After spending entirely too many years keeping my mouth shut in regards to rude people and their children, I decided it was time to open my mouth and pound my frustrations out on the keyboard instead of letting them fester inside of me. I’m in desperate need of clarity you see. I just can’t seem to figure out whether it’s my own “old school” mentality that’s out of date, or if common courtesy no longer in style?
Really, what is the deal with people? Are we all so busy wrapped up in our own little world that we no longer have time to teach our children manners or display any ourselves? Are we so full of self importance that we believe everything should be handed to us on a silver platter or are we just lazy? Is the whole electronic age making us void when it comes to social graces? I just can’t seem to figure it out.
I happen to be very lucky to have grown up in a traditional family.
My Mom stayed at home with my sisters and me, my Dad worked his ass off, and we had chores. Every day we made our beds then cleaned up the bathroom after we were done getting ready. After we ate we’d wash the dishes. No big deal. We all knew what was expected of us so we did it automatically. On Saturdays before we left the house to go hang out with friends we did our laundry, ironed our clothes, dusted our rooms, vacuumed the pool, and mowed the lawn. Sundays was always a big family day in which all the relatives would usually get together at my Grandparents’ house. It was so much fun. We’d swim in the pool, play games, and have a huge Italian dinner.
We always ate what we were served and not once did we ever go into their refrigerator without asking permission. Afterwards, my sisters and I would collect the dishes and help clean up the kitchen. No questions asked. Once again, it was very automatic for us and was the polite thing to do. None of us kids would ever dare to run around their house, scream at the top of our lungs or go into their bedroom and go through their personal belongings. The consequences would of been horrific if we did.
My how times have changed. Unfortunately, my Grandparents have long passed, and I am the one who does most of the get-togethers now. They are nothing like the scenario I just described above. They can be very chaotic. For one thing, nine times out of ten the parents don’t seem to mind if their kids are jumping on my bed, jumping on the couch, or running through the house screaming like banshees. Both the parents and their kids feel free to go through the refrigerator and eat whatever they want without asking – despite the fact that there is always a ton of food out. Neither the parents nor their kids can be bothered to help set up the table before we eat or help clean up after it’s done. I’ve had all kinds of stuff thrown in the pool that shouldn’t have been, decorations broken, empty water and beer bottles left everywhere, and rooms left looking like a hurricane went through them. You name it. I’ve had it. I have to say this is not everybody who comes over nor is it all of the time, but the majority of the time, yes.
Point of the story? Don’t be rude. If someone invites you over be polite, show some manners, help out where you can or at least ask. Show some respect. It’s such an easy thing to do.
Common courtesy may not be in style but it certainly is appreciated.