How to polish silver and why I include it in my etiquette lessons?


No, you don’t need to own silver, bone china or have candelabras line your dining room table to have good manners, but there is a special connection between them and MY love for “all things” etiquette.

When I was a little girl, I often went to work with my Grandmomma Bessie, who was a domestic worker in a large home in Tennessee. She was my first teacher on using proper etiquette. I watched and learned to polish silver tea service sets, she taught me how to answer the telephone and she showed me that we could do the same at our homes, plus so much more!

Polishing the brass and silver in our home was a part of my chores during Saturday morning cartoons. If I missed a spot on the candlestick holder, my Momma Sallie would make me rub longer and harder to make it shine.

Of course, at the time, I didn’t understand why it mattered.

Now that I am older, I realize it is to show respect for the very special items that have been passed down through several generations of our family.

As often as possible, I share the story of my grandmother with my etiquette students. I want them to understand why I am excited to teach them what I learned from my grandmother and my mother (plus other values from my grandfather Richard and my Daddy Charles). As an adult, I loved that I received my certification to teach children the etiquette skills that are expected of them during this time in our world.

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