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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Endangered Species: Common Courtesy

I'm a contradiction wrapped in the most alluring of chocolate mahogany skin.
Honestly, I'm contradictory like the following Drake~ism,
"I CANT STAND THESE *rhyming expletive deleted* WHO WANT MY RICHES".
While sing/talk/rapping in verse 2:

Yes, I realize this about myself, so when directing questions, comments and concerns, feel free to tell me just how much I want it both ways...because frequently, I do. I notice people when I'm out and about. People watching provides my innerchild with Wonderland type entertainment and things to alternately frown and smile about. And because I'm so deep and complex, this can occur at the exact same time. Having explained all that, I've got to wonder if I am one of those Women who've contributed to the assassination attempts currently being waged against chivalrous actions and gentlemanly conduct. This is the thing, despite my harangue on fairytales a couple of weeks ago, I still have decidedly feminine expectations when a Man enters the room or is graced by my presence.

While I’m trying to figure out who fired the first shots in this war against civility is not the point, I do recognize that frequently, a negative response to an open door, something that varies between barked orders to "Leave that door alone!" to strolling through the door failing to make eye contact, much less commit to an audible thank you, can easily leave the Brotherhood of Man nonplussed and downright lackadaisical. With that being said, these are the top five acts of pro-social kindness that I truly miss on behalf of both genders (and pray nightly) that some brave soul, Idris Elba, will bring back!

1. Pulling out the Lady's chair. Depending on the weather and time of year, I eat out regularly. And as stated, I like to watch people, so my favorite time of day to enjoy a nice meal unprepared by my own hands is typically dinner. The combination of family's dining out, first, second and third dates and the dreaded Facebook/Twitter related meet/hook up provides me more entertainment than your average wrestling tournament in the heart of Praline, Alabama. (This place doesn't my knowledge, but it has a nice ring to it.) So, of course, from the moment these couples hit the stage, I'm playing "eye spy" and counting down to see if the male of this pairing will galumph to the chair/booth and plop down in the chair without a second glance at his date/companion. My unscientific study shows that most men on a date appear to carry on internal conversations with themselves to prevent this bit of cave~mannery...but those individuals in what appears to be longer lasting relationships, will flop down blissfully unaware that their mate is standing expectantly UNTIL the host/hostess does his duty. *Insert guilty eyes and intense menu perusal here*

2. Walking nearest the street. If you were born anytime prior to 1992, it's my honest belief that you should know and do this automatically, especially when standing or walking along public transportation platforms. Color me spoiled, but the moment I feel the wind of a passing vehicle as it zips by, my date is (at least mentally) over. Blame my Grandpa.

(You need not go this far...but it made me laugh...)

3. Polite laughter. Ladies, this is one we can engage in too. Chivalry is not just for men anymore...I cringe to see a Brother in his best Steve Harvey suit, mentally rehearsing lines from the Chapelle Show and peeking over his pinkie ring hoping against hope that you at least part your lips in a half hearted guffaw at his attempts at wit. You don't have to mean it, but a cracked smile does nothing to detract from your night. If he's telling decidedly disrepectful jokes, let him know with a grimace thoughtfully disguised as a smile that Towelie is not your particular brand of chuckles. A smile, redirection...but please avoid that deadpan Daria face that I've perfected so well . Besides, you're the one who decided to date the guy wearing a Steve Harvey suit and sporting a pinkie ring...that means you've GOT to have some sense of humor. Sharing is caring.

4. The Automatic Petname. This may run more along the lines of personal pet peeve, but then this is a personal blog, so I'd be absolutely neglectful if I didn't give my Brethren a head up on the use of diminutive titles. I think before you "sugar", "baby girl", "boo", "sweety" should KNOW me...which means you won't be tossing out those silly bon mots to begin with. A recent facebook interaction ended abruptly when a stranger (though a frequent visitor to my little slice of FB Nirvana) called me "Boo". My response (similar to a knee jerk reaction or an open hand slap across the back of the throat) was, "Boo?!!! Fool it ain't Halloween!" I detest immediate familiarity. With that said, I do this frequently when being reintroduced to people because I tend to forget names. Mystery presented and solved.

5. Courtesy Words.  So…you’ve inhaled copious amounts of pepper, while starting on a freshly carbonated beverage, and suffering the onset of Montezuma’s revenge, only to discover that familiar prickly, confidence debilitating itch in your nether regions…SIMULTANEOUSLY. As you go about rectifying these perfectly natural bodily functions, realize that we’re still in the vicinity. True…for every burp, sneeze and subsequent “male adjustment”, we don’t expect you to catapult to the darkest regions of the men’s room (or ladies room…sometimes our chesticular garments go awry). But inconsiderate,  self groping and ongoing flatulence is marginally “funny” in Judd Apatow movies. In reality, it’s obnoxious…

I’m sure I’ve missed quite a few…(eye contact, a firm handshake, not giving in to your own Taylor Swift/Kanye West moment...)so share!

1 comment:

  1. Hello Sassafrass, this is Marcus Casteel from facebook. I just wanted you to know I read your whole blog & I found it very interesting & educational, as well as funny & entertaining. I found your blog to be so true & some of the realist words I ever read. I like how you go straight to the point while still giving us both point-of-views. As funny as this may sound, my mother taught me how to be a gentleman; as I can remember her calmly standing in front of the door waiting on me to open it. Even if I had walk in ahead of her I would always have to come back & hold the door open for her along with a lite cursing Thank you Sassafrass, I really enjoyed reading your blog!!!


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