Friday, March 25, 2011

Day 23 of 30 -- What I Crave, A Return to Emily Post Civility

Obviously, I am showing my age when I decide to write about a topic on manners, simple etiquette.  As I walked to the store yesterday thinking about writing this topic I kept hearing the voice of my mom.  Seriously?  For all children, we fear the inevitable encroachment into our lives as we age...the voice of our mothers.

Besides my bike which I crave daily and can't wait to jump on and ride the first morning I'm back in Vegas, which you all assumed would be the focus of the "What I Crave" blog, it is not.

I want Emily Post to rise from the dead and start kicking some solipsistic asses for their rude, indifferent, obnoxious behaviors.  She can start by ripping the cell phones out of the hands of offenders and smacking them upside the head.

Case in point...

I'm at yoga with my roommate, Cindy on Wednesday night.  The lovely woman teaching the class is Dutch I believe.  An older woman who gives me hope that I too can still touch my toes when I'm 60.  Lut, the teacher would make Emily Post proud.  One of her students would not.

As we are finishing up our final poses near the end of class, a cell phone rings.  It's the woman in front of me.  Seriously?  She quickly jumps up and must have just simply it "Ignore".  Five minutes later as we're laying in our "nap position" (don't know the Yoga name but it reminds me of naps in kindergarten) with only a few minutes left in the class, listening to Lut's calm voice saying, "Relax your legs, relax your arms, your fingers...etc", this woman's cell phone goes off again and she jumps up grabs it and runs outside to answer it.  It's YOGA, hello?

Unless you are the head surgeon on the transplant team at Nairobi Hospital and your patient is number one of the kidney donor recipient list and there's been a 15 car pile up on Uhuru Highway, you are NOT that important that you must be reached during yoga.  

And while I am on the subject of bad yoga behavior, here's to the obnoxiously loud, rude, think you're God's gift to the universe, young woman who showed up 15 minutes late, stood outside the door laughing and then proceeded to leave with 10 minutes left of class during "nap position", may an experience very important to you be ruined by someone even more classless than you...if such a person exists.

Cell phones are the biggest rude behavior catalysts known to man.  Here are the rules, I believe, Emily Post would have written had their been cell phones in her day.

1.  Turn them off when you are in a meeting, event, yoga, talking to someone else....don't just turn them to vibrate and look at them ever 6 seconds, put them away so you can't be disturbed.  Focus on the person, task, event at hand and try, just once, to live in that moment.

2.  Have some discretion when speaking on the phone. The rest of us do not want to hear about your child's poopy diaper, your neighbor's foot wart or your daughter's first menstrual cycle.

3.  If it is something really important and you need to speak to me, don't ask me in an SMS to call you or flash me (dial my number and hang up) so I call you back.  I won't.  Ever. (This is pretty much only applicable to Africa where we all buy prepaid airtime and cheap people don't want to spend their own money to call)

So, what I crave, common sense manners and civility for all.

Say please, thank, excuse me.  Stop pushing, shoving and thinking you have some special place in the universe to indulge in obnoxious behavior.  

Let the car in front of you turn.  Leave a space for a car to turn into your lane.

Let people OFF the elevator before you push your way IN.

Men, hold doors open for women (a lesson that really needs to be taught in Africa).  Pull out the chair, be a gentlemen.

Women, say thank you when a man does the above for you.

Just because people may have a "lower" job in your eyes than you, treat everyone with respect.  My guard Amos has more class than my neighbor with his big Range Rover who never waves or smiles or makes eye contact with the extraordinary individual who opens the gate for his Range Rover every day with a smile.

So...can we all agree to satisfy my craving even for just one day?  In the end, my craving might just make a better day for all of us and the people that inhabit the world around us.


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