I was once told that when I would say “excuse me,” it sounded more like “fuck you.” There was some truth to that. Despite the upbringing by my Nana, a woman whose interpretations of manners was more to the physical attributes of it; don’t slouch, chew with your mouth closed, and elbows off the table. I had very little schooling in the matters of etiquette and of the social graces proper. Truth be told, I was quite the little social retard. Needless to say, no one wants to chill with a social retard unless they shit money. Which I don't.
Nor do I still to this day.
About ten years ago, a book called Things You Need To Be Told caught my eye, and I was fascinated by its message. It was chock full of tips on how to deal with a “rude and tacky world,” and I heard the message of The Etiquette Grrls calling to me like a siren of civility. I quickly did my best to no longer add to the problem.
Did I succeed all of the time? Not in the slightest. But have I gotten better over the years? God willing, yes. However, I openly admit I still have miles to go, and there's a long, potholed road ahead of me.
I was inspired to write this blog so that I could share the tales of manners, both good and the bad. Not just of others, but more so of myself. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been blessed with people who make me want to strive to be the best that I can be. Which means being more like a lady, and less like a shit head. Ang and Kim both are the epitome of style and good taste. Kaydee’s gift is of eloquence, as she hardly ever swears because she’s clever enough to use more creative, less vulgar words to get her point across. Noelle's dry and point blank wit is always melded with a subtle, lady like aura. My better half is the most gracious person you will ever have the pleasure of meeting. He is patient, polite, and if anything, always a pleasure to come across. There are others as well, of course. Their shout out will be soon to come, as they also have enriched my life as only they can, and absolutely deserve to have their praises be sung.
And then there’s me.
As you can (or will) see, I have the vocabulary of a trucker set loose on I55 going south to the bowels of Cham-bana in search of a “burrito as big as your head.” I still slouch, but I figure since I’m fuckin' old and shizz, I can slouch if I fuckin’ want to. My “excuse me” is laced with all the politeness I can muster given the situation that calls for it.
But one thing that I am learning is that you get more bees with honey. For the most part, life is both better and easier that when face to face the rude, crude, and straight up shiteous, composure and politeness usually trumps the asshat in question.
Easier said than done, of course.
So this is my journey, my quest to explore the topic of etiquette in what seems to be the lawless, wild west for the gauche. Yes, I’m an occasional outlaw. But as I look both forward and back to my history of great moments of vulgar behavior, I hope to ride off into the sunset on my steed of graciousness, giving a one fingered salute to those who deserve it, and honored salute to those that I owe it to.
I sincerely do thank you for taking the time to blow off work, ignore whomever it is you’re having to listen to on the other end of your Iphone, or indulge your insomnia to read my blog.
PS: I apologize in advance for any grammatical or spelling errors. If you’re one of those grammar snobs who can’t cope with the occasional misplaced apostrophe, to you I say to you with all due respect, to take your red pen and stab yourself in the eye with it. That will be significantly less painful then counting all the times I knowingly use an ellipsis improperly or create a run on sentence.
The truth is, despite my best attempts to always produce a perfect post, sometimes after looking at the damned thing for two hours, obvious errors will escape me. I’ll catch them sooner or later, God willing.
* Most of the websites I dig were introduced to me by Noelle, because she is AWESOME and her palate for humor is extraordinary!
** Dlisted.com was suggested to me by cousin. It is the gossip site that is the gift that keeps on giving. I want to be Michael K's hag. I really do. <3