Raised in a generation of Emily Post and “Ladies First,” I was presented with an actual use for a degree in sociology this week.
I was attempting to leave a restaurant by exiting a narrow passageway. While I was half in and half out of an area wide enough only for one person to use, I was confronted by a very large family group marching in line, one behind the other, as if re-enacting the liberation of Paris. There I stood, a very short, elderly woman with bad feet, looking desperately for my cue to proceed.
Three generations were included in the formation. First came what I call the Rude Generation, tweens, teens, and 20-somethings. OK, I assumed they were a lost cause for manners and they marched by not even acknowledging my presence.
The second group included mothers, grandmothers, and assorted aunts. I estimated my chances to 50-50 but received no help. By this time I was very obviously leaning on a planter for support.
But then, but THEN, who comes marching toward me? Five elderly gentlemen, grandparents, uncles and such. Aha, I say to myself, my salvation is near. This generation was raised on the much-touted Southern manners and gentility. They’ll save me. As my pitiful expression made eye contact with each of these “gentlemen,” I despaired as none offered a step back with a sweep of his arm whispering “after you.”
Back from where I come from (The Frozen Northland) this would elicited a “well, I never!” And we Yankees are supposed to be the rude ones?
Note to commenters: Go ahead and call me an old fart stuck in an antiquated fantasy world. I didn’t get this old because of a thin skin.