Life as I know it… plus commentary

It’s only proper…

with 7 comments

The theme of this week seems to be manners.  I’ve noticed that many people seemed to have lost all semblance of etiquette.  I didn’t realize how important this was to me until I noticed how little of it was around.

I, to my horror, found myself at the ghetto Ralph’s and for once there were more than one checker available.  I got in line, waited for the lady (who seemed completely baffled by the ATM) to finish.  I said hello to the cashier, who said hello back.  She rang me up, gave me my total and my change and then walked away to talk to her friend the bagger.  No “thank you.”  That’s just weird to me.  Seems like unfinished business.  Like playing a G7  at the end of a song and then walking away.

I was walking into the courtyard of the Encino office when a man (who I was guessing to be a seller of insurance by his TJ Max business clothes) hung up his cell phone and burped louder than a sea lion as I passed.  Yeah I did…. I yelled “RUDE! and kept walking.  Score one for my side.

Another time, I’m in line at Starbucks and this old guy (for Dustin: an old feller) is adding cream and sugar to his Americano.  And he farts.  The two teenage girls behind me grow plate sized eyes.  He farts again and continues mixing.  The girls mouth “Oh my God” to each other.  And the old feller walks off and farts again.  By this time the girls have broken into fits of giggles.  Sure, it was funny.  Old guy at Starbucks can’t control the walking farts.  But seriously.  Did he think that was OK to do?

Mostly, I don’t think people do this stuff to be crass.  I think most people are so self absorbed about what they feel like doing that they dont consider the fact they are part of a network of relationships.  People have lost  the idea that we function as a society, a network, a group, a circle of friends and focus solely on private, individual desires and motivations.

Part of what started this is a conversation I had with Jonathan.  I asked… I’m walking back from Starbucks.  Is it considered rude to eat a sandwich while you’re walking down the street?  We decided it wasn’t rude.  Just not necessarily classy.  

I’d love to see the return of that.  I’m not talking about wearing a top hat and a monocle while you laugh over your champagne glass at people who like emo music.  Class is holding a door open for someone with full hands.  Or letting the person with one item go in front of you.  Or letting the person trying to back out room to get out rather than accelerating to get past first.  Class is going to a weird party just because the person thinks highly of you and it’s the polite thing to do.  It’s doing the thing you don’t necessarily want to do but doing it because it’s right, shows respect for people and honors relationship.  I’m going to work on class more, I think.  It’s something you can never have too much of.


Written by arnold

August 17, 2007 at 12:23 pm

Posted in Culture

7 Responses

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  1. True.


    August 17, 2007 at 12:35 pm

  2. Bravo! I find myself saying “seriously?!” a lot each day (either in my head or out loud) due to people’s rude and/or thoughtless behavior. There are times when I am pleasantly surprised by people using nice manners… I can’t think of any examples right now, but I remember the pleasantly surprised feeling! :o)

    Shunshine Girl

    August 17, 2007 at 4:35 pm

  3. I didn’t see you at Starbucks. Weird.

    Matt Boyd

    August 17, 2007 at 10:18 pm

  4. I thought that might have been you. I’d have said hi but the gas made it all awkward. Haha.


    August 18, 2007 at 8:55 am

  5. I just read a really good book titled “Generation Me,” about how a society that focused on kids raised a bunch of self-involved adults. I think that’s a large part of the problem–when you believe the universe revolves around you, you tend not to care what effect your behavior has on others.

    Of course, it could just be that I’m becoming an old fuddy-duddy who likes to say “Back when I was young….” One can never be sure. Excuse me now, I need to go tell those kids to get off my lawn. 😉

    Peggy C

    August 19, 2007 at 11:54 pm

  6. You’ve seen the Liberty Mutual commercials, right? Here’s one.

    I hate the ghetto Ralphs!


    August 25, 2007 at 3:39 pm

  7. At my age, I have met many people. Rich, poor, young, old, educated (and not), lower/middle/upper class….and it comes down to one thing… can’t buy class! (ie: Britney Spears….you can take the girl outta the trailer park, but you can’t take the trailer park outta the girl)


    August 25, 2007 at 4:43 pm

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