When I married Darling Husband, I quickly realized that his family of professionals had similarities to the Cosbys, while my working class family had a few things in common with Rosanne and her family. His parents had dinner parties at their home with the governor as a guest; my stepfather ate at our dinner table without his shirt. (The governor wasn’t there—why not?) He’s a runner and was often half naked.
What DH and I did have in common, though, is our love of family and an adequate amount of fun growing up. However, education and cultural exposure is a barrier that defends against ignorance and lack of etiquette. I’ve committed more than a few faux pas in my younger days because I lacked in both of these areas. (Yes, I do have a college degree, but education comes in many forms.)
I remember throwing a toothpick out of a rolled-down car window and my girlfriend, who was also in the car, was aghast.
“What did I do!” I asked.
“You threw that toothpick out the window!”
“That’s litter,” she admonished.
“It’s a sliver of wood that will blend right back into nature; not a Burger King bag or an ashtray full of cigarette butts. I didn’t even think about it.”
My friend continued to explain and whereas I didn’t totally get it then, it eventually clicked.
So being the refined lady that I am now, I notice a few bad habits that other people exhibit. For example: I was sitting in my car waiting for my daughter to come out of a building next to the grocery store, when I witnessed Unrefined Shopper Woman pushing her basket (cart) up on the grass instead of walking five seconds to the rack.
“Well that’s lazy,” I murmured.
And then the journalist in me took over as I got out my cell phone to snap a picture. (Always thinking about the blog.) Of course I waited for Unrefined Shopper Woman to drive off before I snapped.
As I continued to wait for Darling Daughter, my thoughts became forgiving. The woman probably thought she was doing a good thing by putting the basket on the grass where it wouldn’t roll away. Maybe?
Maya Angelou has been quoted as saying, “When you know better you do better.”
When you see someone doing something tacky or something that lacks etiquette, are you 100% critical or is there room for a pinch of forgiveness?
What have you been guilty of doing or not doing?
8/14/13 - I talked to my mom today. She thought the post was funny when she read it, but had second thoughts; wondering if the Rosanne comment makes people think that she is like the character on the show. Mom is not. Everyone knows that she is a class act. Just having fun with a little self-deprecating humor, Mom. Sorry. xoxo