Okay, Listen Here

Okay, Listen Here

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rules for Common Courtesy

Last week, after I expounded on movie theater behavior, Beverly remarked that she longed for a return to common courtesy. I am with her and I've been thinking about it all week.

1. If your food isn't to your liking in a restaurant, quietly and discreetly send it back. If you gripe throughout the meal, you ruin everyone's good time.

2. For the love of God, please understand that no one, apart from a health care professional, wants to hear about the body functions of yourself, your child, or your animals.

3. Don't talk about a party or outing you were invited to in front of people who were not. It is beyond rude.

4. Do not tell half a story and refuse to finish it because you were asked not to tell. Just keep your mouth shut in the first place. It's clear you want everyone to know that you know something they don't and you shouldn't have been trusted in the first place.

5. When you text and answer your phone in polite company, you are saying, "I'd rather be somewhere else with someone else." You should just go there.

6. When a casual friend asks after your children, keep it short. As in, "She is doing well. She just got a cheerleading scholarship to LSU and we are all very excited." A little information is fine but unless you are talking to a relative, very close friend, godparent, or news reporter, chances are excellent that they don't care about batting averages, ACT scores, progress on potty training, colors of prom dresses, or the number of times Hunter and Mary Paul threw up last night.

7. Do not name drop for professional purposes unless you have been granted permission by the person who owns the name.

8. Do not name drop socially for any reason.

9. Don't double dip. That shouldn't have to be said.

This doesn't begin to cover it, of course. What social sin sets your teeth on edge?

I can't wait to find out, but I'll probably have to. By the time you read this, the Virgina cousins will be here. My job tomorrow is to be witty, hospitable, and serve good food. I'll check in with you when I can.


  1. Please remember the phrases: Thank You and excuse me. I try very hard to remember to thank waitresses or someone who is performing a service for me. It is rude to ignore them as if they do not exist. AND if I am standing somewhere and you wish to get by me (say those narrow aisles at the grocery store), don't expect me to move if you don't say excuse me. Being stubborn and a bit cantankerous (shades of Weezer), if you don't, I will NEVER allow you to pass. It's just common courtesy not to bowl your way through people.

  2. Don't overstay your welcome. But then, that's never a problem for me since I rarely have company anyway. And don't show up unannounced unless you're bleeding or you are the guy from Publisher's Clearing House bringing me my million-dollar check.

    Have fun with your cousins. Lucky them. I've been the recipient of your hospitality and good food and I've no doubt you'll be witty as usual.


  3. Hey PM. Reading your comment reminded me of a saying my MIL uses: guests and fish start to stink after three days.

  4. Another common courtesy is "watch your language." I can't believe the number of people who think it's okay to use the F word in front of kids, people they don't know, etc.

  5. Hey y'all--

    Flying by the seat of my pants but I wanted t say hello. Great rules.

    I think there's a trip to the Space and Rocket Center in future.


  6. Not only should you not talk about body functions but in my opinion physical problems in general should not be talked about in polite company!

  7. Do not to employ the "do as I say, not as I do." I can't tell you how many people rant about social etiquette when they've got no clue how to behave in social settings.

    Don't speak about sex, politics and religion in public. (Sadly, I love to debate politics and expand on religious philosophies. Where does this leave me? ;)

    It is impolite not to acknowledge people around you. Do not walk right past someone you know without smiling or saying 'hi'. Or for that matter, refuse to have eye contact.

  8. Oh, and I should have added this was an excellent list, Jean! ;)

  9. I have to agree with Stephanie - no bodily functions or ailments! I get tired of hearing those things and I have a weak stomach.

    And Kathy, I agree about no politics or religion. I find that if I do I usually end up offending everyone within earshot. I have definite views...

  10. Hey, y'all. I am enjoying my company. Part of them had to go to Doc in a Box and part of them went to the space center. I am going to write for a while.

    Great rules, everyone. Kathy, you can talk about politics and religions in a intimate group where everyone else is amenable to the subjects. At least that's my opinion.

  11. One thing that makes me made is if you're not going to show up for an event that you have already RSVP to, LET THEM KNOW ASAP! Not showing up at all is extremely rude.

  12. Please be on time especially if you agreed to the time or worse yet set the time. It is insulting & disrespectful of others & their time to always be waiting for you because you can't get it together. People get get tired of the same old excuses, become resentful and simply can't enjoy time with someone who imposes such behavior on others.

  13. I don't know if it's me but my son and I moved in with his girl friend and her teenage daughter and young son. They brought take out -my son included but never asked if I would like some.

    Any comments?