Some of my best post ideas come while I’m driving.
I cannot think of a more inconvenient time to think of these things…I’m popping open the console….grabbing for a post-it…reaching down between the seat and the console for the ever-present, always-hidden free pen I stole from the allergist's office the last time I felt he kept us waiting just a bit too long…and then I always somehow manage to beep the horn as I’m writing my brilliant blog idea on my post-it note, 'cause I'm leaning on the steering wheel to write, since I'm trying to be responsible and keep at least one eye on the road, which can be a problem if you’re stopped at a light in a long line of cars.
People, in general, do not seem to appreciate being beeped at for no apparent reason. Then, I have to hold up the pink post-it pad and the pen in the universal “I was trying to write something down on this here post-it pad and accidentally hit the horn…it’s not directed at YOU...geez, give me a break” sign, while smiling my brightest megawatt-apology smile.
Ironically, the subject of my note was about manners…or the evident lack of them.
I was raised in what you might call an extreme manner environment. It was always “please”, “thank you”, “may I be excused?”, elbows off the table, “excuse me” and “I’m sorry. I did not mean to flush my sister’s Barbie-head down the toilet. No, I’ve no idea how she became decapitated”.
Growing up in such an environment has had long-lasting effects. My sister Laura and I were discussing this the other day. Our children...her girls, Carolyn (17) and Sarah (12) and my boys Kevin (20), Taylor (17) and Connor (12) have all been raised to be perfect, stunning child-clones with exemplary manners, honor-roll grades and perfect hair.
Okay, so maybe not all these things….but they definitely have the good manners….and the great hair. In our house, it’s more important to knock before opening a door than it is to lock said door. Maybe that stems from me (as the only female in an all-male abode) getting tired of having to lock myself away every time I have to pee or quickly change my top.
I have also (said with no small degree of pride, I might add) taught said boys to put down BOTH toilet seats, both the part we gals sit on AND the cover…so its contents (hopefully, simply water and not some weird sewer-spawned crocodile) are never, ever seen. Honestly, I’m not sure how I accomplished this, but it is a constant source of amazement amongst the parents of my sons’ friends.
“However did you manage that?” they ask, in complete awe.
“Old Cuban-Italian-German family secret. If I tell you, I’d have to kill you,” is my usual response.
Of course, now it's a pet peeve of mine. When I go to someone's house and the cover of the commode is up, it simply must be put down.
Is there a syndrome for this? Possible therapy? Maybe a pretty, pink pill?
My nieces and my sons know to help clear the table after a meal…but with the boys, I think it’s more to keep the dog from devouring what’s left behind. This means I think the girls are doing it more because it’s the right thing to do, as they don’t have a dog. All our kids say “please” and are very good at “thank you”.
Sometimes, I’ll heat up leftover pizza…and as I hand it off, the boys’ll say “thanks, Mom”. I’ll admit, it’s probably not necessary in this particular instance…but hey.
I’ll take it where I can get it.