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I was just thinking about… manners

By K.B. Sherman

Recently, my wife and I ate supper at our favorite restaurant. It’s nothing fancy, just a nice family place with good food at good prices and generous servings of your favorite beverage. As we placed our order, a young couple sat-down at a table perhaps ten feet  away and diagonally from me across the isle. The man was wearing a small, sleeveless T-shirt, so I got to spend my dinner having to view his naked armpits while I ate. Call me old-fashioned, but that was utterly rude and inconsiderate of him, not to mention unsanitary. At another table a woman was noisily gabbling into her cell phone so loudly that at times it overrode my conversation with my wife.

In traffic, at a red light. One car ahead of me. Nice SUV. Is there anyone driving it? Oh, yes; his head is down, looking at his lap. Texting. Texting. Light turns green. SUV doesn’t move. Wait, one, two, three, four. Beep my horn. Nothing. Beep again. Guy’s head jerks up, he starts to move as light turns red again. Great. I have to wait until the next green light.

At supermarket in Westborough. Sign at register says “twelve items or less.” I have six items in my basket as I approach the check-out. Women dashes in front of me with her cart. Puts items on conveyor. Sixteen, seventeen, eighteen. Doesn’t give me a glance.

What had until not long ago been considered common sense manners seems to have evaporated. People in public now act as if they are sitting in their own kitchens. How they dress, how they talk, how they act is becoming increasingly disruptive and rude to those around them. We can all relate recent stories of having been in some public place and been terrorized by some child running amok while their parent stands by, eyes glazed, as if listening to a radio station no one else can hear.

Manners is the word we give to the way we expect others to act in a social situation. How awful that manners have been replaced by a decree that selfishness and hollow self-esteem now be paramount.

The views in this blog only express those of the writer and not the Community Advocate staff or its advertisers.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=26049

Posted by on Sep 11 2012. Filed under Byline Stories, Neighbors in the news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

1 Comment for “I was just thinking about… manners”

  1. I recently read an article by a man who had just started work at a school in a low-income neighborhood. When asked to chaperone a field trip, he answered,”Sure, Where are we going?” While he thought it would be a museum, it turned out that the kids – and any parents who wanted – were going to a “sit-down” restaurant. “How lame,” he thought, but then found out that most of them had never been to one, and the goal was to teach them to dress appropriately, wait to be seated, read a menu, order, pay, and calculate a tip.

    Maybe your experiences had little to do with “manners … selfishness and hollow self-esteem.” I’m not suggesting that it is ALWAYS a lack of knowledge, but there is that chance.

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