Monday, June 29, 2009

Rules of Common Decency: Pixie's Remix

In a previous post I added my own two cents on "The Worst (And Most Common) Etiquette Mistakes" by Foxy Festivities on Yahoo! Food. Thinking more about it, there are some I'd like to add.

Offense #13: Mind Your Own Business!
Since when is it any of your business how I raise my child? For some reason people feel the need to tell mothers how to feed, teach, discipline, comfort, and even wipe the a$$ of their child. As long as we're not doing anything immoral or illegal, it's really none of your business. If we wanted your opinion, we'd ask for it.

Offense # 14: Time-Wasters
Anyone who decides my time is not as important as theirs is in this category. This includes the store clerks at Old Navy who don't open the store until 10:15, even though their sign says they open at 10. This includes the woman in front of me at Safeway who can't seem to find her Club Card when it's time to swipe it in the register. This includes the person crossing the street in the middle of a busy intersection when the light is red, making us all stop and wait so we don't kill anyone. This includes the friend who constantly shows up late for playdates because she had "a few things to finish up before she left the house." And -- yes -- this includes my 4-year-old daughter, the Queen of All Time-Wasters, who thinks it's more important to try on boas and tutus than to get downstairs for breakfast so we're not late to school.

Offense # 15: People Who Forget Simple Rules of Etiquette
I really think that rudeness has become a growing trend in our society. There are so many people who don't hold the door for me when my hands are full, people who huff and puff or sigh loudly instead of saying "Excuse me" when they want to get by, and people who don't say "please" or "thank you" in everyday conversation. It's not just our children who need to mind their manners. Some adults need a refresher course, as well.

Offense # 16: Can I Have Some Space, Please?
Whether you're personally tailgating me or nudging me in the behind with your shopping cart, I get it. You’re in a hurry, and your time is more precious than mine. These are the opposite of the Time-Wasters. You have no concept of personal space. If I'm sitting in church, there's no reason to sit right on my lap (unless you're my child, then it's okay). On the other hand, I don't need you to make a large radius of space when you see me and my kids coming your way. For some reason, I see people waiting impatiently in their cars, eyes rolling, as I try to get my kids out of the minivan. The minivan has a sliding door, and there is plenty of room for them to get out. But instead they have to make a big show of letting me get the kids out first, while they do me the honor of waiting there. Do they know that childhood is not contagious? You can come close to us and we won't bite. (Well, most of us won't. Unless we're provoked... then all bets are off.)

Any more I forgot?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Mommy Quote of the Week

"Vacuums don't clean houses. People clean houses."
-- Marie Barone, played by Doris Roberts, on Everybody Loves Raymond

Monday, June 22, 2009

Rules of Common Decency

Yahoo! Food's blog Foxy Festivities posted "The Worst (and Most Common) Etiquette Mistakes," and, I had to agree with them for the most part.

Offense #1: Neglecting to RSVP for an Event
What else can I say that hasn't been said in my previous post? And the girls agree with me here.

Offense #2: The Only One I Disagree With
The Foxy Festivities write, "How annoying is it when you go to dinner with four or more people, the check finally arrives, and one of your meal companions begins to divvy up the check down to the last penny?" Uh, that would be me! I have been stiffed on the bill so many times, that I made a vow not to let it happen to me again! Once Hubby and I went to a dinner with a bunch of other couples, and we were saving up for a house. Hubby ordered just an appetizer and I ordered a side salad. Everyone else was ordering drinks, appetizers, entrees, desserts, the works. Then, when the bill came, someone shouted, "Should we just say... $100 a couple?" I was piiiiiissed. That was the last time we went out with those people, and now... yes, I am the penny-pincher. But here's my solution: separate checks. Saves all the trouble.

Offense #3: People Who Can't Stand the Line
This has also been a subject of a previous post. The moaners who gripe and complain, the people who "tailgate" or even cut in line -- YOU are annoying. Even a kindergartner knows how to stand in line. And, guess what, you who pretend you don't see a line and start your own, or you who try and merge with the line: you're not fooling anyone.

Offense #4: Talking Only About Yourself
As I've said before, sometimes it's hard to hang out with other moms, because all they do is talk about how wonderful and brilliant and talented their kid is. I've even been cut-off mid-sentence so that a fellow mom could one-up me. It's ridiculous, not to mention out and out rude. Either you sound mean because your kid is doing better, or you sound stupid because he's not. Either way, it's a bad idea.

Offense #5: The Public Diaper Change

Again, I've addressed this topic in a previous post. There is no reason to change a poopy diaper around others -- it's just gross. And changing a wet diaper publicly should only be done when absolutely necessary. Nowadays there are plenty of places to change your little one.

Offense #6: Cell Phone Abuse

Did you know that you don't have to scream for the other person to hear you on a cell phone? (Really! It's true!) No one else cares about what you're talking about. It's pure selfishness and self-centeredness to think that your phone call is more important than anything else going on around you.

Offense # 7: Smokers

Thank God I live in Oregon where the rules about smoking are very strict. It seems to me that smokers are some of the most arrogant people: blowing it into the air without realizing we are all breathing nearby. Or throwing their burning butt on the ground without putting it out. Isn't that what trash cans are for -- for trash?

Offense #8: Bathroom Etiquette

Public bathrooms are called "public" because we all have to use them! So splattering on the seat or neglecting to flush is not just disgusting, it's unsanitary. Either practice your aim or clean up after yourself!

Offense #9: The Parking Lot Theif

If someone has their blinker on and is patiently waiting for a spot, it's theirs. And if you've already passed a spot up, it's gone. Simple rules that some people just ignore. Heaven forbid they have to walk a few extra yards to their destination.

Offense #10: Showing Your Tummy

Anyone who isn't between the ages 18 to 25, or isn't poolside or at the beach -- we don't want to see your belly. That includes joggers, people working in their front yard, or someone working out. Guys, girls... no discrimination here: keep your shirts on! And unless your Brandi Chastain, sports bras alone are not appropriate workout wear.

Offense # 11: Spitting in Public

Since when was this ever okay? It's hard to believe that people will just spit on the sidewalk or hock a lugee when the urge arises. It makes me dry-heave just to think about it. Like I tell my kids, "We only spit when we're brushing our teeth." And that goes double for adults.

Offense #12: Horn Abuse

People who honk just to express their emotions need to take Driver's Ed. again. Honk your horn only if you're trying to warn someone about a collision or problem. And when the light turns green, give me a second or two to take my foot off the brake and place it on the gas before you go leaning on your horn! It's not the Indy 500!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Mommy Quote of the Week

"Housework, if it is done right, can kill you."
-- John Skow

Monday, June 15, 2009

Répondez S'il Vous Plaît, or: Why the Hell Don't You Tell Me Whether You're Coming or Not?!

More and more often, I have found in my personal experience, that guests do not reply to me whether or not they plan to attend my parties, even when the RSVP is clearly printed on the invitation. Has rudeness really become such a growing trend in our society? Or, perhaps, the decline in RSVP's can be attributed to ignorance and not rudeness.

The term RSVP comes from the French expression "répondez s'il vous plaît", meaning "please respond". If RSVP is written on an invitation it means the invited guest must tell the host whether or not they plan to attend the party. Yes, really.

Is this really that difficult? Especially in our world today, filled with telephones, fax machines, email, texts, IM, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace... the choice of communication tools is endless. Just tell me! Any which way you can. I feel like I'm in the Dr. Seuss book Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now: "The time has come. The time is now. Just RSVP! I don't care how!"

You get the invitation, you tell me whether or not you're coming as soon as possible! It's that simple. It does not mean to respond only if you're coming, and it does not mean respond only if you're not coming (the expression "regrets only" is reserved for that instance). It means that I need a definite head count for the planned event, and I need it by the date specified on the invitation.

An incomplete list of respondents can cause numerous problems for me, including difficulty in planning food, uncertainty over the number of party favors, and difficulties in planning appropriate seating, among other things. When an invited guest doesn't RSVP, it's just plain rude.

The worst yet, I had a lot of guests who never RSVP'd invited to my wedding. $200 a plate, and they couldn't tell me if they were going to eat it or not. You know that old saying, "What are you waiting for... an engraved invitation?" I guess even that engraved invitation wasn't enough.

So now that I'm throwing the kids birthday parties and Halloween parties and end-of-the-year parties, and the lack of RSVPs has actually gotten worse. I have now had to send out Reminder Notices: a follow-up email to people that have not yet RSVP'd, asking them, "Uh, haven't heard from you yet! Are you coming, or what?" (I'm not using those words, exactly, but that's what it feels like.) This means I am actually inviting them twice, even when they didn't have the courtesy to respond once. "Please, please come to my party! Won't you come to my party? PLEEEEEASE??"

Really, if you can't come, I understand. But just TELL ME! PLEASE!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mommy Quote of the Week

"Nature abhors a vacuum. And so do I."
-- Anne Gibbons

Monday, June 8, 2009

It's Still a Thrill to Watch

I usually don't review movies on this blog, but I just have to write about the 1963 comedy classic The Thrill of It All. It's an old movie, but I was surprised how the premise holds true to modern times (especially in this economy).

Doris Day plays a happily married housewife whose life changes dramatically when the president of a soap company decides she's the perfect TV spokesperson for his product. After the ads air, she becomes famous, and her doctor husband (James Garner) doesn't cope well with the change. It's great to see how much can change when a full-time mother goes into the work force: the house is in complete disarray, and the father is thrown for a loop when he's not the major breadwinner! It is at times a little chauvenistic (it was the 60's), but it touches on the importance of women, for not only children but for husbands as well. In a backhanded way it shows how important the many roles of a woman are to the success off a family.

One of the best parts of this movie are the kids. They remind me so much of my own: they both talk too loud, and they're constantly interrupting their parents in the middle of family discussions. The child actors are realistic and candid -- obviously not the jaded, overdone child actors of today. They're often frustrating, but always lovable... and hilarious! My favorite scene in the whole movie is the very first time we meet the kids: the mom is trying to give her daughter a bath when the phone rings. What occurs next is a very realistic reflection of daily household situations in my house.

The only part I don't like about this movie is the ending -- this is when the movie becomes annoyingly out of date. But don't let that deter you. It was the 60's, after all, and it's still a great film. I propose a remake, with a more modern, more updated ending. Maybe someone like Jennifer Aniston could play Doris Day's part, and Ben Affleck would be great for the husband.

I caught it on AMC, but you can also watch it on You Tube. And then, let me know what you think!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mommy Quote of the Week

"If everything's under control, you're going too slow."
-- Mario Andretti