Thursday, March 10, 2011

You May Not Mind Your Manners...But I Do.

People are rude. It is as simply as that. I miss a time when I did not exist. I miss an era where people knew their neighbors, cared about the people around them, did for others, and were not as self-absorbed as they are today. In my mind, that time is the 1950s. Maybe it is earlier.

In my mind, and from what I gather by reading and watching old programs, people had manners in the 1950s. I dare even say...etiquette...courtesy. Here are some things that, in my mind, are different about the time from when I did not exist and now.

THEN: Supper was a family event. Families supped together each night. They talked about their days. No one left the table until everyone was finished eating. Children would not even think of asking to leave the table. Then, quite possibly, they even helped clear the table.

NOW: How many families do you even know who dine together at supper time? Of those who do, how many have children who dash away from the table as soon as they are finished shoveling away whatever food they are going to eat? How many people are sitting at the table answering texts, reading the news, not even paying attention to the others at the table? It is rude and un-courteous.

Side Note: In the 1950s, "Breakfast is the one meal at which it is permissible to read the paper, mail, or anything else that suits your fancy." -Amy Vanderbilt, Complete Book of Etiquette, 1954

THEN: Children's behavior. Please and thank you were compulsory. If a child did not say them, an adult present would tell them right then and there that there were being impolite. All teachers were addressed as Sir or Ma'am. Boys knew not to wear a hat indoors, and when they were talking with or met a lady, their hats would be removed. A child would open a door and let someone go through it before they did.

NOW: Manners? What are those? "I want, I want, I want." Respect for teachers? According to what I have heard lately...not so much. If a child is disrespectful nowadays, not much seems to be done to discipline them because people are so afraid of the repercussions. Have you ever heard older adults use the expression, "If I spoke to my parents that way, I would get a whipping, for sure!" As for the door thing, pay attention the next time that you go someplace where there are children. Do they hold the door for their mom, or do they rush inside and let the door close behind them?

THEN: Ladies wore hats. If you know me, you know that I adore hats. That is not the point here, though. The point is that ladies dressed like ladies. As a matter of fact, women cared enough to take the time to dress like a lady. "Casual" may have been a pair of slacks or capris.

NOW: Sweatpants, jeans, leggings, bra straps showing, thongs showing out the tops of jeans...sloppy. I know, I know, whatever is comfortable, right? Ugh. What ever happene to a woman looking feminine for her man? What happened to wanting to look pretty for yourself? Why have we become a kind of society where so many people seem to take no pride in their appearance anymore? Did people forget that looking good also helps you feel good?

There is so much more about today's society that is just not cool.
~When a new cash register opens at the supermarket, does the person at the back of the line rush to that register, or do they make sure that the person who is next in line is aware?
~When someone moves to a new neighborhood, do people rush over with a plate of cookies to welcome them or watch from behind a curtain to see who the new people are and make judgments about them?

Oh, I could go on and on. I will not, though. I am not complaining. Life is good, and we have so many blessings here and now. Simply, I am wondering why things are so different now from a time when, in my mind, they were, in some ways, better.

Now, now, someone is bound to take offense at something that I mentioned. If you do, then I would refer you to Are You Offended? Nothing that I said was geared toward anyone in particular. Some ladies dress quite lovely. Some people's children are very polite. Some people still enjoy a good, family meal as quality time together. I mean, I am sure that they do. Right?


  1. I LOVE this post. You are so right; today's society pales in comparison to the society that once was. I am sharing this on my blog because I think we could all benefit from reading this! It was certainly a reality check for me!

    PS--It's funny that your mind goes instantly to the 1950's because mine does, too. Oh, how I would love to live during that decade! :)

  2. mind does automatically go to the 50s, but then after putting some thought into it, values really seemed to decline after then. The 60s were all about free love, the 70s were all about drugs, the 80s were all about "greed is good," the 90s were "all about me."

    Thank you so much for sharing this! I appreciate that someone agrees with me because, just by looking at the world around me, I know that so many would not agree with me.

  3. Hi there! I am coming over from the Christian Blog Crawl! :)

    Love this post. I totally agree with you!

  4. I kinda wish I was alive in the 1950s lol (: At some points i dont though.... I like this post (:

  5. What I find interesting is how many adults TELL my children to call them by their first name. I wind up correcting the adults!

  6. Hi,

    Thanks so much for visiting my blog
    I am still figuring out how to add all the widgets/gadgets. :)

    Your post reminds me of growing up in the south. I didn't dare do some of things that my son and other young children do today. Thanks for sharing these thoughts, very refreshing!!

  7. Oh my goodness! I cannot believe how well put together this is! I have said some of these words a few times, but never really constructed it all together. Yes, it IS a real shame that people are so rude. I came from the Philippines and even there, where people are absolutely dirt poor, you can find more manners than here. My husband, who's English, can't get over the fact that people just don't say please or thank you. Where did our manners go? Thank you for posting this.


    Lexie Lane