So, I’m from Texas. And anyone who is a red-blooded ‘Merican knows that Texans are known for their Southern Hospitality and are among the most polite and welcoming people around. I’ve heard from MANY of my foreign friends that they love Texas because “everyone is just so nice.” And, for the most part, this is true, which is why I wanna re-intro not only Texans, but the world, to the basics of common courtesy.
I could possibly write an entire novel on this subject, but for the sake of brevity, let’s cut this down to the following subtopics:
- Common courtesy words (please, thank you, excuse me, etc)
- Common courtesy spatial recognition (get out of my mother-fucking way)
- Common courtesy time recognition (get off the damn phone and handle yo bid-ness)
Common Courtesy Words
As I mentioned, I’m a southern gal and I was raised by my grandparents and dad to ALWAYS express gratitude and respect towards EVERYONE – from the janitor to the CEO – for small acts of kindness or thoughtfulness. To this day I write ‘thank you’ notes. When people hold the door open for me I say ‘thank you.’ When the guy in traffic lets me in to the lane I give him a wave. When I need a favor I say ‘please.’ When I need by someone I say ‘excuse me.’ These are all small, menial everyday occurrences in normal life. And more and more I feel as if I’m an anomaly. What the hell happened to teaching children how to be polite?
Not too long ago, a former friend of mine and I met (with her two kids) for lunch. We sat in a booth that backed up to another booth. The kids were TERRIBLE. They were crawling under the table, picking food off their mom’s plate without asking, turning around to the other booth and staring at the other patrons eating their lunch…it literally took all my will power not to grab those children and pop them on their little butts for being little rude shits. So, in my attempt to try to herd those cats, one of the kids was staring at the people behind us so I told the kid to sit down and face us. He didn’t listen. He just continued on in his own world (he was 5 at the time). The other kid was reaching across to grab a home-fry (that’s skillet fried potatoes here in the south) from my plate and I stopped her (she was 3) and told her to ask politely. My friend interjected saying that she allows her children to learn through ‘trial and error’ and that they don’t have to say please or thank you unless they want to (cue Hiroshima bomb exploding in my head).
- Those kids are going to spawn more kids which will spawn more kids and eventually infest this world with total lack of respect and propriety which means we all just need to drink the Kool-Aid and start over.
- Kids SHOULD learn by trial and error – They try to disrespect me or people around them and they’ll quickly learn the error of their ways…(I’m not advocating spankings, but I’m not saying they don’t have their place)
- THIS, ladies and gentlemen, is the reason our world is going to hell…raising kids to do whatever the hell they please without respect for others or manners is the number one killer on this planet.
Look, I’m not a parent, but I GET that rearing children is probably the hardest job in the world….but you chose to be in this situation so you have an obligation to the human race to do your very best in instilling respect and a sense of propriety into your kids so that they may co-exist with the rest of the world who is trying hard to not murder ungrateful idiots on the daily.
I’m just saying, if you love your kids and value their safety, start incorporating a “please, thank you, excuse me” policy into their daily vocabulary. Trust me…they’ll thank you as adults….and so will the rest of the world (see what I did there? Common courtesy comes full circle).
Common Courtesy Spatial Recognition
For all that is holy, move the fuck over. Biggest pet peeves of mine (and I’m sure for a lot of you) include:
- Moseying straight down the middle of the grocery aisle completely in your own little world and stopping to read spaghetti sauce labels…still in the middle of the aisle.
- Walking/Jogging down a path and someone’s shoe comes untied so they decide the BEST place for them to tie it is in the middle of the god-damned sidewalk.
- Group of people standing outside a restaurant taking up the entire walk way while you’re trying to make your way to your car…on crutches (I threw that last bit in there because this happened last night to me.)
- Taking your sweet-ass time looking closely at an exhibit or a view whilst a line of people behind you are trying to do the same damn thing.
- Walking at a turtle’s pace in the middle of the path at a public venue while the rest of the world is trying to get by
- Talking on a speaker phone in a public area.
- Talking on a cell phone and attempting to walk at the same time.
I’m sure you can insert other excruciatingly frustrating scenarios but the bottom line is – YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY PERSON IN THIS WORLD! There really and truly are people who exist in the same space as you so show some common courtesy and be AWARE of your surroundings…if you have to stop for something, move over so you can allow a path of least resistance for people. If you have to make a phone call, you don’t need to be on speaker phone…raise that shit to your ear like the rest of us cell phone users and stop polluting our auditory space. Also, if you cannot multitask and talk on the phone and walk at an adult pace, pull your shit over, have a seat and have your convo in your own space…
Common Courtesy Time Recognition
- Put the mother fucking phone down when you’re checking out at a store…ANY store.
- Get over in the right lane if you are going at or below the speed limit…leave that left lane for us speedsters who want to risk our driving record
- If you say you’re going to be somewhere at a certain time, you better do EVERYTHING in your power to respect our time and be there
To sum up today’s lesson:
- Please teach your children manners – If you are a product of a “free range” household, let me know because you might need a more intensive lesson…like a book…to the face…of your parents.
- Be aware of your surroundings. This isn’t just street-smarts, people. This is knowing and accepting that you are not the center of the universe and you have to co-exist with other humans who also need to go places in a timely fashion.
- Respect time. We don’t all have enough of it so, as you’re coming to the realization that you need to be more selfless and cognizant of space, recognize, also, that “space” includes time — don’t waste mine or anyone else’s.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s CLE lesson. Until next time – don’t be a douche, please and thank you.