Happiest of Thursdays, ladies and gents. Today on the quest for all things
gentleman, let's discuss the calling card, and let's bring it back.
Back in the day before Facebook and what have you, a gentleman would leave a
lady with a simple calling card- all you need is your name and phone number
and anything else you'd like to put that makes this card your very own paper
version of social networking. Obviously you want to go with a quality stock,
and I prefer a more vintage look- but you can personalize at will and make
this little card all you.
I can't think of a cooler way to let a lady know you are interested in her
company than handing her a card with your name and number on it. Not only
does this flip the script in terms of who calls who first (a relief beyond
belief), but it's also a way to show you have some values and manners and
above all, gentlemanly good taste. I've attached some examples of some nice
ones, but also putting a link below to an excellent article about calling
card etiquette and a fascinating history of said card.
I find it quite charming and yes, it's old fashioned, but in a really lovely
way. The calling card is different than the business card as its really just
about you as a person and less about your hedge fund or publishing career.
The calling card is polite and simple and I for one am calling for a return
to this very cool way to send a message that you would like to get to know
someone better. In terms of closing the deal, you're on your own for that.
Here's an excerpt from the article from The Art of Manliness site:
19th Century Calling Card Etiquette
The giving and receiving of calling cards developed a very elaborate set of
rituals and rules that every gentleman tried to master. While one¹s modern
sensibilities might find these rigid formalities laughable, I¹ve got to say
there¹s a certain appeal to it. Far more dignified than poking someone on
Facebook, wouldn¹t you say?. Just in case you step through a time warp and
land in the 19th century, here¹s your calling card etiquette survival guide.
On a first visit to a household, a gentleman gave one card to each lady of
A married man had a medium sized card, while an unmarried man had a smaller
card. Men¹s cards were always smaller than women¹s.
When calling upon the lady of the house, if she was not home, but her
daughter was, the gentleman sent in his card and departed, as it was not
usual for a young lady to receive calls from a gentleman unless they were
very intimate friends.
Special significance was given to the turning down of the card¹s corners:
A visit in person (as opposed to being sent by a servant): the right hand
A congratulatory visit: the left hand upper corner
A condolence visit: the left hand lower corner
Taking leave (if you were going on a long trip): right hand lower corner
If there were two of more ladies in the household, the gentleman turned down
a corner of the card to indicate that the call was designed for the whole
Initialing a calling card
Gentleman would also inscribe initials upon the card to denote the reason
for his visit. The initials stood for the following French words:
p. f. congratulations (pour féliciter)
p. r. expressing one¹s thanks (pour remercier)
p. c. mourning expression (pour condoléance)
p. f. N. A. Happy New Year (pour feliciter Nouvel An)
p. p. c. meaning to take leave (pour prendre congé)
p. p. if you want to be introduced to anybody, send your visiting card
The full article link is below...enjoy- and that's where the card falls this
cloud filled Thursday in Miami. XO http://artofmanliness.com/2008/09/07/the-gentlemans-guide-to-the-calling-car