I don't know if it's everywhere or just in Vegas. It is rare to receive RSVP's for a party. I can't tell you how many people I have called to accept an invitation to find out that only a few actually bothered....they just show up!
Telephone manners is another big one both on a business level and personal. I believe that you should use all the "kind" words like thank you and please when dealing with a customer or vendor if possible. You should give a proper greeting and a proper closing like hello and good-bye. At home, half the time when Sarah's friends call, they don't tell me who they are let enough say good-bye when they get off the phone! Really, is this what we are teaching our kids?
This is really where I wanted to go today though: How should a child address an adult that is not their relative? That’s come up quite a bit lately as I’m realizing that Sarah doesn’t really know how to handle it. I’m sure this comes from my lack of grace in dealing with it myself. I was brought up in the 70’s and 80’s in the Midwest. It was our custom to call adults by Mr or Mrs…some adults told me it was ok to call them by their first name, but I ended up not using a name but rather did the “ummmm” to get their attention and then whatever I wanted to ask. I always imagined the look on my grandmothers face had she heard me address an adult in such a way. It was only as I recognized that I was an adult myself that I allowed myself to call them by their name. Some will always remain Mr or Mrs to me. We have had Sarah call very close friends Aunt or Uncle and no one seems to mind. That’s safe until you get to all the rest. Most people these days and in this regional area, would be uncomfortable with being addressed formally. At the same point, it seems to lack some respect to receive a “hey Tish” from a 5 yr old.
Is it really about respect? There are many adults whom I hope my child will never esteem or admire. I can't think of anyone, who would want their child to admire Hitler, Mussolini, an immoral celebrity or child molester. I don’t want to teach my child that all adults are authority figures as it puts her in a vulnerable position. Unfortunately, our culture suffers not just from a lack of civility and propriety towards adults, but a lack of civility and propriety in general.
So this is my conclusion. Sarah needs to address people in a way that is most comfortable to her. I believe she is a good kid, fully capable of making the best decision that is respectful but careful – and yes, I would step in if she isn’t. She needs to respect those that deserve respect and stand up against those who do not. She can avoid calling people by their first names if that is more comfortable for her and I will not push her to do anything else. It is through these personal choices that we gain knowledge.
Perhaps I need to go to a current etiquette class and see if things have really changed as much as they seem to have.....