Uncommon Courtesy

(Or don’t make me come up there!)

To the drunken hooligans outside my window,

Unless the next words that you speak are either, “The house is on fire!”, “You’ve won the lottery!”, or “There really is an axe murderer downstairs!”, you probably shouldn’t wake me up in the middle of the night.

In our hurry to put bread on the table, take the kids to soccer practice, and get home in time to watch our favorite TV show, we have lost the little niceties. You remember them. Your grandparents called them manners.

Manners are more than window dressing or how you hold your teacup. They are a part of the glue that holds societies together. This is evidenced by the politeness of the Japanese, made necessary by the density of their population. In other cultures, social order takes other forms. Don’t mistake the brusqueness of a New Yorker as anything but a rebuke for deviance from a societal norm.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m a fan of occasional chaos. The expression of an individual is the foundation of art and civil liberties. But there is a fundamental difference between breaking the rules and not knowing the rules.

So cover your mouth when you cough, hold open a door for a stranger, and be quiet…some of us are trying to sleep.

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Crazed recluse and sociophobe who has taken up writing after failing at everything else. Send pizza.

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