Emily Post: Emily's Magic Words; Please, Thank You, and More
by Cindy Post Senning and Peggy Post; illustrated by Leo Landry
Gee, bet you can't guess those magic words. If you said "back off" "up yours" and "drop dead," you'd be ... wrong. Of course.
Yet I found it hard to snicker for all the wrong reasons while reading how "please" and "thank you" can open doors, "hi" and "bye" can make you friends, "sorry" can fix boo-boos and all that sort of rot. Yeah, yeah, it'll help reinforce basic etiquette. It's nice to be nice, etc.
And it is awfully cute when my toddler looks up at me with her chocolate-smeared face and squeals "thanks, Mommy!" Of course, she also sits behind me in the minivan, where she learned to say "honk honk!" and "schmuck!" while waving only one finger. I'm working on her fine motor skills. Ahem.
I do try hard to be polite. I'm polite when people cut in front of me in line, have more than 15 items in the express checkout, clog my inbox with spam, lecture me on how to raise my kids, etc.
Being polite would be more fun if everyone else did it too. What Emily Post's heirs really need to write is a sequel for how to avoid a murderous rage when the rest of the world doesn't take etiquette lessons.