Thanks for all your comments on my last post on manners. If I haven’t answered I will by tomorrow as I’m a bit under the weather today.
Sometimes there’s nothing like spending a night in with your two best friends, discussing the state of the world and your lives while drinking a couple of bottles of merlot. But the hang-over makes me want to crawl under my covers and do nothing.
Doing nothing especially well is the only thing that I have in common with Seinfeld, except that we’re both Long Island Jews who live on the Upper West Side. I’m probably the only person in the history of the world, who couldn’t stand Seinfeld because I found it to be a rude, arrogant and not particulary interesting show. Then again I might have related a bit too much.
Going back on track, when I was new to blogging, I didn’t answer all my comments. I apologize to anybody I might have missed and will go back in time, and try to find you all. I was so immersed in setting up the structure of my blog, I forgot my manners, and that’s not acceptable.
I used the word “new” instead of “newbie,” because I personally hate that word. It reminds me of “veggie,” “Bloomies,’ and all the other “ies’ words that just turn me off. However I don’t find those words to be rude. They’re just changes in the English language; and English is an ever evolving language.
There are certain things in this world that I don’t understand. When people Instant Message, they just leave to answer another IM or do something else. I understand multi-tasking; I don’t understand just leaving to answer somebody else, or signing off without saying good bye.
That might be just my misunderstanding, but I think that it leads to a bigger problem. When I was a kid my parents would make me say “hello,” and ‘good bye,” with a big smile, to all visitors, even if I hated them or was scared of them. Eventually this became ingrained, and I found that I was rewarded. A smile and a hello work wonders in helping people feel comfortable around you.
Kids today (god do I feel like Paul Lynde in Bye Bye Birdie) usually aren’t forced to greet visitors. Then when they grow older and don’t feel comfortable talking to strangers, their parents begin freaking. It’s a little late when the kid is 25, a college graduate, and still hangs out in his bedroom at his parents house.
Obviously they know how to use the telephone; they spend enough time on their cells. But if they have to answer their parents phone, they revert to one word answers. I don’t like talking on the phone anymore.
E-mails and IM’s allow me to think about what I’m going to say, and I think that IM’ing can provide more honest answers. It could also work the other way. My official stance on this subject is “confused,” which seems to be my stance on much in life these days.
I don’t think that people should walk on the streets talking on cells; they tend not to watch where they’re going, and sometimes get angry at the person that they bump into. Please don’t smoke while walking and talking; I almost had an expensive coat burned once from somebody who wasn’t watching where she was going. I don’ t think that she would have enjoyed the consequences of her actions had I not jumped out of the way.
Cell phones conversations on elevators is just plain rude. With one big cavaet; if you’re on the elevator with a strange looking person who scares you, be sure to tell your 90 pound friend on the other end how much you’re looking forward to seeing your strapping Mafia connected boyfriend who is waiting for you in the lobby.
I’m not even going to get into the cell in cars or public transportation debate, but when I get into a taxi and the driver begins holding a cell phone to his ear, I ask him to stop and let me out of the cab. This is happening less and less.
Taxis play an important part in many New Yorker’s lives. If there is a taxi stand and line, I will always respect the line and will yell at people who try to get a cab without standing in line. It’s merely good manners, and I like organized lines.
However I’m the first to admit that when there isn’t a line I will easily steal one from another person. I do have strict rules about this. I have to be alone, at night, or with a kid under twelve. I will never steal a cab from a pregnant woman, a woman alone, elderly people, the disabled, or people with kids.
This leaves many men, groups of women, and mixed gender groups. Since they’re generally trying to steal from me also, I feel no guilt about this.
I don’t spend $11.50 to go to the movies and listen to other peoples conversations. Yet many people seem to think that the purpose of a movie outing is too catch up with friends. That’s for the hour before the movie begins. That hour includes advertisements but never includes coming attractions, no matter how often you’ve seen them, or how many trailers there are.
Please don’t bring stinky food to the movies. I have an enhanced sense of smell and can literally get sick from the smell of certain foods. You don’t want to pay $11.50 to see me throw up; it’s really not pleasant.
I do love eating in restaurants; I don’t love the sound of screaming children, and screaming adults make me want to scream. Sometimes I do have to talk too loudly to be heard over the screaming, and I don’t enjoy that.
In New York our streets are crowded. If somebody bumps into you, please don’t scream at him. Somebody could have bumped into him, and…the possibilities are endless. It’s not worth being rude just because you felt jostled.
There are probably a million things that I forgot to mention; thanking people for helping you seems to be out of style. Thank you notes are a thing of the past; but there’s always e-mail. We have so many new and good ways to stay connected to people. Instead we’re losing the connections.
Manners help. Use common sense. “Please,” “hello,” good bye,” and a big “thanks” never go out of style, and can even help us become a civilized society once more.
If you actually got to the end of this, thanks for reading it.