Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use. – Emily Post
I may be a hipster in the streets and a femme fatale in the sheets but I am always a lady at the table. Maybe the last thing you expected to read in a blog post from me is a quote from Emily Post? Well, as you will come to see time and time again, I am full of surprises! And, once you think you have me figured out, this chameleon will always pleasantly surprise you. Luckily for you, you can truly have yourself a girl that “can do both” and Ramona Ryder can do a lot more than both.
I can ride motorcycles and horses, both English and Western styles. I can write dirty smut during the exchanges leading up to our next debauch or I can write a proper thank you note after receiving a thoughtful gift. And yes, I do have my own stationery and send handwritten notes often; a letter always says it better. I can cure what ails you as a naughty nurse and have an in-depth conversation about the current state of our healthcare system and insurance industry (and good medical companies in which to invest). I can deny you a taste for hours during a tease and denial session and then satisfy your hunger during a proper dinner date. My behavior can read like a dirty French novel in session and I can translate the menu at a French restaurant after as we discuss French existentialist writers. Reading No Exit in high school was a game changer but my favorite Sartre drama will always be The Flies. I enjoyed the ghosts of Café de Flore during my last visit. And yes, I have eaten many magical meals in Paris and ordered them in French, mais oui, mon cherie!
On the topic of food, I’m always a little surprised when I go to a Michelin-starred restaurant or Zagat favorite in San Francisco on a dinner date to glance over at the next table and see fellow patrons donning jeans. Maybe I should mind my own business or be less judgmental but this New Yorker refuses to adjust her standards to the multitude of faux pas committed frequently in the Bay Area and in this modern age in general. I remember when I first moved to San Francisco I would run into people and they’d ask, “Oh you look nice, where are you going?” And I would flatly reply, “the supermarket” as if being put together was a special occasion! You can rest assured this girl does not own sweatpants!
For as much of a rebel as I am, or at least appear to be, I most importantly believe in certain traditions and protocols, particularly regarding manners. Maybe one does not know how to use the proper fork during a 5-course tasting menu but if one opens doors for me and thanks the waiter, my heart is always filled with the deepest respect. Having proper manners not only shows one’s true character but it is an act of respect to those around you. Emily Post is right in stating, “Whenever two people come together and their behavior affects one another, you have etiquette.” We have a certain etiquette during our email exchanges, our interactions when we first meet, in session, after session, and when we are out in public. Luckily, I do a thorough job screening, so the men with whom I choose to engage with are always respectful and gracious. Emily Post’s statement that, “Good manners reflect something from inside—an innate sense of consideration for others and respect for self” resonates deeply with me. I am a very lucky prurient Princess as my men do hold themselves to this standard!
That said, I do not agree with Emily Post on certain things as times have definitely changed in many ways since her heyday. I most certainly draw the line with this standard of hers, “Keep your hands to yourself!” In my case, please do not do this as it would, after all, be in poor taste and upset your Mistress deeply…unless I have you tied up, in which case, let me have my way with you like a good boy!
xx Ramona Ryder