Domestic Square Peg Lovey: Good Old Fashion Manners

What happened to manners? What happened to saying please and thank you? What happened to the courtesy wave when a driver lets another driver pull out in front of them in traffic?  What happened to holding the door open for another person? When did people quit feeling it was important to be polite?

The other day while at my local coffee shop I became rather annoyed while watching person after person take their drink from the barista without uttering a single word of gratitude. How hard is it to say thank you? Even when the barista said “thank you and have a nice day”, the customer didn’t respond. Just to make sure what I was seeing wasn’t a fluke, I waited until the crowd thinned out and asked the employees what percentage of the customers said thank you. There was a collective chuckle before one barista answered that it was way less than 40%. The others shook their heads in agreement.

Now I must admit, some people could accuse me of being a little over the top with importance of manners. I am always saying to my kids when someone does something for them, “What do you say?”

“Thank you,” they answer obediently.

I even slipped once at a drive thru window and asked my husband,

“What do you say?” when the lady handed him the food. He looked at me in disbelief, but still politely said thank you to the woman and then reminded me he already had good manners.

Call me old fashioned. I still think manner matter.

I can’t help myself, I think manners matter.  I think phones should be answered, “(Add your family’s name here) Residence” or a polite “hello.”  Followed with a “May I ask who is calling?”, and a “Just one moment please,” right before they carefully cover the receiver to find the person wanted. And if there is a message to be taken they should ask for the name and number, write it down and double check the information with the caller.

But I am blown away how often I call a home and have a person, (especially kids), answer the phone with a “Yah” instead of “hello” and “no she/he is not here” without being given an option to leave a message before hanging up without a simple “good bye”.

I also believe adults and kids should look each other in the eye, shake hands and say, “nice to meet you,” when there is an introduction. This is pretty simple stuff.

Some may have the impression that I am talking about high society etiquette. But I am not a super fancy person. I have sat at a few dinner parties and not known which fork I was supposed to use. What I am talking about, pure and simple, every day respect, kindness and courtesy.  I don’t know a single person who would say they did not like someone because they were too kind and polite.

Is there anyone else out there who believes that the world would be a little better if we reinstated good old fashion manners? Please tell me I am not alone. (See, I said please.)


For another post on manners, don’t miss this one by In Defense of Men’s Count Raoul.

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3 Responses to Domestic Square Peg Lovey: Good Old Fashion Manners

  1. Anne W says:

    Along with that I can’t stand when children aren’t taught to look adults in the eye or to and answer their questions with respect. I agree with you on all accounts!

  2. Barbara says:

    Great article, I do agree!!! Even sales clerks hardly give you the time of day even if you are purchasing some thing!!! I am with you, it is not difficult to say thank you and smile!!

  3. Greg says:

    Couldn’t agree more.
    I also find if they are used they have become a throw away line. Especially sorry. My children rarely say it with conviction. It appears to be more used to get “Dad off my back about manners”.
    On the upside they do occasionally surprise me.

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