KW KellyWickham.com Mocha Momma Babble Voices Writing Well About Contact
Kelly WickhamSpeakingWritingTravelingCreating Kelly Wickham: Teacher, Speaker, Storyteller
about Kelly

twitter pinterest subscribe

Subscribe to the
Mocha Momma blog by email:


Sunday
Jun292008

Manners & Missions

Within my circles of friends we've often had the discussion lately about the manners of people. Rather, the lack of manners. Midwesterners, by most standards, are kind people and the things I've witnessed lately tell me that they are absent of those things taught to them (hopefully) as children. (Complete aside: I'm going to Boston soon and three people have mentioned how unkind Bostonians are! Why is that? Represent, Boston.)

Failing to offer seats for the elderly, not holding the door when people are within a reasonable range, and deserting the common decency to say, "Excuse me" when they want to pass by you. Liz just happened to write about this the other day to which I replied:
I'm so fed up with rudeness that I'm becoming a police officer in my daily life while out and about. It's pathetic. Normally, my family thinks I'm going to get stabbed over chastising children in public but that's the educator in me who corrects kids all the time.

But the one that gets me (and I'm sorry if it's been said) is people failing to say "Excuse me" when they're trying to get around me. They just stand there.

Yesterday, Mason and I were getting some summer shorts and there was a woman behind him and she assumed I would ask him to move. When he started to move, I pushed him back in place and mouthed "No. Wait."

She never said it. She moved a different direction.

Served her right. If she doesn't want to say it, she has to change direction. That was my point anyway.

Later, a lovely woman (I can only guess she's lovely. It's my optimistic hope that she's lovely. She probably has cute feet, too.) named Brigitte commented back (to me):
Mocha, I'm often AFRAID to say "excuse me", being pathologically shy and sick of getting the big evil-eyed glare and (if I'm lucky) a huffy, grudging move-over to let me by. I figure polite people would anticipate my need on my own, otherwise it's just easier for someone like me to find another way around.

Well, being an overt Alpha Female myself, I can (miraculously, perhaps?) sense when people are shy and if I meet their eyes I have no problem smiling at them and using the silence of body language to determine that they want to get around me. In fact, smiling seems to help, does it not? One would hope that this small gesture tends to relieve some of the tension or fear that the timid seem to have.

I've had some run-ins with acquaintances and co-workers lately that remind me that not everyone is kind. Lately, I've been setting firmer boundaries with those who would prefer that I simply behave and comport myself according to their standards. Even in my work life I think I've been done dirty but that's not even a battle I'm going to fight because I have a higher purpose there and it isn't to engage in fisticuffs with the adults. Because of the small-town nature of my side of the hood, I run into people quite frequently. So much so that I give myself a pep talk before venturing out to places in the event that I see them. Alpha Female or no, when I am caught unawares my behavior is less than stellar. Confidence doesn't negate the fact that I can be fragile on occasion.

My manners, however, are more prevalent than my Strong Woman Persona lets on and it's possible that they aren't always noticeable. I shall have to work on that. Even when I am a bitch I can do it with enough sugar to produce a cavity. Or raise your voice to new heights and point your finger in my face. Both have been done equal amounts of time.

Once, when a parent came in to sling mud my direction after her son received a lower grade than she wanted I was mortified to be in the same room alone with her. Unfortunately, at the time she also wanted her son (an 8th grader) present as well and she was, in essence, giving him permission to be a total shithead to me for the remainder of that school year. The principal at the time stayed with us at my request and intermittently interrupted her to remind her of civility. But, I refused to change the grade he had earned.

"So, you're saying you won't change it?! You're going to keep it a D?"

"Yes, because that's what he earned. I can't change it just because you're asking me to do so."

"Oh, yes you WILL. You WILL change it."

I'd had enough by this time, but she took it a step further and called me a racist right after that.

I nearly fainted from the absurdity of the accusation, but I took a deep breath and blinked extra long.

"I'm so sorry." I started. She thought I was talking to her. I wasn't. I looked past her at her son sitting on the other side and caught his gaze and uttered the boldest words I can recall ever having left my mouth.

"I'm sorry your mother is teaching you that to be black means you can be lazy and still get what you want. Nothing in the world will ever remotely resemble that. You still have to work hard and do your best."

That doesn't mean I didn't have manners. In fact, I looked at the principal and, like a child requesting permission to leave the dinner table, asked, "May I be excused now?" He agreed.

It is possible that as an educator I have learned to chastise adults, too. Because those were the best manners I could muster at the time.
« Why I Like To Borrow My Sister's Children | Main | Then You Pick Yourself Up And Start Again »

Reader Comments (44)

Did you really say that? Delete "black" and insert "rich," "white," "manipulative," or any of a thousand other descriptors, and you could possibly have the all-time best comment to level at those kids (& parents) who think they can work the system and get their way. Bravo to you for being able to call it as you saw it, while remaining calm, civil, & focused during such a heated discussion.

June 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSally

I think I love you.

Avitables last blog post..http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/avitable/~3/322378085/" rel="nofollow">Lazy Sunday XLV

June 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAvitable

preach on, lady. i'm behind you, 100%. :)

Laras last blog post..http://laradavid.blogspot.com/2008/06/coming-out-post.html" rel="nofollow">The Coming Out Post

June 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLara

Insert "gifted" into that phrase and you'd have some of my former students. I also love the phrase "...because that's what he earned." So true, so true!

Daisys last blog post..http://compostermom.blogspot.com/2008/06/reasons-to-love-farm-market-in-any.html" rel="nofollow">Reasons to love a Farm Market in any locale

June 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDaisy

Sally - Yeah, I really did. Looking back, I'm surprised she didn't deck me but I didn't care.

Avitable - You know the feeling is mutual, bro.

Lara - I knew you would be! ;-)

Daisy - I like that (echoing Sally's statements, too) insertion of those different words. I'm likely to use that line again someday.

June 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMocha Momma

Damn girl, you've got a lovely set of cohones. Mind if I fondle them for inpiration?

VENTL8Rs last blog post..http://ventl8r.blogspot.com/2008/06/caption-contest_27.html" rel="nofollow">Caption Contest!!

June 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterVENTL8R

I heart you. The education system and parents need more people like you who care about the kids. I know my high school was pretty bad (near Waukegan) but I (and most of my friends) knew the principal, dean and teachers really did care about us. Some of us kids appreciated but sadly, most did not. Some of my greatest lessons learned in life were in those hallways and classrooms. So.... yeah. I heart you for all that you do for "your" kids.

June 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTrish

Bostonians are NOT rude or unfriendly. In fact, quite the opposite. Last week I was in an amazingly long line waiting at a book signing. There was a young woman behind us from Texas A&M who was visiting for the summer. By the time we got to the top of the line, she had made friends with about 5 different women, exchanged emails with us all, took a ride home from me, and will be joining us for the fireworks on the 4th. Now does THAT sound unfriendly? We're PLENTY friendly, but in the winter we're more reserved and spend more time indoors than those in the south. We're also more sincere than the southerners that are sugary sweet but only want you to come to their 'home church' and when you finally convince them you're not interested, drop you flat. Or Californians that can't even be bothered to say "hello" to their neighbors.

Give us a chance. We're totally awesome!

margalits last blog post..http://outtamymindwithworry.blogspot.com/2008/06/things-are-not-great-right-now.html" rel="nofollow">Things are not great right now

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermargalit

Wow. I'm in awe of your awesomeness. I'm afraid to be bold. I worry too much about what other people think of me. Isn't that nuts? I need to be more confident. I think this stems from my shyness. Or years of being a nerd in school. But man, if I had the courage and confidence that you do? ....that would be awesome.

danas last blog post..http://thedanafiles.com/2008/06/29/a-long-awaited-polka-post/" rel="nofollow">A Long Awaited Polka Post

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterdana

Wow.

Jonathans last blog post..http://degreeandasoylatte.wordpress.com/2008/06/27/my-home/" rel="nofollow">“My Home”

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan

I'm glad you set that kid straight (and hopefully his mother in the process). Too many times things like race, class, gender, creed, sexuality, etc is used as an excuse for poor standards and effort. Maybe the kid will learn this way before his mother ever will.

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterProfesora de español

I wonder if that kid put forth his best effort for the remainder of the school year? I would have been too scared shitless not to!

Well done!

Elizabeths last blog post..http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/blogspot/qECk/~3/322695934/10-things-ive-learned-from-my-vacation.html" rel="nofollow">10 things I've learned from my vacation

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

I'm an Alpha female as well. You ought to hear my roar. It's pretty loud when I'm confronted by rude beings.

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commentergorillabuns

The other day in the grocery store I had to pass in front of an older woman.

"Excuse me," I said.

"Oh, no, excuse ME," she said.

I wanted to make a YouTube video of that exchange. THAT's the way it is done, people! Simple! Quick! Easy! Civilized!

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSuebob

Manners have gone by the wayside. I often worry whether or not I am being rude, but many people give me the notion it never crosses their minds. Your story is very good, and good for you for saying what needed to be said without being rude.

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWhite Hot Magik

I have to say, many times when I am not in a rush, I will stand and patiently wait for someone to move rather than say excuse me. Not because I think that they should know my needs/wants but just because I have the time and standing for 30 sec waiting for someone to finish what they are doing isn't a big deal. Now, I will be rethinking that. I don't want someone to interpret that as a lack of manners...

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenternec

From one Alpha female to another... just because we don't let people poo-poo (being polite here) on us - doesn't mean we aren't polite or kind hearted. Life isn't about push overs or do overs either. We are human too which means we err at times. I like that. Reminds me of what is important.

About manners - it royally pisses me off when after you do a kind gesture for someone else - they don't even say Thank You. Dear lord it ercks me. I don't do it for the acknowledgment or anything... but in this day and age where random acts of kindness are few and far in between - a little appreciation for small acts is NECESSARY. I don't care if its opening the door for someone or carrying their bags to the car or whatever... say THANK YOU for crying out loud. I've been known to speak loud enough for a few people to hear around me... that if I've done something like hold a door open for you and others... and you don't say Thank You... I will say loudly YOU'RE WELCOME ANYTIME... back at them. Is it necessary? Maybe not... just that is just another sign of good manners to show appreciation. Snap out of your reveries and pay attention to your surroundings... you might get a better perspective on things than being overtly focused on yourself.

Alright - I'm done ranting. Excellent posting. I love what you said to that boy. If his mother isn't prepared to teach him LIFE... then he is lucky enough to have teachers who can maybe offset the lack of parental guidance he's getting in the home. Kudos to you for speaking up for yourself... AND for him.

You always inspire me MM. Thank you.

KC

KCs last blog post..http://itsjustmeagain.wordpress.com/2008/06/28/amazing-grace-wintley-phipps/" rel="nofollow">Amazing Grace ~ Wintley Phipps

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKC

Here is my question, since it came up recently.

Is it rude to point out to someone that they are being rude? Are you part of the problem, or the solution?

Also, is it rude, when paying five bucks for a latte, to tell someone that they made it wrong, even if you're willing to live with the wrong?

Mocha, you're the best. I bow before you because while I'm a bitch, you say things that need to be said, that I would want to say, that would leave me quaking in my very comfy boots.

Amelia Sprouts last blog post..http://ameliasprout.blogspot.com/2008/06/all-kinds-of-savviness.html" rel="nofollow">All Kinds of Savviness

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia Sprout

Boston is my favorite U.S. city and I never had anyone be especially rude when I have visited. I'm married into a Boston family and that family consists of some of the greatest people I've ever met. I'm not sure how I feel about the notion of an entire local being considered unkind. I suppose I don't like such broad blanket statements very much.

I completely agree with you about the feeling that manners are at a decline in general but I must admit I've had my off days. I slip up and am rude on occasion. Sometimes it's in response to something I preceive to be rude being directed at me. Sometimes I'm just cranky and lash out. Sometimes people are repulsive creatures and don't deserve politeness.

Mirandas last blog post..http://angelinthepit.spaces.live.com/Blog/cns!D0C7AB86DE495F7!607.entry" rel="nofollow">I think I had that wrong...

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMiranda

Thanks for speaking up Bostonians and married-into-Bostonian-family folks! I hated that blanket statement, too. It just surprised me to hear it!

And no, he did not do his best for the rest of the year. She taught him more than I, but I have hope that he remembers that time (it was several years ago) and can learn a delayed lesson, if any at all.

Amelia, let's tawlk cawfee. YES, demand that they remake it. They're supposed to be expert in what they do so let them show you how good they are. I don't think it's bad manners to point out bad manners (though I'm sure Miss Manners would disagree) but every situation is different. If they are doing so out of ignorance, then politely remind them. If you can do show your manners within their earshot then do so as well. Sometimes, however, I've just said to people, "Wow. That was so rude. Do you not know any better?"

Seriously. A knife is coming my way. Or a punch to my face.

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMocha Momma

I love this post! Rudeness is a big pet peeve of mine. Although, I don't always speak up about it because, you know, I am some times afraid of repercussions. You know, I was really pleasantly surprised on my recent trip to Chicago and riding the CTA, of just how polite people were. The number of people I saw voluntarily and automatically give up their seats to the elderly was amazing to me.

Susans last blog post..http://sameoldstlbee.blogspot.com/2008/06/finally-chicago-trip-details-and-one.html" rel="nofollow">Finally, Chicago trip details, and one other thing

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

You are awesome.

Btw, last time I was in Boston with my little one, 3 different teenagers on 3 different trains gave up their seats for us. Boston has an undeserved bad rep.

catnips last blog post..http://www.catnipandcoffee.com/2008/06/30/george-is-mad-at-me/" rel="nofollow">george is mad at me

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commentercatnip

I think you are just a bad-ass waiting to pull the kung-fu card if things get ugly. That's probably why I like you so much...oops I didn't mean to say that....you suck!

Toms last blog post..http://malathionman.blogspot.com/2008/06/more-kiley.html" rel="nofollow">In My House

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTom

Holy cow Kelly, that's amazing. Good for you. He may or may no't remember that D twenty years from now but he'll sure remember what came of that meeting.

If I may - I don't know that everyone who is polite is kind. I know plenty of folks who say thank you and please and smile and behave perfectly appropriately while talking crap about everyone they know behind their backs. You, however, are both.

Doesn't mean you're not a badass though.

Mom101s last blog post..http://mom-101.blogspot.com/2008/06/my-daughter-democrat.html" rel="nofollow">My Daughter the Democrat

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMom101

You have hit the nail on the head!!! I always get compliments on how mannerly my boys are but after the last year or so...I realize its because there are lack of manners in ADULTS...and if we adults dont have them to teach and SHOW by example, where are the kids going to learn it....

Thats it...they wont.

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJakki

You have more balls than most men I know (Except for Honey. The dude is not lacking in the balls department. TMI?

This was wonderful, Kelly. I sometimes get worn down in trying to instill manners and courtesy in my children. I know it is worth it in the end, but some days it sure feels good to know I am not alone.

Angellas last blog post..http://www.dutchblitz.net/justice-denied/" rel="nofollow">Justice Denied

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAngella

Amen for an *educator,* you gave him an incredibly generous gift in offering the lesson his mother chose not to.

amandas last blog post..http://lifewithbriar.blogspot.com/2008/06/footsteps.html" rel="nofollow">Footsteps

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered Commenteramanda

Having recently moved from L.A. to the Midwest, I can totally attest to what you're saying about polite (and I also think, kind) people around here. It shocked me continuously for months after moving here.

`Arianne

P.S. You rock.

To Think Is To Creates last blog post..http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/tothinkistocreate/~3/323537563/" rel="nofollow">A Blogher Giveaway! It Will Burn A Hole.

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTo Think Is To Create

Thank you for being such a great teacher. Seriously, you are freakin' awesome.

The Over-Thinkers last blog post..http://theartofoverthinking.blogspot.com/2008/06/calling-all-jane-john-does-time-to.html" rel="nofollow">Calling All Jane & John Doe's!! Time to spill it.

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Over-Thinker

Also, do you rent out your balls?

The Over-Thinkers last blog post..http://theartofoverthinking.blogspot.com/2008/06/calling-all-jane-john-does-time-to.html" rel="nofollow">Calling All Jane & John Doe's!! Time to spill it.

June 30, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThe Over-Thinker

"I’m sorry your mother is teaching you that to be black means you can be lazy and still get what you want. Nothing in the world will ever remotely resemble that. You still have to work hard and do your best.”

Daaaaaaaaaaaaaamn. Good for you.

shas last blog post..http://crabapplewhite.blogspot.com/2008/06/progress.html" rel="nofollow">Progress

July 1, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersha

Okay speaking up for Boston.

Bostonians are unkind you say people say? I say that's BS.

I moved to Boston from Texas (the self-avowed friendly state, and it is, until they find out your race, religion or politics and then it's still uttered in that sugar sweet smiling "Bless you" eff you kind of way) and lived there a decade.

It's not unkind. It's not unfriendly. It's "slow to warm" and that's utterly different. You have to be patient and quick in Boston: patient for people to come around to you personally, and quick in any action especially driving and talking.

My daughter, a Boston native, is slow to warm, but I figure that's genes and she'd be this way from anywhere. I hate that being mistaken for unfriendly and unkind. She's one of the kindest people on the planet, that kid. Such an empath with the biggest heart. But you don't get that heart right away. You have to earn it, and I love her for that. That's Boston right there.

As for the rest, AMEN.

My mother teaches 7th grade and has dealt repeatedly with the same thing. She nearly fainted when a parent said something horribly racist right to her in front of the school counselor. She's still reeling, a year later. But the bottom line is that parents seem to think grades are owed, not earned. WTF?

This: "Lately, I’ve been setting firmer boundaries with those who would prefer that I simply behave and comport myself according to their standards."

That is me right now.

Great post.

July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Pippert

Okay speaking up for Boston.

Bostonians are unkind you say people say? I say that's BS.

I moved to Boston from Texas (the self-avowed friendly state, and it is, until they find out your race, religion or politics and then it's still uttered in that sugar sweet smiling "Bless you" eff you kind of way) and lived there a decade.

It's not unkind. It's not unfriendly. It's "slow to warm" and that's utterly different. You have to be patient and quick in Boston: patient for people to come around to you personally, and quick in any action especially driving and talking.

My daughter, a Boston native, is slow to warm, but I figure that's genes and she'd be this way from anywhere. I hate that being mistaken for unfriendly and unkind. She's one of the kindest people on the planet, that kid. Such an empath with the biggest heart. But you don't get that heart right away. You have to earn it, and I love her for that. That's Boston right there.

As for the rest, AMEN.

My mother teaches 7th grade and has dealt repeatedly with the same thing. She nearly fainted when a parent said something horribly racist right to her in front of the school counselor. She's still reeling, a year later. But the bottom line is that parents seem to think grades are owed, not earned. WTF?

This: "Lately, I’ve been setting firmer boundaries with those who would prefer that I simply behave and comport myself according to their standards."

That is me right now.

Great post.

Julie Pipperts last blog post..http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/TheRavinPictureMaven/~3/323219985/soul-food-feast-why-food-was-best.html" rel="nofollow">A soul food feast---why food was the best celebration of life

July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJulie Pippert

Bi-monthly (quarterly? semi-annual?) delurking session. This is an excellent post.

I'm with nec (June 30th @ 10:22am) regarding how I encounter folks when shopping, etc. If someone is contemplating a selection or in conversation, I will patiently wait for them to finish. They will either never notice me, or when they do, I will ask to let myself through, excusing the interruption in their stance.

Reminds me of what my wife and I told our young daughter (and still do, sometimes): When you say "excuse me", you're asking for permission, not giving notice that you're barging through (that's in a conversation or in a physical situation).

Kelly gives us thought-provoking imagery yet again. I read this blog faithfully. Thanks for continuing to write it!

July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterA different Ken

KUDOS to you for making that statement. I could never say something so profound in such a clear, concise manner (especially in a moment of stress).

It's too bad that young man didn't apply himself the rest of the schoolyear. Really sad. I'm sure he'll think back about that moment when he's working some menial job barely making a living and thinking "Why can't I get a better job?"

Graces last blog post..http://graceful.blog-city.com/where_i_saidwhat.htm" rel="nofollow">Where I said....what?

July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

I often have to correct young children regarding please, thank you, may I. I hate to do it, but I remember being corrected and thinking...hey now, why didn't my mom teach me that? I remember being embarrassed that I didn't have that sensibility. There are situations that call for more relaxed behavior... times when formality goes out the window... but common courtesies and polite behavior among strangers is what sets us all apart from the animal kingdom.

And even dogs know to sniff eachother "hello."

July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSugar

This post has totally inspired me to create some lesson plans around the issue of manners. Because, honestly, we can't expect them from kids unless they are taught (and we know it isn't happening in many homes). Must go brainstorm now.

BETSYs last blog post..http://cf29.wordpress.com/2008/06/29/two-things/" rel="nofollow">Two things

July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBETSY

Sugar -

Best. Damn. Line. EVAHHHH.

"...even dogs know how to sniff each other 'hello'."

July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMocha Momma

Interesting post, because apparently manners are in the eye of the beholder. I always feel that if people can just go around me they should rather than barge on through with an excuse me. Just as I always just go around if someone is looking at something unless I NEED to get through that particular area.

I also hold a door for someone if they're close, but resent people holding a door for me when I'm not close making me feel like I have to jog to catch the door. The definition of when to hold a door apparently varies widely. At work, there's a long hallway that leads to the stairs and sometimes people hold the door if they can even see you. They could be practically up a flight of stairs by the time I get to the door, so it makes me feel like I have to rush. I only hold a door for someone if I can practically hand it to them - or if their hands seem really full.

And while I appreciate men holding the door for me, I've headed up the stairs once too often to look back and see the man ogling my backside or legs in a skirt. That is not mannerful!

July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAmy in StL

I totally agree. Here in the Pacific Northwest, people are nice, but sooo laid back that there is no respectful manners. We have actually been given a hard time because we require our son to use a Miss/Mrs/Mr and say "yes Ma'am/Sir". We are looked at like we are committing some sort of child abuse!

Kristins last blog post..http://washingtonmama.blogspot.com/2008/07/pike-place-market.html" rel="nofollow">Pike Place Market

July 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

I'm glad you addressed the child in this instance. It sounds like he was your most malleable audience. Parents like that woman are a nightmare, and I hope the exception to the rule.

Rigels last blog post..http://orionscontemplation.blogspot.com/2008/07/pieces-of-flair.html" rel="nofollow">Pieces of Flair

July 2, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterRigel

I'm currently a senior in high school. My mother works as the activities director for my school, so she, too, has no shortage of dim and/or belligerent parents (usually parents of seniors) to deal with. Her job is made slightly easier because blame for almost any issue a parent can complain about can be placed squarely on the shoulders of the student, and fully backed up with extensive evidence. Of course, the fact that she's in charge of basically everything that happens on campus that isn't a class or sporting event means she gets to deal with the parents who expect the school to drop everything and work around *their* schedules (and then are confused when told no). Fun fun.

July 7, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertar

I think Julie Pippert got it exactly right. I was born in Boston and live just south of it now, but still work in the city. Bostonians do take time to warm up, but are not unfriendly people. But we do drive and talk really fast.

I think the slow to warm up thing is that people want to respect other's privacy and not intrude until we get to know someone. When Bostonians visit the South or Midwest, we can get a bit overwhelmed.

And yes manners are often lacking, but I have been offered a seat on the T many times by gentlemen and even gentlewomen. I guess I looked tired! ; ) And just the other day, an elderly couple got on the train and two people got out of their seats and helped them to sit down. I think everyone felt better just after seeing people be kind.

I hope you enjoy your trip to Boston!

Analis last blog post..http://analisfirstamendment.blogspot.com/2008/07/what-would-you-you-do-o-o.html" rel="nofollow">What would you you do-o-o ...

July 9, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnali

Great post, good read.

I have 3 kids...and instead of forcing them to use manners I have just tried lead by example, and it has worked out well for the most part.

I did not make them say "Thank You" because I felt that people should say what they mean and mean what they say (integrity). Instead I try to teach about "thankfulness" and "gratefulness" and hope that their words will match how they feel.

When my kids were very young (1-3) years old -- friends, family and strangers would often try to "correct" my kid's behavior by asking them "what do you say?" (trying to get a "thank you" out of them for receiving a candy or whatever). When I explained that I didn't want my kids to say thank you unless they actually meant it, some folks thought I was nuts.

This has worked out fine. My kids are polite little brown-nosers at school and I get compliments from teachers and other parents about how well mannered my kids are. Go figure.

And if they need to get by, they say "excuse me" ;)

Tonis last blog post..http://www.nostalgiaholic.com/wp/431/hypercolor-heats-up-again/" rel="nofollow">Hypercolor Heats Up… Again.

July 13, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterToni

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>
BlogHerNPRMedia BistroHuffington Post