gleeful grandiva

creative living for big and little kids




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.




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.


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.


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.

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I hope you enjoyed this. You can download and print the PDF version here.

Please share the tips.

Have a gleeful week, Tamuria






  1. Hard to believe, but they now have to offer courses in manners for new executive trainees. I guess so they don’t embarrass the company for hiring such knowledgeable but ill-mannered MBAs. Time for the older generation to take a stance on having manners.
    Joyce Hansen recently posted…7 ways your business brain responds to infoMy Profile

  2. Great to remind everyone that it is important to be courteous to others. Remember that if each human is kind to one another, we would have a better world. I am going to share the images with my kids.
    Sabrina Quairoli recently posted…Quick Tips For More Effective Time With EmailMy Profile

    • So true Sabrina, the world would be better if we all remembered our manners. Hope your kids get a kick out of the poem and funny pics.

  3. How delightful your poem is and your sensibilities. A number of years ago one of my kids commented that I never formally taught them things like manners or doing laundry. I asked well, how did you learn. I was told, “by observation”. Or a casual comment made by me. I’m glad I never had strict table manner rules & my kids came out ok.

    • You’ve obviously set a wonderful example for your kids, Roz. I think kids learn best from example as they tend to start shutting out words and advice after getting so much from the adults around them.

  4. I always love your clever and insightful look at our crazy world, Tami! Reading your experience at the football game, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the last baseball game I went to. I could barely watch the game as it seemed all people did was get in and out of their seats to go and buy food…or go to the washroom. Needless to say, I’ve not gone again. We definitely could use some manners these days in our world, but as you pointed out…which set of manners? Loved your A – Z of manners poem…amazing that you could come up with a very appropriate manner for each letter of the alphabet!
    Beverley Golden recently posted…Rediscovering Our Humanity Through NatureMy Profile

    • You have to wonder why people pay money just to go and buy junk food instead of watching the game, don’t you Beverley? Very frustrating for those who actually care what happens on the field. Yes, which set of manners is the question. What seemed important when we were young almost seems trivial in the face of so much rudeness and lack of consideration around us today. Thank you for the lovely words and support.

  5. Tammi,
    Many of us are raised with good values and Blessed to have parent’s that taught me the value of good manners. Saying thank you being polite is part of my upbringing. Some children don’t have this type of parenting, but we as educators, professionals, can be a mentor and demonstrate. Thank you for the wonderful article.

    Lori English

    • Yes, it’sad that not kids don’t get the benefit of the education and example of good manners Lori. They are more important now than ever.

  6. Hi Tamuria,
    I must say I really do love your NEW set of manners for a happier life 🙂 I can totally relate to people just being inconsiderate and just plain rude lol

    Great share! Love the infographic too 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!
    Joan M Harrington recently posted…The Persuasion Slide Revealed What You Need To Know To Utilize it as a Marketing StrategyMy Profile

  7. I shared this on Google + and FB – For anyone with a child in their orbit – though some grown ups could use this adorable, common sense, uncommonly wise guide to manners, too!

    Tamuria, this is FABULOUS! I hope you can sell it on Amazon! It’s really delightful and wise! Thank you for sharing!
    Reba Linker recently posted…Look at the Bright SpotsMy Profile

    • Reba, thank you for your enthusiasm and support. I had fun creating the list and I know kids will enjoy it. You are right, though, there are some adults who would do well by following the tips as well.

  8. I agree! However, sometimes I have a feeling I maybe the clueless rude one. But I do try to be considerate. In the movie theater the other day, right after they gave the reminder to turn off your phone (after they dimmed the lights) two rows down in front of me was a huge glowing screen of a cell phone! I whispered to my husband that they should at least dim the screen if they are going to text through the movie!
    And yes, as I am stretching my arm to reach the pasta shelf, over a parked grocery cart (because the owner of the cart is talking to a long lost friend) , I really wonder about peoples manners. Sigh….
    Krista recently posted…Peach CrispMy Profile

    • It can be so frustrating, can’t it Krista? The worst part is bad manners can incite anger and we already have so much of that in the world.

  9. Manners come from respect…respect of self and of others. To me we have failed in teaching our next generation the importance of respect. Love that you are teaching manners.
    Karen Grosz recently posted…Let’s Get Real Friday Party – #157My Profile

    • I agree, Karen, it is all about respect and if we get that right the manners flow naturally. I think many people don’t even realize they are being rude but they are so caught up in what they are doing they don’t see how it affects others.

  10. Loved the ABC’s and will definitely read them to my granddaughter. Manners are so dependent on culture, too. Some of the physicians I work with from the middle East are extremely rude to female females – as though they’re talking to some lower life form. The heck of it is, the choices seem to be: 1) put up with it or 2) CONFRONT them – which is so not pleasant (sigh!) Anyway, glad to see someone else stress the importance of manners – I think they’re some of the most important things we can teach our children. Just a delightful piece, overall!
    joan potter recently posted…BE BRAVE. BE KIND.My Profile

    • Whenever I travel I do a little research about how to avoid being rude in another culture. It’s such a shame people who live and work in another country with a different culture are not prepared to embrace the code of manners that goes with their chosen residence, Joan. It must be so frustrating to be treated so rudely.

  11. Great manners rhymes, but what rang my chimes was your mom’s. She didn’t beat you up, say you were stupid or sloppy or lazy or anything else — she said you were strong and able. That’s the kind of mom everyone should have…and be (for those who want to have children). I’m so happy for you!

    • Mum’s little rhyme was handed down from her parents and it’s one we all think of with affection and a smile. Easy to take it for granted when you have a parent who doesn’t resort to physical or verbal abuse.

  12. I actually attended a convention on dining blunders commonly made by successful executives when I worked in Corporate America. I think that they do matter as they provide an opportunity for your client to see a polished, poised and sophisticated executive vs. someone who is uncomfortable, awkward and uneasy. Dining, unless done well, could be disastrous to one’s reputation.
    Rachel Lavern recently posted…5 Main Mindset Changes for Entrepreneurs – Part 2My Profile

    • Table etiquette can certainly affect the way people view you and even determine how far you can go on a professional level, Rachel. It just seems to me like the basics – being kind and being aware of how your actions and words can affect others – is more important in a world that is struggling to find peace and harmony.

  13. It seems like it’s been ages, but I used to teach etiquette. It sadly seems like a lost art. Thanks for creating a resource that’s easy for the little ones to learn and remember.
    Jennifer Quisenberry recently posted…Celebrating Star Trek’s 50th Anniversary with Dave MarinaccioMy Profile

    • I agree, Jennifer, it seems like a lost art. I was lucky to grow up in an era where teaching the finer points of table manners was fine as it was a given that kids would already have the basics of polite behaviour.

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