AM FORCED to conclude that there are several important basics in the art of human interaction that some have never learned or have completely forgotten. But I am here to instruct and refresh! Once these irritating misunderstandings have been ironed out, you will notice an immediate improvement in the quality of your daily life. You will also wish to thank me profusely; I get that a lot.
When I am rounding the bend and just turning my wheels to begin entering a vacant parking spot, some of you will steal my spot from out of nowhere.
Here we have actually two examples of inappropriate human interaction: stealing, and appearing out of nowhere. As you know, stealing is often illegal, but in this case merely reprehensible. Appearing out of nowhere is the refuge of cowards. I just know you're better than that.
Shopping Line Etiquette
When I am just about to get into the checkout line with my two items, usually Greek yogurt and Darjeeling, some of you will cut me off with your overstuffed shopping cart and break in line. In this scenario please note that the Express Lane is closed.
If you only knew: a bulging shopping cart advertises the dual sins of extremism and procrastination.
Cutting someone off has been frowned upon for centuries, so I think we can assume you know exactly what you're doing in that department.
Beyond that we have, once again, a form of stealing, which will eventually catch up with you. Thinking otherwise is a form of rationalization, not quite a sin, but surely a chink in your logical construct.
Young Couples Etiquette
Today's young lovers wish their elders to know that they are knowledgeable in affairs of the heart, or, more specifically, in breeding like frisky terriers on the lawn.
Public expressions of youthful ardor usually commence with the entwining of tongues and the clicking of tongue studs meeting and greeting. No doubt there is some Morse Code going on that really gets things heated up.
Whereas I couldn't be happier for you to have found someone who admires your tattoos and acne, the exchange of saliva is, like that of other bodily fluids, best handled by a lab technician with access to all the proper containers and labeling equipment. At the very least you should be wearing latex gloves.
Movie Theatre Etiquette
Lately I find that movie-going is a lot like meeting all sorts of extroverted strangers I did not write into my appointment book. While seated in the theatre, we must try to think of ourselves as silent props that come alive only at the appropriate cinematic moments. For example, it is perfectly acceptable to:
- laugh at amusing dialogue or antics.
- weep over the death of a beloved character.
- scream at the sudden appearance of Larry King in close-up.
However, seeing that film technicians already know how to approximate the sound of rain falling onto a tin roof, or of bacon frying in a skillet, your prolonged extractions of candy from crinkly wrap are not required.
And if you only knew: discussing an actor's résumé, while an excellent topic of dinner conversation, is generally frowned upon when the actor in question is currently hiding under the bed to avoid a maniac, evil space alien, or other uninvited house guest. Munching popcorn would be an excellent substitute for speech at this juncture, as would sliding down in your seat and peaking through your fingers. Write if you need more speech-free alternatives, as most others have gotten the point by now.
© 2008 Kate Heidel