Mama A: Courtesy.

Hello my little darlings!

Mama A here after a lengthy hiatus and ready to share a little Christmas in July cheer!


Photography by the delightful Lauren Thorn 
Or maybe some black coals if you've been naughty.  

It's sometimes difficult to get these brittle old lady bones moving, but I just have to get this off of my chest.  It's been simmering for a while now, and after several recent events that have occurred within my circle of acquaintances, friends, and family, I know that I am not alone in my feelings--and I felt it was high time to bring it to the table.

I used to believe that by living in the South, everyone was well aware of how to appropriately deal with situations and issues.  We were all raised with the fear of the Lord and Emily Post.  I know that my own personal mama taught me that Grace, kindness, and manners were expected.  

At all times. 
Even when you didn't feel like it.  
Even when you wanted to punch someone in the face.   

Perhaps no one ever taught some of you how to be polite.  I get it--our school curriculums no longer have ample time for important things such as teaching beautiful cursive handwriting or character education.  The guidance counselors can no longer teach lessons with puppets and flannel boards and your poor teachers were frazzled and had absolutely no time to teach self-control.  Maybe your parents assumed that you just knew how to act because of your southern roots and bloodlines.  Maybe they are just as rude as some of you are.  Or, maybe you just ain't from around these parts (or as my childhood minister used to call it--you're one of "the cold winds blowing down from the north.")  I'm not sure what the deal is, but some of you folks have lost your minds.  I mean, this goes well beyond a "bless your heart" situation.  

It's become an epidemic of rudeness.  
In the South. 

Let us pause for a moment of silence.

My poor mouth has gaped open on more than one occasion recently (and we all know how I feel about mouth-breathers).  I am astounded by the behavior going on and enough is ENOUGH!

So, for the sake of sanity and clarity, let's discuss:

  • When you are at the grocery store, please do not leave your cart in the middle of the aisle while your children are roaming like monkeys.  And, if for some reason you do leave your cart, apologize profusely to the people in the aisle trying to move past you and your circus.  Then kindly collect and strap your monkeys down in the cart.
  • When posting a status update or tweet, please refrain from sharing your dirty laundry with the whole wide world.  And if you find yourself constantly in an argument with others over something they posted on the web:  stop and assess your behavior before you submit your response.
  • If you are dissatisfied by someone else's behavior--be it at work, church, Sonic, or the Wal-mart, please discuss the matter privately with the individual first.  Don't run to their supervisor, don't yell at them on speakerphone in public, don't bring along your gaggle of fellow meanies to the conversation, and don't copy people on an email that should be only intended for the "offender."  
  • Always ask yourself:  How would I feel if this happened to me?  How would I want the other person to handle this situation?
  • No one is thinking about you as much as you think they are thinking about you.  But, trust me when I say they are watching how you respond in difficult situations.  Think twice and maybe sometimes just don't say the words in your head out loud. 
  • When you are able to, apologize.  You might not be able to fix the situation, the person might still be upset, and you may deal with some serious consequences.  But, please at least apologize and do your best to move on from that situation.
  • Accept others' apologies and do your very best to move on from that situation. 
  • If an acquaintance gives you something out of the kindness of his/her heart, please do not turn up your nose and refuse.  For example, if the dear old lady neighbor brings you collard greens and you aren't a fan of the collards, all you need to say is "thank you so much!" and then once the neighbor leaves, call your collard-friendly friend and let them know you have a surprise for them.  It's a double rainbow of good deeds!  
  • If you receive something hideous from someone you know or are related to, smile and say "thank you!" and find one nice thing to say about it.  My girls know that if they ever open a box of cat poop (the most ridiculous present I could think of at the time of Hypothetical Situation Instructional Meeting in the car just prior to any gift-receiving event or function): they are to smile, say "thank you!" and find something nice to say about it. 
  • If someone you do not know says something offensive:  don't laugh, don't agree, and don't get all high and mighty.  Just discretely excuse yourself from the situation.  
  • If someone you know says something offensive: tell them and kindly offer suggestions as how to remedy their remarks.  Unless they are really, really old, then you may respectfully agree to disagree.  You may also want to duck, because the elderly around the South have been known to strike others about the head.  And sometimes our grandmas don't care about concealed carry permits.  
  • Pajama pants in public:  Never, ever, ever appropriate unless you are hooked up to an iv line and going to/from the hospital.  
  • If a funeral procession is passing, pull your dang car over and wait for the family and friends of the deceased to pass by.  While you are waiting you can pray and think nice thoughts about how you are blessed that you are not in that particular procession.  
  • Do not teach your children to yell, "Play ball!" at the conclusion of the national anthem.  For the love. 
  • When someone comes to your house, offer them something to drink.  Water is fine; coffee, lemonade, or tea are all better choices.  
And last, but certainly not least:
  • Wear the appropriate amount of undergarments in public.  At all times.  I don't think I need to expand on this one.  

My darlings, it is not that hard to use common sense and good manners.  Some of you might want to take your head out of the sand and remember that all the other folks (just like you) want to be treated nicely and with respect.

Let's be courteous.  

Because some of yo mamas would be smackin' you across the backside if they knew the stunts you were pulling in public/church/workplace. 

Love and smooches, 
Mama A.

Popular Posts