I don't know what the lay of the land is in your house, dear reader, but in my studio there is usually a wild rumpus, a fray, a melee, a brawl, a rumble and a monkey-pile going on. No matter how much I shout "order! order in the studio!" the creatures and characters have minds of their own and seem to forget the rules of polite cohabitation. Perhaps it's time to bring Cinderella's Prince over so he can teach them a little something about manners.
But outside the studio, my sisters and I have often been called "the polite family". It's comical how far we will go to make sure everyone is happy and no one's feathers are ruffled. Just deciding where to go for the day can be a mega-negotiation, with each of us ready to fall on our swords to make sure the others get what they want. Husbands and boyfriends and visitors might raise an eyebrow at our antics, but somehow it has worked for us, so we keep on.
I was delighted to come across this article on how to be polite. The author goes perhaps quite a bit further than my own family (for example, I might not bother to learn what the rules of etiquette are with prostitutes. Not that I wouldn't want to be polite with a prostitute, just that I don't tend to run in the same circle of friends. Of course, I've now become worried that I might have offended a prostitute or two, so please accept my apologies and perhaps we could have tea sometime), but I love the pure intention of mastering manners at the level of an art form. And I learned something from reading this - how to really connect and engage with someone during fluffy social banter with one sentence. And how to take connecting at social events to a competitive level in order to perhaps overcome some of my own introversion.
So as we continue this journey into the woods, I am going to work on perfecting my social manners just as suggested in the article. I am wondering what the troll will say when he's talking about his line of work, and I respond with "wow. That sounds hard".
This piece is the first in a new series - "The Four Seasons." One set of these has already been completed and sold as a private commission. I liked them so well, I started another set! Though I will post them one by one, let me know if you're interested in the four pieces as a set and I will bundle them on etsy, just for you!
Jen Walls and her imaJENation