America's leading civility expert knocks household discourteousness off its foundations.
As the rudeness rampant in America's streets sends its citizens fleeing inside to bolt the doors and draw the shades, they are finding what was once the relative safety of the hearth threatened by an unwelcome addition to their living space--the same rudeness presumably left behind when they stepped across their own cozy thresholds.
With the keen wit and insight that distinguishes her column and previous books, Judith Martin's newest work equips residences everywhere with the tools to return manners to domestic life. Refusing to recognize that the harried household cannot meet her standards of propriety--especially since all households are now harried--Miss Manners explains how this is done.
Whether your family is nuclear, blended, extended, or unrelated; whether you are single, divorced, living together, or married; at a family dinner or dinner party; engaged in combat with the neighbors or with the relatives--there is simply no substitute for the core of civility that must reside at the heart of every house, condo or apartment if it is truly to be a home.
Miss Manners is prepared to sweep through your house and get rid of those lurking traces of rudeness that you were pretending not to notice.
You know you are not going to be able to enjoy a pleasant and peaceful household until these few chores are done.
Table of Contents
Chapter One--The People
Allotting due space and respect to parents, children, roommates, relatives--and whoever those
other people are whom one of them must have brought home
Chapter Two--The Place
Making use of the rooms instead of turning them into a mess or a museum, while everybody huddles upstairs
Chapter Three--The Rules
Negotiating compromises without having to leave home for Domestic Dispute Court
Chapter Four--The System
Keeping track of where everybody is, where they are supposed to be, and what they are supposed to be doing (if they remember)
Chapter Five--The Help
Getting the housework done when you can't complain about the Servant Problem--because theservants are you and the people in the phone book who may be there sometime today
Chapter Six--The Visitors
Offering hospitality without surrendering your privacy or your resources to the thankless
Chapter Seven--Entertaining: The Social Contract
Reviving the art of not-for-profit entertaining to make friends who will love you for yourself
Chapter Eight--Entertaining: The Social Event
Learning to give a variety of parties, formal and informal--because it beats staying home alone watching TV
Chapter Nine--Entertaining: The Relatives
Kindling warm memories rather than heated conflict at family occasions
Chapter Ten--The Community
Being pleasant enough to the neighbors so you're not afraid to walk out your own front door
From the Hardcover edition.