Miss Barbara complains about manners

It’s about Edward (not his real name), who needs some advice to win friends and influence people. I have gifted him with one of my favorite books, The Power of Charm by Brian Tracy, which is not only useful, but often funny as well. If you have read it, little has been assimilated.

Socially, Edward is clueless, but he’s trying and getting better. Blessed be her heart, she is in her early twenties and realizes that she doesn’t know everything yet. He has not yet developed the maturity that those his age had years ago. He’s a budding real estate mogul, elated by the current red-hot real estate market, and he’s good at it. Very well. But alas, he has not learned the necessary subtleties that make him a refined gentleman. (Are there more?)

If you think I’m “complaining,” I’m not. Instead, I am “explaining”, trying to be helpful.

Without further ado, I’ll explain why, in my opinion, Edward is sometimes clueless and why it matters, especially when it comes to older people, whose homes he hopes to sell. I will give two examples.

First example: Edward has a girlfriend, Mary Beth, and she’s a lovable and loving “older woman” for a few years, which is good because Mary Beth has a maturity that helps Edward whether he knows it or not.

To give a specific example of what I am “explaining and not complaining”, for my birthday, Mary Beth gave me two beautiful cups of tea, along with exotic aromatic tea bags. Frankly, I thought the mugs were too pretty to use, but without saying “May I?” Edward took one of the tea bags and made himself a cup of tea. To be clear: Edward didn’t realize it wasn’t okay to “prove” what wasn’t his. He knows enough to say “please” and “thank you”, but “May I” is not yet part of his social vocabulary. Recklessness may be fine among peers, but older people can make an exception for inconsiderate actions.

This is the following example. Sitting in a group, watching television, Edward nonchalantly put his feet (with his shoes on) on the table in front of him. (Horrors!) He agitated me so much that I embarrassed him (and me) by telling him to get off the table.

In response, he pointed out that the guy sitting next to him also had his feet on the table (which is also not acceptable), but the difference was that the other young man had no shoes on. I didn’t scold the barefoot, although I should have because you don’t put your feet on furniture with or without shoes. In their own home, they can dance on the tables if they wish, but not in Miss Barbara’s abode. Those who were seated were horrified that I was punishing Edward, but I was upset. Please do whatever you want in your own home, but older people don’t like it when you make thoughtless assumptions when you’re at home.

I’m right? Have I become an irritable curmudgeon? (That will never happen). Who doesn’t mind offending sensitive young people who have never been told they are wrong and don’t seem to reach maturity until after middle age? After all, for the most part, no one has ever told snowflakes that they are inappropriate or inconsiderate about anything. It can trigger a breakdown and require a puppy to cuddle.

Oh, if only Edward had my mother! He would have chewed it from one side to the other. You know?

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