Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Etiquette Night

I need your help. I was just asked to be the guest speaker at a youth etiquette night! In my head, I'm laughing hysterically. [Half of that hysterical laugh is, "this is hilarious," and the other half is, "Holy crap, what am I going to say that will even be remotely interesting to a group of 12-17 year olds?!"] I need to be really funny and really engaging... for 30 minutes.

I'm supposed to touch a little bit on dating etiquette as well as eating etiquette. I know enough about eating etiquette [don't eat like a pig], but dating etiquette? What the?! I stink at dating!

Can I get some feedback... pretty please? What are some things you would want to hear at a youth etiquette night? How can I be funny and help them appreciate the evening? They're going to be dating dinner while I speak, so half of them are going to be eating with their pinky toes while I teach them how to use a fork. Just kidding. I shouldn't be so sarcastic.



  1. As you talk about dating etiquette, I would say you should devote some time to managing expectations. This will lead naturally to communication. Think about all the things girls and boys do that end up confusing each other, and sort thru some simple ways that confusion or awkward situations can be avoided.

    For example tell boys to always leave a message when they call. Tell them also to always keep the 'who is calling who next' ball in their court.

    Not leaving a message leads to confusion -- "who's number is this?" "why did he call?" "i wonder..."

    Leaving the girl a voicemail like "uhhh, call me back. bye" leads to confusion -- "how long is this call going to take?" "why did he call?" "what if i don't want to call him back?" "when should i call him back?" "i wonder..."

    Then what if the girl doesn't call? The guy starts getting edgy and calls again--even though he just told her to take the lead in calling back. So he's broken his own instructions.

    Best if he says, "Hi, this is so-so and so. I'll try to give you a call again [around 10, later tonight, in the morning...]. You're welcome to call me back if you like. Talk to you later."

    The principle here is it is an unfair expectation to leave someone--anyone--an unsolicited voicemail and expect them to agree to call you back.

    I'm sure you can think of all kinds of experiences where if your date (or perhaps you) had been more conscientious, the moment would have been smoother. For light humor, you can bust out some of Wiley Miller's "what he said... what she heard" comics.

    With your social media savvy, I'm confident you can share some good observations along the lines of "social media has [done x,y,z] to the way we communicate, which is good in some cases. But in one-on-one and dating situations, you'll want to remember to that [x,y,z] don't work as well as [a,b,c]."

    You'll be great. Let us know how it goes.

  2. Since I was just talking to one of my friendboys about this last night, I can tell you definitively that it all comes down to two things: 1) Open all doors (no matter how awkward it feels at first, eventually it will come naturally and earns LOTS of points). 2) R-E-S-P-E-C-T (are you going out with a person or a body?)

    That doesn't even touch on the girl's side of it, but let's face it-you've got that part down pat :)

  3. I don't have ideas about dating because I stink at it too, but I just wanted to comment and say I really like your blog. Visiting from The Mormon Bachelor and I'm your newest follower!

  4. What a fun honor, pretty lady! I know you'll do great...and you must report back on how it goes! I would definitely agree with Cincinnatus. Girls realllllly need to manage'll help them avoid future heartbreak! I also learned about four years too late that hindsight is 20/20. Let them know that the worst of what they're going through now will help them weather other storms later in life...and that God really does put people in our lives to teach us lessons, even if we don't know that at the get-go. xoxo {av}

  5. Funny enough, and I know this seems slightly odd coming from me, but I've been a long term member of an etiquette board. It's mostly discussions about just life issues, how to deal with an annoying neighbors, etc., but it is delightful. I go there mostly for the drama.

    I think a good tip is not to go totally topless on the first date. Partial nudity is OK.

  6. What an honor!! I think I'd stick with the basics for dating: guys need to open doors, do NOT honk to pick someone up, compliment. Girls need to learn to accept compliments graciously!

  7. i took an etiquette class in high school and have actually carried a lot of it with me throughout the years. one thing that i remember being taught that i find pretty funny is if you think you have something stuck in your teeth, carefully and quickly check your reflection in the knife! haha, this prim and proper lady taught me this. all you do is tilt the knife towards you and check. why i find this hilarious: i actually used this once on a date and i wasn't as sly as i hoped i would be. the guy asked why i was staring at the knife so "strangely". needless to say, that guy never called me for a second date.


Thank you so much for visiting AE Jones: The Blog! I absolutely love hearing from you. Don't forget to "follow" me so I can "follow" you as well! Loves!