#083: Manners

[F.U.C.K. is an e-zine that I started on January 24, 1993 and ended on January 24, 2000. One concept is that articles should be timeless if possible, so they were not released with dates. As such, the date on this blog is not exact but I will try to use a date as close as possible.]

usual, I got in another argument the other day with my stepfather, but this time I can’t help but think that the generation gap is way too big. As we were walking out the door to get a bite to eat, he asked me where I wanted to go. I told him “somewhere where I can wear a hat” or something like that. It had been a long day, and since my hair is growing out, it was rather annoying hanging in my face. He replied with something like “You can wear it there, but not inside”. Anyway, we argued a bit about me wearing a hat while eating. Eventually he came back with “It’s bad manners to wear a hat inside”. Hmm. I told him “Manners by nature change”. He said they didn’t.

man-ner \’man-er\ n [blah blah] 1 a: KIND,SORT [blah blah]
2 a: a characteristic or customary mode of acting : custom
b: social conduct or rules of conduct as shown in the
prevalent customs c: characteristic or distinctive bearing,
air, or deportment d: habitual conduct or deportment e: a
distinguished or stylish air.

Hmm. Seems that manners are dictated by current standards set by society. Society of today, not 20 years ago. Sure, back in his time wearing a hat inside was something you just didn’t do. More or less because his father told him not to, and his father before him probably. If that is the case, then wearing a hat in public is not bad manners, nor good manners. It is done by many people, so therefore acceptable to those people. Since you can’t make over 50% of the people 50% happy, (fuck that 100% stuff), it seems you should do what makes you comfortable or happy.

Thinking about that, how many times do you catch yourself doing something trivial and stopping yourself because it is socially unacceptable or considered bad manners? Look at it this way. If it is accepted by most kids under 20 to carry a gun to school, then who gives a shit if you spit in public, wear a hat, dye your hair a different color, pierce your ear more than once etc? For every lame ‘manner’ or fashion out there, there will be one that always stays in; And that is whatever it takes to make you happy.

Just the other day, I was waiting at a stop light, and as I looked over, a lady(about 45 years old) walks over to the gutter, and spits on the road. At first, I thought that was pretty crude, but after a minute, I realized that it wasn’t any different than me doing it, or a 45 year old man. Who cares? This world has enough problems to be worrying about getting insulted because someone else did something you don’t like.

Don’t listen to your parents or teachers if they tell you something is ‘bad manners’. Stop and evaluate and see if it is still done today. See who would look at you funny, and who else does it. That will tell you if it is bad manners or not. It isn’t dictated by out of date parentals.

Anyway, so next time you are in a restaurant, and see some guy with a hat on, feet up on the table, talking with his mouth full, belching while scratching between the legs, say ‘hi’ to me.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: