Manners Maketh Man: Zeynep Is Astonished That They Are Rarely Used Now

Zeynep has a little rant about the unsavoury and anti-social habits that some people have, some of which have become every day behaviour in this modern world. She reminisces about past times when good manners were what mattered for everyone

I don’t know about you but I love to eat at a table which is set and decorated beautifully. Almost every evening, when it is dusk or later, I light candles, place flowers on the table, use different table mats or cloths and vary my plates and even cutlery. I have so many proper napkins, you know, good quality, hand made etc, that I like to use, but somehow reluctantly when I have guests around. I will explain the reason for this reluctance. Have you come across people who use these like loo paper? I mean, clean your mouth but respect that this is a beautiful linen fabric please! And do remember to gently wipe your mouth before you have a sip of your wine if you don’t want an appalling rim!

How about sitting across from someone who sticks his/her tongue out as the food goes in? I have friends like this and I must say it is torturous to have them in my vicinity. If they come to me, I place them by my side so I don’t have to look. Going to theirs, I need a conscientious effort to avoid watching the tongue. Can I be the only one noticing Mary Berry’s way of delicately tasting food on TV? But not so delicate is John Torode, one of the MasterChef presenters? Yuk!

I could go on and on but enough about table manners for now.

A filthy loo / where have good manners gone?I accept that what goes in must come out but let’s talk about public loos. I am one of those people who uses them often. Blame it on my intake of several cups of coffee in the morning or whatever. I am therefore a connoisseur of these places in various cities of the world. Be it in restaurants, airports, departments stores etc they are all the same. Unflushed, loo paper everywhere, wet floors, paper in the sink and on the floor…..is this what the users do at home? If not why be so disrespectful of the people who will be using these facilities after them. Where are their manners? And please also bear a thought for the unfortunate ones who are the cleaners and have to deal with the mess you have left. I don’t want to sound patronising, a job is a job, but being a toilet attendant must be one of the hardest I think.

Forgetting table or toilet manners, I have a fear that the new generation won’t be able to communicate atA whole family at a meal on their iPads and iPhones / Manners all! The schools are out so my little town is full of families exploring in the beautiful sunshine. Did I say exploring? Oh yes using their iPhones and iPads or some similar piece of technology. For the past few days I see the same family of four in different restaurants. Mum and dad have their iPads duly placed in front of them and the two children, a boy and a girl of 12 and 10 maybe, have their iPhones. Silence reigns at their table. I did not stare long enough to see what happens when food arrives but I did stare for about half an hour when a young mother had brought her little girl, maybe 3 yrs old, to the riverbank where I was enjoying a chat with a girlfriend. Well OK there was a tupperwear full of different fruits but the little girl could not get her mother’s attention for she was preoccupied with her iPhone. She really did not lift her head. It was painful to watch this toddler trying to be noticed. Finally, as you can guess, the little girl started throwing her grapes around. Her mother was cross but any reaction is better than none, the little girl would have said if she could. Are these people not aware that they are raising children who will have all sorts of problems later on in life?

You must know people who have strange habits like shaking one leg or foot when sitting crossed-legged. The fact that they are not aware of this twitch is one thing, but no one close telling them to stop is another for I really think if caught early, it can be stopped. When I am aware that such activity is taking place close to me I cannot concentrate on anything but that shaking limb. Very disturbing!

Do we need to know the age of someone and their sexual orientation if they are gay? Why must almost every article about someone includes these details?

Finally the language that we use. Why use unnecessary words like obviously when it is not so obvious? More and more, I notice people saying obviously so many times in one conversation; each sentence almost starts with that. Why? And call me old fashioned but I hate to be called Guys. Hi Guys. Bye guys….. No thanks!

For more of Zeynep’s observations of modern day life click HERE to read more posts.