Monday, April 28, 2014

Life :: What Happened to Manners?

Maybe this isn't the sweetest post to end April with, but I'm all out of glitter and unicorn farts today. B and I have chatted a few times about the lack of manners in our society. I'm not sure if it's LA, or living in a big city, or the 'millenial' generation taking over or being away from Midwestern hospitality. But no matter the reason, it's no excuse. A lack of manners shows a lack of respect. And if you're not respecting the people around you, then I can't imagine how you must treat yourself.

It's time to get back to basics, people. The following ten items should be painfully obvious, but are we continuing to live them out? No, or I wouldn't be writing this post. These rules go for your interactions with anyone -- whether it be your family, friends, roommates, strangers, co-workers, or significant other. I still use 'please' and 'thank you' when I'm talking to B. It shows that I appreciate him.

Just think about what your mama taught you. And if she didn't teach you manners... well, that's a whole different issue.

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1. Let's start easy: say 'please' when you want something, 'thank you' when you get it, and 'you're welcome' when you give it.

2. Use 'excuse me' when you burp, fart, sneeze, cough, yawn, interrupt someone, bump into someone or squeeze past someone.

3. Never show up empty-handed to a party, but if for some reason you do (lack of time or money, perhaps), definitely don't consume the food and drink around you. I can't even tell you how many times guests brought nothing for me and then cleared out my fridge.

4. On the other hand, if you're thinking about bringing just enough food or drink for yourself to someone's house, don't. It's weird and rude. If you don't plan on sharing, eat it in the car.

5. Another note on shindigs: RSVP. There is nothing more annoying for a host than not knowing how many people will be there. Don't just ignore the invite. Don't say 'yes' and then not show up. Don't say 'no' and then show up. Don't say 'maybe' and then never get back to them. You're an adult and you know a million ways to communicate. Text, call, email, whatever. Just give an answer.

6. Same goes for other plans. If you plan on meeting someone somewhere, whether it be for brunch or dinner, a date or a girls' night, an interview, a gig, an appointment -- whatever, with whomever -- be there, and be on time. If you can't be there, let the person know in advance (24 hours usually works for everyone). If it's a last-minute emergency, call immediately to inform them, and be sure to make it up to them the next time (but don't always expect a second chance, especially when it comes to work). By the way, I am the WORST when it comes to being on time for stuff with friends, but I always shoot an 'I'm on my way' text so they know progress is being made. And I wait until I'm actually in the car!

7. If you make a mess, clean it up, especially if you're at someone else's house. In fact, the best thing to do is offer to clean up after a party, because drunk people usually won't remember this rule. When I was growing up and my mom would have guests over, they'd always help do the dishes after.

8. Don't call someone around dinnertime (5-6pm for most people) or show up around bedtime (usually 9-10pm on a school night) unless it was already planned. A text or email is always safer because even if a phone buzzes, it's not as disturbing (though the later it gets, the more I'll assume it's from a drunk person, ex-boyfriend, or combination of both).

9. Blog etiquette: If someone comments, respond in some way. If someone features you on their blog, thank them. If you don't have time, the quickest way to do this is to tweet the blogger, or favorite the tweet you were mentioned in. This shows that you recognized what they did for you and you appreciate it, even if you're not able to write a full-out comment. Justina is great at this, and she has over a million followers across social media. If she can do it, you can too.

10. If someone emails, respond within three days. If someone texts, respond within two days. If someone calls, respond within a day. Clearly, if they're calling you, it's something important and they want a quick response!

Obviously, none of us are perfect. I addressed one of my bad habits in #6, and the other day I was supposed to Skype with Charisma but totally stood her up (on accident, of course). However, most of these items are totally easy and completely brainless. I don't like to make excuses, especially for people in their 20s and 30s who should know better!

What do you guys think, though? Am I being too harsh? Did I miss anything? How are the manners on your side of town? Let me know on Twitter or Facebook!
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