Monday, July 11, 2011


Okay, Rhett was a Rogue Gentleman...
Where have all the Rhett Butler's and Ashley Wilkes gone y'all? Do men not know how to behave in public anymore? Do y'all think manners are alive in the South or are they Gone With the Wind?

Andy Griffith certainly portrayed the epitome of a Southern gentleman in his role as Sheriff Andy, of Mayberry. He totally honored and respected his girlfriend Helen and his Aunt Bea.
Southern politicians, sports figures, and other celebrities are in the spotlight daily...exhibiting tacky and disgusting behavior. Thankfully, there are still mamas in the South who teach their sons and dining to behave in public and how to treat others. These two famous Manning brothers certainly honor their parents with their exemplary behavior.

It's so important that boys are taught proper social etiquette and also dining etiquette at a young age. These are skills they can use now and for the rest of their lives.

Here's a few etiquette skills practiced by Southern gentlemen:

~A gentleman always addresses a lady with "Yes ma'am/no ma'am." exceptions to this rule!
~A gentleman respects his elders...always!
~A gentleman is modest and humble...a very enduring trait.
~A gentleman never refers to a lady as a woman...that would be "common."
~A gentleman behaves himself in public...'cuz he knows if he doesn't, people will think he wasn't raised right!...and people talk.
~Gentlemen respect their Mamas...if he doesn't, get rid of him real quick--'cuz he'll never respect you either!
~When going up an escalator, a gentleman stands behind the lady; when going down the escalator, he stands in front of the protect her should she fall.
~When entering an elevator in the company of a lady, a gentleman goes first to clear the way. When exiting, the person closest to the door goes first, regardless of gender, and holds the door open for others.
~A gentleman procedes a lady when walking down stairs...again, to protect her should she fall.
~A gentleman offers to carry packages for a husband has been my schlepper for many years!
~When in public, a gentleman defers to older persons, male or female...shows respect!
~A gentleman always serves a lady first, before serving himself...always!
~A gentleman does not spit in public...certainly NOT in the company of ladies.
~A gentleman always pulls out the chair for a lady...this is SO important!
~A gentleman is expected to open a door for a would be ever-so rude not to!
~A gentleman offers to carry a lady's lipstick in his pocket...very sweet thing to do.
~A gentleman offers his coat to a lady when she's cold...of course.
~When dealing with a lady who doesn't accept his courtesies gracefully, a gentleman considers her unpleasantness as a failing on her part, not his!...Amen!

Compliment. Compliment. Compliment. Make the ladies swoon gents!


Unknown said...

Rhett a gentleman? I think Scarlett would disagree!

Scarlett: Sir, you are no gentleman.
Rhett Butler: And you, Miss, are no lady.

The Dean Brothers are pretty good examples of true southern gentlemen as well. I saw them on the Today Show this morning, and loved how they kept saying yes ma'am to Kathy Lee!

Tammy B said...

I think the Rhett Butlers and Ashley Wilkes are rare today. Sometimes when a man shows good manners,I'm a little taken aback. I know I should appreciate it instead of acting shocked. Good manners never go out of style.

Ladybug said...

I'm always amazed at the people who, when blocking the elevator door, remain in front of it when they know someone is getting off. It's very rude to make someone have to work their way through to the front while saying 'excuse me! excuse me!'. I've even missed my floor because of this.

If I'm standing blocking the door, I always get off and hold the door to let someone off.

E. said...

Sorry to be the contrarian, but Rhett Butler rapes Scarlett. I don't consider him a model of masculinity.

Dee Stephens said...

I disagree about the elevator. A man always lets a lady go first == that goes for getting on and off. He holds the door.
I see it everyday at my bank job and feel weird in other settings where men don't do that.
It's just rude.

Jan@southernjunkin' said...

Common sense! Respect, respect! My hubby is a southern gentleman and taught our son manners too!

Gracie Beth said...

I found one.

Bea said...

Totally agree with you, Miss Janice!

I love-love-love Rhett Butler nad think he was a gentleman, he was raised properly and when Bonnie, his daughter was born, he showed everyone he was a gentleman...

I think Ashley was indeed a gentleman, but not my type...

Have a nice week!

sGs said...

My son is eight and already does a majority of what you list as a requirement towards being a gentleman.

I am reminded daily how different my child is when sitting at a table watching him calmly and quietly lay his napkin in his lap before ever eating, Or when he holds the doors for ladies as they walk through sometimes until the very last lady in a line of people make it through the entrance, or that he even knows to wash his hands and face before dinner - never arriving with a hat on his head.

My boy is a rare breed of southern gentleman, for that I am proud. He has held on to his upbringing in the face of peer pressure beautifully and I have no doubt he will continue. Don't lose hope in us southern mama's just yet ;)

Bethany said...

Great list. In general, so many of the most basic niceties are being lost. The only thing we can do is educate our children (both boys and girls) about the right way to do things. xoxo

Anonymous said...

My husband is a midwestern boy through and through but he scores 100% perfection on your list!

I Do Declare said...

I do love the Manning brothers!

Anonymous said...

My boyfriend of four years isn't always perfect, but he loves to hurry to a door to make sure I don't open it for myself! One thing he does that seems to amaze people is when we're in the grocery store parking lot, on his way to return our buggy to the round-up, he takes other people's buggys with him along the way. People always look absolutely suprised whenever he does this- makes you think about how rare gentlemen (or random acts of kindness, for that matter) seem to be.

Anastasia Schembri said...

Amen Miss Janice!! I am forwarding this to all the gentlemen I know, young and old!
Hope you are having a splendid week!

Lauren Honea said...

I'd have to say I agree with your post 100% Good choices...I love every one of them. Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. Kindergarten...aka...Madame Spoiled said...

I have mine!
He not only treats his Mama right, but treats MY Mama fantastcally! I could NOT replace him. Thursday will be our 16th wedding anniversary! I consider myself the luckiest gal ever.

Great list! Thanks for reminding us all.

Mrs. Kindergarten

bella said...

Even though my husband is in the west he is truly a gentleman. I have his mother to thank for that!

Michelle said...

I'm raising two sons (ages 12 & 10)do you have any suggessted reading or DVDs for their ages?

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone treated each other with simply ....good manners? Sometimes it seems as though people think that they have to go though life being rude and demanding to get what they want, I work with the public and it seems to get worse every year --- one thing I've found out though, you can't judge a person by their appearances -- sometimes the ones who look the roughest are the ones who surprise me with their genteel manners.

Leigh Powell Hines said...

Thanks for sharing. Need to make sure my son follows this.

annie said...

Hi Miss Janice,

Love Rhett Butler and Ashley was dear but a bit weak.
It used to be also that a gentleman never extended his hand first to a lady to shake hands. Is that still considered proper today?

Miss Janice said...

I would suggest "More Than Manners" by Letitia Baldrige. You can order the book by clicking on the link for it on my side bar...under "Miss Janice Recommends."

Miss Janice said...

You are correct. A gentleman should for a lady to extend her hand first!

linda said...

great post! They should teach this in elementary schools everywhere!

Jenifer Helton said...

Love this post!

I have to second it on the Deen boys. I think they are great examples of modern day southern gentlemen.

I want to also give my sweetie a big plug for carrying my purse around Macy's, Sears, & finally Famous Footwear Saturday while I tried on about 50 pairs of tennis shoes. He never ever said a word, just picked it up everytime I sat it down.

Beaufort Belle said...

Miss Janice, once again, you have hit the nail on the head? Where have the good ones gone? My husband used to do the almost all before we got married. As time goes by, some are dropping off the list. Sadly. And although I love having the auto starter and door opener, my husband will not carry the gadget on his keys. "It is bulky and not comfortable," he states. My car has no key holes except on the driver's door, therefor no door opening for moi.

I think I notice this more with the "boys" I have met through my daughter. If some of them are SGs, I think some of them lose that Southern gentleman while on campus! Some manage to stay SGs, bless their mama's hearts. While others I just want to ask where were you raised???

I have loved raising my Southern Belle, but I so wish that I also had the honor of raising a Southern Gentleman!

If you don't mind, I would love to post this on my blog and share with some friends. It would be my "Southern Saturday" post.

Pearl said...

It's my recollection that Rhett was not a gentleman as he was not "received".


As for where the gentlemen have gone, apparently their parents forgot to teach them manners!


The Mrs. said...

Great post!!

Kathie Truitt said...

You ready to swoon? My son not only does all of this, BUT he will rise when a lady enters the room or comes back to the dinner table if she has had to step away and come back. He's only 17. But he had a good teacher. His Daddy does the same thing.

Kathie Truitt said...

Rhett didn't rape Scarlett! I've seen this movie a million and one times. He carries her up to the bedroom and she was not fighting.

papabear said...

The latest at Confederate Colonel may be of interest to some of your readers:

Miss Janice said...

Papa Bear,
I enjoyed reading the article. Thanks for the link!
Miss Janice

Brittany said...

I love this post! Although I don't see many of these characteristics in most of today's men, I'm glad my boyfriend knows these lil tidbits (other wise he wouldn't even be my boyfriend!)

One thing that also drives me nuts is men who do not allow a lady to order first at a restuarant. I find this terribly rude!! Anywho, have a peaceful Sunday, Miss Janice.

cheryl said...

Oh how I loved this post.
It is amazing to me that it has taken only one generation for the downfall of manners to take place.
In the Central New Jersey area where I reside, men (and sadly now, women) spit "constantly."
It is an awful and filthy public behavior. Their mothers did not teach them correct public behavior or table manners if, indeed they knew it themselves. What a sad commentary on our society.
How I long for men to be gentlemen again.
When I have occasion to visit the south, my eyes mist over at the amount and high degree of decent, gentlemanly behavior still being practiced.

Marilyn *Pink Martinis and Pearls* said...

Your post just made me take a deep breath and let our a long sigh. I hope I have raised my sons like this. My younger son told me he opened the door for a girl (always with a smile) and she blasted him that she could open her own door. I also believe all the snarky sitcoms have reduced us to bad manners and in-your-face behavior. Oh gosh, I could go on and on as many of us frustrated with today's anti-social behavior. Thank you for the reminder of how it should be, Miss Janice. xoxo

Unknown said...

What about gentleman standing when a lady enters or exits?