July 19, 2005
I've been called brutish, boorish, bookish and bothersome. I know that I don't hold my fork properly, and I don't always stand when a lady enters a room. I've been known to swear constantly and to walk around the department sans footwear, not to mention my liberal use of the horn while driving. My parents taught me certain manners that I still try to practice. I'm only 25, so this can't be some super old-fashioned thing. I cannot accept that the fact that I say please and thank you and good morning is some antediluvian pseudo-chivalry. Or that expecting other people to do the same is being snobbish. I've blogged about people's manners before, and I know that there have been some recent stories in the news saying that uber-busy families take classes now to learn manners. So forgive me for not being comprehensive, comprehensible or compliant. One of the first things that struck me when I moved to the "Heartland" is how nice people here can be, despite their questionable manners. In Boston, I was moved by people's generally good manners, but chilly dispositions. I know it's unfair to make such generalizations, since two or three Bostonians took their noses out of their books on the subway to chat with a Southerner on occasion during my two-year sojourn in Beantown. And I know that some nice gentlemen around here have been more than polite to me on numerous occasions. I'm just saying is all. Like I said, despite the fact that people around here will cut you off in traffic and butt in front of you at Panera Bread, they are nice. And they do display the most basic manners at times. When I hold the door for someone at Panera Bread, they do thank me before they cut in front of me in line two minutes later, lol. Small kids say excuse me and thank you all the time around here. I think the lapses in manners come from self-absorption, rather than selfishness. So what kind of scummy, bratty, selfish, jackass of a person does it take to have the worse manners a person can have? I mean, when someone shares something with you that was shared with them, through taking the time to do what it takes to transmit this information, what do you do? When they give it to you, do you say nothing, "Good," or "Thank you"? Come on. When you leave a room that contains people you know, you say "Bye" when you leave. Why is this not obvious? When you enter a room with someone you know, you say "Hello" or some such. I should prove what an ass you are and not say "Howdy" to you next time you come into the room. I'll bet you won't greet me or anyone else. Better yet. Don't come around. Now that I think of it, your specific brand of rudeness comes not from a lack of manners but from a lapse of human decency. Lacking the basics like greetings and thank you's is beyond a matter of manners and is an indication of a deeper flaw. You are indecent. I said it. But you don't read this blog, so I'm typing into space. Because you don't how to get to this blog. Because, although I try hard all the time to like you, I don't really like you that much, and I never told you the address, even though you've asked me for it several times. Because you're not as smart as you want us all to think you are and cannot find it on your own. Because your rudeness comes from a sour core that I can't do anything about and really don't feel like dealing with anymore.