Etiquette rules for sitting in a car for social occasions differ from sitting in business situations. The social rules of car travel are particularly important when a man opens the door for a woman and when couples are in the car. Smart people who want to climb the ladder of success know the rules and follow them to the letter.
In social situations, good manners require a well mannered man to help a lady into the car from the curb before going around the car to let himself in. Ladies, everyone knows you can open your own doors, but some of you are missing the point. Before 5 p.m. you can be a lioness in the office. After 5 p.m., however, you might do well to loosen up, turn into a kitten, and stop robbing your man of his manhood. Men, don’t be clueless! Paying attention is a subtlety that an elegant woman doesn’t miss. Even a simple gesture like opening the car door for her sends a message that you believe she is worthy of being treated like a princess and you are proud to be seen with her. If you have to, fake it until it becomes a part of you.
How couples sit down when traveling together is an indication of their social class. When two working-class men and two women travel together, the two men sit in the front seats of the car and the women in the back seats. In the middle class, one pair sits in the front and the other pair sits in the back. Upper class people choose a different arrangement. The wife of one couple sits in the front with the male driver of the other couple, while her companion sits in the back seat with the driver’s partner. The man in the back seat gives the woman the right of way by giving her the place of honor – passenger side in the back. The assumption of this seating arrangement is that a couple spends a lot of time talking to each other. A mixed seating arrangement encourages conversation, fulfilling the purpose of being with others – to share colorful conversations, news and ideas with everyone.
Does all this sound a bit pretentious? Maybe, but if you’re interested in joining the Social Club, you’ll need to adjust your behavior and thinking to the rules of acceptable behavior regarding automannering as in all areas of etiquette.