Writer’s Block: The Finer Things In Life

writers-blockby Corinne Wnek

I’m not one to reminisce much about the past because it’s enough for me to cope with the present. But there’s one thing that I would like to see in vogue again and that is, good manners.

It was that great song and dance man, Fred Astaire, who commented in an interview back in the seventies that, “The hardest job kids face today is learning good manners without seeing any”. I bet he’s spinning in his grave right now because not a lot has changed in 2013. Maybe the very word ‘manners’ conveys stuffy propriety that just invites rebellion. Maybe our society has just gotten too casual.

For instance, I can’t remember the last time I heard ‘thank you’ after bagging my own groceries at the supermarket. I do this to help the cashier move the line quicker. Now I can’t thank them enough when they let me check out 12 items in an express lane with a limit of 10. But all I want is a little acknowledgment that they know I’ve gone the extra mile for them, too. “Thanks for baggin’’, would do the trick.

And how many of us have had enough of sitting through repeated ‘excuse me’s” while someone we are talking to takes unlimited text messages and cell phone calls? Now what bugs me about this is that these interruptions may seem innocent enough. But what’s really going on here is indifference to another person’s presence and the inability to keep technology in its’ proper place.

Emily Post, the four-star general in the army of manners and etiquette, once said: “Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use first.” Exactly.

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