Leon Kass of the University of Chicago says that nowadays "for the great majority, the way to the altar is uncharted territory: It's every couple on its own bottom, without a compass, often without a goal.Those who reach the altar seem to have stumbled on it by accident." It may be that the traditional route to conjugal correctness—chaste courtship, formal engagement, church wedding, consummation, and parenthood, in that order—is less traveled.She emphasizes that: "In every human situation there is the correct action, the incorrect action, and the appropriate action." Though etiquette rules may seem arbitrary at times and in various situations, these are the very situations in which a common set of accepted customs can help to eliminate awkwardness. Once a relationship has been established, one may request to be addressed by first name.While etiquette is often a means to make others feel comfortable, it is also the case that etiquette can serve to eliminate inappropriate behaviors in others by increasing discomfort. In particular formal situations, such a request can be considered a sign of trust and intimacy.Although manners of the royal courts and aristocracy had become well established in Europe by the 1600s, much of it was lost when the early Colonists crossed the ocean to the New World.Etiquette had to be re-established in America, basically from scratch."You know what to expect from me, as you have seen my character of a good wife.
As far as chaste courtship is concerned, the good old days have been overrated, almost as mythical as the Standish-Mullins-Alden triangle that Longfellow invented.When men and women did meet, they obviously enjoyed each other’s company. After dinner we assemble in the hall where the sweet Judah favored us with a good deal of her incomparable music.” (Peter S. ] Carr, July 28, 1787.) Young white men began courting in their late teens.“After an agreeable ride we at length reached the house about two o’clock, just about the time when Miss J’s beauty was in its meridian splendor. The average man in Virginia married in his mid-twenties.They are an expression of how you treat others when you care about them, their self-esteem, and their feelings.Mary Mitchell states that in most, if not all, cases where conflict emerges between external rules and the urge to be kind and considerate, manners should trump etiquette.