All Articles Tagged "manners"
Amerie’s hit song “1 Thing” never gets old for me. The track applauds the one thing about a potential beau that is driving her crazy – in the right way. So much so, in fact, that it has her “trippin’.” We’ve all been there. Whether it’s the way someone laughs, walks, or speaks that turns us on, there’s always just that one thing about that special person. Unfortunately, sometimes the opposite is true, and there’s just one thing that annoys the hell out of us about the one we’re with, and that’s just no fun.
My sister-friend just started dating a guy six weeks ago that she really likes. He is intelligent, worldly and they have similar interests. He has a great job and is well established in his career. At 35, he is an anomaly. He has never been married and has no kids…
Read more at Essence.com
So you think you’re a very well-mannered person? Well, I hate to break it to you, but if you ever do any of these things on this list, you may not be as well-mannered as you think. In fact, you might actually be rude sometimes. Have a look and see if you’re guilty of any of these common habits that people sometimes do without realizing it’s rude.
One of the most annoying things about people eating is when they chew like they haven’t eaten in months. It’s both annoying to hear and distracting to look at. Relax loud chewers; the food isn’t going anymore, so no need to chomp it down like it’s trying to run away from your face.
Full-time sap and part-time rapper Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson awkwardly decided he was going to play Georgie Porgie and steal a kiss from blonde Fox News reporter, Erin Andrews, and got rejected live on television.
“But nothing truly compares to that 50 Cent instructional video on how to not approach a woman and kiss her. He’s like the Tom Emanski of never getting a second date. As someone who has been on Team Cheek Kiss since 2007, I’m well aware of the possibility for awkwardness, but I also have a firm grasp of when, to whom, where, and for how long. Curtis Jackson has no idea what he’s doing out there. Or, on the surface, it seems as if he doesn’t. You know, just an amateur flirtatious move by a man nervously out of his element.”
The awkward exchange occurred in the pit at the Daytona 500. In the video, which is about a minute long, you can see an eager Jackson make a beeline straight for Andrews, who is in the midst of doing a live shot, and tried to plant one on her. It’s not clear if Fiddy was trying for the lips but Andrews definitely tried to dodge his kiss and ended up giving him the cheek instead. After which, Andrews promptly excused herself from his presence and continued her hunt for Danica Patrick. Not knowing when to take a hint, Jackson began to follow Andrews through pit road like a tattered stray cat, who you – against your better judgment – petted and is now going to follow you down the block. If that is not bad enough, Grantland also offers up another instance, by way of a clip from Saturday Night Live, where the “Candy Shop” rapper clumsily plants five kisses on the cheek, hair and forehead of Academy Award winning actress Hilary Swank. I swear this dude thinks he is being cute but little does Jackson know that he and his antics are like one angry white woman away from calamity. Not that black woman don’t understand or institute boundaries but rather the stated boundaries are likely to be respected and taken more seriously when they happen to be drawn by the request of fairer skinned women. But enough about Jackson and his burgeoning white woman problems let’s talk about how disgusting it is to find out that he is on #TeamCheek-kissing.
Me personally, I hate getting kissed by strangers. I know that cheek-kissing is very popular way to greet someone within the bourgeois and aspirational class alike. And most people will engage in the air-kissing, which, while very got-damn pretentious, is pretty much harmless. However there are risk-takers among us; the ones who don’t care about bacteria, viruses, the transfer of bodily fluids and overall personal space. These are the folks that freak me out. And every time I feel their wet lips against my cheek, I feel not only awkward but also profoundly repulsed.
Worse is when the cheek-kiss is expected to be reciprocated. As in the time I was at a community event and ran into a local mover and shaker, whom had been absent from community work for a while. For the purpose of this story, let’s call her Regine. Now Regine was really into politics but up until recently had never won an election. The word around the neighborhood was that while this woman was generally thought of as a smart cookie, folks were turned off by what they felt was a phoney personality. Admittedly, I had always pegged her as a bit bougie but always thought of her as a decent person too. Therefore, when I saw Regine standing alone, and looking rather pitiful and lonely, at one side of the room, I decided I would be a fellow decent human-being and go say hello. Well, my greeting must have made quite an impression because before I could inquire about her missing whereabouts, she had grabbed me by the face, leaned in and planted her lips on both my cheeks. Yes, Regine hit me with the double cheek-kiss. She even made the “mwah” sound with each kiss. Well, that’s what I get for being a decent human being. In fact, I’m convinced that my cheeks must be made out of that same memory foam we see in those beds they sell in those late-night infomercials because to this day, I can still feel the wet spot, from where her lips made contact. If that wasn’t bad enough, she had the nerve to lean in again, this time putting her cheeks near my lips. My entire body went stiff and tensed. Did she expect me to kiss her back? I thought of every non-rude way I could get out of this situation but none could be found. I was cursing internally myself for even bothering to say hello to her bougie behind. The pause was growing heavier by the second and it was time for me to act. Without any recourse, I leaned in and returned the gesture – on both cheeks. Then I quickly excused myself from her presence, feeling violated and vowing to never vote for this smooch-demanding heifer ever again.
Nowadays, I am a bit more savvy. When a person extends their cheek, I usually start a random conversation about the weather or the last episode of “Scandal.” The random jabbering in their ear provides enough of a diversion to get me out of having to reciprocate a cheek-kiss. However, I have yet to perfect a way to gently tell people to keep their lips to themselves without looking high-strung and emotionally retarded. Then again, considering that cheek-kissing seems to be growing in popularity, maybe it is my own hang-up about strange people, whom I don’t have an intimate relationship with, putting any part of their bodies on mine? But while I have worked through my issues with hugs and the occasional arm or back rub (I still flinch out of instinct when strange folks touch me though), I still want to Steven Segal-karate chop the heck out of anyone, who feels inclined to cross the thresholds of familiarity and kiss me – even if it is on the cheek, forehead or the back of the hand. And if that makes me a bad person, well I don’t want to be right. I don’t care if it is Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson. I don’t care about history and what other folks may do in their culture. I don’t even care if diplomatic relations depended on it; we will all be going to nuclear heaven if it means me having to put my lips on a strange person’s face again. So consider yourself warned.
Serious Question: So…Who Should Give Up Their Seat On Public Transportation For The Elderly And Pregnant?
So I was just asked this the other day, but before I answer the question, let me set a scene for you.
So it’s 6 p.m. and the post-work rush is still going pretty hard on your preferred mode of transportation. You’ve had a pretty long day, and after clinging on to a high bar for dear life because the jerk in front of you has their body wrapped around the convenient long bar like they’re about to put on a Magic City show, you get excited when the seat in front of you opens up. You plop down and get ready to pull out a book/magazine/whatever and enjoy the ride home. That is until you notice a woman with a belly the size of a beach ball waddle on the train looking tired and in need of a seat. So what do you do?
I can’t tell you how many times this scenario has played out in my everyday life. The moment I reach into my bag and grab my book of the moment, someone pregnant, with a bunch of tiny kids, or seasoned (aka, OLD) comes on the train with a helpless look in their eye that is searching the car for relief in the form of a seat. When this happens, I often look around my damn self, hoping someone else will for once step up and help this passenger out. Instead, the Oscar contenders come out. Just the other day this happened and a man with his eyes glued to his iPhone kept his head down so he didn’t have to be bothered, people pretended to be asleep or too glued to their books, newspapers and magazines to notice, and another man looked straight ahead, not giving a damn. Sometimes a guy will hop up quickly and ask the woman to sit, but these days, and in this particular story, that’s not the case. So there I was, bags on my forearm and a book in my hand, taking a deep sigh, standing up, and motioning for this particular person (an elderly woman) to take my seat. With a “thank you” and a “no problem” exchanged, I was back to the high bar, waiting impatiently for my stop so I could sit my behind down at home.
When this scene comes to life in front of you, how do you respond? Are you the first to jump out of your seat, the last to reluctantly do so, or the mug who plays crazy in the hopes that someone else will step up? I can often look in the faces of many women and see that they hope that a man will pull a chivalrous one and offer his seat, but these days, you’ll be lucky to get a seat before a man boxes your a** out for it like you’re on the court together playing basketball. I’ve seen a man viciously brush past a woman looking to get to the same seat, so hard that a back and forth of snark and vitrol ensued. And I’ve also heard some people talk about how irritated they get at teenagers with two good legs and young lungs taking seats from those who could use them. The test to see who will be the one to do something nice for someone else now been narrowed down to gender, age, and whoever can be made to feel bad enough to stand up first by stares from strangers.
But that’s not to say that the answer to the question I posed in the title is “Men,” or “Teenagers.” They aren’t the only ones who should be helping folks out who need a seat because they might be more physically fit to do so. In the same vein as being charitable, if you want to give up your seat, you should, because in reality, it’s more about doing what’s right for you as opposed to doing what others expect you to. And if you want to give up your seat, more power to you, and if you always fail to do so, I hope people are more giving to you when you get pregnant, have kids, age, or get hurt than you were to those before you. I just know for myself, as a woman, I often feel for those carrying a child and having to deal with all the horrid smells and attitudes on public transportation, so I’ll give up my seat. Seeing an elderly person hunched over and looking like they might fall over at the next stop always makes me sad, so if no one has done so already, I’ll give up my seat. And the sight of a child with their parent licking the public poles just grosses me out, so I’ll give up my seat (uh, but that baby has to be three years old and under, and barely three feet tall or they’re just going to have to stand like everybody else). But hey, like everyone else, there are days when I just don’t feel like being the good Samaritan and I’d rather sit because a headache is on its way or my feet are just tired. So I try my best not to fault other people for feeling the same way and staying put. So I guess, when asked who should give up their seat on public transportation for others, I’d say, “whoever wants to.” If it’s not you voluntarily, then you probably shouldn’t start pointing fingers, because you shouldn’t be expecting anybody else to do what you’re not even willing to yourself.
Maggie Kuhn, founder of the Gray Panthers, said once, Speak your mind-even if your voice shakes.
As a black woman in America, who according to one study is often shrouded in the cloak of invisibility, I always found this to be a powerful sentiment. Speaking your mind even if your voice shakes is more than about being opinionate. It’s about speaking up for your truth even in the face of others, who wish you passivity and deference. Socially, black women find themselves in an interesting place; when society speaks for women, they usually mean white women. And when they speak about blacks, the person envisioned is usually black men. And the only time that they speak of us is when there are questions about our hair and our love lives.
That’s why I feel that it is important that women, particularly black women, reject the notions of being a lady and construct our own version of womanhood. By definition, taken from Webster, a lady is defined as: A well-mannered and considerate woman with high standards of proper behavior; 2. a. A woman regarded as proper and virtuous. b. A well-behaved young girl. The key words are “proper” and “behaved.” And what exactly is expected of proper and well-behaved ladies? According to the advice I have heard throughout the years: Ladies don’t talk too loudly or brag about their accomplishments. Ladies are reserved, demure, regulated and ornamental. Ladies are never in bad moods or if they are, they keep it to themselves out of respect for others. Ladies are not supposed to ask too many questions. Instead ladies seek to be civil, good mannered and maintain their integrity and classiness at all time. And they certainly do not curse or use foul language because that is the ultimate breach in ladylike etiquettes.
Well to that I say fawk being a lady. I cannot tell you how many times unwillingness to accept a subordinate position in an effort to maintain ladylike qualities has been misconstrued as being “bitchy” and/or “aggressive.” But for every story I have about being called out of my name, I can tell you a story about how my “bitchiness” and “aggressiveness” managed to advance me in some regards – even if it was just down the street.
Like most construction projects in the city, the crew basically tore up portions of the street, put a bunch of orange cones and barriers up and then went home for 2 months. Anyway, I managed to turn the corner and maneuver my tiny economy car around this big gaping hole at the intersection and right turn onto a small side street when an oncoming car sped up all the way up to my front bumper and blew the horn. “Move back,” said the older white man in an SUV. Um, where am I supposed to move? “Don’t you see this construction behind me? Didn’t you see me driving around the construction? Don’t you see these other two vehicles behind me, impeding my ability to go in reverse? “Stop being a jerk and just move back!” The man grew more agitated and insistent, “Look lady, I’m not moving my car for you, you entitled little Beyotch. So you better figure out how you’re going to get through me or else move your car!”
Oh Sophia! “Well then you better get comfortable because I ain’t moving ish,” and then I leaned over to the passenger side, pulled out a bag of Frito Lay corn chips I had just gotten at the Wawa, split the bag opened and took one of the most defiant bites I have ever taken in my life. True Story. The image of me casually tearing up a bag of corn chips, like it is Sunday in the park, must have been too much for his sensibilities because he hopped out of his SUV and stormed over to my window. To which I responded by rolling up my windows. I’m not a dummy. He leaned in close to the window and yelled through the glass, “Your mother is an ignorant Beyotch, you know that?” The implication of course, is that my mother failed to teach me about respect and the proper manners to know that when a white man walks/drives into your path, you are suppose to step out of his way, curtsey and bid him a good day. Well you’re right, my mom didn’t teach me that. And because she didn’t, your behind is going to sit here. With no other recourse, at least legal one, the man got back into his vehicle and moved his vehicle back so that I could get through. As I passed he glared at me. I smiled and started humming the chorus to “We Shall Overcome…”
In his groundbreaking research paper, “Ladies or Loudies? Perceptions and Experiences of Black Girls in Classrooms,” Edward Morris argued that while black girls in a predominately minority school performed well academically and were less likely to create disruptions in classrooms; they were more likely to have their manners and behavior questioned by educators and perceived as negative. The reason, he asserts, is based upon a desire to have young black women assimilate to “prototypical White middle-class views of femininity,” which rejects assertiveness and rewards a certain level of docility and complacency. “Some tried to mold many of these girls into “ladies,” which entailed curbing behavior perceived as “loud “and assertive. Such an attitude and style within classrooms is not surprising when considering the historical experiences of most African American women, who have long struggled against race and gender oppression in ways that differ starkly from white women.”
But while Morris says that this compartmentalizing of black girl’s behaviors and manners has also meant that they are less restrained by the dominant, white middle-class view of femininity. As such, “Black girls’ constructions of femininity also led, in many cases, to a positive view of education, serious attention to schoolwork, and pride in academic achievement.” Through his research, Morris draws correlations between black girls’ high rate graduation and placement in AP classes and their ability to speak up and demand attention in class.
It is that virtue that we must hold on to – even in the face of not being considered well behaved and proper. It’s the only defense we have in a world which likes to interpret being black and being a woman as the essence of subordination. Our aggressiveness and ill-manners are how we level the playing field, to push for better pay, to stand up to and for the brothers, who can’t or won’t do it themselves. Yeah I can be polite but I won’t be proper. I like stylish things but prim for the sake of the standard of beauty is something I will not abide by. And yeah, at times I am subdued but you should never confuse that with being timid. So yeah, fawk being lady like. Well behaved women rarely make history.
I’m sure you read the title and just happen to be thinking, “slow news day?” right now. But seriously, I really want to know, because I got put in my place about it at church of all places and didn’t realize that this was a form of etiquette and that I wasn’t possibly minding my manners.
So while attending Sunday services a few weeks back, I was seated next to a woman who was the last person in our row, close to the main aisle. Because I got to church a little late, it was the best seat I could get, and it was close enough to the aisle that I could make a mad dash to the door once benediction was over. Score! Midway into the service, it was time for altar prayer, and while headed up there to hear the deacon say, “Jesus…Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. What’s his name? JESUS,” I was met with kind smiles and hands pulling me to get things off of my chest by talking to the Lord. But when I got to my seat and sat down, I was met with some disdain by the lady sitting next to me.
As the choir began to sing, and I walked past my pew neighbor with my butt in her face (not that close though) and with an “excuse me” sent her way. When I finally sat back down, she turned to me and said, “Dear, just so you know, when you walk past people to sit down, you shouldn’t put your backside to them like that.” She flashed me a quick grin and went back to listening to the choir. When I told my friend later what happened and asked if there was a right way to move past people, we both agreed that her etiquette lesson probably wasn’t all that necessary in the middle of church after I was in good spirits post-altar call. And oh yeah, butt is probably the best option. But then it made me think: what really is the right way to move past someone who is seated? Do I give them the crotch or the booty?
Both options aren’t that pretty either way. Give someone the butt and you can only hope that they’ll sit back and not be bothered, but give someone the crotch as you walk past and you run the risk of falling backwards and busting someone in the back of the head with your ample buttocks. Plus, how do you balance yourself when you’re walking…eh…crotch first? You have nothing to hold on to, and if you trip for some reason, the person you’re moving past will have another reason to have an attitude. It’s a lose-lose situation, but for years, booty first is probably the only way I’ve seen people move past one another in tight seated spaces. And in all honesty, if you don’t want my butt or my crotch in your face, why don’t you do us both a solid and stand up when I’m trying to move past you? Or at least help a sistah out and do the knee turn? As much as this woman wanted to set me straight about what I should have done when I came back from an emotional prayer, I could have told her to how nice it would have been had she made an effort to help me move through the pews without her knees pushing into my calves. But I didn’t. Why? Because it wasn’t that serious whatsoever, which is what I wish this woman would have realized. But hey, I did take a few things from her lesson. Maybe next time I move through a packed aisle at church, at an arena or a movie theater, I’ll be sure to get my flight attendant on and ask them what they’d like to view: Would you like a** or crotch today?
(Replace a** with booty in church of course…)
You can’t believe your luck. You meet the man of your dreams – he’s tall, dark and handsome, hot to death and has all of his teeth. You think the relationship Gods have smiled upon you and you can’t wait to introduce your new love to your family. You think your new boo has won them over and that everyone loves him as much as you do – until you discover that he didn’t..and they don’t. The verdict is in – your parents don’t like him. Not even a little bit. You love your parents, but you love him too – so what to do? If you find yourself in this situation, here are some things to ponder before you consider inviting him back over for Thanksgiving dinner.
My mother always told me that you can tell how a person was raised by how great/poor their manners are. If I were to take make my mama’s views my own, I’d assume that almost every other person was raised by a pack of wolves in an untouched forest. I don’t wish for us to revert to the Victorian or Elizabethan ages manner-wise, but My God, some of us can do treat others a little more nicely, and carry ourselves with a little more respect.
So, here are 6 signs of poor manners. Hopefully none of our readers will see their traits within these scenarios. And of course, please list what you consider to be poor manners in the comments section. We’ll be looking for them!
I am a practicing Catholic. As a black woman in Protestant America, this has not always been the easiest denomination to be affiliated with. The scent of incense wafting through a gothic-styled church, the embracing of the Holy Sacraments, the sacredness of the Blessed Virgin — these are the facets I am used to in worshiping God and I enjoy them. I know for many who are reading this, these terms might be unfamiliar or even disturbing. And I’m pretty sure some of you are ready to leave your pastor’s name and address for me to get “right for the Lord.” Please…save your keystrokes.
If it is one thing I absolutely abhor is people assuming that I am not on a God-blessed path, and need to leave my views and church behind to join theirs. As well-intended they may be, nothing makes my skin crawl more than hearing “I would like for you to come visit my church this Sunday”. No thanks. I’ve been hearing this line and similar ones since I was 9. I find such attempts to dissuade me from my faith and beliefs to be rude and hurtful.
As adults, we have the right to choose to join whichever faith or religious/non-religious path we feel called to. Just as I am comfortable being affiliated with my Christian denomination, I know friends who are just as relaxed in being agnostics and non-believers. No adult needs to be shown any “light”. The thing with faith is that its so subjective that a person cannot be forced to feel what they simply cannot. If I find that I find it uncomfortable trying to worship God in a church or within a faith that doesn’t match my views or standards, it is not a criticism on the person who invited me to their church or the church/denomination itself. This feeling is mine, and mine alone, and I am free and entitled to experience it.
If I had to find a contender to contest how much I detest the “come to my church” phrase, it has to be “you need a church to give you the real word of the Lord”. Oh? I guess the priest and church members have been talking about Oprah’s book club selection instead of the chapters of the Bible. Just as it would be completely out of bounds for those of us of faith to consider non-believers to be “evil” or “out of it” (as I regretfully have heard many refer to them), it is of bad taste to believe my status of being a Christian any lower than yours because I am not a member of your sect. As someone who has studied and continues to study the history of the Church, I believe that every religious sect has come from a group of people who are desperately trying to get back to the Source (God, the Universe, etc.) Therefore, there is no barometer to measure one groups’ belief against, and it is preposterous to act as if one exists.
And, of course, we have the priest scandals. People love to throw this in my face after I have respectfully turned down their invitation. To this I say, I don’t think there is a practicing Catholic (and studies prove this) who have stood with the monsters who have committed these atrocious attacks. As someone who has suffered from sexual abuse (not from a priest, mind you) and as a humanist, I feel insulted that my loyalty to my faith is somehow tied to this belief system. As there are students at Penn State who love their school, but angrily denounce the actions of Sandusky; I denounce the actions of few and hold firm to my beliefs as a Catholic.
Respect is a word that so few know the definition of. Respecting someone’s beliefs means that you do not encroach on them, forcing yourself upon them like an alligator wrestler trying to beat the person into what you believe is submission. It means that if you have questions, you ask them with grace. You listen intently to the answers provided, and if you find yourself disagreeing, you do so kindly. Trust me, its not hard.
In Pretty Woman, Richard Gere tried to school Julia Roberts on social graces and proper etiquette. Now, everyone isn’t going to be sent to charm school on the dime of a wealthy businessman, but there are basic manners that some people like to act like they don’t have. Here are seven of those bad habits that need to be stopped.
Touching A Woman’s Hair
Women are one of the most versatile creatures on earth and hair is often an expression of that. However, many take that admiration a little too far when they reach out to touch that hair without a heads up or expressed permission. People’s hands roam in so many different places during the course of the day; a woman’s hair doesn’t need to carry those germs. The unsolicited reach and touch is also crossing the boundaries of personal space.