Manners – dying a death

Mind your manners – old man!

“In sociology, manners are the unenforced standards of conduct which demonstrate that a person is proper, polite, and refined.” 

This wikipedia entry could of course be describing me. 

I have brought up my small things to believe in manners, to understand what they mean and to say please and thank you with the essential smatterings of excuse me. A simple death stare from me is enough to remind them in an instant of a forgotten social grace.

So it really gets on my nerves when the older generation, otherwise known as old fogies, senior citizens or old biddies seem to think it’s okay not to use their manners with my small things.

Manners are in my humble opinion a two way street, regardless of age. And frankly (yes, yes I’m ranting) there have been several occasions of late when my children have been lovely and polite (and also almost spoke in the Queen’s English) to old biffers and have been met with rudeness, indifference and even a glare.

Now I know that children should be seen and not heard, should know their place etc etc but if my small things politely say ‘Excuse-me’ then they should not be met by a curmudgeon’s glare. 

It irks me. And I then usually end up muttering under my breath just like an old bean at the rudeness, at the sheer impertinence – which actually would probably have more impact if the pensioner in question had switched on their hearing aid.

Undeterred, I shall continue my quest to ensure that my small things are brought up in the knowledge of all things that are right. 

In fact I ensure they have lessons in courtesy, respect and etiquette taught to them every day, by me, their teacher. 

Lessons include:
1. The importance of respecting your elders 
Lesson: bring me a cup of coffee in the morning

2. Be nice and polite to others
Lesson: be nice to me above everyone else and you stand a good chance of getting your spends

3. Always say Please and Thank you
Lesson: mummy, ppplllleeeeaaaasssseeee can we stay up late. Thank you mummy you’re the best.

4. Open doors for other people
Lesson: open the door when I am carrying wine, wine glass and mobile

5. Never interrupt when someone is speaking
Lesson: when I am talking, do not attempt to speak as this will usually result in a loss of spends, cakes, treats and generally any fun in life

Of course, these essential lessons in etiquette I am delivering are for their own good. Should they ever meet the Queen they will know how to behave, but if she doesn’t reciprocate their good manners I may have to have a not so polite word in her ear.

I declare it to you now if the older generation keep treating my daaarrrllliiinngg small things with rudeness when they are being polite, I am not going to mutter under my breath, I might very well point out their own lack of manners. 

I said MIGHT.

P.S. I love old people

Sarah Knight

Trainer and coach in communications. Plate spinner.

One thought on “Manners – dying a death

  • 15th May 2012 at 10:36 pm

    When I worked in retail, old men were the WORST customers in every aspect. We had the domineering upper clas…all 'what whatting?! at their downtrodden wives. The huffing and puffing types who will give you the death stare at having to stand in line for more than a minute, the cocky old 'lad' who would throw the money down and snatch stuff up, the crosspatch who wanted a refund on an item ten years old..Never a please or thank you, just an expectation of others civility, but none given. Hateful. These are the men who neglected their children, safe in the knowledge that the wife would do everything, blissfully ignorant if she couldn't. These are the men that may have fought in wars, but come back broken and begrudging of everyday life and mundane pleasantries. These are the men who were our fathers and husbands role models. These are the men I blame for the Western worlds failings today. You reap what you sow. Manners save lives.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *