Manners, please…

Hello everyone.  I hope you are all having a great day thus far.  My morning has been good.  I have been having some incredibly odd dreams has of late, though.  One involved the number ten and the other involved toe nail clippings.  And on that note I will let you use your sweet little imagination and won’t go into further detail.  Let’s just say I woke up with a very perplexed expression on my face.  I had a great workout this morning and will be running after work.

We had an incident at the gym this morning.  Nothing major.  Many gyms are now enforcing that cellphones can no longer be used in the gym or the locker rooms.  The only use allowed would be for listening to music.  Many are clamping down on phone calls and texting as it can be distracting.  Not only that, the majority of cell phones now have a camera on them.  It makes sense that this could be used inappropriately.

A woman came into gym this morning just as I was finishing up.  She began doing lunges back and forth through the area set aside for mat work, ball work, free weights, you get the idea.  She was rigged up with earphones and had her smart phone held out before her and was conducting what sounded like a conference call.  She was loud when she spoke.  I don’t know what it is with those phones, but it seems to me people tend to talk  louder when they use them.

I just find it rude.  I wonder what happened to our manners and why we seem to schedule our life around work.  She could have easily sat in the lobby on the sofa and conducted her call.  When I left I mentioned this to Pandora to let her look after the issue.  Perhaps the woman didn’t know, so we will give her the benefit of the doubt.  Even though there are signs up, not everyone reads them I suppose.

Still what got me thinking is many people really don’t take into consideration where they may conducting business or just having a conversation.  It does not occur to them in a public setting that their conversations can be rather invasive at times.  As stated, people using these devices tend to speak louder.  I am no exception.   But then I seldom talk on the thing, particularly in a public setting.  I know that when I do, I tend to raise my voice.  Perhaps it’s because the device is so small.  They have amazing microphones on them yet it can be deceiving.

I guess my point in all this is we should really try to practice a few common courtesies when we are in a public setting.  This isn’t a lesson in etiquette either, far from it.

It is interesting that at times, someone who has been, shall we say ‘raised proper’ can in fact come across very rude despite their practice of manners.  There can be an aloofness, a practiced and insincere quality in the delivery of such niceties.  I suppose I just try to be honest and genuine.

Etiquette sometimes confuses me.  Why we need a million forks and knives and spoons to eat in a formal setting has often been a sticking point for me.  There is an indication that if you don’t follow the rules of etiquette that you are somehow lacking in the social graces.  I use this as an example, as I was not raised or schooled on such things, so when I found myself in these situations in my youth I was usually a wee bit intimidated.

What I used to do when I got nervous was to shoot back a few shots of whiskey to ‘settle my nerves.’  Yikes!  Now if that isn’t a recipe for things going sideways, I don’t know what is.  Many years ago, I was taken to a French restaurant for the first time.  I had never had escargot but was willing to give it try.  My date told me it tasted ‘just like chicken’.  (I am curious why we always use this bird to convince someone to try something?)

In any case the dish came in the shell floating in garlic butter.  I was given a small pair of tongs to pick up the shell and a small two-pronged fork to dig the escargot out.  The first time out the gate I was quite successful and it was very delectable in taste.  The second time out, I didn’t quite have a good hold of the shell and when I went to dig the fork into it I squeezed the tongs and my escargot became airborne. And could that mother move!   It whizzed across the room smacking a woman in the side of the head.  I was mortified.  I went over, picked up my escargot and apologized profusely.

Let’s just say she wasn’t very forgiving. The good thing is they no longer serve this dish in the shell.  At least the times I’ve had it since, it has been served without.  And you know, it could have happened to anyone.  A slippery shell and a pair of tongs…hmmm. What could possibly go wrong?

So I just try to conduct myself in a pleasant and presentable manner now.  I try always to be polite though sometimes my humour does get the better of me.  A few months back, and I may have mentioned this in a prior post, but I entered a restaurant, dressed to the nines…looking about as classy as you can possibly make me look.  It had been raining and the floor to the restaurant was polished cement.  The host came to seat me and I took one step onto the floor and it was like stepping onto ice.  My foot kept going and I flew up in the air and fell flat on my ass.  My dress was now well up over my thighs exposing my thigh high nylons and I was pretty much spread eagle.  My purse had gotten tangled up in one of my heels.   Yes, a wee bit embarrassing.

The host apologetically scraped me off the floor.  I finally managed to get myself into an upright position and I smiled graciously at him and said, ‘You’re good!  It usually takes at least 10 minutes to get me on my back.’  For the briefest of moments he stared a bit dumbfounded then burst into laughter.  Yes, I could have gotten my tail feathers all ruffled and gotten into his face about the wet floor.  I could have really copped an attitude, but you know at the end of the day, you fall, you get back up.  Yup.  Got a pretty good bruise out of the deal and a free drink.  What more could a girl ask for?

At the end of the day I am mindful of everyone around me and this space that we share collectively.  May we all share in good spirit and good will.





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