Matters of Manners

This is one of those posts that has nothing to do with running…

I was thinking about etiquette and manners today at work when I had a woman charge onto the elevator while I was trying to get off (the elevator). I was also thinking if the bathroom and kitchen in our office are indicators of how people treat their homes, I hope they never invite me over.  Finally I was thinking we may need to take a look at some manners and/or points of etiquette. A couple came to mind on my way home.

‘Manners’ is a term usually preceded by the word good or bad to indicate whether or not a behavior is socially acceptable.


1. Oh, elbow room, elbow room, got to, got to get us some elbow room: Why can’t I put my elbows on the table?  I have a table for 6 people and 90% of the time I only have 3 people sitting at it.  We could all put our elbows on the table and not disturb anyone. So if there is plenty of room, what is the problem? Cramped 6 deep around a 4 person table?  I get it. No elbows on the table.  If you have the room, then I say enjoy it.  I’m not rude, I am comfortable. This made more sense on Little House on the Prairie when all the Ingalls were squished around a small table.

No elbows on the table Mary!

No elbows on the table Mary!

2. Respect your Elders: Respect based solely on age is dumb.  If you are a 50 year old ass-clown, why should I respect you just because you are my “elder”? I’m 43. Is a 44 year old my elder? You want my respect? Earn it.  It should not be granted because you were able to survive more years on the planet. I reserve the right to decide who I respect.

Both of these guys are my elders.

Both of these guys are my elders.

3. Bless you, gesundheit, Alhamdulillah, bai sui, bud zdorov: All the things we say to each other when we sneeze.  Coughing will get you nothing except some sideways glances from your coworkers who think you should have stayed home. I say it all of the time to people I know and strangers in the store.  I think we should just hope people cover their noses and mouths. If they do maybe we should just say “thanks”. Let us replace the niceties with a simple “Thanks for not spraying me”.

Here is a quick interesting sneeze article:

Cover up, please

Cover up, please

4. Hold the door: I am OK with holding the door for others.  Hold it if they are nearby. Hold it if they have heavy items or their arms are full. I have a 10 second rule for holding doors.  If you are within 10 seconds of reaching the door, I will wait.  I don’t actually count the seconds so my apologies to the 8-9 second folks I have neglected. My gripe is the people that don’t acknowledge the act.  I am not a professional door holder and I don’t live to hold a door open for you. If you don’t share a “thank you” you may get a “you’re welcome” or “bless you” (in Baltimore it is the way people pretend to be kind while meaning F*** You). I had a woman at work claim I purposely let a door close in her face (long story).  To her I say “BLESS you”.

5. Forks to the left of me, jokers to the right: A fork, a spoon, and a knife (maybe 2 knives) is all I need.  I don’t need specialized tools placed in specific places to enjoy my meal.  Does anyone actually give a crap which side of the plate the salad fork is on?  If you care about if I have my settings properly prepared then go eat somewhere else. I enjoy the food and companionship to the positioning of the butter knife.

Wow. You will never see this in my house

Wow. You will never see this in my house

Are you interesting in the intricacies of the place setting world?



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