Ainsworth: MISS MANNERLY's column after SOTU Address

February 7, 2019

Dear Miss. Mannerly:

I had to sit in a highly public spot during one of the most uncomfortable and painful experiences I have ever had to endure in my long –- very, very long –- career. It was the occasion of an important speech, and I had to sit in full view right behind the speaker, whom I detest. (I’m sure the feeling is mutual.) This was an hour-and-a-half of sheer torture. Not only were all eyes in the room focused in my direction, but there were numerous cameras there, including live video, to capture my every expression for posterity. I knew I was completely visible at all times and was expected to maintain a respectful demeanor on this official occasion, but I just couldn’t control my facial movements, even though it’s often difficult for me to move parts of it at all. I did applaud when it was absolutely necessary, but took the opportunity to make a statement and register my contempt by making most of my clapping as unenthusiastic as possible. On an irresistible impulse, I even clapped “at” him when he turned to me, just to inject a little condescension. I don’t see what’s wrong with doing this, as I am already known as an enemy of this person and all he stands for.


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I did get the memo on the dress code --- all white for the women --- and followed it to a “t.” But now that the evening is over, I’m hearing that I was rude. What did I do wrong?

Gentle Reader:

It sounds as though you have been through a difficult and very trying experience, and Miss Mannerly offers her sympathy. Yet from your letter she gets the impression that your behavior on this occasion was extremely inappropriate. It’s when we are in uncomfortable and perplexing situations that we need our good manners most of all.

Your rudeness stems from the fact that an important speech was being given, so important that it was being beamed out live to a huge television audience, and you were doing what they call in the film industry “pulling focus.” It doesn’t matter whether or not you personally like the speaker or agree with what he had to say. Your role on this occasion was intended to be ceremonial. It would have been proper to avoid pursed or puckered lips, a sour expression, sullen clapping, and distracting motions such as, say, shuffling through a stack of papers while the speaker is talking. One should strive for a pleasantly benign expression, applaud politely, and offer no annoying distractions.

You seem to excuse your behavior by saying you “detest” the speaker and asserting that he feels the same way about you. Assuming he does, Miss Mannerly is wondering: was he similarly rude and condescending to you on this occasion? Or did he set personal feelings aside, at least temporarily, and behave politely towards you while the world was watching? If he did, you might take a lesson from him.

This goes as well for those members of the audience who presumably agree with you about this speaker. Miss Mannerly cautions all of you that if you want respect for your opinions, you must behave in a polite, professional manner. If you use rudeness to force your opinions on others, they will defend themselves by pushing back, and if it comes to that, they have Miss Mannerly’s blessing.

By the way, all-white for the ladies is an unusual dress code. Might Miss Mannerly inquire as to its purpose? If dressing in this fashion was also an attempt to undermine or otherwise express hostility towards the speaker –- who is, after all, an invited guest –- then it also is impolite. The word “childish” also comes to mind.

Miss Mannerly recommends that you apologize publicly for your behavior, and also send a personal, handwritten note of apology to the speaker. Under the circumstances, a bouquet of flowers would be a nice addition. And if you are going to be put in this position again next year, she hopes you will strive to play your role more effectively, professionally and politely.

………………….

 

Dear Miss Mannerly:

I was in the audience recently for a major address by a speaker I detest. It was a big event; all three branches of government were there:  the President (ugh!!!!!), the House, and the Senate, plus some other people in robes and uniforms. I was sitting with my like-minded sisters, and we just DID NOT feel like smiling, so we sat there with dark, brooding faces and talked sideways to each other a lot. I knew the TV cameras would be on me a lot because, let’s face it, I’m a big deal –- super-young and super-photogenic –- and I know a TREMENDOUS LOT about stuff like economics and intersectionality and must surely be at the tippy-top of the IQ scale. (I know that looks and clothes and stuff are so “bourgeois,” but I’m using my appearance to help me achieve my goal of taking over America for socialism. If I have to wear a $3,000 outfit to do that, so be it!)

After the event, though, a lot of people whose opinions I scorn anyway criticized me for deliberately looking sullen and disrespectful. I am not sorry one bit, so why should I apologize?

By the way, like my sisters, I got the memo on the dress code (can’t remember for sure, but this may have even been my idea):  all-white for women, to honor the women’s suffrage movement after a century of women exercising their voting rights. I followed the dress code and wore just the right thing, and, wow, do I look good in white.

 

Gentle Reader:

As for wearing white, kindly reference the previous letter and my response above. Miss Mannerly still has the impression that the wearing of white on this occasion was primarily done to show solidarity against the speaker, who was an invited guest. For that reason, she finds it inhospitable and therefore inappropriate.

As someone in the public eye, you are especially obligated to behave with grace and good manners, even though we live at a time when relatively few famous people do this. Miss Gladys Knight comes to mind most readily as a positive example. Why not try to model yourself after her? It occurs to Miss Mannerly that Miss Knight wore all-white when she sang at the Super Bowl, but in that case it wasn’t done to undermine anyone. Indeed, she was celebrating our entire nation.

As for taking over America for socialism, Miss Mannerly has observed that most political radicals have atrocious manners and hopes you will not follow in their footsteps. She also happens to know enough about history and economics to hope you will abandon your quest, for the sake of the country. (It’s very challenging to remain polite while losing basic freedoms and facing shortages of food and – ahem --bathroom tissue.) Miss Mannerly apologizes for interjecting her political opinion, though it has long been proven correct, and feels she should send you a small gift to make amends. How about an autographed copy of a book by Thomas Sowell?

https://nypost.com/2019/02/06/ocasio-cortez-is-not-apologizing-for-her-state-of-the-union-reaction/

 

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Comments 1-25 of 64

  • Sandy Taylor

    02/12/2019 04:45 AM

    Well, Mike, if I ever doubted your genius for even a second, I hope that both you and Miss Mannerly will forgive me, for you have truly outdone yourself.

  • Amelia Little

    02/10/2019 11:57 PM

    I always enjoy Laura Ainsworth's columns--especially Miss Mannerly. Hit's the nail on the head with humor. Good job!!

  • Carl Smith

    02/09/2019 10:25 PM

    I think it's time to admit America's Failure can be laid at the Alter of Academia adopting the Trotsky, Marxist, Lenin ideology. Lenin told us "Give me four years to teach your children and the seed I will have sown will NEVER be uprooted." Like a Cancer, Socialism started in the Humanities and in "Trickle Down" style has metastasized to infect the whole body including the STEM studies. The Result is VERY FEW escape the INDOCTRINATION and the Conglomerates that CONTROL the Media and the readers posing as Journalists are also Infected. I can remember conversations I had in the late 50's, early 60's about "What happened in Germany that allowed Nazism to flourish" and the CONSENSUS was " That it Could NEVER happen here". Now I'm LIKE the media - I am so pissed at being found to be wrong and being so immature I cannot get over it so I'm going to do everything in my power to redeem my immaturity by showing my ignorance at every turn. Did this solve anything? It didn't even make me feel better by emptying my bladder on Schumer's photograph, even after I discovered his name in Low German stands for " Good for Nothing" or " Vagabond". Did I raise my ratings or lower my IQ?

  • Elizabeth Giffee

    02/09/2019 09:36 PM

    Love Miss Manerly!

  • Sue Smith

    02/09/2019 06:49 PM

    I am never read your article before but I found this to be very interesting and quite to the point. I will agree the above persons were rude and indeed acted quite childish and did look rather "stupid". What happened to respect for the President? Is it really that hard to give him some well deserved credit for what he has accomplished so far? I will look forward to reading to more of your articles.

  • Emily Ledford

    02/09/2019 05:24 PM

    I read them! Great read!

  • Debbie Baney

    02/08/2019 04:00 PM

    You are hilarious! I thoroughly enjoy reading your posts; the insightful ones and the clever, humorous ones.

  • Serena Garner

    02/08/2019 09:54 AM

    I love it! "Miss Manners" hit the nail on the head and should offer a class for all the Clueless Klan!

  • Alice Claar

    02/08/2019 09:11 AM

    good, good, good keep up the good work.

  • Alice Claar

    02/08/2019 09:10 AM

    good, good, good keep up the good work.

  • Lizanne Stamm

    02/08/2019 05:44 AM

    The depth of hate and evil by leaders in the democratic party is contemptible. I'm grateful for President Trump whom God has placed in his role in history. He is today's Abraham Lincoln. i pray for my president and decision makers daily. Other nations would like Trump as their leader and yet our media does everything tgey can to bring him down.

    Democrats are showing their true colors and are doing everything they can to take power. God has a different plan and it will prevail.

  • Joyce Smith

    02/08/2019 04:16 AM

    Do Dems wear white to underhandedly disrespect black/people of color? Do they think they are angelic maybe? God does not want one of us to perish, not by abortion or the death penalty. We must take our precious rolls as God’s children and step up with love and prayers for America, the unborn, the down-trodden, the prisoners, prostitutes, drug addicted, the unloved and the unlovely. God, please preserve your America and bring conviction, repentance and true spiritual revival to all parties, peoples & naions!

  • norma holmes

    02/08/2019 12:35 AM

    The President in fact did Mrs. Pelosi a great favor in his SOTU in adddressing socialism head on -- somethng she is unable politcally to do!

  • Nancy Brake

    02/08/2019 12:15 AM

    What a great format!!! Loved it!!!!

  • James D. Simpson

    02/07/2019 11:25 PM

    What has happened to this country we loved and respected? What has happened to common sense?
    A number of years ago there was a commercial on TV addressing the way the country was trashing our streams and the environment. In the scene was a native America actor (whose name I know but will not use without his permission). He was shown observing trash floating down a river with tears in his eyes because as we know native Americans respected the land and streams. Most of us were touched by this scene and the implications then.
    Fast forward to 2019 - where is the video showing a baby being terminated by abortionist with tears coming down our eyes? Where is the compassion for this child of God?
    To those out there in governments allowing for termination of these little innocent souls (yes they are souls) I have two messages for you. May God have mercy on your SOULS if you have one?
    Secondly how would you feel if you had worked for a cure for cancer etc in your life time and then when you appear before the Almighty God as Mona and God announces to you - "YOU killed the very child that I gave the answer to cure cancer" To all those members of governments which are celebrating the new laws they have passed or will pass, just as I, "yours sins will find you out."

    My prayer -Lord please forgive us for we are a mess --please give us new hearts and hands, and heal us and this wonderful country you have so graciously given us.

  • Marion Dougherty

    02/07/2019 10:31 PM

    I loved this article “Miss Manners”. It would be great if those who showed so much disdain towards President Trump could actually see how Americans saw them. It was not flattering and very childish of them acting out, making faces, not standing when they should. It really showed their true colors and it was not white. I thought it was hilarious when Nancy flipped through the pages as our President ad libbed. I’m glad President Trump addressed so many issues and brought so many to light. It was a great speech !

  • Henrietta Weimer

    02/07/2019 09:11 PM

    I love the Ms. Mannerly article. Both of these women ( Pelosi and AOC, or whatever), are so full of themselves. This is a great article and if you wrote it, you are great.

  • Louise Harsha

    02/07/2019 09:10 PM

    Best speech EVER. White clothing was a direct insult to put president!! :-( The speaker of the house has gone power crazy. God bless Trump and the First lady.

  • Pam Nichols

    02/07/2019 08:56 PM

    Awesome! Unfortunately those that agree with this, don’t need it. Those that disagree, need this, but don’t care.

  • Carol Mathews

    02/07/2019 08:41 PM

    What a great dialogue. If only it could have been published for all to see in one of the few readable news papers or on a TV commentary.
    If one could only buy them for what they are worth and sell them for what the "think" they are worth, we could build the wall 3 times over.

  • Elizabeth Honaker

    02/07/2019 08:36 PM

    Lawd A'mighty! Mizz Mannerly, you done hit the nail on the pro-vo-ca-tive HEAD!! Weeze-all dumb folks listened po-lite-ly to that thar prez-ee-dent, an' we didn't even reach fur the popcorn -- naw-sir!!! We done thot he was spot-on-the-penny, tawkin' 'bout America an' such. Maybe the poor gal behind him didn't have her hearing-aid a-set in cur-reck-ly, or maybe she waz just-a-blinded by AOC an' all those other sour-faced fe-males a-stand'in an' a-sit-tin' at all dif'rent times o' da speech. Lawdy! Are they SHURE dey waz in da right place? May-be dey's a' been more com-FORT-able in da Lady's Room or such. Ma grandma use-ta git the VAPORS an such, so I knowd a thing-or-3 'bout it. Lawdy, as my gran use-ta say: "GIT A LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

  • TERRY A POST

    02/07/2019 07:35 PM

    Hysterically funny (because it seems so absolutely true)! I especially liked the "tippy-top" comment! Very well written! Thanks so very much for sharing this incredible bit of humor!

  • Bonnie Miller

    02/07/2019 07:17 PM

    Gotta love Miss Mannerly! I predict the youthful one whose star rose so fast will crash just as quickly when the reality of paying taxes on her inflated salary hits her.

  • Margaret Elgin Smith

    02/07/2019 07:13 PM

    Pelosi is so disgusting and never was taught good manners. Her facial expression are very weird. The mouth is always moving in odd directions. Like she is sucking or chewing on something. The miners in Bolivia chew on “pot” leaves before going down into the mines. They have done this for years as it helps them from getting paranoid. Whether she does that or not, I don’t know. I do know she one evil person when it comes to the American people.
    God Bless America. ????????

  • Bill Gannon

    02/07/2019 07:11 PM

    Miss Mannerly,
    Might I suggest that if these ill-mannered attendees insist on acting like children then we should treat them as such and put them on an extended time out? This would allow the adults to accomplish the goals for the good of all.