Gracious me!

–adjective

pleasantly kind, benevolent, and courteous

characterized by good taste, comfort, ease, or luxury

merciful or compassionate

What has happened…to graciousness?

sending thank you notes…

…and writing them in long hand, as in pen

RSVPing

Holding elegant dinner parties at home

Asking how someone is doing and actually waiting for the answer

Saying thank you

Saying please

Offering to help someone, even if there’s nothing in it for you

Going out of your way to help someone

Saying something nice to someone

Sharing something nice with someone

Giving someone a “tip” that could help them be more successful

Inviting someone to be your guest at a festivity who might not otherwise be included

Wishing someone success

FOF women grew up in the fifties. That wasn’t an especially gracious decade, but somehow we learned about graciousness anyway.

Unfortunately, it’s not part of today’s core curriculum.

14 Responses to “Gracious me!”

  1. Duchesse says:

    Great topic. My mother was gracious, but insincere. Her graciousness was quite a thick veneer. But her real nature was mean, manipulative and emotionally cold. People who knew her socially adored her, but her children tried to defend themselves until they could leave.

    So I’m all for graciousness, but only if it comes from the heart. If one does not sincerely care about others I’d rather have them be blunt, insensitive or aggressive, rather than phony.

    Toby, you make some excellent points. And I have known gracious men in the business world- not many but they exist.

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  2. Susan says:

    Oh my goodness. I just wrote a lengthy essay (that needs to be refined–in the other sense of the word:) & will spare you. Let’s just say this really hit me. Hard.

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  3. Beccy says:

    From the very beginning we’ve taught our children the art of being gracious. To this day they do not forget to send a thank you note (maybe this comes from not being allowed to play with their new toys until that note was written). They are the first to RSVP to a party, and surprise their friends parents when they show up with a small gift when invited for dinner. These skills are “taught” over and over again in our daily lives by the way we treat each other. Old fashion, maybe, but graciousness is just a part of our life.
    Imagine a strangers surprise when confronted with a 19 year old boy, dressed entirely in black smiling and holding the door for them or standing when a women enters the room. And I love watching peoples reactions to my 16 year old daughter when she says please and thank you or looks them in the eye when talking with them . . . or takes the arm of her 80 year old grandmother when walking her to the car. Yes, there was a time when my kids were teased about their manners, but no longer. And the best reward for me as a parent? When my children thank me for “teaching them manners”!
    FOF women are gracious examples of how to live!

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  4. Maravonda says:

    A young lady at work who is our Physician’s Assistant…well educated, well spoken, recently married…was appalled that a friend of hers was asking for wedding RSVPs by email. Our Emily said “What is wrong with her? When I got married, I bought Emily Post and learned to do things the proper way!”. That’s my girl!

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  5. LPC says:

    The question is how to be both gracious AND powerful.

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  6. Toby Wollin says:

    I’m thinking that a lot of graciousness for those of us who are over fifty got beaten out of us when we went to work in the 70s and early 80s and we found that a) no one was going to be nice to us, b) that if we were nice, it was misconstrued as weakness and we were overlooked and walked on, and c) that it did not pay off. I think a lot of women saw that the women around them or that they knew who got ahead and ‘made it’ were not gracious, not kind, not thoughtful, did not look out for anyone but themselves, broke the rules, cheated, played by their own rules, ‘jumped the line’, left the messes for others to clean up, and so on. THAT (IMHO) is what happened to that part. The ‘thank you notes, hand written letters, etc. got deep-sixed by email, text messaging, Twitter, Facebook, et al. As for holding dinner parties of any sort (dressy or not) – I dream of the dinner and cocktail parties my parents used to throw on a monthly basis when I was a child. Their crowd entertained hugely; anyone who had a piano in their house and a livingroom floor big enough for couples to dance even in a small square was a prize location. They had friends who on a moment’s notice (as long as a piano was available), could come up with people who could credibly play dance tunes or sing to stuff from the 1940s and 1950s, on piano, dixieland banjo, and guitar. One guy had his own jazz combo for years. My parents were either entertaining at our house, or off being entertained at someone else’s house 2-3 times a month, every month from October through May, with June off, and summer parties starting up again on July 4th. Winter parties were very dressy, with Christmas and New Years being floor length. My only worry if I sent out invitations to a dinner party, that no one would know what to do or what to wear – sad.

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  7. Nancy says:

    Geri, I love the idea of graciousness. My mother and her sweet sisters were all the epitome of gracious southern ladies. I think many of us FOF learnt graciousness by examples of those special women in our lives. Thanks for this post! BTW, remember my question a few weeks ago about proposing to my man? I did it and….he said yes! I will be blogging about my proposal soon!

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    • Geri says:

      Hi Nancy,

      Congratulations. I absolutely remember your question. I’m thrilled for you and can’t wait till you blog about it. Would love you to write about it for FOF. We launch on Thursday night and you’ll be able to write about The Proposal in the Facts of Life section under Our Wisdom.

      You can also post a photo and link it to your blog.

      Best,

      Geri

      PS I knew I spelled epitome wrong on the gracious blog. I am going to correct it right now 🙂

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      • Nancy says:

        I am looking forward to the launch of FOF! WooHoo for you! And I would love to write about my proposal for FOF – It is actually going to be a ‘surprise wedding’ with only the two of us knowing what’s happening until the last minute, so writing on my blog might spoil the surprise for any of my friends reading.

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        • Geri says:

          Hi Nancy,

          But what if your friends read FOF?

          Geri

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          • Nancy says:

            I will not identify myself in a way that they would know me. It is so exciting because they will all be thrilled for us and we will have so much fun planning the surprise for them.

        • Geri says:

          LOVE IT!

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  8. Geri says:

    Hi Amy,

    Thank you so much. 🙂

    Geri

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  9. Amy Ferris says:

    so very gorgeous!
    i love graciousness.
    thank you for writing that.

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