Sunday, July 24, 2005

Etiquette and Life

I've been quite busy at work, and so never got to post this rant till now, so it's a little outdated. A few days back, the Today show had these silly girls of the lacrosse team from Northwestern University, who wore flip-flops to see the President of the United States! Their defense was basically that they meant no disrespect, while the mom of one of the girls was glad she was comfortable.

I'm sorry, but to me this is garbage ... and symptomatic of a serious problem we have - the Death of Etiquette. I'm sure the annoying person in the restaurant talking on their cell phone doesn't mean any disrespect, nor does the person who doesn't bother to hold the elevator for you. They are just being insensitive, something we didn't used to defend.

What about the bus? On a university bus, I apparently offended a likely feminist, who thought me offering her a seat was chauvinistic, while I have myself shaken my head a little at women who do accept that seat but refuse to consider it worthy of something as trivial as a "thanks". We are all so freaking caught up in our crappy existence we seem to forget that society is a collection of humans, and the decency that exists in society is a product of, well the decency of people in the past!

Ladies, did you really think it was appropriate to see the president in flip-flops? I mean, come on, you aren't worth shit, nor am I, compared to the man who gets to decide if he wants to nuke half the world. You may or may not like him, but for godsakes, he is the President and you are meeting him in the White House. If that doesn't qualify for your best dress, then maybe you are too self-obsessed to be a role model of any kind. It is much for important for me, for one, to have a daughter that knows respect than one that's talented!


Shivakumar said...

I Agree...In the name of rationalism...people feel anything goes... and also, I think cultural differences make people think or look at things differently..don't you think so? I mean, in India, we don't call people elderly by names, but we have adapted ourselves differntly in the United States.

But I am sure there should a little amount of common sense that should go into any kind of decision.

Anonymous said...

I personally do not think that wearing flip-flops to the White House was really that big of a deal than it was made out to be. I mean there is some etiquette involved, be well dressed; but what should be the deciding factor is the "comfort". This is just one of the ways the media -- that loves a story, sensationalizes everything. Wearing flip-flops does not mean that the team does not respect the President. Not being courteous to him, would have shown lack of respect. I also give Bush and his Whitehouse team credit for not making a big deal out of this.

However, I do agree that there is a "Death of Etiquette", in general, in society -- and I will take it up another day.


Karthik Narayanaswamy said...

But that really is the tragedy ... that we think comfort trumps all. I think I'm most comfortable naked, but that doesn't mean I can walk around naked, right? We have some cultural norms, and certainly one of those norms is that on a big occasion, it's quite appropriate to wear your best dresses.

Shivakumar said...

naughty naughty