Missing Manners

It seems there is a misconception in the world about fashion.  People tend to think fashion is only about the clothes on your back or how your hair is piled on top of your head.  Oh contraire! Did you not read my Audrey Hepburn article? Being in style not just about wearing the latest trends, it’s about how you hold yourself in public.  It’s about poise, people skills, and common courtesy.  Well, ladies (and gentleman) I am sorry to say but the way y’all hold yourself in public is disgraceful! Miss Hepburn is turning in her grave to see how despicable your manners are.

Last week I went into the salon to have my hair done.  The stylist was about half way finished with my cut when a young boy, of no more than thirteen or fourteen walked into the salon.  He instantly took me back to middle school when the boys think they are all hot stuff (but are not) with their invincible and elitist attitudes. (Oh wait, they are still like that in college, silly me.)  He sauntered into the salon acting all tough and cool and then quickly slouching in the chair acting all put out that he had to give up fifteen minutes of his life for his hair. (He would never survive as a girl, I’m just saying.)  His tired mom slowly stumbles in behind him and checks in.

The stylist comes around and greets the boy and his mom.  As the stylist leads the way to the chair, the boy quickly turns to his mother and asks her to wait in the car. Ok seriously? I know we all went through the “cool” phase and the “parents are embarrassing” phase, but really? A fifteen minute haircut and he can’t stand to have his mother in the same building? The difference between his mother and me is I would have tugged him by the ear and told him to treat me with respect and then promptly sat down in the chair next to him.  But this mom wearily agreed to the boy’s demands.  Who is the parent again?

Ok up to this point the manners have been horrible but unfortunately not uncommon. This next part will blow your socks off!  Now mind you, the boy only stays in the salon a mere fifteen minutes and sits in the stylists chair for twelve minutes max.  The stylist directs the boy to the chair and disappears to grab the smock. The boy plops down into the stylist chair and immediately does the boy slouch (I really think a straight spine is just not in their DNA) before reaching into his pocket to pull out his iPod!!!!!!!

Ok, I am giving the boy the benefit of the doubt at this point.  Maybe it is an iPhone and he got a call or needs to send a really important email. But then hello, reality check! This kid can’t even drive let alone have phone calls he has to take and bosses to email.  So that means this iWhatever is most likely going to be used for entertainment reasons.  What, is his mouth broken?  From the profound six syllabus that have escaped his mouth thus far, I know this is not true.  So what’s the problem? Lacking social skills? (Obviously) Extremely nervous in front of people (from the swagger, I’d rule this one out).  Or maybe he needed to readjust the gadget now that he is sitting.  The moment he tugs his ear buds out of the pocket all the positive spins on this sad situation stop. He quickly jams the ear buds into his ears and pushes play.  The volume is so loud that I can hear the song in the next chair.

The stylist returns with the smock.  He places it over the boy and begins idle chatter.  When he doesn’t get a response he looks at the boy and notices the ear buds. The stylist stops talking and begins to silently cut the boy’s hair.  Once the task is complete, the stylist had to tap the boy on his shoulder and motion for him to take the ear buds out in order to dismiss the boy.  The boy nods and swaggers over to the door. He then texts his mom to tell her he’s done and it’s time to pay. (I’m sure the twenty paces it would have taken him to tell his mom in person would have been too much to ask.)  He then returns to his iPod.

Anyone else appalled?  This kid just gave credit to all the facebook naysayers who claim that technology is ruining our social skills and starves us of person-to-person interaction.  Now I know this is an extreme case of bad manners, but unfortunately these incidents are common occurrences.  People are so unconscious sometimes that they do not hold the door open for the person behind them.  And do not get me started on cell phones.   People are more comfortable scrolling through their emails or texting then having a face to face conversation. I went to Panera two weeks ago and a father/daughter were having breakfast.  She was eating her pastry and attempting to talk with her father while he was on his phone not responding to her comments.  Must be a very quiet home life.

People do not know how to treat people anymore.  Men do not know how to treat women like a lady.  They don’t open our doors, they do not pick us up for dates, and some guys even stopped paying! There are slim pickings out there for men with manners.  Sadly the days of Mr. Darcy are gone. (Oh, Colin Firth!)  But society has allowed us to become this way.  We are not punished for being rude to others or for cutting them off on the highway.  People are not corrected for their lack of eye contact when having a conversation and people do not say excuse me after their duffle bag slammed into my head on the airplane.  I have to say I am rather disappointed with society, with people, with the future.  It does not look very promising and it certainly looks devoid of manners.

I am giving you a challenge this week.  Brush up on your manners!  If like me, you like to stand out instead of blend in, etiquette will make you shine!  People will stare at you in wonder because they haven’t seen someone say hello to a stranger for years.  I live in the Midwest and went to D.C. for a school trip.  As I was walking down the street I’d say hello to passersby because that is what we do in the Midwest.  One man almost fell over! He gave me a double take before hesitantly returning the greeting. Sad…

Want boys to notice you? Demand they open the door for you (and stand in front of that door until they do!).  Start conversations in public by complementing someone’s purse.  It is really not that hard to have manners.  You wouldn’t eat your food with your fingers or forget to wipe your face after eating sloppy joes would you? Then why do you forget to apologize for bumming into someone accidently or “forget” to hold the door open for the old lady ten paces behind you?  If you want to be fashionable you have to do it from head to toe, from the inside out.  Poise is important and will instantly give you more style.  And bonus Poise is free! So there is no excuse for your lack manners.  So start your Miss Manner mission today.  Because after all, this could make you the next big trend setter!


~Girl in the Pink Shoes