Thursday, January 14, 2016

On Borrowing

"A lady does not borrow of anyone without the extremest need..."
Katherine Eleanor Conway, A Lady and Her Letters, 1905

Ordinarily, a lady is predisposed against borrowing.  She does not take possession of another's belongings lightly, and understands that a seemingly small request may for unexpected reasons cause inconvenience to the lender.  She also considers that an item may have come to its owner at some sacrifice or may have the sentimental attachment of being a gift from someone dear, and for this reason is reluctant to risk accident to it.  Therefore, as a general rule,  a lady obtains her own or does without.

"Who goeth a borrowing goeth a sorrowing."
Thomas Tusser, "June's Abstract"

Principle:  A lady does not readily borrow of others.

Photo: found on Pinterest

Monday, January 11, 2016

To Say, "You're Welcome!"

The words "you're welcome" have by and large been replaced in our ultra-casual social atmosphere. In response to "thank you," we often hear "not a problem," "no worries," or "don't mention it." What's the difference?  Does it matter that we're not saying "you're welcome" anymore?

Yes, yes it does.  Consider what is lost in this subtle replacement of words.  What is missing?  "You" is missing.  And as a result, the message is altered tremendously.  Saying "no problem," turns the focus from the other person to ourselves, leaving the subtle implication that there might be times when we'd consider it a problem.  Replies like "no worries" can leave a person feeling like they had just apologized instead of offering sincere appreciation.  Saying "no problem" and "no worries" leaves the thanker feeling like their appreciation has been sidestepped.  It is the verbal equivalent of returning a thank you note unopened.

On the other hand, responses such as "you're very welcome," or "it's my pleasure," spoken genuinely, give the other person the satisfaction of having his or her thanks warmly accepted.

Principle: In response to "Thank you," a lady says, "You're welcome!"

Photo: Glamis Castle Roses by David Austen found on Pinterest