M – I’ve been thinking about politeness lately. It’s good to be nice to one another. But I do have some thoughts and questions on the subject:
When you say, “God bless you,” after a person’s first sneeze, do you continue repeating it after each succeeding blast? Do you stop blessing them after 1 sneeze? Three? Six? If they succumb to a heart attack after sneeze #4 and never recover, do you blame yourself because you didn’t say, “God Bless You?”
- Let’s say you’re following someone out of the Mall of New Hampshire where there are 2 sets of glass exit doors. Do you say, “Thank you” again after passing behind them through door #2? If there are 3 doors and you thank them 3 times, does the third time constitute stalking?
- Is it creepy for a man to open a car door for another man? I realize it’s a chivalrous gesture for a guy to open a woman’s door or vice versa. Until I get the official word from Miss Manners, you can open your own car door when I’m driving, Sparky.
- What’s the protocol for taking the last pork chop from the serving platter? Of course, you will politely ask your dining companions, “Anyone want this last pork chop?” Predictably, no one will want to deprive you, so the overly-polite diners will insist you enjoy the last one. Do you really need it though? By now it’s room temperature and pools of congealed grease are forming on it. Personally, I’d fight for the last piece of chocolate cake before I’d duel for a chewy chop.
- How can you tell if it’s OK to hug someone you’re being introduced to? In this day of more men hugging each other, I’m not sure what to do. Not wishing to appear homophobic, I’ll hug another guy if I see him go into his “embrace mode” upon approaching me.
- Do you ever politely lie to someone who, upon seeing you says, “Wow! You look great” by responding, “So do you?” Do you say it even if they look awful?
Thank you for reading today’s blog on over-politeness. No thank YOU. NO, thank YOU!!!!!