Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Getting back to the days of "please" and "thank you"...

Vanessa here...

You know...people just talk too much about things they should keep inside. It's like that skit from Saturday Night Live (or maybe it was the old Kids in the Hall, can't remember) where there was the guy with No Internal Monologue. Or maybe that was Austin Powers...I don't know, but that's not the point! The point is, people have to voice their every thought and emotion at every second of the day, regardless of who might be listening or take what they say as intrusive or offensive. And they have to insert themselves into other people's lives and conversations when it's not necessary or asked for.

We've been programmed as a nation to voice our shows, call in radio programs, news websites with viewer feedback, CNN, C-SPAN (oh yeah, let's bitch about politics), FOX (don't make me watch that), the reality TV shows that make you call a phone number or vote through a see, we've been told that OUR opinions matter. What do YOU think? What does HE think? What does that baby over there think? And it's so overdone that it's to the point now where everyone has forgotten one of the little gems of our childhood that (most of) our parents taught us:

Mind your own business leave others alone. You have
enough business of your own.

Your grandmother told you that...didn't she? Come on, I can't be the only one. (She also told me "Patience is a Virtue. Virtue is a Grace. Both put together is a very pretty face." But, we won't go there on that least not today.)

Don't you think that people can't mind their own business these days? It seems no matter what I do or where I go, there's always someone sticking their nose in where it doesn't belong, making a comment, or generally interfering. At the grocery store ("Oh, I bought that ham last week, it's delicious"...did I ask you?!) or in line at the dry cleaner ("you know you're not supposed to clean suede" I need to admit it's not real suede?) or at work "watch that you don't bang your head on the cabinet" I look so stupid that I'm going to randomly go bash my head on a cabinet I can plainly see?)

Now some people might say it's people being nice or trying to be helpful, but it's not. It's that insatiable urge to tell everyone what to do. Mothers are constantly telling their kids "Jimmy, don't do that" or "Susie, don't touch those" that they naturally let that come out of their heads in the grocery store or in line somewhere, oftentimes directing at people they don't know, will never see again and have no business correcting or bossing around. It drives me insane.

I don't know if this is a New England thing or an American thing. But is it just me? Am I the only person who's told things by complete strangers as if they're teaching me a lesson or instructing me on something I'm obviously too stupid to figure out on my own? Is it because I look so young? Do I look like I'm going to step out into traffic? Why do I have to be told this? Do I look like I need a comment on the state of political affairs all because I'm carrying a Boston Metro with some crazy headline on it?

People need to just be quiet. Take a deep breath and ask themselves, "is it really important that I involve myself in fill-in-the-blank?" This would ease work miscommunication, altercations at the Post Office (remember Mr. It's Against Federal Law to Touch?), road rage, commuter craziness, the pain of standing in long lines or even shuffling through the chicken specials at the market. It's not necessary to voice every thought or opinion. That's what blogs are for, dammit.

I just want us to go back to the days of manner. Good, old fashioned, run-of-the mill, plain and simple manners. Here's my wish list...I don't think it's too unrealistic...

  1. Do unto others. (Before they have a chance to do unto you...ha! Old joke!)
  2. Be kind and courteous.
  3. Don't talk with your mouth full of food.
  4. Say "please" and "thank you."
  5. Open doors for people.
  6. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  7. Don't burp (or fart) where other people can hear you (or smell it.)
  8. Give up your seat on the train to an old person.
  9. Don't insert yourself into other people's conversations.

I think if everyone practiced these things, the world would be a better place.

Okay...enough of my ranting for one day...thank you for reading. (See...I said "thank you.")

DoubleVee (needing a double latte...)


Anonymous Fred Wick said...

I'm glad someone said this. I couldn't agree with you more. I'll remember to say please and thank you today. ;)

8:29 AM  

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