I could feel my mood darkening along with the skies as I sat in the grandstand watching my favourite football team play.
Well, actually I was trying to watch but it was a challenge as a group of spectators had decided to stop in the aisle, right in front of my view of the field, and have a conversation.
I had already been hit in the head by some woman’s handbag as she squeezed past the row of seats behind on a mission to buy food.
There were wet patches on my jeans where my drink had slurped over the top of my glass as someone in my row jostled past me.
I’m pretty sure our row contained the world’s hungriest and thirstiest people. Or maybe they just had weak bladders. Either way, sitting at the end of the row meant there was no respite and the action inevitably coincided with action on the field that I missed in an effort to move and avoid having my feet squashed. Wasn’t anyone here to actually watch the game?
Somehow I managed to hold my tongue, keep a (near) smile (maybe it was more a grimace) on my face and go on to watch my team make a stunning win.
It had me thinking, though. How easily we can get fed up and angry when people are so thoughtless and how different the world would be if more people followed the simple rules of good manners.
HOW IMPORTANT ARE TABLE MANNERS ANYWAY?
Tami, Tami, strong and able
Keep your elbows off the table
I can’t tell you how many times I heard that growing up. It was one of my mother’s favourite rhymes and even her grandsons were not spared the verse.
By the time I was eight years old I knew how to set a table properly, with the cutlery in the right positions. I knew which fork to use for what, not to speak with my mouth full of food, wait for the host to start eating before I began, and not to leave the table until I was excused. It was a big list of manners and it seemed like they were important at the time.
These days, with all the cruelty and violence going on in this over populated world, I could not care less who uses what fork.
THE PROPER FORK WON’T HELP YOU HERE
In this global village in which we live those manners don’t mean much anyway. If you go to India you’ll eat with your hand (not the left one).
In some places, like Mexico, it is considered good manners to arrive late for a dinner party.
Finishing all the food on your plate is a signal in some cultures that you haven’t been served enough. You may find your plate being constantly reloaded until you stop eating.
In Japan, slurping your noodles is good manners and lets the chef know how much you’re enjoying the meal.
I’m the first to agree that good manners could end the cruelty and violence if everyone used them, but the key is which set of manners to focus on.
TIME FOR A NEW SET OF MANNERS
Technology and growing populations have forced the need for a new set of manners to show respect towards other people.
Just the other day I read a story about a woman’s frustration at being at an expensive concert she couldn’t enjoy because the woman in front of her was speaking too loudly. Though she was repeatedly asked to be quiet by several of the other concert goers, she continued to share her life story loudly with the person beside her. She even had the audacity to become offended when politely asked to be quiet. People!
Then there are the Smombies, you’ll know what I mean if you read my post Are All Our Rules Making Us Stupid?
A simple walk on a busy city street becomes an obstacle course as we weave this way and that to avoid the phone users who don’t have the manners to look up, expecting everyone else to make way for them.
Supermarket aisles! Don’t get me started. Is it really necessary to take up the entire space with your trolley when you’re looking for something, or speaking to a friend? With those sets of manners, it’s a wonder you even have friends.
Enough of the rant. In a constant quest to turn life’s lemons into lemonade, the whole thing inspired me to create Tamuria’s A to Z of Manners – a Happy Guide to Change the World.
These are the manners I’ll be teaching the Goddesses. And they can eat with, or without, any fork they want in my house. 🙂
There is a link at the end to download a PDF version for printing – no cost and no sign up required. Enjoy.
Tamuria’s A to Z of Manners – a Happy Guide to Change the World.
I hope you enjoyed this. You can download and print the PDF version here.
Please share the tips.
Have a gleeful week, Tamuria