Meet and Greet


One endearing custom regularly modeled on Downton Abbey is the gathering of the household outside the door to welcome guests. The family members and servants wait as the cars approach the house and the guests disembark.

The quiet formality marks the moment, punctuates the arrival.

I like these manners, I guess, because they are familiar. I have my own house rule: when a scheduled guest arrives I want to be outside my house, focused on my guest’s arrival. I want my posture to say, “this—THIS—is the highlight of my day!” The risotto may need stirring, but that’s unimportant compared to a direct look, a smile, a welcoming hug or handshake.

I’m not as careful about rising when a guest/older person walks into the room; I didn’t grow up with this point of etiquette. But it’s not too late to cultivate it.


10 thoughts on “Meet and Greet

  1. Good morning! YES I love the hellos and goodbyes in the driveway at Downton. I saw a “behind the scenes” bonus clip where they show that everyone has to walk on special surfaces because the gravel is so dang loud.

    I also love how the folks downstairs rise when Carson enters or leaves. These were days of ceremony and civility that you don’t see much of these days. When I’m on a tram and a young person rises to give their seat to someone older or infirm, I want to stand and cheer. Instead I give them a smile and a nod, like I’m their auntie – just to show I’m noticing.

    thanks for this, Carol. Drinking my first cup of coffee right now 🙂

    side note: makes me sigh to see Matthew in the above photo. Bless.

  2. One of the nice benefits of DA are the manners. I did not raise my daughter as formally as I was raised, but I keep fine-tuning. 😉

  3. meet and greet manners were instilled (installed) in us from a very young age! i still rise for an elder or for that matter any person that enters a room…an example of this meet and greet matter at a door (a family member that has taken it a bit to the extreme) “you first”…..”no, you first”…..”no, you go first”….”no, really, you can go first.” She’s in her eighties, and she still does it…but we love her for that.

    i’ll have to watch DA it seems…?

    • I love how rising when a person enters the room shows respect.

      As for Downton Abbey, it is a mixed bag, and I hate to admit it, but a glorified soap opera. I love period pieces and good writing so I give a pass to some stuff I find objectionable.

  4. Pingback: Meet and Greet Redux | A Living Pencil

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