Thursday, February 12, 2015

Articles of Conduct to her sons.

by Marian Hornsby Bowditch, 1959

We in this household have certain traditions and standards of conduct which we consider are important to the development of the kind of people we want to be. We do not consider it necessary for you to like them.

Mr. Bowditch and I through hard work create many privileges for the members of this family-and in accepting them, each individual also accepts the responsibilities that go with them- which involves requirements of good manners and an active consideration for each other.

The privileges of this family have been afforded to many and I have continued to point out the rules by which we are required to live - I do not intend to point them out any longer in view of the fact that they are often sarcastically ignored or flagrantly disregarded.

We do not consider any member of this family is due anything that he does not have the good grace to accept with appreciation and thanks. We will not allow our own family to abuse this nor will we allow anyone else to.

For your own good I cannot allow you to develop the idea that you can accept without giving or live in any situation without discipline and restraint.

I have considered you my good friend and you have disappointed me. So beginning right now you will consider yourselves guests in this house when you are here and as such conduct yourselves accordingly or you will not be a welcomed guest.

Your father and I have certain standards by which we expect to live and have worked to maintain them. As members of this family you are required to help maintain them too - loyalty to each other - respect for yourselves and others - concern for the rights of each other and the responsibilities for creating a happy life together - we give you this, we expect it in return.

The following rules you already know. You are expect to adhere to them and I do not intend to repeat them every day.

You are expected to:

1. Keep your clothes hung up and your rooms in order.

2. Fold your socks one in the other before you put them in the hamper.

3. Get up by your own alarm at 7:00 and get yourselves and you room in order and be down to help with getting breakfast at 7:35.

4. Phil is to make the juice and feed and water the ponies.

5. David is to make the coffee, set the table and feed the dog.

6. John is to begin breakfast and finish it unless I am there to help.

7. On Sat. weekend mornings every one is responsible for his own (brunch), be it cold cereal or otherwise.

8. Remove your plates and glasses from the table - scrape them and put the plates under the 'facet' and silver on the sink.

9. Consider whatever food and milk is available and take only your share.

10. Ask Christine or Mother if foods in the icebox are reserved for other times.

11. You are responsible for the conduct of your guest in this house and for letting them know when they over-step the bounds of good manners.

12. Ask mother or Dad whether it is convenient to have extra guests for meals or to spend the night ( in private before inviting them).

13. Unless under unusual circumstances there will be no guests during the school week.

14. Dinner will be at 6:15 and you are expected to be here.

15. Dave and Phil you are to remove the places etc from the table and a share of the extra dishes. John is to prepare them and put them in the dish(rack?).

16. Study time is from 7 to 9:30 and there is to be no phone calls made or received during that time and no guests.

17. Bedtime during the week is 8:30 for Phil, 10:00 for Dave and 11:00 for John.

18. No guests are expected during the week after 10:00.

19. No guests are expected on the weekend after 12:00 for pool or any other reason unless specifically invited to spend the night.

20. Guests on the weekend not spending the night are expected to leave at 12:30.

21. You are expected to call at a reasonable time before meals if you are not planning to be here.

22. You are expected to call at a reasonable hour if you plan to spend the night with a friend on weekends. You are expected to speak to Dad or Mother for permission. If we are not available by phone you are expected to come home.

23. You are expected to be off the highways and in this house by 11:30 unless permission is given for a later hour. Phil is expected to call Christine or me to let us know where he is playing at all times.

These are in essence a matter of courtesy and good manners for us and each other. It is not fair to burden us with the worry and concern erected by not following these rules of courtesy.

The above was typed on a typewriter. She then went back and added more in pen.

24. You are expected to be up and dressed for church on Sunday mornings and attend with the family.

25. You are expected to have Sunday dinner after church with the family unless excused and to wear your coat and tie to the table.

26. When you are calling for a date at a girls home you are to show the proper respect for her and her family by presenting yourself in coat and tie.

27. No mater how many times you are a guest in a friend's house you are to remember the standards of good manners are required and stand to your feet when the parents (or your date) enter the room - you will be excused from doing this by the parents when it is no longer necessary on each particular visit.

28. You would be wise to ask the parents a time they expect their daughter home and get her there on time.

This was propped against a window in the sunroom at the Bed & Breakfast we stayed at. I laughed through many of them and  The rules were brought up at the breakfast table when Phil arrived. With a smile, he said, "Oh, those. Ma was pissed when she wrote 'em." Obviously. She had written another list of advice to the bride that was just priceless. I thought I'd jot these down so as to appreciate the good, timeless advice.

1 comment:

Corey said...

This is awesome! thanks for sharing that. Now I want to see the bride's advice!