Manners, Where are You?

March 5, 2009
Imagine you are sitting at a regular dining table, having an average family dinner. What do you see when you look around? Maybe mom and dad are laughing. Your brother is interested in his food to the point he has forgotten to breathe or chew. Your sister is probably blabbing about her 'fabulous life.' If you dare glance past the laughing, in'haling and mindless babble you will see some truly horrifying sights: There are elbows plopped on the table. Wide-open mouths are chewing like cattle. That napkin is supposed to cover your lap, not the floor. If we were still in the 1920's, this extreme lack of basic table manners would be both shocking and unacceptable! What a shame! Here in the 21st Century, decent manners have unfortunately become an endangered creature.

Allow me to use as evidence of our decline, the perfect example of a human'pig. Unfortunately I am referring to my beloved brother. He is an extremely sweet, loveable twelve-year old, but he is an absolute, ill-mannered swine. Watching him talk with food dripping out of his mouth, wiping his nose on his sleeve, putting his hooves on the table, I fear he faces a dateless future living well into his thirties in my mother's basement. Imagine a baby eating birthday cake. That is, regrettably, precisely what my brother looks like while consuming any food. It is as if he is trying to absorb his nourishment through his skin. Watching him eat spaghetti is particularly obscene. Grubby fingers buried in a greasy tub of squishy noodles. Silverware is never used. There is a near constant licking of butter-stained hands. I fear not even Emily Post herself could save this particular young man.

From my brother's monstrous example, can you now see what our manners have evolved into? If we don't start now and teach our current generation how to properly behave, I fear what my own daughters will have to someday tolerate at the table. Hopefully we can overcome this dilemma and save future generations from witnessing such harsh sites. Proper manners could truly benefit this world, and my own home, beyond belief.

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