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Respect For Simple Etiquette

Every day I am amazed at how the simple things, that are signs of good breeding, go unobserved. As a young single girl, back in the day, the door was held for me often by those that thought themselves gentlemen. I say, thought themselves for this reason:
As I started a family and became a mom, I noticed a transition in the respect held for the simple gestures.

A new mom, struggling to juggle the diaper bag, bulky stroller, and demanding child, I ventured out solo after a few weeks into motherdom and noticed how different the manners of those around me. No longer did I get doors held open for me. In fact, the more I took note of it…doors were held open less when I was with my stroller than when I was by myself. This amazed me! Obviously, here is a new mom trying to fit a big stroller through a heavy door, and men and women alike actually hurried to get a head of me…not to hold the door open but to walk in the door before me.

Now I know that sounds kind of harsh, so let me clarify. There were a few kind gestures from strangers now and then, but I noticed they were all women. Women now were opening doors for me! Wow, what a switch. Now, four years into motherdom….I find myself making sure I open doors for those mothers struggling to get it all together and through the doors at the mall or the grocery store. It makes my heart feel good when I hear a grateful, “thank you!”

This email isn’t meant to bash anyone, as that’s not me at all. I’m just trying to make people think a little bit. For example, last night my husband took me to dinner and a concert. I have a bum knee right now and was needing to sit down. I looked around the waiting area at Red Lobster, where we had a 30 minute wait, and noticed that most of the men were sitting down. Men sitting down, where there were women with child and women beyond their years standing!!! It make my blood boil! This was not the first time I had been to this same restaurant where this happened.

I know I’m only 34. To some of you that may seem really old. To some of you that may seem really young. Either way, I amazed at those around me. I was raised that men should open the door for ladies and give up their seats to a female, young and old. I realize that it’s very old school in thinking, but it’s just common courtesy!

Last night, there was a split second for me to make a dash to an open seat to continue my wait for dinner. I saw an open seat and knew others were going to take it if I didn’t grab the chance. There were about 3 men trying to angle it for it as well. It was like musical chairs with a vengence. I hobbled as fast as I could, and almost sat. I looked up and there was a 65 plus year old lady. I sat my bottom on it for one second to claim it—kinda like licking the home made roll to keep your sibling from eating it. Then I stood up to offer it to this older lady, who’s eyes lit up when I motioned her to sit. I made my way back to my husband, and said a little too loud to who ever could hear, “There’s no way I could take that seat, when there was a lady that needed it worse than I did. That would just be rude!”

I don’t get angry very often, but those in society who are just clueless to common courtesies get me every time. If you’re one, who don’t recognize your surroundings, please take note:

Men–Please give up your seats if there is a woman standing and waiting for anything–whether it be the subway, a restaurant, or a medical wait room. At least make the offer, so if a woman doesn’t want to sit…she can make the decision and appreciate your good manners.

Young women—ditto for you when it comes to relinquishing your seat for older women, who have paved the way for you.

And remember if you see a mom, trying to push her stroller through a heavy door. It’s a double task to open a door and push something big through it….do a good deed and get the door for her. It’s commom courtesy.


13 thoughts on “Respect For Simple Etiquette”

  1. I know exactly what you mean!

    My outlook on majority of men- most are pigs!

    I didn’t use to believe that but when I became a mother myself and noticed the same sort of things you mentioned in your post- my view started to change.

    Then there is the work place! Woah don’t get me started on that regarding men! LOL

    And, what topped it off for me to realize that most men are pigs were the Internet chat rooms and BLOGS!!

    Great post I loved it!

  2. I’ve noticed that men in my city are really eager to open the door for me when I’m struggling with my stroller. When they don’t I’m rather ticked. It’s soooo hard to get through a door with a stroller, now I’m going to have to try soon with a double stroller, YIKES!!

    I love it that you spoke loudly in the restaurant, I always do that when people are smoking on the playground or doing other rude things as well.

    I plan on teaching my boys all of those manners, I think they serve a more of a purpose than just being polite. Especially when it comes to letting elderly people sit down. I’m only 23 and I agree with you!!

  3. thank you! By no means was I trying to bash anyone sex or gender, but just pointing out an obvious lack of courtesy in today’s generation as a whole. There are still a few generous people, who want to care take those around them….but I haven’t seen many lately.

    Thank you both for your comments.

  4. That is terrible that no one opens the door for moms!!! I find Southern California to be horrible, whereas when I was in Canada, people were awesome!

    I always hold the door open and offer my seat!

    People are just so into themselves now!

  5. Amen, amen, amen!

    I live in central Texas and for the most part, people are fairly courteous. That’s not to say we don’t have our share of rude and inconsiderate people. I also notice that school-aged kids around here fall short when it comes to manners, courtesy and respect.

    We’ve heard it a million times, but it all comes down to parenting. Eventually, these kids will have children of their own and I cringe to think that these behaviors will perpetuate.


  6. This happens all the time now a days it seems. I have noticed that men that work in the same building as me do it all the time! They don’t say thank you if you hold the door open for them. Last I checked I am a girl and they are a guy so clearly I am stuck in a parallel universe as there is no other explanation as to why you are not holding the door open for me.

    I always make sure to say “your welcome” to anyone that does not say “thank you” when the door is held or some other common courtesy is performed.

  7. You had a right to be angry! And you can be glad you kept your cool! 🙂

    The day will come, maybe it’s already here, when you’ll be able to let a few rude-ies “overhear” you teaching your own how to be courteous and polite.

    And there’s always the opportunity to make the courteous one feel really special. “Why thank you. That – (referring to their kindness) was CLASS!” When recognized and sincerely appreciated it has a way of multiplying – I think you’re right though, we have a ways to go.


  8. Okay at times I have held the door open for woman with stollers , to help them out.

    But there is no way that I am going to give up my seat, just because someone is a woman. Just because someone is a woman does not mean she has more rights than me. If I am sitting down on a bus I am not giving up my seat to someone just because she is a woman. I have just as much of a right to sit down as woman do.

  9. Tim, Thanks wholeheartedly from a mom who once pushed one of those strollers.

    Now I can see not letting a woman of your own age, in your twenties maybe?, sit down instead of you…after all you’re raised in a different era. So not extending that courtesy to someone of your own age maybe is fine for a girl your own age.

    but to not give an elderly lady, 65+ in years, a seat when there’s not one for her anywhere else??? I’m not responding to sound rude so don’t take this the wrong way at all….
    but please tell me you would at least think of helping someone who needs that chair/seat more than you…a little humility to the older generation is always a good thing.

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