I recently read an article in the NY times about the dissipation of manners in the South.
To be specific, there were two black men sitting at a bar and there were white women behind them standing. The bartender asked if the gentlemen would give up their seats so the ladies could sit down. If some of you have forgotten, correct manners dictate that if a woman is standing, and a man is sitting, it should be customary to ask the woman if she woud like to take your seat.
Well, these two guys would have none of those manners, chivalry, do the right thing stuff. They immediately got into an altercation with the bar owner and the next thing you know, it’s in the court system with the bar being sued for $3 million in damages because the men said it was a “racist thing”. The bar owner won. But, after I read the article I immediately had flashbacks to similar experiences here…..way up North – us “Yankees”, who have had sudden lapses of short term memory, or maybe no memory whatsoever because you weren’t taught manners, on how to behave yourself when it comes to a woman.
Yeah, yeah….burn the bra! Equal Rights! I’ll open my own damn door! You’re pushing my chair out for me?? Do you want me to fall and look like an idiot? Who said you could order my meal for me? I’ll drink what I want to drink! WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?
I think correct manners on how to behave between a man and woman have gone by the wayside because parents are too busy driving their kids to karate, football, baseball, soccer, ballet and horseshoe throwing practice. There is no time for a family dinner anymore. There is no time to even have a discussion….unless you’re in the car. At a stop light, or going thru a drive thru.
Text messaging rules the day, and don’t even pick up the phone to call me and break up; I know it’s not worth your “wireless minutes”.
Teaching manners starts young, people. I remember teaching my son at the ripe old age of ten on how he should always open doors for people (regardless if they were men or women), and to respect his elders. People were always quite impressed with him opening doors for them and made several comments on what a gentleman he was.
“Yes, please.” “No thank you.” and, “Trick or Treat”.
Yes, “Trick or Treat”. Kids don’t say it anymore. They just hold out their bag and expect a hand out. BUT….. I had a refreshing moment in my new town. Mostly all the children said, “Trick or Treat” and “Thank You”. Why? You can thank their parents for it.
However, whenever I went out in public, I seemed to recall two hideous “Gorilla” moments, when I felt like telling the guy, “Quit dragging your knuckles and use some manners!”
1. A young man is walking ahead of me to go into a store. He opens the door and promptly shuts it behind him (it almost felt like it was on purpose), leaving me to open the door while I still smelled his cologne in the air. Picture someone squeezing into a door when it could have been pulled wide open. That’s what this guy did. Guys, do me a favor: Open up doors for a lady – car doors, store doors, house doors….whatever. And, ladies? Equal Rights – You do the same!
2. I saw an old woman with a walker slowly making her way into a grocery store a few weeks ago. She had difficulty getting the door open to the store because the automatic door opener wasn’t working properly. I actually saw a kid – probably 18 or so, step right past her and didn’t bother to help her out. What the hell is the matter with people? When I got up to the door, I pushed it open for her so she could manage to get inside. Remember one thing: You’ll be old one day too.
Did you drop something while your hands were still full? Did anyone ever stop to give you a hand to pick it up for you, or did they walk right by? Remember being at Costco with a crapload of heavy supplies like detergent, lysol and bulk potatoes, and the sack of potatoes opened up and you saw them rolling into the parking lot uncontrollably like metal balls in a pinball machine? Did anyone stop to help you pick up the potatoes? Remember the time at the checkout counter when the old couple had forgotten to get a box of cereal and you were standing right behind them? Did you offer to go get it for them so they wouldn’t have to? (This is for purely selfish reasons because it would take waaaaay too long to get it themselves).
All of the above happened to me. The potatoes? Half the sack – GONE. And, I did get the cereal for the old couple.
This is what I think, and don’t call me a screwball because I honestly think this: God comes in all shapes and sizes. God could be that old woman who needed help getting thru those doors. God could be that person who has their hands full and dropped something but had a hard time picking it up.
God Tests You.
When you enter those pearly gates you see a family movie of YOU. All your fuck ups. All your great achievements. All your happy moments and all your saddest. God will not judge you – he doesn’t have to. If you have a conscience, you’ve already judged yourself.
So before it’s too late, learn or re-learn those simple manners mom and dad taught you. If mom and dad didn’t teach you, look online and search under “COMMON SENSE”.
Do unto others…….