Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Whatever happened to manners?

It seems that society today is so lacking in some basic, simple courtesy. "Good manners" is a phrase that sounds so quaint, it's practically gone the way of the family dinner table...which is where we used to learn our manners, back in the day.

"Keep your elbows off the table. Don't chew with your mouth open. Ask permission before you leave the table..." What??? That sounds so foreign in this day and age, when supper is often grabbed from a drive-through and family members have schedules so packed and harried, they barely have a moment to sit down together for any reason, much less to eat.

Well, good news. Good manners are still around, and they're just as important as ever...and a petite blonde lady named Julie Frantz has made it her mission to restore civility to our community. Through her organization, Everyday Etiquette, Julie spreads the message of courtesy and class...and she does it with such poise and charm.

Julie's a regular guest on 101QFL, and in fact I'll be interviewing her for this Sunday's Weekend Magazine show. She teaches classes in etiquette and personal charm, so if you're in this area and you or your children need some polish...Julie's the one to see.

One of the issues I'm sure I'll be asking Julie about it cell phone etiquette. One of my pet peeves is people yammering endlessly on the cell phone when they're supposed to be spending time with you. I can understand if you get a call and you need to answer it. Just don't spend the next 15 minutes chatting aimlessly with your caller, while your friend is sitting there yawning.

Another related problem is so-called "cell yell"...people in restaurants, stores, whatever, that feel like they have to shout their cell phone conversation so that the whole world is privy to all its details, whether intimate, obnoxious or simply boring.

Don't get me wrong...cell phones are great, and I wouldn't want to get rid of them. I'd just like to see some basic common courtesy regarding their use. You know...good manners.

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