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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Monday, March 13, 2006

Mr. Manners

So I just got a scolding from "Anonymous" who wondered if I'd won Etiquette Idol and if such a win combined with a proper upbringing qualified me to comment on folks' behavior. Two answers: If there was an Etiquette Idol I wouldn't enter, because like I said in my first posting I really don't care which fork you use or how you fold your napkins. I hate to disappoint you, but I didn't attend a finishing school. Second, yes, "Anonymous." I was raised right, and that does partially qualify me to comment on how people carry themselves in public. That being said, I have no problem admitting my own flubs.

And in keeping with that position, I have a few to share for "Anonymous" so he/she doesn't have to worry about whether I'm really human.

This is a one time mulligan though, "Anonymous," because if you had read my first few posts, you would have seen at least one admission to a behavioral flub on my part. But you want to know my bad behaviors. Here are a few. And no worries, if I step in it, I'll write about it just as quickly as I would if I saw you "act 'a fool." Trust me, if I didn't admit it my wife and friends would find a way to post it for me.
  • I was recently at dinner with my wife, when I spotted a friend and co-worker who waved me over, so that her husband could meet my wife. Before I thought about it I'd called out to my wife, who was standing about 20 feet away with other friends waiting for our table to be ready. It was only after I shouted her name that it struck me I was in a restaurant and that my loudness was in bad taste and probably annoying to the folks already seated.
  • Two postings ago I said that last week I made an assumption about a young man, because of his appearance. And I turned out to be 100% wrong about his intentions.
  • I used naughty words a few weeks ago, when I stubbed my toe carrying materials out of a hardware store. Might've been excusable, but there was a woman with a small child standing within what I believed to be earshot of me. The woman didn't react and the child was oblivious. So maybe they didn't hear me. But it still wasn't cool on my part.

"Anonymous," I hope those examples demonstrate that I'm human enough for you. I forgot to tell you the other thing that qualifies me to comment on folks' behavior, including my own. Good sense.



  • Nice job admitting you're human. But you're not obligated to justify your existence to critics like the other anonymous. If we're trying to do the right thing that makes us all qualfied to say something abut how people act.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:53 PM  

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