Hi, that would be me, the etiquette nazi, though “nazi” might be a bit of an over-exaggeration. I will readily admit to being uber passionate about proper etiquette & good manners. And I will also readily admit to not being perfect. I mean, I’m sure that there has been a slip-up or two on my part over the past 30-something years … perhaps an emailed thank you note instead of a written one, or that time I forgot to thank my sister-in-law for the present she sent to The Boy until 3 weeks later! Oops! Sorry. I know we get busy, but I believe that good manners are the cornerstone of our society & they are sadly becoming a romantic nuance of past generations.
Do you know how many people no longer hold the door for someone? I’m literally on the heels of someone who casually looks back to see if there’s anyone behind them, they see me, and instead of holding the door an extra SECOND, they let it slam in my face! It happens so frequently that when someone DOES hold the door open, I thank them profusely & in such an exaggerated fashion, so as to let them know that PLEASE DON’T STOP BEING KIND TO STRANGERS, SOME OF US REALLY DO APPRECIATE IT!
I’m really getting tired of how slovenly & lazy society has become. It’s making me feel old. And grumpy. I mean, how hard is it to shoot someone a “thank you” via text, email, or facebook? I’m not even asking you to pick up the phone or to write a hand-written note and (gasp!) put a stamp on it and mail it to me! I know you’re busy, so am I. Which is why, when I go out of my way to bake a homemade lasagna because an acquaintance just had a baby, I really don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a quick “thank you so much, it was delicious” text / email / post to my facebook wall. Even if it wasn’t delicious, that’s what you do. (It was delicious. I know because I made one for my family, too.) Do you know how it makes me feel? Like I never want to go out of my way for that person again. And I won’t. But someone’s bad manners shouldn’t dictate my generosity.
Or how about the friend who never acknowledges the gifts I buy for her child each year on his birthday & Christmas. I would stop buying him gifts, but that would only punish the kid & not her, the clueless person with zero etiquette. How do people live this way? I don’t get it. It’s not like I’m judging you on which fork you use, for Pete’s sake, just be POLITE & KIND.
I’m teaching my son manners: the socially correct way of acting, (as defined by my dictionary.)
The Boy knew the signs for “please” and “thank you” before he could speak. He says “please” and “thank you” now that he can talk – most times without being prompted by me. I’m teaching him to hold the door for people and pull out the chair for a lady (or a little girl.) I am also teaching YOUR kids manners, even if you are not. The other day 2 little girls asked me to hand them straws & lids for their sodas – they were about 6 or 7 years old. I handed them the lids & after several moments, I prompted them gently, “thank you.” And their dad was standing right behind me!!! Come on people. It’s not that difficult to be polite … we need to teach our kids to be polite otherwise we’ll end up as savage animals. Manners are what separates the two-leggeds from the four-leggeds, and it’s getting pretty scary when some dogs are more polite than some humans I’ve met.