The Vintage Life

The Vintage Life

One of the topics that used to be taught in home economics was ‘relationships.’ I’ve been curious about this and have wondered what sorts of things they taught. Based on some of the vintage movies I’ve tracked down on YouTube, it looks like one aspect is how to be a good friend and another, how to treat others respectfully.

I think that that is one of the things that we are sorely lacking today – respect. Growing up, adults were always “Mr.” or “Mrs.” (or “Ms.”) and their last name. Even when I moved back to a town near my childhood home to go to college, I still wasn’t able to bring myself to call them by their first name when invited to do so. We seem to be in somewhat of a halfway state with our current generation of kids – I remember being addressed as “Miss Kendra” when I was working with kids. It’s really just not the same. There’s still an air of familiarity there that doesn’t command the same amount of respect. Add that to the fact that most people seem to pepper their speech with curse words. There are some places (most, to be frank) where that is just not appropriate. And let’s just get it out there that the workplace is one of them. Do you want to be promoted and recognized for your accomplishments? Be professional and respectful always as a start. You are a representative of the organization that you work for, and people judge your organization based on how you conduct yourself.

Along with respect, I think we’ve also lost the art of conversation. People are used to the anonymity of the internet, which allows them to say whatever they are thinking without many consequences. Face to face, some have the tendency to speak the same way. Nothing ends a conversation faster than sarcasm or insults. People no longer have a hesitation about bringing up traditionally polarizing subjects – politics or religion, for example – which makes it worse. Now, granted, I’m not saying that we should always stick to safe conversations, however if you are attending a company party and need to make small talk with your boss or your boss’ boss (or higher up than that) it’s probably best to be able to make safe conversation. There is a time and a place for debates, and that is not it. (It’s also not a time for excessive drinking or acting badly, but that’s a conversation for another time.) It’s important to be able to speak to a variety of people and to make them feel comfortable. While people may put down the idea that being well-like is a good thing (‘I don’t care what people think of me, this is who I am’), keep in mind that this life is not just about you. It’s about making those around you feel comfortable, respected, and cared for. (Love your neighbor as yourself, anyone?)

The idea of respect is so fundamental, and it’s probably the key ‘thing that’s missing’ and the lack of respect could be the root cause of a lot of problems in the world. I think a lack of respect leads to a lack of empathy, which leads to issues like bullying.

Maybe we should go back to teaching about relationships and respect in schools. And in the home.

Where do you see that a little bit of respect would solve a problem? Do you agree that being able to have conversations with just about anyone is important?


Sewist, knitter, reader, dancer. Wife. Lover of things vintage and retro.


  1. […] The Vintage Life October 19, 2014 […]