Friday, June 11, 2010

**Hot Topic Alert** Manners

Disclaimer: This post is a very hot topic and expresses the opinion and outlook If you are easily offended, excitable, or down right ornery...please quit reading now.

Would you like to know the great thing about having your own blog? Your opinion is the only opinion. While I'm always open to discussing a hot topic, the "awesomeness" about having your own blog, is that words like awesomeness exist. Also, I can say what I want and not have to respond. It's kind of like a passive aggressive way getting your opinion out there. heh...

So, today's topic is manners. It's really rather interesting what the definition of good manners is around the country. My maternal grandmother was the epitome of the southern lady. A lady did not cuss in front of other people. Boys did not wear hats in the house. And people always always addressed their elders as ma'am or sir. It didn't matter if you were 5 or 50, that was just the way that it was done. It was the way that people showed respect to someone that had lived and seen more in their life than you had in yours. Things that only the passing of time as people lived their lives and gained experience could get you. Native Americans naturally treated their elders with grand respect. They had lived.

It was only natural that my mother raised me and Barry that way. By the time we were two years old, ma'am and sir was part of our vocabulary. We didn't know any different. I remember growing up and having some adults say "Honey, you don't have to call me ma'am". My response? "Yes ma'am I do. My mama would have a fit if I didn't".

I can not tell you how many times growing up I would hear my dad say "Take your hat off in the house, boy" to our friends when they came in to our house. My parents told it like it was but hands down were the most popular parents in town. Kids would come over even when we were not home. To this day, many of our childhood friends are still very close to my parents.

Once, when I was in high school, my brother's friend Hugo pulled the chair out from my mom as a joke. My mom fell (and wasn't in great health). Pop blasted Hugo for five minutes....I mean...he cussed Hugo like there was no tomorrow. Barry's friend Brad went in to Barry's room and snuck out of his bedroom window (we still laugh about that today). Hugo, however, went into the bathroom for about 10 minutes....came out and asked "Can I spend the night?"

My point is, manners in my family were always non-negotiable. Even kids that came to our house were expected to mind those same manners. And yet, kids still came around. Ma'am and sir are still part of my vocabulary. It's ingrained in my being. But, I see it dying a slow death. Would you like to know one of the only places that it's still consistent? The military. Isn't that interesting? I can always tell when someone served. It's still ingrained in them too.

I can't change the way that I see this. It makes me absolutely cringe when I hear a child say "what"? or "huh?" or "yeah". It makes me ill. And to be honest, it makes me look at the parent just a little different too. I see how children are behaving in schools. I see how children are acting out in public. Do I look down on people that let their children act like heathens in public? Honestly? OK- warning...if you don't want to be irritated, you might want to quit reading now.

Yes. I do.

I look at ma'am and sir as necessary words just like please and thank you. By God, if Ethan is going to disagree with me (which he is absolutely allowed to do), he's going to say it with respect.

I think that manners start at home.

It's now becoming second nature to Ethan too. We still have to correct him sometimes but we won't come right out and correct him by saying "ma'am or sir" at the end of his answers, but I will say "excuse me?". He knows. I do think it's a little harder in today's society to be consistent since teachers are so limited in their ability to even verbally correct a child. Ma'am and sir are not part of the every day vocabulary in school like it was when I was in the only consistency is at home.

I'm not going to apologize for the way that I feel. I'm not going to make excuses or even try and justify why I feel this way. I just do. It's the only thing I've ever known.

Wanna know another word that is not allowed in our household? Aint.

No, we don't speak redneck in the O'Neal household.

I love my blog.

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