Whatever became of good manners, common courtesy and breeding? In this global community of ours rudeness seems to have become the order of the day. I happened to read an article in Huffington Post a couple of days ago and noticed there were more than 100 comments. It was appalling how many readers resorted to foul language, name-calling and Barbarian behavior in their responses. I think political correctness has boomeranged. The gender-specific "ess" has been banned. One is no longer a stewardess, she is a flight attendant. A waitress is now a server. But the idea that the population has taken sensitivity training is absurd. People are getting meaner and ruder.
In my youth, parents, teachers and older siblings often reminded us to say please, thank you, never speak with a mouthful of food, never to slurp soup or make that annoying sound through the straw, sit up straight and never to hold the fork like a caveman. They warned that if you couldn't find something nice to say, it was better to remain silent. While standing in the checkout line at Walmart a few days ago I was nearly knocked over by a group of rowdy children. They circled their mother screaming, grabbing candy and demanding that she pay for it. The demands became ear-splitting. The mother was too busy texting on her cell phone to discipline them. It was bedlam. The gentleman ahead of me turned to me frowning and said, "I'd rather go back to VietNam than stand in this line." I told him that I'd never been there but it was beginning to sound pretty good to me too.
The following day I was stopped at a red light in Marina del Rey. When the light changed the driver behind me honked twice and passed me on the right. What a glorious comeuppance when the next light turned red. That didn't stop him from continuing on his mad dash to the head of the line. At each light, he repeated his routine until he was four cars ahead of me. Unfortunately for him and his new black Porsche he pulled to the right and got stuck behind a row of parked vehicles. Nobody would let him out. I stopped and gave him the Queens' wave, allowing him to maneuver back into the lane ahead of me. Being polite to a jerk always makes my day.