The Etiquette Grrls, Lesley Carlin and Honore McDonough Ervin, are crusader
s for better manners. They began posting their weekly etiquette Q&A
on their website (www.etiquettegrrls.com) in 1999. Since then, they've dealt with etiquette problems from the mundane (Should a gift of money be cash or a cheque
?) to the downright weird (What do you think of the characters on Sex and the City
?). Their online column has become so popular that in 2001 their book, Things You Need to be Told
, was published.
Their website is both informative and humorous. The EGs (as they call themselves) are witty, sarcastic, and have a penchant for Random Capitalization and "Franglaise". Some of their more humorous moments are when they comment on the rudeness of other people, such as their advice to a girl being asked rude questions: "give The Clodettes a Mental Kick in the Shins avec Your Pointy-toed Shoes!" Surely the EGs, paragons of perfect behavior, do not really intend for the girl in question to kick anyone, but it's certainly funny.
The advice the EGs give reveals their tendency to be "Rawther Old-fashioned;" they don't believe in white shoes (or pants, or linen clothing, or straw handbags) between Labor Day and Memorial Day, they don't believe girls should ask boys out on dates, they live for Lilly Pulitzer dresses and Kate Spade shoes. But their answers, like all good etiquette, are designed to help people live and work together. The EGs' advice also updates some out-dated rules to fit modern life (such as rules for online dating) while leaving somethings just as they were (like insisting upon hand-written thank you notes, not email).
As for their qualifications to proclaim themselves The Etiquetts Grrls, I think the EGs said it best:
We are graduates of prestigious colleges and New England preparatory schools; we are throwers of great parties; we can hold our liquor; our expertise on fashion and makeup--and especially subversive nail polish colors--knows no bounds; we wear Doc Martens with our cashmere twin sets; and, most importantly, we know what the hell we're talking about.
I will admit that I sometimes find the Etiquette Grrls a bit snobby and pretentious. Amusing as it may be, it can get tiresome to read as they proclaim person after person to be THOR (The Height Of Rudeness), particularly if you don't happen to agree. They've also been known to answer questions that are dubiously related to etiquette at best. Perhaps www.etiquetteandvintagefashionconsultantgrrls.com was already taken. But the bottom line is that the Etiquette Grrls and I have one very important thing in common: an utter hatred of wedding registries.