Monday, September 14, 2009

Miss Manners is Rolling her Eyes

I don't always keep my elbows off the table. Sometimes I opt for the easy email reply vs. a handwritten thank you...or worse, forget to do either. I'm sure I can think of other manners-shortcomings -- just none I'm willing to cop to right here.

But I have never threatened to shove a tennis ball down someone's throat, or jumped on stage to steal the glory from someone making a gracious acceptance speech. And even some time since 4th grade, I've probably called someone a liar. But this was a bad week for high profile people forgetting their manners in a massive way.

We are on a slippery slope of letting some of our role models get away with murder -- or at the very least character assassination -- with some people applauding the temper and disrespect excused as "passion" of Joe Wilson, Serena Williams and Kanye West. Was it a full moon? It's really hard to keep cool under pressure, but these are people we've elected or elevated to celebrity status, or who are USED to major pressure (er, we're talking "World Champion" pressure.) I don't know how or what we'd censure, but I think just being aware of it, posting or tweeting about it, and not letting them off the hook with a shoulder shrug is a start. At least most of the comments about Kanye on CNN's Facebook page were more condeming. But where's the remorse? It takes a big person to make a big and sincere apology.

It's scary to lose it. We've all done it to a degree. Words you can't take back in an argument. Getting frustrated in traffic. Throwing the spaghetti against the wall. (Wait, I said I wasn't going to mention that.) Our personal Lizzie Grubman Moments. Times when better judgement is sadly obfuscated by the heat of the moment. And it can change everything -- like your whole life. There are TV shows based on those moments.

Maybe the trick is meditating? Maybe a little group therapy? I for one would pay to see Joe, Serena and Kanye in school with Miss Manners. Then again, maybe she should have a regular program in addition to her forum and columns. We could all use a refresher course in what shouldn't be tolerated before we all become social flunk outs.

1 comment:

E.B. Moss said...

Update: Since yesterday, Kanye had a seemingly sincere and emotional apology on Leno's show, Serena said "I was wrong." And no further word from Wilson. Also since then, while standing on line a Starbucks, a guy walks in, takes a canned espresso, and walks right out to his waiting buddies. Never hesitated or blinked. We all did. A dozen people standing there slack-jawed in mid-day. Will better manners help him, too??