Minding Your Manners

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I like to think of myself as a pretty well mannered guy. I open doors for women when they let me, refer to women in certain settings as ma’am, and try my best to always be hospitable.  As a southern boy I feel like not being a rude jackass is essential to my identity.

Of course, moving around a lot to various cities outside of the south over the years has certainly tested my principles. I’ve been reminded plenty of times by women not to refer to them as ma’am because it makes them feel old. Usually, the women who sass me over ma’am are indeed old and insecure, but no matter, as you wish…my lady.

Several times have I gotten odd looks from women after opening the door for them. Like, “What in the fuck is wrong with you? I can open my own damn door.” Or flat out befuddlement. I’m not sure it’s because I’m a gentleman or if it’s because I’m a black gentleman (only in some instances – when it’s super obvious). Nevertheless, I behave the way I was raised to be – well, minus being heterosexual, church going, and whatever other heteronormative standard my mama preferred I adhered to.

I’m even polite enough not to force my ways onto other people. However, I have something to share with ya’ll and I hope I don’t sound like whiner for saying it: I really fucking hate when people just randomly talk to me without saying hello.

Like, on Facebook and Twitter I get it, but c’mon now, when there’s open ended conversations by way of IM, text, or BBM, can’t you be bothered to say a greeting first before you go into whatever you’re about to say? Especially if you’re about to ask me for something.

A hello goes a long way, you heffas. I say heffa with love, of course.

I’m trying to not sound all fancy (huh) as if I’m the Duke of Hiram Clarke and therefore require extra courtesy, but seriously, I find it rude. Not intentionally rude, but rude all the same. Everyone’s in a rush to get their point across that they don’t even stop to say hello to a person.

And that’s sort of disappointing.

OK, so that was melodramatic but I felt like I was on a roll. But do you see what I mean?

I’m not perfect. As fast as my fingers and mouth usually go I sometimes slip up. But, I will say, though, I usually catch myself after the first quick statement and add a hello, a hi, hey, what up, you get it. Or I’ll say something slick intentionally and note that it was my silly means of saying such.

I feel like some of my friends are going to think I’m indirectly targeting them. I’m not. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for months. Some of my friends will read this and not give a damn and well proceed to carry on as is.

That’s fine, too, but I hope at least four of you will stop and think, “I’m going to start telling my friends ‘hi’ before I proceed to bum rush their phone or chat boxes.”

And for the record, not saying goodbye and leaving an open conversation just hanging is irritating as hell, too.

You’re welcome…and shit.

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