Dos and Don'ts in Photos
Smithsonian, June 2008
Do not stand on tables
Above we have Elizabeth Ford, wife of then President Gerald Ford, First Lady of our country, standing barefoot on a White House meeting table. While many soldiers were giving their blood on the battlefield, Mrs. Ford didn't find anything better to do than indulge in this extravagant breach of propriety.
Posing this way, she was only trying to be popular among us. There is a saying that each people has the government it deserves. Did Americans deserve to have such a flagrantly ill-bred First Lady?
If we look at our own American customs, we see that often - against all rules of civility - we casually put our feet up on coffee tables, desks or even dining tables. To do this supposedly expresses relaxation, casualness and intimacy. Actually, I believe it expresses a return to barbarianism.
Our feet and shoes come into constant contact with the floor and ground. Care should be taken to keep them as clean and neat as possible; nevertheless, we should follow the custom which teaches that if something touches the floor, do not let it touch anything else - especially a table where we are about to meet or dine!
Let us keep our feet under the tables where they belong, so that in future this bad habit of ours will not justify another First Lady following that unfortunate example.
Do not stand on tables.
Posted November 7, 2008
Related Topics of Interest
Getting the Ball Rolling on Hats
Do Kiss the Hand of Ladies
Do Not Sit on the Steps
Do Protect the Ladies from the Rain
St. Isidore of Seville on Dignified Manners
Why do only Women Have to Dress Well?
Today's Irresponsible Fathers
Styles Reflect the Moral Profiles of Peoples and Epochs
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