Friday, December 7, 2012

Is Chivarly Dead?

A few months ago I was at Sams Club.  I was purchasing a mini fridge for our garage for food/harvest/drink overflow.  (The amount of money we would save on electricity by putting the mini in the garage vs. a big old fridge made the purchase worth it.) 

I found the fridge on the shelf but no one to help me put it on to the dolly.  I wrestled it on myself.

I checked out.  No one offered to help me to my car.

At this point, I wasn't worried.  I thought it was odd but I handled the fridge fine to this point and thought I could do it myself so I didn't ask for help.

I got it to the van, pushed down the rear seats and proceeded to sweat, curse and grunt it up from the dolly into the back of the van.  I should have asked for help.

What surprised me is the number of men that walked past me.  Some even smiled.  One commented that it looked heavy.  Huh?  No one offers to help?

Granted, I probably don't look like I need help.  I'm an inch taller then Brooke Shields (I'm 6'1) and I weigh as much as she does.  I'm built the same way (without that awesome, gorgeous face and flat stomach).  I probably outweighed and was definitely taller then most of the men that walked by.  Still.

I laughed about it and chalked it up to being at Sam's Club. 

Today I had to buy salt for the water softener.  Those bags are awkward and heavy (think 50 pound dog food bags).  Same issues!  I hefted all five of them into the cart and made it through the check out.  No one offered to help.  I made it to the van, unloaded them and headed on my merry way with nary a gentleman in sight.  Lots of men but no gentlemen.

I understand that I should ask for help if I want it and, believe me, I do.  Sometimes it's just nice to be offered the help, though.  I am not that old but I do remember the days when people held the door for you, when you offered to return someone's cart if they were done with it and you were heading into the store and when people offered a hand to someone, male or female, old or young, that looked like they could use one.   That, my friends, is old fashioned consideration.

So, moms and dads, teach your boys!  Teach your girls, too, for that matter!  Being considerate is best taught by example.

Here are our family rules:

You always offer to help someone if they look like they could use a hand.  You hold the doors, don't push and shove and always drop your change into the Salvation Army Kettles.  If you have a huge cart of items and the guy behind you had a small handful, let him go ahead of you.  Be patient with the mom whose children are screaming in church.  You screamed at one time, too.  Don't judge.  You don't know what happened in their life earlier that day or week.  You might not be handling it as well as they are.  Be polite.  Send thank you notes by US Mail.  E-mail does not count.  When you answer the phone, say "Hello."   Before you hang up, say "goodbye" or "thanks for calling".  Don't interrupt people, even if you think what you have to say is important.  If it is important enough to interrupt, apologize for interrupting.  Don't be rude to people, no matter how your day is going.  They don't deserve that.  Be kind to your sibling.  They will be your best friend later in life.  An apology does help make things better.  When you receive an apology, acknowledge it.  Be quick to apologize when you are wrong.  Stand up for yourself and stand up for others.  Say "Please" and "Thank You" no matter what.  Say "excuse me" when you enter someone elses' space, when you pass gas and when you burp.  Say "Bless You" when someone sneezes, even if you don't know them.  If you drop something, pick it up.  Be patient.  Try to understand what someone is saying to you, even if their accent or disability make it hard for you to understand.  Listen to others.  The only person you should laugh at is yourself.  It is okay to laugh with people but make sure that they are laughing, too.  Keep your sense of humor at all times.  Problems aren't that big if you can find something about them to laugh at.   Listen to your mom.  She wants the best for you.  Remember that your mom loves you so much more than you can ever imagine.

And our newest:  If you see a woman trying to load a refrigerator in her van, offer to help.

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