained. I always just look around and follow everyone else around me without looking self-conscious. The famous blend.

Is it bad that I assume I can act confident and get away with old-fashioned faux pas? Is that immature and irreverent? My actions are not meant to offend, but in this day and age I’d like to think someone will judge me for my additions to dinner conversation and not using my dessert fork for salad.

Yes, I think I can give a gift to someone making some assumptions because it’s a nice thing to do. I hope the new mother sees my diapers as a kind gesture that says “Congratulations on your new bundle of joy and sorry you won’t get to sleep for the next few months, call me if you want me to come over and play with your baby for a few hours but are willing to take him/her back when he/she begins to cry” and not “I hope you use these store-bought diapers instead of the eco-friendly cloth ones you were planning to use and then wash (gross).”

I’m also banking on the fact that people think I’m generally thoughtful and Walmart has a lenient return policy.

Maybe it’s a generational thing. I think people that know me, even in a professional sense, feel like I am an honest and down to earth person. Lots of traditional rules feel formal and stuffy- not my style. I wonder if older people (or more traditional people) may interpret my actions as disrespectful. Should I get an etiquette book too?!

So, to solve this problem, I’m having my people call Julie Andrews to arrange some princess lessons.

Oh, and I would NEVER wear white after Labor Day and before Easter.


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