Manners & Misdemeanors

How to Tell If Someone Was Raised Well, According to the Truly Rich Lady

First of all, being rich isn't a requirement.
IMAGE COLLAGE SANDY ARANAS, IMAGE VIA INTERNET ARCHIVE BOOK IMAGES/ FLICKR
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From a mile away, I can tell if you are someone who was raised well by your family, and if your family is of the Truly Rich Ilk. Or perhaps you were raised by that nanny called cable television or, in these days, the iPhone. Would you pass my test? Or are you a wild thing, whose parents are wolves?

 

Manners are paramount

The courtesies exhibited in everyday life are the best signifier of the raised-right person, and dining in a restaurant is my favorite litmus test. Many signs here: Mundane manners such as placing your utensils together to signal that you are finished with your meal or not placing your napkin on the table when your best friend is still scarfing down her half salad, are important because they signify that the old rituals are natural to you.

But I think the interactions with the waitstaff are a better tell. I have a weird fascination about the way strangers interact with waiters. Do they make it abundantly clear that the man in white is there to serve? Are they dismissive, discourteous, or horribly demanding? Or are they pleasant and patient? My heart flutters when young people address the waitstaff as “Sir.” Because they are sirs—they are the food bosses who can add a dash of saliva in your food if you are naughty. Be nice always.

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Money is no object

Money matters and also doesn’t matter. A young woman who spends money like water may not have been given the right guidance. One of the foremost lessons of the Truly Rich Parent is to live simply and that means spending money wisely or not at all.

“Don't spend it,” my grandmother would lovingly say of the pocket money she'd secretly hand to me. And so I didn't, and before I knew it, the pocket money became a substantial sum, most of which eventually made its way to the creation of more wealth.

And when it comes time to spending what can be spent, the Truly Rich Lady knows how to do it very well. The numbers don't matter when they're used to make the people she loves happy. As her mother has done before her, the Truly Rich Lady spares no expense on lavish parties or even just lunch, because good food makes everyone happy (unless they are on a very specific purple diet). Donations to charities are also wise spends.

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Always a lady or a gentleman

I am certainly not amused by young people acting out or letting loose or getting wild or being brusque or feeling too good for this or that. In any situation, and even amid the external pressures of a super cool social set or the internal pressure of your short fuse, the Truly Rich Lady remains proper. She has been taught to resist doing the wrong thing or the easy thing, even if it results in discomfort. There will certainly be no angry demonstrations when something goes awry or when she experiences entitled deception, such as someone cutting a line (this is only reserved for very old people), when something is slow. She has been taught to be placid as a lake and sunny as the sky.

 

And is always dressed well

As a corollary to the above, a fine young woman is always dressed well—preferably in the inoffensive colors of beige, white, black, and navy or in the easy flavor of the East Coast preppy style. Even if she is going on a quick run to the natural store to fetch a bottle of coconut oil, she will make the effort to choose her clothes. That has always been how it is in the Truly Rich Lady household: dressed for church, dressed for play, dressed for staying in, dressed always.

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The rogue misdemeanor

Even the perfectly cared-for child can get into a tangle or two in adulthood, but what sets her apart is the will to admit that she did wrong. “Mama, I crashed our car into your precious flower patch. I have no excuse, and I am sorry. I will replant the flowers. But the car... Please put down the stick!” Maybe, I said that. Maybe not. But that is how a person who has been raised well apologizes—fully and with a promise to right the wrong.

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About The Author
C.C. Coo
The Truly Rich Lady
C.C. Coo—also known as Town&Country’s Truly Rich Lady—is not a professional seeker of leisure as many people wrongly assume, for she has a real-life occupation: a SHE-EO of Important (Sub)Company of an Empire, for which she works very hard to make sure that the people in her care are not left wanting. She believes that manners are utterly important: “If society is like one of those costume jewelry pieces worn by Jackie O or Diana, manners would be the glue that keeps the veneer of a most beautiful thing from falling apart,” she says.
View Other Articles From C.C.
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