9.4.13

Good Manners...gone the way of the dinosaurs?

If you'll indulge me a little, let me share a recent experience at one of our favourite restaurants that left me fuming. No, it's not the restaurant that pissed me off, but rather, an inconsiderately disgusting patron.

So, the restaurant was really crowded. Like really really really crowded. From the packed-like-sardines table configuration to the meant-for-skinny-people walkway between the tables, it was full to the gills. I was seated behind an SPG with waist-long locks. We were back-to-back and I was already pushed right up to my table to give her a little wriggle room. And that's when it happened. She flicked her hair. You know, that flirty flip of the hair off your face that signals your attraction to whomever you're flirting with? Yes, that hair flip. And because her hair was so long, my head was engulfed with her hair. The first time she did that, I apologetically informed her that I was behind her. Yes, I was contrite because some women are vapid enough to take offence that you don't like their hair all over your face and head. Then she did it again. And again. And again. I mean, lady, your boyfriend may like your hair all over his face but I ain't him. I don't know you from Adam or Eve or whether you have lice and/or dandruff in your allegedly luscious locks, so please, keep them away from my face and hair. It's gross. You may think it's a sexy move, so your Ang Moh boyfriend is enticed to put a ring on it, but I would appreciate it if you did the hair-flipping at Tanjong Beach instead. It's very windy there.

Seriously, why do people have such poor manners nowadays?! In our frustratingly increasingly congested little island, it would make good common sense to be a little more considerate to your neighbours. Be mindful of where you step or where you put your body parts, lest you knock into someone or intrude into their personal space. But, accidents happen, so if you do, you apologise. And then, don't do it again! Is that really so difficult? By the way, I'm guilty of the former, in that I'm always bumping into people (me got three left feet and four arms I swear), but I always always make a point to apologise. Sincerely and profusely.

On this note, if the converse happens: i.e. someone accidentally steps on your toes, and consequently apologises, be gracious enough to accept the apology. Don't be a petty troll and go off on that poor, clearly accident-prone fella.

A simple sorry, a warm smile, a soft tone, considerate mindfulness and overall gracious behaviour, is that really too much to ask in today's busy congested world?!

While we're on the topic of graciousness, I've been meaning to ask what's so ungracious about "choping" one's seat with a packet of tissue paper?! I always hear people disparage this local practice. It may be a "uniquely Singaporean" thing (and admittedly a bit of an ah soh-like behaviour) but I cannot understand the "ungraciousness" of it all. Most of us mere working stiffs are only allocated one hour for lunch, and it's an incredibly efficient way to save precious time when trying to jostle with the lunch crowd at self-service eating joints. And do you know how difficult it is to walk around balancing a scalding hot bowl of soupy noodles while looking for an empty table? We aren't all Cirque Du Soleil-trained, ya'know! Isn't it a lot easier to first "chope" your seat with a tissue packet, and then going to buy food because you know there's a space right back there waiting for you?

It annoys me most when a pompous ignoramus unfamiliar with this local practice takes your "choped" seat and then tells you to bugger off because you weren't physically occupying the seat and that the tissue paper chope-ing method doesn't count. Worse still if he tries to educate you that chope-ing your seat with a tissue packet is "ungracious". I'm okay with people not knowing our local practices and customs, but once you've been been educated, you jolly well follow suit. When in Rome, do as the Romans do! I don't go to your home and tell you how to run things so please don't tell me how to do things here in my home because we ain't barbaric savages requiring taming. Or, if you're the type never to frequent a CBD self-service eatery during peak lunch hours or have a longer-than-one-hour lunch break, then please, the time constrain point clearly doesn't apply to you, so I don't need no out-of-touch know-it-all telling me what's "gracious" or "ungracious" because you clearly don't understand the ground sentiment.

I, for one, personally think that it's actually very polite and considerate to abide by the choping-by-tissue-packet rule. It's such a civilised, albeit quirky and unusual, polite-society practice.

Okay, rant's over.

Thank you for listening. Or rather, reading.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

you should hv flipped ms esperger something else

- the other popo

Cavalock said...

Yup, agree with you on all counts.

Bern said...

@popo: erm, i was scared she'll whip me with her hair lah.

Anonymous said...

Down with SPGs!!!!

Prof

Bern said...

@Cavalock: it's so sad that ppl nowadays are so lacking in graciousness isn't it?

FoodieFC said...

all i can say is well, relax. I have encountered that in the trains during peak hour as well. As a guy, I hate that too!

ps: I wanted to nominate u in the SBA2013. But can't as I do not have your email address. Keen to take part? If yes let me know ur email add, I can nominate u =)

Bern said...

@FoodieFC: oh man, going on the trains is such a tricky endeavor nowadays. i always find myself having to say sorry all the time! btw, i PM-ed u thru ur gmail acct.

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