This epistle needs a qualification. That qualification is that the event mentioned in the following paragraphs did not occur here where I live. The event took place many, many miles from my abode. As a consequence no one in my community needs to get in an uproar. I'm not talking about you. Well, maybe ….
Having said the above and before I get to the below, I readily admit I am a fossil. I am the product of an age that does not exist anymore. Thanks to the advances of medical science in the latter part of the twentieth century, there are more and more of us around. We are readily identifiable. For instance, we hold the doors open for ladies. None of us are unaware that ladies are capable of opening doors, but, nevertheless, we hold doors open for ladies because they are ladies. We can also be identified by our propensity to remove our hats when entering a building. I have not the foggiest idea why we do this, but we do it. Gentleman, Mama told me, don't wear hats inside. It's called manners.
Other quaint mannerisms identify us. We always say, “Yes, Ma'am,” and “Yes, Sir.” It's manners. We never put our elbows on the table during a meal. We pull out the chair for women who are joining us at the table. There are certain events at which we think it proper to wear a proper coat, and, occasionally, a tie. Like I said, I'm a fossil. I was raised on manners.
I insist there are certain vestiages of the age in which I was raised society would be well-served to hold onto. That brings me to my recent outing.
It was a talent show for students at a middle school. It was a really big middle school. One grade probably outnumbers the entire population of a local middle school in my home county. That means, if you're going to be fair to all the students, the talent show is going to take hours.
Here begins my remarks on a quality that seems to have been lost somewhere in the abyss that exists between my generation and the one raising my grandchildren. To wit:
When the school provides a designated space for recording videos, one does not stand up when one is on the second row from the front to record, thereby blocking the view of several hundred. It's called manners. Be it known I don't drive eighty-five miles one way to hear two long sets of a hard rock band composed of teachers at a middle school student talent show. It's called manners. When one's own child is a performer in the talent show and one's own child has just completed their talent, has taken their bow, and the next child has just begun their rendition of the latest pop song, one does not begin to exit from the middle of the aisle, exclaiming loudly as one foot after another is stepped upon, “Excuse me. Excuse me.” It's called manners.
During the performance of any middle school child. one, who is chronologically an adult, does not answer one's cell phone and loudly discuss the latest acquisition of the company while my granddaughter is singing. It's called manners.
And finally, when one answers his cell phone while my granddaughter is singing, I do not confront him face-to-face. I talk about him behind his back, as is the case with this blog. It's called manners.