The value of etiquette, even when no one’s watching
My family is certainly not of Cotillion descent.
We grew up learning “please” and “thank you”, waiting your turn, opening doors — generally accepted politeness.
It was working in hospitality that I learned how to present a bottle of wine, the etiquette of pouring glasses, little nuances of serving and clearing tables, being a good host, and the like. No formal certifications or anything — to sum it all up, you’re simply thinking as much about the other person(s) as possible, so far to even anticipate needs they’re not aware of yet.
I try to use these lessons to help keep me civilized whenever possible. For instance, when I brew coffee, even if no one is around I fill the other mug first. These little ceremonies are actually friendly reminders that I appreciate on a regular basis.