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Are Manners and Chilvary Dead?


When I was coming up, my mother instilled in me and my siblings, proper etiquette and manners. Please, Thank You, No Thank You, Excuse Me, Pardon Me and all those other niceties are ingrained in my brain. There are some subjects that shouldn’t be talked about in public. I’m by no means bragging but i also have the good manners not to belch, foul language isn’t in my vocabulary (even though the characters I write use expletives at times), clean up after myself, and over talk another person. If you see someone carrying something, man, woman, whatever, hold the door open for them. Taking the lessons she taught me, sometimes I’m aghast when I run into people who don’t follow the same code of respecting and being courteous to others.

This blog came about because I was at the movies earlier today to see The Butler with my mother and sisters. The lights are dim and the theater is playing commercials until the trailers start. Mom is in the aisle seat and I’m about six seats from her with my sisters in between. A woman comes up the stairs carrying popcorn, nachos, and a large drink and trips up the stairs. She falls and drops her food and drink. Are you okays are going all around and a guy comes down from above us and helps her. The bystanders recommend she replace her food, which she does. The man who I assumed was also a bystander is really her ‘man’ if that’s what you want to call him, takes the drink and heads back to his seat. STOP the record.

Okay, it’s bad enough that this poor woman was carrying all this stuff by herself, while the man who’s probably snoring in her face every night is sitting on his butt, waiting on her to bring it. But the lady fell, probably hurt her knee and is embarassed and this Neanderthal sends her to get more food while he’s relaxing in his reclining stadium style chair. Okay, he may not be the most chivalrous guy, I’ll give him that. Go ahead and take chivalry out of the equation. Common decency would be for him to say: Hey honey, have a seat don’t worry about it. I’ll go replace the food. Needless to say, I was hoping she would take that as a lesson, get in her car and leave his trifling behind at the movies snackless. Unfortunately she did come back with new snacks. All I have to say is God bless her. Hopefully she wakes up one day.

That incident got me thinking about the lack of manners I see in people today, from the young to the old. I’ve been in stores sometimes and have some old lady just breeze right by me without so much as a pardon me. Or last week at the office I swipe my badge and open the door for some guy to basically try to bum rush me to get through. Hello! I opened the door for me, not you! There’s the girl at the office who drinks pop all day and proceeds to belch out loud when the need arises. Okay enough of that! How about my coworker who sits at my desk when I’m off and leaves questionable hair on my desk and coffee rings? Nasty. Or I’m taking my break and overhear an overly loud cell phone conversation involving a boyfriend visiting a strip club, punching his girlfriend in the eye and her shooting him in the chest. Okay TMI. I do not need to know this.

Having grown up with my mother’s lessons and going out seeing all this around me causes something of a sensory overload. Bad manners and poor etiquette are everywhere, making me grateful that I do know better. It doesn’t matter if etiquette and manners are a thing of the past in today’s world, I’m still going to hold myself at a high standard. Maybe me holding the door open for an old lady or saying thank you when the waitress brings my dinner will pass on the lesson.

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