GENTLE READERS: Labor Day, for Miss Manners, comes with the laborious task of facing indignant messages from those who object to this holiday’s also marking the end of the white shoe season.
Why they get so worked up bewilders her. It doesn’t seem to make any impression that she keeps suggesting that anyone who wants to break a rule should find one that is more fun to break.
Concluding that there is no use trying to placate these emotional objectors, Miss Manners has decided to go in the opposite direction by citing other rules they will hate:
-- Straw hats should not be worn before Easter nor after Labor Day.
-- Velvet should only be worn between Oct. 1 and March 1.
-- Fur should not be worn from March through September, and spotted furs should not be worn after dark.
-- Diamonds, rubies, emeralds and sapphires should not be worn before dark, the only exception being those that are set in engagement or wedding rings.
-- Drop earrings should not be worn during the day.
-- Ropes of pearls should be worn in odd numbers.
-- Watches should not be seen at evening social events, which is to say that a concealed watch is permissible, but an open one, such as a wristwatch, is not.
-- Jewelry should never be worn on top of gloves, unless you are royalty -- in which case it is still wrong, but you can get away with it because, despite the tabloid news, people think that everything royalty does must be correct.
There are more such rules, even some for gentlemen, but Miss Manners will now refrain from saying, “How do you like them apples?” and entertain the inevitable questions:
Q: Sez who?
A: These edicts represent the consensus of what those who cared followed, back when anybody even knew there were such rules.
Q: Who’s going to make me?
A: Nobody. So why are you so upset about it?
Q: Does anyone still actually follow these silly rules?
A: Miss Manners does.
Q: Why? They don’t make any sense.