I was raised in Maryland. Not the dirty dirty south, not the frigid north. Not the chill west coast. Not 'eh up in Canada. Not the midwest. Just Maryland. I was raised with a lot of rules though. My parents taught me to respect other people and myself, that etiquette matters. I was always taught to be kinder than is necessary, for everyone is fighting a hard battle and you just never know what other people are going through. My daddy loves with his whole heart, and gives his all in everything he does. That's something he's instilled in me, and I've always held true. I have a ridiculous amount of Maryland pride- that red gold and black flag is just too beautiful for words. Rather than this becoming a tangent about Maryland (I promise I have a point here)- I wanted to discuss modern etiquette with y'all.
In college a dear friend of mine, Anna, and I found a blog that was just etiquette question and answers. Y'all. We gobbled that thing up. I mean. We devoured it. Read that entire thing in a matter of weeks. It was this right here: EtiquetteGrrls and although I do not love that little grammar/text lingo part of their name, I do love those ladies.
For high school graduation, so many of my mom's friends gave me old Bridal, Ann Landers and Martha Steward, among others, etiquette books. Such wonderful coffee table books, and I still to this day read those frequently. Etiquette is timeless, and it never hurts to be in good form.
So I just cannot fathom why some people have zero manners or respect. Zilch. Nada. Why do you deliberately disrespect those around you? As a classroom teacher to middle schoolers, my number one rule for my students is that they respect one another, their environments and themselves. Why do people not respect those around them? The disrespect I see out in public, particularly when I have been traveling lately- is absolutely APPALLING. I wanted to share some of the top offenses I have seen. Please feel free to add to my list!
1. Cell Phones
- Talking in public- "Oh my GOD Charlotte! He did NOT call you that! He said WHAT to your mother! LET ME TELL YOU THIS!" .... Well sweet girl let ME tell you... You and your sweet friend might care, and bless y'alls hearts but the rest of us certainly do not care that much. And as happy as I am that you are talking with your friend, it is not necessary to be SCREAMING in a closed-in plane, or while we're standing in line, or while you are in a tight public space. There are PLENTY of less obnoxious places to talk on your cell phone- walk away from the group. Text your friend. Walk to the back of the store and speak MORE QUIETLY.
- Ringtones and key tapping- If you are in public or with other people- be it sitting on the couch chatting with a group of friends or just one friend, sitting in the break room talking to your coworkers, sitting on the airplane waiting to board, shopping at the mall and waiting in line to check out- and you have your phone on loud so you can here. Fine. Dandy. Let it ring. But the MOMENT you engage in a constant text conversation with dear Aunt Ginger who is a texting fiend and texts back every 2.73 seconds and you too are responding instantaneously so that your phone is ringing every 30 seconds- BE POLITE and cut that ringtone off! We don't need to hear that Blackberry boo-doop or that signature Apple chirp every 30 seconds. Nor do we need to hear every click as you hit the keyboard on that touchtone. Slide that button on the side and turn it on vibrate as you have your texting conversation. Turn it back up when you're done so you don't miss a call. Please.
2. Smacking your gum/clicking mints - My friend Samantha has informed me that this is actually a medical condition to be as bothered as I am when people rudely CHOMP their gum and smack their food around [misophonia]. But honestly. Did Momma not tell you to chew with your mouth closed, do not talk with your mouth full, and do NOT for the love of GOD ever blow a bubble or pop your gum if you have any self respect? Good golly and when people open their mouth and click-clack their mints or hard candy against their teeth I want to smack them. Blech. So gross.
3. Bringing smelly food in a (small)public place- Again. Back to respecting the space you share with other people. If you are about to be in a VERY small place with VERY many people for what will feel like a VERY long time, like an airplane... Think about what you would want to be up close and personal in your space. If there's something you would not want near you or have to smell, then you can almost certainly guarantee that other people share that feeling. If as you get your carryout food from the food court at the airport you are overwhelmed by the strong fragrance (and it is ethnic, or pizza, or Subway- or anything with a strong pungent fragrance) please eat it before you board (or before you enter that board meeting with 20 people crowded around that tight table)! It is respectful. Plus think about how it feels when you have food trash in front of you after a meal. Do you really want to subject 100 other people to that for the next three hours? No thank you.
4. Too. Much. Perfume. - UG. Personal pet PEEVE. This is so rude. But also something I completely understand and just really wish people would think about. Scents are really a personal thing and something that can be really wonderful to one person and also really offensive to another. That new perfume you just absolutely love may make Mary Sue feel absolutely sick. When Margaret simply feels ill from anything floral, Sherry loves floral but cannot stand musky scents. That means- wear enough that YOU and YOURS can smell it when they get close. Not enough that you and everyone within the mall with you knows that you sprayed 16 sprays, then jumped danced and twirled while singing Tayor Swift through the mist in the bathroom.
5. Too Much Luggage-
A few months ago I tweeted that I sincerely believe that the same people who board a plane at the last second with two large carry-ons and are pissed about no room are the exact same individuals who speed down the shoulder during dead-stopped traffic and cut into the line at the last second. It's the most retweets and favorites I've ever had on a single tweet.
Every single airline is extremely explicit. You may have ONE carry on and ONE small additional bag, like a purse or laptop. That means one small rolling bag, ore one small duffel, or one tote, and a purse or a laptop bag. That does NOT mean that all of these jerks out here get to carry on two rolling suitcases and not pay to check a bag like the rest of us. And for the LIFE of me, since Delta and American Airlines and the rest of them are such sticklers with everything else- I don't get why they don't stop these fools. But every time I fly (which is quite a lot) I see these jerks with their two huge bags, plus a shopping bag or seven, and their purse, and their laptop bag, and their screaming toddler, and their bag of food.
Two large roll ons, a duffle, a tote, a purse, a laptop case, and your 4 duty-free shopping bags is NOT the same as one carry-on and a small purse or additional bag. Show some R-E-S-P-E-C-T people!
Ok. Rant over. What etiquette do you think is necessary?
What rules do you hate when people break?