What have we become as a society?
I’m sitting here tonight and my cell phone rings, and the conversation went something like this:
Him: “Hi, how are you?”
Me: “Good, what did you do tonight?”
Him: “Can I call you back?”
Me: “I guess so,”
So I sit here waiting about three minutes and no call back, so I call him.
Me: “Um, did you want me?”
Him: “Yes, can I call you back?”
Sorry dude, you just struck out. Don’t call me and waste my time with this nonsense. I didn’t call you, have the courtesy of finishing your conversation with me before taking a call from someone else.
I am beginning to think that as a society we have lost all respect for each other and manners and proper etiquette have been lost forever. Take today’s teenagers, or as I like to call them, street thugs and mall rats. They wear their pants halfway down their legs with their underwear hanging out and think this is acceptable dress. They drop the f-bomb more than I do in a day and have no respect for themselves or others around them who have to endure with their lurid behavior.
I come from a time where when you enter a building, you take your hat off. When you go out for dinner, you dress appropriately. When you’re at a table and a lady gets up to powder her nose, you stand up. You hold the door open for the person behind you and ladies go first. Sweat pants aren’t business casual and Megadeath t-shirts aren’t for casual Fridays.
As technology evolved and cell phones became mainstream, the lack of respect took a new turn. Now its perfectly acceptable to treat your dinner companions to your conversation when your phone rings. Turn signal levers should be taken out of cars, because you can’t steer with your right hand, hold the phone in your left, and signal a turn at the same time. I usually express my disdain with the turn-signal-less drivers with a blast of the horn. If you’re at dinner with me and your phone rings, I tell you to leave the table. And don’t think you’re going to break bread with me with a hat on.
I consider myself to be polite. Difficult, yes. But polite. Admittedly the f-bomb is part of my regular vocabulary much like it is on Saturday Night Live, but I’m cognisant of the company I’m with and will adjust my language as necessary. (Forgive me Father for I have sinned, it’s been about 27 years since my last confession. Do you have a few hours?) If my mother heard my language at times, I would have a mouth-full of soap, but I would have thanked her for doing that afterwords.
As a youngster, if I exhibited the behavior some young people exhibit today, my behind would be red and I would be waiting “for my father to come home” fully expecting a stern reprimand. I don’t know where in the course of history manners and etiquette took a left turn, but I’m hoping it gets back on the right track. After all, I don’t want to be watching our next President of the United States delivering his acceptance speech with his pants down around his knees and his underwear hanging out. Unless his last name is Clinton, then he’s excused.