“In olden days, a glimpse of stocking was looked on as something shocking, but now, God knows, ANYTHING GOES!” (Cole Porter)
Cole Porter wrote that song more than 50 years ago. It was true then, and is even more true today. The younger generation has always deemed it necessary to shock the older generation with their radical behaviour. From the hippies to whatever they are called these days, this has been true. (Hell, probably the cavemen were shocked at the behaviour of their cave-ettes!)
But this is not what the Bag Lady wanted to talk about today. (Good segue, right?) The Bag Lady wants to talk about manners. Etiquette. Emily Post-type stuff.
Some of you may have read the Bag Lady’s guest post over at Leah's blog back in September about the baby gift. Would it shock you to know that the Bag Lady still has not received a written thank-you for that gift?
The Bag Lady also gave a wedding gift to some neighbours back in August that has never been acknowledged. The Bag Lady wonders if customs have changed and she just didn’t get the memo?
Now the Bag Lady realizes that people lead much busier lives than ever before, and she also realizes that a lot of her ideas are rather out-dated; some may even say quaint. But surely-to-goodness, one hopes that doesn’t mean that a simple thank-you has gone out of style!
The Bag Lady was raised to appreciate and acknowledge things done for her. She says thank-you when someone holds a door open for her, or when a clerk in a store hands her her change. She also makes a point of holding doors for someone entering behind her, and has even been known to let someone with just a couple items go ahead of her in the check-out line at the grocery store. Old-fashioned? Perhaps. Drop something when you are standing close to her and she’ll pick it up for you (may take her longer than if you just did it yourself, but she gets the job done!)
She has noticed a change in the climate of the city nearest to where she lives. Alberta is oil country, and we have experienced a boom in population over the last few years. This has led to an increase in crime, unfortunately, and it also seems to have led to a decrease in manners. In previous years, the Bag Lady has had doors swing shut in her face, has had people cut in front of her in line-ups, has had parking spots stolen from under her nose. She makes a point of not going to town at night because heaven only knows what they do there after dark!
Lately, however, the oil companies have slowed their explorations around the area where the Bag Lady lives, and this has, somehow, corresponded to an increase in the courteous behaviour that was so lacking a few months ago. The Bag Lady wonders what that is all about?
There was an article in the Canadian Reader’s Digest (November, 2007) in which they tested the politeness of different cities across Canada. The most courteous city was Moncton, NB, which, by the way, is where the Bag Lady’s mother was born, not surprisingly. The least courteous city, surprisingly, was our nation’s capitol, Ottawa!
The nearest large city to the Bag Lady ranked third, and the other large city in the province where she lives ranked second, so it looks as though the Bag Lady lives in a relatively courteous province! Somehow, that doesn’t make her feel any better about not receiving thank you notes for gifts. But perhaps the Bag Lady is hopelessly old-fashioned and a little out of touch.
What about the area where you live? Are people courteous and polite? Or do they let doors swing shut in your face, or perhaps do even worse things? What about simple things like thank-you notes? Is that a custom that has gone out of style? The Bag Lady certainly hopes not.