Dr. Maddy Paschal
As a senior citizen, good manners and politeness are still extremely important to me. Even as a child, I was told I was polite, had good manners (thanks to my precious grandmother) and loved it when kids and adults were polite to me. So, I have begun noticing that the word “manners” and “politeness” are not as prevalent as they once were, or is it just me?
And so I have, once again, polled my “senior” generational friends for their feelings about manners, politeness and what impresses them about both. Here’s EXACTLY what they had to say (nothing censored):
1. When I say, “Thank you!” I do not want to hear, “No problem!” I just want to hear “You’re welcome.” How refreshing would that be! I always think that maybe there was a problem and I’m it!
2. I know I’m just a little old lady, but sometimes I get calls from unidentified callers or blocked numbers and when I answer, they hang up! So recently, I got one of those calls, and I loudly cried out, “It’s done and there’s blood everywhere!” I haven’t received another one of those calls!
3. When I was a child and didn’t hear what someone said to me, I was taught to say, “Pardon me?” Now, when I don’t make myself clear, my grandson will say, “What?” or “Huh?” That just flies all over me! (Southern talk for… “that just makes me furious”) And so, I don’t repeat myself. Then he has to come in the room and ask me what I said. (I get a chuckle out of making him do that… we’re working on “pardon me.”)
4. I can’t believe that everyone who sits down at a table to eat has their cell phones next to their plate! And what’s even worse, they text, talk and answer that damn thing while we are dining! It’s time to turn ‘em off! Dinner used to be a sacred time to enjoy each other’s company and the day’s happenings. Now we see the top of everyone’s head! Yuk!
5. I know this is not a popular topic, but since when did saying “I’m sorry” become a bad thing? Once there was a movie that made that phrase a popular and sweet thing to say. Now I see young people do disrespectful things and just walk off. When they’re called on to admit their mistake and utter those meaningful words, they can’t seem to say them. Why is that? And not just “Sorry”! The “I’m” must be in there. It matters who is saying it!
6. When I walk into a room and there is not one chair left for me to sit down in, I used to think that young people would jump out of the chair on which they are sitting and offer it to me! Not so! I have been left standing, and standing, and standing. No one gets up! No one sees me! No one even looks at me out of one eye! I’m invisible!
7. And one more thing (there’s so much more, but I think you’ve quit reading). Please walk me to the door when I’m leaving… from anywhere! Better yet, walk me to my car. You might even give me a hug (arriving and leaving)!
(PS… And one more thing! When did we stop actually stop writing a “thank you” note for something kind someone did for us? Oh Yes! I remember. When cursive was taken out of the curriculum in elementary school and addresses became email accounts, and…the list goes on and on. I love to send them and get them, however. STILL.)
So there you have it. The seven (or eight) most “hoped for” polite gestures from seven wonderful seniors who, like me, still believe in table manners, good listening skills, humble attitudes and gracious living skills. And if we could do our lives all over again, we would always say, “please and thank you” to our parents, grandparents and friends who have made being polite a memory to treasure. And by the way, thank you for reading this, my friend.