There are times when it seems that
we were raised in a different world.
Things that were important are now
virtually non existent in our modern
realm. As our culture has evolved,
courtesy and refinement have been
overcome by speed and convenience.
While one is thrilled to live in a time
where all are accepted for who they
are, many are not as enamored with
the reality that those empowered feel
that they can do whatever they like,
whenever and wherever they like.
One of my Mother's pet peeves about
Montana was that the locals wore their
cowboy hats everywhere. Sadly that
sort of disregard isn't limited to the wild
west alone. Almost daily I dine at some
sort of venue where at least one fellow
is sipping his soup wearing a baseball
cap, fedora, or knit topper. While most
may be hiding a bald pate, I find little
more as rude as sporting one's toque
indoors. There's a time and place for
everything. So gentlemen, please be
just that and please, take off your hats!
I still recall the first time one of my
children brought the milk carton to
the table in Ethel's presence. It was
as if the world had come to an end.
There was a time when any type of
condiment could never appear in it's
original store packaging on the table.
Instead it was repotted in all sorts
of charming receptacles. Somehow
the act of ladling Heinz catsup from
a sterling server was more civilized
than squeezing a plastic bottle. One
wonders what went wrong...
At some point profanity became
a badge of sophistication. I was
raised in a home where a profane
word was never uttered. Later in
life when pushed to the edge Ethel
uttered "She's a witch with a "B"
on the front." My response?
"Exactly what is a bwitch Mother?"
After many years in advertising, my
vocabulary could be a page from
The Wolf of Wall Street. DAMN,
I really need to clean up my act!
Uh... sorry Mom, I'll try harder!
My father worshipped my mother.
Treating her with utmost courtesy,
he raised me to open all doors for
any lady. To stand aside to let her
enter first (except for a revolving
door.) To give up my seat on the
subway to the better sex. Most
important, to rise whenever a lady
arose from the table and stand until
she left the room. Sadly few still
practice these gestures of decorum.
Women's "lib" aside, we must treat
each other with respect. Stand tall!
Some of the above may seem out dated
and even a tad silly. However when you
evaluate pomp and circumstance, you'll
find courtesy at it's core. The simple act
of treating one another with respect may
be the greatest gift of all. Not only does
it empower the recipient, it also ennobles
the giver. In gentler times these rites of
passage created a comfort zone for all
involved. We knew the rules and also
enjoyed making each other feel special.
Hmm... why can't we all continue doing
just that?! So please, mind your manners.