Now, let me preface this by stating the obvious for those of you who know me; I’m not the classiest and most mannerable gentleman that exists on the face of the Earth. I am not bred of royalty or full of wealth but I do have a shred of self-respect and dignity that allows me to at least portray these images and enough wherewithal to practice my title’s traits appropriately and in the apropos setting. For example, my etiquette when attending an event at which I sit at the dais is going differ from when I have dinner with my friends in the DC. With all of that in plain sight, lest us further converse the ideas of decency, class, and decorum.
As a child, like many of friends, I was instructed to not do certain things. Don’t chew with your mouth open, don’t belch without excusing yourself, use ‘please’ ‘thank you’ ‘excuse me’ and other terms that show an iota of home-training, when appropriate. However, I feel as if a number of these things seem like a lost art to some of my peers, colleagues, and folks younger than me. I’ve seen children cut one another in line without an utterance of ‘excuse me’. I’ve seen children grab for things that don’t belong to them, without thinking about asking. I’ve seen adults walk out of the house ‘ready-roll’ as my late grandfather called it; that is ready to roll out of bed and go. I’ve smelled breath that is offensive, in the AM AND PM. I’ve seen crust in eyes and pants that damn near touch the ground because that individual has decided to go belt-less. Why?
While observing and thinking, I’ve often times considered the idea that my ideas of what it means to be presentable are antiquated and are on par with a 70 year old southern gentleman, but reality hit me and told me NO. Decency is a word that has escaped the minds and actions of members of my generation. Some actions have no other reason for being inappropriate other than them being indecent. Like a man not wearing a belt when there are loops for one or a woman walking out of her room/house/building with a goddamn kerchief on her head. Now I realize that I may offend some readers by pointing this out, but who the hell cares. Obviously, our ideas of decency vary or else there would be no unreadiness from you.
Class. That word is loaded and for my peers, depending on their areas of study and academic concentrations, may mean many a things to each individual. To me it means that you there is a high level of self-respect that accompanies your daily activities. One does not have to have money and fortunes that match royalty; prime example, my 88 year old great grandmother grew up as a share cropper in Macon County, Georgia. She never had lots of economic power or amassed wealth. However, she is one of the classiest ladies I know. She walks with dignity and self-respect that is unparalleled. Why…you are asking the wrong person but I can tell you that I am a whole hell of a lot more comfortable with bringing her country behind out in public than some of the college-educated hooligans I attend university with. Those of you who have been fortunate enough to hear my stories of her know that her political correctness is sub par but at 88 if you can’t say what you wish then I don’t know who can.
There are a few terms that should be relegated to people with the three items that my title has. LADY is one of them. The women on the other end of the phone popping her gum and sucking her teeth, the female at the post office counter rolling her eyes, the b-word at the supermarket with the attitude because you are a customer do not deserve the title LADY. Now, before I continue let me make it clear to you all that a 2011 lady is not going to match a lady of 1922, HOW-the hell-EVER, there are somethings that should not have been lost. Stockings, slips, things like that should be left by the way side because it only interferes with my end goal but things like clean nails and presentable hair is something that should have been carried over. Not only are physical appearances important but attitudes and courtesy contribute to one’s lady-dom. Gentleman is another one of those terms. Yes, I get the whole sociological and societal constructs that have been built around men and women and the unfair expectations placed on them…blah blah blah, I’ve taken a number of social justice courses and am no dummy but somethings are just damned indecent. Fellas, let us open a door, walk in front of her down the stairs (wink to the person who taught me that), pull out her chair, walk her out of your room at that indecent hour of the evening (or morning), or whatever else guys used to do in order to maintain a woman’s respect.
This post was not to blast individuals for being who they are or whatever other negative items could be taken out. It was my humble observation. I just had to say these things because I am absolutely appalled and thoroughly annoyed with some of the garbage I am forced to witness.
UNTIL NEXT TIME!!