After watching two seasons of Mad Men, I start to wonder sometimes if anyone had a sense of humor before the Beatles. Well, turns out someone in 1927 certainly did. Dorothy Parker reviewed--er, satirized--no, roasted--Emily Post's most recent edition of Etiquette in 1927 for The New Yorker in a piece titled "Mrs. Post Enlarges on Etiquette."
I had never heard of Dorothy Parker before this little stroll through The New Yorker's archives, but I sure do wish I had known her, and I hope Emily Post did. Emily loved to poke fun at etiquette in much the same style that Ms. Parker does here, as she did when she wrote a novel satirizing the subject.
I find myself in sympathy with Ms. Parker. Like her, I too am relieved I will never have to remember the etiquette of informing someone, “I fear you have come too late to accompany me on your harp.” I will also never be caught saying “I’m thinking of buying a radio.”
And while I am not a fan of this practice, I am fascinated that she casually references the giving out of fake numbers to men a girl just didn't want to hear from. My sense of order in the universe shifted as I realized that my generation didn't come up with this one. (And that perhaps we're not so bad after all! Apparently previous generations had just as much need of Etiquette as we do now....)
Or maybe I need a little less Mad Men in my pop culture diet, and a little more Ms. Parker.