Monday, September 19, 2011

Little Miss Manners

Like all humans, I have a few pet peeves.  Most of them have to do with lawyers and unicorns, but one that concerns us all is bad manners.  Now I realize that we all forget things from time to time, myself especially, so today's post is a gentle reminder of obvious good manners people should exercise on a regular basis--if only for the fact that it will keep me from yelling at them or running them over in my car.

1.  Call before stopping by anyone's house--especially families with small children or families who have a lot of children, or people whose children are in school all day, or people who once had small children but they grew up and went to college, or people without children and people who may not even like children.  God made man, or he evolved from a single cell organism, or probably both--in any case, man was formed and given intelligence; and the highest form of intelligence man can use is picking up the cell phone (that he insists on using in the middle of a movie) and calling before he stops by.  Seriously, call first-- if only for the fact that it gives Mountain Man time to get dressed before he answers the door.

2.  Speaking of calling people, identify yourself when you call.  Recently, I had a very confusing, but enlightening phone conversation with a complete stranger who I thought was my mother-in-law.  She sounded just like her.  While I really did want to know about my father-in-laws health, I really didn't want to know about the stranger's husband's health related issues...most of which required a trip to Planned Parenthood and a round of antibiotics.

3.  Write thank you notes for everything.  Who doesn't like to get mail??  Make someone's day and say thank you for something they've done for you or for someone else.  Think the task is impossible?  Read this.
See?  Quite possible.  Say thank you.

4.  Don't text/ talk/ drink/ chew gum/ eat/ discipline your kids/ wave at people/ gawk at strangers/ run over pedestrians while driving.  I know this may seem really obvious, but just focus on driving. Your fellow humans will thank you profusely when they are sitting with their families in the evening safe and sound.

5. Don't state the obvious, find a compliment instead.  There is never a need.  The fat person knows he's fat.  The new mother knows she looks tired.  The tall, gangling teenager knows he/she is tall and gangling.  The pregnant lady knows she is uncomfortable.  The newly divorced don't want to hear about your divorce--just tell them they look nice and that you are thinking of them, and move on--even if they don't look nice and you haven't thought about them since the last time you ran into them at church/ in the store/ picking up kids from school.  They need never know the truth, and they'll leave your presence feeling a little bit better.

6.  Love yourself.  Which really has less to do with good manners but is just good, common sense.  If you love yourself, you'll love others and you'll be a little more compassionate, kind and patient to all the other humans you have to share the planet with.  Loving yourself means you value yourself and by extension honor others in their mortal journey...

...even when they stop by unannounced.

What are your pet peeves?  Your best advice?

Email me at or leave your comments here...


  1. This is fantastic! I'm going to go tweet this post now.

  2. Thanks Eliza! I don't think I've ever been tweeted before!!! I love your blog, btw...:)

  3. Oh boy. I'm glad I read this. I chew gum and drive ALL THE TIME. In addition, I forget to write thank you notes. And I enjoy gawking at strangers.

    I'll try to do better in the future. :)

    Love the Love yourself stuff! I'm usuallu pretty good at that one but I do have my off days...

  4. Who doesn't? And shhh...don't tell, I gawk and chew while driving too! ;)

  5. Lisa, Beautifully said.

  6. Lisa, sorry I forgot to sign it.

  7. Well written, Lisa! I won't run over any pedestrian, I hope. My pet peeves? I think of things my husband does, and the list is long, so I won't write any of them.

  8. Susan! Hee hee! I may have that list going on too...:)

  9. Re #4 - Really?! As a Man the only Multi-Tasking ability I have is to drive and chew gum, and then the gum still comes out after just 4 mins 37 secs.

    And you want to take that away from me? I know it's just a conspiracy; because Mrs. Marcus (6 hr 43 mins 52 sec average) thinks that my gum chewing is just a waste of a good piece of gum. I can't seem to convince her that it is an indispensable (the spell checker just gave me the option of putting indefensible, but I'll stay with what I've got) part of my Self Confidence Building Plan.

    I've got to be able to multi-task something, right?

  10. Love this post! Pet peeves? Me? Let me count the ways ... that's why I'm staying up late and/or waking up early and not sleeping (see I did read your previous post, too)!!

  11. Glider, Mrs. Marcus is going to go ballistic when I tell you that my average gum chewing time is 2 min. 14 seconds and I have no guilt whatsoever about spitting it out, still minty for a squirrel to consume...after all, squirrels need minty gum too, right?

    Cathy! Glad to see you again, I've been missing you!!