I suppose I have been in a whiny mood, but here are my thoughts on courtesy:
Things that seem like common courtesy to me, but apparently are not:
- Using a seriffed font. I remember distinctly the day in 6th grade where we talked about writing papers on the computer. We learned about proper MLA format. We also received a general education about computer courtesy. Like yellow was impossible to read, and black font over blue background will give you a stroke. We also learned that san-serifed fonts are more difficult to read. It turns out a lot of people do not know the difference between a seriffed font, and a san seriffed font. A seriffed font (like Times New Roman) has little lines at the end of each segment of a letter. It is hard to explain, but if you look at fonts like Arial and compare them to courier it becomes very clear. It takes your brain longer, and requires more effort to read a san serif font because your brain sees the letters as single entities. A serrifed font makes the entity the word instead of the letter. Granted, I have not looked up this information since, but I trust my 6th grade science teacher, oddly I can’t remember their name but this stuck with me. Test it out. Read a page in Times New Roman, then read it in Arial, the difference maybe small but it’s there. I also tend to feel more exhausted after reading a san-serrifed font. (You can imagine my dismay when Microsoft Word switched to Calibri instead of TNR).
- Say “Bless You” if you are going to turn around and stare at me when I sneeze. I notice this a lot with people who are not from western countries. I know that this is because “Bless You” comes from weird Protestantism fears of your soul leaving your body during a sneeze, but I personally appreciate the gesture. I figure it is the daily equivalent of saying “I’m sorry” after someone loses a loved one. We all know that that person (hopefully) wasn’t the cause of death of said love one, but it’s become a way to say “I’m sorry you are dealing with that”. It is the same with a sneeze. Saying “Bless You” is like saying, “Hey. I don’t know you but, sneezing isn’t fun. Good luck with the rest of your day, and I hope you don’t sneeze anymore. I am a human; my body does human things too. I don’t like it. Ok bye.” See I appreciate a “Bless you” I really do. I am always amazed during exams when people still say it even though their little academic lives are on the line. However, I don’t require it. If you don’t want to say it, because you see differently than me that is totally fine; Just don’t turn around and stare at me like I ran over your first born child just because I made a loud uncontrollable noise with a weird look on my face.
- People who eat out and then say they are too poor to tip. If you can’t tip, you can’t eat out. Sorry.
- If someone buys an appetizer for the table take a bite, unless you have an allergy. I recently was at a dinner with a group of people, and there is one girl who hates me for existing. I bought chips and salsa for the table. Instead of taking some of the chips I purchased she bought her own. (Granted this probably goes passed courtesy and into “Don’t be a Douche”.
- Don’t dig through someone’s stuff while they are gone. Living with multiple people, and those people being related to me, people going into my room to find things is a common occurrence. If you don’t see it upon immediate entry or in plain view; you need to turn around and leave, not dig through my drawers. I keep weird things in there, and it won’t be comfortable for either of us.
- Be Mindful of your (and your children’s) elbows. As I write this I have been elbowed in the back twice. The third time I elbow back.
- Don’t Flirt with People who are with their parents. It is awkward and gross. The male employees at the Starbucks near my house enjoy “grade school” flirting with me every time I go there. Regardless of who I am with. It’s dumb and creepy. When I pulled up to the window they were all standing there for the full purpose of staring at me.