Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Social Arts

I have tried my best over the years to teach my daughter manners and the rules of personal courtesies, decorum, and interactions. I think, given what I have seen, that I have done at least a passable job. I mean she pretty regularly says "please" when she demands something and "thank you" when she forces you to respond to her every whim. She holds doors open for folks when protocol absolutely demands it and she does not talk back overly much to her teachers and other assorted grown-ups. However, the other day she gave me some feedback on the lessons that I have been teaching her that I felt compelled to share with you.

We were sitting next to each other on the couch the other night when I had a bit of a coughing spell. After I recovered myself, I said "excuse me". My daughter told me that saying "excuse me" was not necessary in such situations. She added that you only need to say "excuse me" after you burp. So, now that I have been properly educated on this aspect of etiquette, I had to share it
with the world, lest you make the same glaring faux pas that I made. This episode also serves to provide us with a life lesson that could be valuable to those, like myself, that still have much to learn. If you come across someone who shows a distinct lack of manners as if they attended a finishing school in the midwest or Canada, it may be that we should not judge them too harshly as they may have not received full and/or complete training in the social arts.