In a world where basic please and thank yous are rare, this granny is immensely appreciative of rudimentary manners and polite gestures. Expressing consideration for others with respectful actions is a sure way to win me over, but certain courteous traditions are just awkward or inconvenient. Please refrain from the following:
1. Holding the door when I’m more than 10 feet away
I didn’t plan on taking a power walk or light jog when I got dressed this morning, but now I have to pick up the pace so that you don’t stare at me like I’m a lazy tortoise.
2. Waving me forward at a four-way stop
If it is your turn, please just go. Oh, you don’t know if it’s your turn? Did you pay off your driving instructor or something? How are you allowed on the roads?
3. Covering your mouth when eating
Putting your hand in front of your mouth actually draws more attention to your smacker than if you just openly chewed. And if you have so much food swirling about that you can’t possibly complete a close-mouthed chomp, might I suggest smaller bites.
4. Offering to carry something once I’m already loaded up and situated
The amount of effort it’d take to transfer any one of the four bags slung around my various body parts to your wide-open arms is really more effort than it’s worth.
5. Telling me that I look great today
And every other day…?
6. Sneezing into your hand
Are you really one of those people who hasn’t gotten the memo about the elbow sneeze? Doorknobs. Handshakes. Train poles. Complimentary nut bowls. Think about it.
7. Asking me on a date over the phone
Not enough men have the confidence to call instead of text- so props to those who don’t hide behind the keys. Calling is impressive. That being said, if you ask me on a date over the phone, I’m pretty much obligated to say yes. So it’s charming, but also kind of rude. I need to research how women of the pre-text era handled these kinds of situations.
8. Offering for me to go first in the bathroom line
Nobody wants to go first, feeling all rushed and self-conscious about noises and smells. [Unless I’ve had four beers. You know that beautiful expression by John Green, “I fell in love like you fall asleep- slowly, then all at once”? That’s kind of how needing to pee happens after four beers. In that case, pleasepleaseplease let me go first.]
9. Standing up to let me into my seat
I know there’s really not a better option in rows of seats, but the “polite” thing to do in this case is definitely no less awkward than the alternative (staying seated).
10. Asking for me to pass the salt
Reaching over someone is the rude thing to do, but I really don’t want to put down my perfectly assembled bite right now to pass you what you need. You should really just reach.
11. Saying that I don’t have to buy you a birthday present
You know what, I would have happily not bought you a gift since I had no idea your birthday was coming up. But now that I know, I obviously have to get you a present. This is the ultimate “no means yes” situation. Well, maybe not the ultimate.
12. Not talking in the elevator
Where did this custom come from? I’m not going to tell anyone your secrets. You and your friend can keep talking. And if it’s just us, ask me about the weather or something. I’m a human worthy of acknowledgment.
13. Offering to sit in the back seat
When someone insists I sit shotgun, it usually means that the driver is questionable company. Thanks a lot.
You can stop doing these things now.
Please and thank you.