Montreal Standard, 9 December 1911, page 26

Etiquette of Calling

The commencement of the winter season, and the consequent return of many of the residents to town, brings calling very much to the front once more, and the question at once presents itself as to who should take the initiative and be the first to call—should it be the earliest of the latest arrival?

Practically speaking this doubt is not to be decided by the date of arrival, as it entirely depends upon whom a call is due or from whom it is not due. The one who was the last to call, although she may have been the earliest arrival in town, should await the call still unpaid before repeating her visit to the lady in question.

This point of etiquette, if strictly observed, occasionally leads to some little misapprehension between slight acquaintances, more particularly if one of them happens to have rather defective memory with regard to dates, and is somewhat careless in arranging her visiting list.

On the other hand, others are so punctilious in this respect that they know almost without consulting their visiting book whether a call is due from them or to them, and act in accordance with this knowledge.

Calling in the city differs in a measure from that followed in country society – that it is to say, when friends and acquaintances return to a country neighbourhood, after a long or short absence, the neighbours call upon them as soon as they are aware of their advent, and they themselves do not take the initiative and announce their return by calling save in the case of very intimate friends with whom they do not stand on ceremony.

In this instance it is not a question of who was the last call and from whom a call is due; it is the received rule to call upon those who have returned and therefore it is strictly followed.

The routine of card leaving, so perplexing to many people, is strictly allied to calling, as the two cannot be separated. The card is to announce that a call has been made, and the card reminds the recipient that the call has to be returned. This is thoroughly understood, but it would seem that the number of cards to be left under various circumstances is the occasion of so much uncertainty and doubt.

The hours for calling are somewhat restricted and range from 3 to 6; the more formal calls are usually made during the first calling hour, from 3 to 4, and the more friendly ones from 4 to 6.

In regard to bridal calls, these must be looked upon as the first calls, although the bride before her marriage was included in the calls paid to her mother; but after marriage the call is made to her husband and herself, although the husband may be a comparative stranger to the caller.

The fact of having been present at the wedding requires that a call should be subsequently made upon the young couple, and thus one is actually made, and the cards are only left in the case of the bride not being at home.
In the country the same routine is followed with regard to bridal calls, and, although they are actually first calls, yet if the caller is acquainted with either the bride or the bride-groom, they are surrounded with very little formality.

A married lady, if not accompanied by her husband, should leave two of his cards on departure, one for the wife and one for the husband and should the former not be at home, the caller should leave one of her cards with those of her husband.

[Okay I admit these rules are giving me a headache- how does one keep track? And did the writer own shares in a stationary store- leaving three cards?]

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