Etiquetteer recently attended a memorial service for a Public Figure, and had this to observe:
- Perfectly Proper dress is most important at a funeral or memorial service when respect is shown both to the dead and to the living. While Etiquetteer naturally prefers black - always Perfectly Proper in the West - many tasteful and respectful ensembles in black, gray, and white were observed. Down jackets and flannel shirts, regardless of the weather - and Etiquetteer does understand that this has been a brutal winter - simply are not Perfectly Proper.
- For such events, Etiquetteer wears a black necktie that incorporates stripes of purple and silver gray, having learned that the combination of black and purple symbolizes triumph over death. Etiquetteer tends to avoid wearing a black bow tie with a plain black suit, as too many people believe it's pretending to be a tuxedo - which it certainly is not!
- To leave a funeral or memorial service before it has ended is the Height of Bad Form, no matter how much longer it continues than you expected. Etiquetteer was outraged to see between 10-20% of the assembly scurry out. At such times your convenience means NOTHING! This is not an entertainment for your benefit or curiosity. Remain seated and attentive until the service is definitely over - or at least remain seated, close your eyes, and think of England.
- For Heaven's sake, turn off your devices before the service begins! Etiquetteer counted three cellphone interruptions (two possibly from the same phone). If you can't prevent yourself the embarrassment (should you be incapable of feeling embarrassment), at least prevent the rest of us the annoyance. Sadly, it's become necessary to indicate at least by signs of printed announcements, if not by a verbal announcement, that devices must be switched of.