Sunday, May 22, 2011

Class with the Countess Mama J

Saying please and thank you are probably the first form of manners you teach your kids. And then comes sharing, don't slap other kids, don't bite, keep your hands to yourself...all that fun stuff that you spend hours telling your children and you hope will someday sink in. When they are a little older you teach them to keep their elbows off the table (this has always seemed odd to me, no?), teach them to be nice to other kids and not to bully, use "sir" and "ma'am" when talking to adults you don't know (oh, yeah and don't talk to adults you don't know), and teach the boys to put the seat down, etc., all in hopes to raise kind, well-mannered adults.

I think my parents did a great job in this area when it came to my brother and I. I give up my seat on the train to basically anyone I think needs it (eldery, pregnant and handicapped only need apply). I tip at least 20% when we go out to eat (more if they are quick to refill my cocktails). I will let someone cut in front of me in line at the grocery store if they have less items than I do, yada yada yada.

And now to my two common courtesies that are the purpose of this post...I hold the door open for ANYONE behind me or in front of me especially if they need the help (i.e. women with strollers), and I wave at the car that let's me in (or that I cut off...more on this shortly). 

As I was walking towards the door of GapKids yesterday, with M in tow in the Bob stroller (aka the SUV of strollers) I notice two women approaching from the outside. I do the "try to open the door while still standing behind the stroller" reach around, which I know will fail, as anyone who has ever tried it knows, thinking that these two middle aged women would help me out. What do they do? Instead of helping me with the terribly heavy door, they back up to get out of my way. So this means I have to come to the side of the stroller and hold the door open with my butt and try to fit through. Of course I get kind of stuck now, and still no help from anyone walking by, including these two hags.

So now I have to back M up into the store again, come around the front of the stroller, open the door for myself with my butt and pull her by the tray on the stroller through the door. All the while, these two women are standing there watching me do this!! I was fuming.

Finally I am through the door and one of the ladies says to me "that is a big stroller." I looked at her and said "that is a big lady gut you have there. Didn't your mother teach you manners when you were little?"

Ok, NO I didn't say that, but I wanted to. I just huffed off in a tizzy.

Holding the door is such a simple thing for someone to do, but as a mother toting around a stroller, it means the world! Seriously I thank people 10 times when they hold the door for me and M. It is so easy for someone to do, and helps so much! Hold the door people!! Even if there isn't a woman with an abnormally large baby transport in front of her.

And the waving thing...how hard is it to give a courtesy wave when someone lets you into a lane, or you pull a jerk maneuver? I got cut off by a big truck on the highway yesterday, and immediately got hot under the collar, but the guy made a point to stick his head out the window and give a big back and forth wave, and you know what? I was cool as a cucumber in a second. How easy is it to wave? You just lift your hand up and shake it around a bit...or act like you are installing a lightbulb as the queen does.

I find myself waving to at least 4 cars a day...you let me in front of you? How nice! You get a wave!
I might have cut you off (just a little)...so sorry! Here's a wave for you!
You let me cross in the crosswalk (on foot of course)...even though it is the law and you have to stop - here's a wave for you!

If you are the crazy woman who was tailgating me because I wasn't driving fast enough (even though it was one lane and there were 100 cars in front of me) and then when we get to the red light you pull to my right (and scream obscenities at me and my daughter in the back seat) and when the light turns green you make a left from the right lane to cut me off and show me how powerful you think you are...you get a middle finger, an eff you and about 5 seconds of horn.

Sometimes there is a time for bad manners.

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