The Wall of Beautiful Manners
I was at at a garden party at Somerville College, Oxford, a week or so ago. I was chatting to a lawyer friend, when a Very Important Person joined us briefly.
I have encountered this person at social events over the last 5 years, and she has always had the most beautiful, impeccable manners.
Manners that are like a wall and shield. That keep people at bay, behind a pretty smile without warmth. And social nothings.
I am someone who likes nothing better than long, deep heart to heart conversations. To engage people. Why do I even go to parties? Because I love people is the short answer!
Do you like her? I asked my friend. She silently wrinkled her nose, as was wise given the company we were keeping. “You know,” she said, “it’s only in the last year that I had to really encounter her, and I thought, with surprise, “You are a human being, after all!”
Interestingly, in this country, good manners can be reserved for those one deems less important, as a way of keeping them at bay behind a Defence Shield of perfect and lifeless manners