Friday, April 16, 2010

And you are?


The other day I was talking with someone I know in these parts and I can only say of him that he was well-raised and from meticulous and remarkably successful stock: The sort that owned a lot of stuff and gave a lot to sick people and children and had the obligatory insanely public family feud when Dad died. Cotillion trained, educated in the best schools, always holds doors and is friendly to dogs, even pit bulls. So, it is very unlike him to overlook an introduction, most especially his daughter but in any event, that is what happened.

This tall, lean, slip of girl, twelve years old, leaned around her father and pleasantly extended her hand in my direction. "Hello. And you are?" she said to me.

I had not noticed her behind him (it was the nature of the situation, unfortunately), and more from reflex than manners, I extended my hand to her and said, "Catherine." She shook my hand firmly (as well as any lobbyist I have known). For a moment, the young girl before me and the maturity of the greeting did not sync, although it was beautifully accomplished.

"I'm Jane." She went on to explain that she was Mark's daughter, visiting with him for the day, and pleased to meet me.

While the phrase, "And you are?" is one of my least favorite introductions on record, this girl was otherwise remarkably genteel and socially fearless. Her father is to be forgiven his oversight in this surely rare slip in deference to the grace of his daughter.

Reassuring, I thought.

10 comments:

Jennnifer said...

What a lovely story that this young girl would introduce herself! I wonder w so much social media (facebook, texting, IM, email, blogs) if our kids will fail to learn public conversation. A strong handshake and a smile go a long way!

je m'appelle... My name is...Jennifer aka Gigi

Thanks for sharing!

JMW said...

I agree, I've always found "and you are?" to be rude. But, I'm glad to hear the young lady turned out to be polite. She's still learning. Too bad she had to prompt Daddy!

LPC said...

Yes, I think and you are is rude too. Clearly that isn't what she wanted to be. Her dad should teach her to put her hand out and say, hello,(or how do you do) I'm so and so. The other person will then respond with their name.

P.A.W. said...

Thank you for stopping by The Classic Closet! I am glad you did because I am happy to have been introduced to your blogs.

This was a great story. I find it very reassuring to know that manners are still something cherished!

little augury said...

Yes at 12- very good. Is it men? is it dismissing what seems a child? I notice it more with the fellows.pgt

teaorwine said...

That was quite brazen for a 12 year-old to assert herself and choose those words in doing so. "And you are" is, in fact, rude, but we will excuse this considering the youth factor. In such a case, I would prefer to simply introduce myself with a smile, extending my hand. This happens more frequently than you may think. People get caught up in their own thoughts and simply forget to introduce others. Eventually they do, usually. In the mean time, step up to the plate and take in upon yourself to declare your presence. Just good manners on your part, as well.

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

Discovered you through Slow Love Life's blog. And, may I say I shall be returning here. As a "manners coach" (tee-hee)...a Cotillion director, etc., I am sympatico with you....in how tragic the lack is! But, this young lady did well, I'd say! She's certainly on the right track.

home before dark said...

The nuance will come. I was enchanted actually by the firm handshake and the fact that she wasn't on a different planet with an ipod.

the southern hostess said...

Great anecdote! I hate that phrase too.

columnist said...

The expression is the height of bad manners in my book. I've had it said to me when I arrived for a booked table and I replied:

"...waiting for you to address me properly."

Although the situation you recount is a completely different set of circumstances, it is nevertheless an impertinent question. I think I would have just replied "How d'ya do?", which as we know is a minefield itself.