Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The real test of good manners is to be able to put up with bad manners pleasantly.

~ Kahlil Gibran

The other day Gerry and I were having lunch out. Our table-for-two was one of four along a bench that spanned the length all of the tables with a chair on the opposite side in front of each one–obviously meant for just two people. It was cozy but fine.

Next to us was a young couple who remained focused on their individual devices while they picked at their food. On the other side of them were two women. Partway through the meal a third woman arrived–loudly–and snugged herself down on the bench between one of the women and the young man at the table next to us. She didn’t order anything and was obviously there just to visit with the two women while they ate.

It might have been her presence that prompted the young man to put his device down and ask for the bill and for their food to be packaged up. I know I would have struggled to enjoy my meal with the garrulous woman invading my space.

The young couple left with their packaged up lunch and Gerry and I enjoyed the rest of our meal. After our table was cleared I decided to pay a visit to the restroom before leaving. The ladies room had two stalls. One was closed with an “out-of-order” sign on the door; the second one was occupied by the garrulous woman from the table near ours chatting on her cell phone!

I waited; she chatted. In time, while she continued to chat, I heard a flush and the stall door opened. She strode to the sink to wash her hands never missing a beat in her conversation. How she managed to wash her hands while continuing her conversation I don’t know.

When I came out of the bathroom and joined Gerry at our table, Garrulous Woman had settled in to the spot previously occupied by the young man next to us and was continuing her phone conversation.

We paid our bill and went out to do the rest of the day with a renewed appreciation for common sense and good manners.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. Wow! Not a clue, right? Just sad!

    1. It was unbelievable, Carmen.

  2. My husband and I are continuously boggled by the way some people (young and old) can spend a whole dinner looking at their phones. It’s the height of rudeness and we’re especially saddened when there are very young children involved. I don’t think this type of behaviour is going to change any time soon … it’s an addiction.

    1. It’s amazing how we’ve become so addicted in a relatively short span of time. I agree about it being sad when kids are involved–whether because they’re also on a device of some sort, or being ignored because the adults are.

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