Monday, March 27, 2006

Two little words.

Thank you. Those two words are on the top of the good manners list. They're one of the first words a parent teaches their children with respect to manners. Please and thank you have been embedded into our brains since before we can remember. If you ask for something, you say please. When you get that said something, you say thank you. If someone offers you something that you don't want or need, you say no thank you. When someone pays you a compliment, you say thank you. I could go on and on, but there are a billion scenarios and I'm sure you get the picture.

Usually when someone says thank you at the appropriate time, the response is you're welcome. This is very common and usually not thought about twice. What I'm trying to get at is that saying please, thank you and you're welcome are a habit for most of us. We say it so frequently that it's like second nature. So when someone DOESN'T say it, I get mad. I expect people to say thank you. I expect parents to teach their children to say thank you. Am I wrong for expecting that?

The reason why I'm writing about this is because my husband's grandmother, F, does NOT say thank you. EVER. I have offered to do things for her and her response was NOT, "no thank you." That would be the NICE thing to say. Her response was, "No, I can do it." When I have handed her $20 that she asked to borrow, I didn't get a thank you. Of course not. I don't think those words are in her vocabulary. Well not consecutively anyhow. There have been MANY times that a thank you was warranted and not said.

Then my brother-in-law, B, doesn't tell his 'possessed by the devil' daughter to say please or thank you EVER!! This probably pisses me off more than the grandmother. No, they piss me off equally. But anyway, this little bitch will TELL him what to do rather than ASK. For example: "Daddy, get me some chocolate milk." What does he do? He gets her chocolate milk. FUCK THAT!!!! My son KNOWS that you don't TELL me, you ASK me. And part of that ASKING includes the word PLEASE.

So yesterday when I was getting a pickle for Ethan (after he asked me nicely to get him one), I asked the devil child if she wanted one too. She said, "Yes." I said, "Yes what?" She just looked at me like I was speaking Russian or something. So I said, "You should say, yes please." I just got a blank stare. So I handed her the pickle and she started to walk away. I said, "Brooke, you're going to have to learn your manners. When you ask someone for something, you say PLEASE. When someone gives you something, you say THANK YOU. Since I just gave you a pickle, what do you say to me?" Again, she just looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language then turned around and walked away. SHE SAID NOTHING!! So, I walked over to her and took the pickle right out of her little devil hands and told her that she's not getting ANYTHING until she starts being polite. Of course she threw a fit, screaming and crying. But NO ONE was there to give the little bitch what she wanted. NOPE. Just me, her and Ethan. So you know what I did? NOT A DAMN THING. I let her stand in the middle of the room crying. (keep in mind she's 5) I wanted to beat her little ass and give her something to cry about, but she's not my child. THANK GOD!!

Deep Throat of the Day: Do you see what I married into????


Dark Damian said...

"Come and listen to a story
'Bout a man named Jed,
Poor mountaineer barely
Kept his family fed.
Until one day
He was shootin' at some food,
When up from the ground
Came some people that are rude.

Hillbillies, they are.
Seven teeth.
To share between them.

NWJR said...

You've hit on one of my pet peeves. I've also noticed a tendency towards responding to "Thank You" with:

- Mmm, hmm.
- Sure.
- No problem.

NO PROBLEM? Jeez, I go out of my way to thank you and you say NO PROBLEM? I hope I'm not your problem. Sheesh...what is up with people?

I'd say "common courtesy" is gone, but in order for it to be "common", it has to be, well...common. I don't think it exists at all any more, at least not in my neck of the woods.

Maybe I'm wrong. I hope so.

Itchy said...

Demanding children piss me off...totally.

If my not yet 2 year old niece is able to say please, thank you and excuse me when appropriate, and without coaching! I would expect any 5 year old to do so as well.

I don't envy you your all. Sheesh...

Coley said...

Oh April, as per usual, your pet peeves mirror mine. The Please and Thank You should be so second nature, it's like a slap in the face when someone doesn't use them. Good move with Devil Child. I see WAY too many children who don't use any pleasantries at all, and it makes me shudder to think what kind of assholes our community will consist of in 20 years.

My other big courtesy issue: phone manners. When my step-grandmother calls me, I answer with "Hello?" and she responds with "who is this?" Ummm, who did you call? Maybe a "hello" is in order? Geeez.

In a couple months, I'm sure we can exchange some fabulous in-law stories. The insanity awaits.

april said...

DD: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That's the funnies thing and yet so true.

NWJR: I have to admit that I will say 'no problem' every now and then, but it depends on what it is. Like if I go out of my to do something for someone, I might say it. But not meaning that YOU'RE a problem, only that it wasn't a problem for me to do it. Does that make sense?

Itchy: You're right, a 5 y/o should be saying it. I blame this on her parents, but she still doesn't need to ignore me when I ask her to say please or thank you.

Coley: Ohhhhh, I have the same pet peeve with the phone too. Most of my husbands friends do the same thing. Asking "who's this?" First of all they called MY HOUSE, second who the fuck else would it be? Dumb fuckers. Another thing that bothers me is when they ask to speak to my husband and he's not home they ask, "Where is he?" Does it matter? He's NOT HERE. Even if I told them where he was, they still wouldn't be able to talk to him. It wouldn't make a fucking difference. PLUS it's none of their damn business!!

Ashburnite said...

Thank-you for saying it...and for taking the pickle away. That's another one of my pet peeves. I grew up in northern PA, where, even though the people were rednecks, they almost always said "please" and "thank-you." Then I moved here...and I'm sure you know how Ashburn is. My personal favorite is when I hold a door open for someone and they walk through it without even thanking me..happens WAY more often than it should. So I've started saying "you're welcome" VERY loudly when that happens.

Grant said...

Instead of spanking, just hit her with pepper spray every time she's rude. She'll learn.

Randi said...

I'm with you. WTF is wrong with parents? How did children get this kind of control? I'd be beaten or grounded instantly if I pulled that shit.

The Lily said...

Did ANYONE see the supernanny trailer where this FOUR YEAR OLD had to be bleeped out on national TV?

Yup. She said "Shut the *bleep* up!" A four year old.

My first thought was "That child would be so Dead. Not D-E-A-D. D-E-D, ded. If she were mine."

My second thought was "Who the hell lets their kids talk like that?"

ANd my third was "Who talks to or around their kids like that?"

Conclusion? Classy people. Classy with a K.

Maine said...

Taking the pickle away. Oh my god.... that's golden.

Actions. Consequences. Gotta love it.

Sar said...

You're the pickle nazi! How lacking in parental skills must you be if you can't even teach your children the basics of manners and follow through. Good call on the pickle, April.

juicya said...

Im glad you took the pickle away... If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. [ man i feel like an afterschool special sayin that]
My father would had smacked the shit out of me if i hadnt said please and thank you as a child. The other big one I have probs with is when kids call adults by their first name. It was all "Mr and Mrs" when I was a kid and not doing such, again, woulda been an offence punishable by an ass whomping. I dunno. Maybe i need to go back to the 1970s or something.

april said...

Ashburnite: You're so right, they DO NOT say thank you. Not even men. They'll just walk right on in like it's something a woman is supposed to do. Just like you, I say YOU'RE WELCOME really loud.

Grant: Thank you for giving me such a wonderful idea. I actually have a full can of pepper spray at home. Hmmmmm.............

Randi: I know, right? If she's bad now at 5, think of how she'll be when she's 16. HOLY SHIT.

Clairebell: I didn't see that. But I cringed just reading it. Oh my, I can't tell you how infuriated I would be if I ever heard Ethan talk like that.

Maine: Would you have let her keep the pickle?

Sar: I AM THE PICKLE NAZI....HAHAHAHAHAHAH!! I just about died from laughing when I read that. I LOVE IT!! And thank you.

Juicya: I have Ethan call most men by their first name. Unless of course they're his teachers or I know their last name. But for women he puts a Miss in front of their first name. You would be Miss Juicya. You don't need to go back to the 1970's. You're absolutely right.

Cowgirl said...

Had to come over here and find out what was up about the Pickle Nazi thing. OMG you were so right!

I hate rude people. I was raised with manners. If you wanted to eat or be able to sit down in the house I grew up in, you better say please and thank you.

It terrifies me about how out of control most kids are these days. Think our government is bad now? Just wait until these spoiled brats are running it - the horror!!!

Fix it now people, before it is too late!

JJ said...

When I was growing up, "please" was "the magic word."

I guess now, the magic word is "weed."

Me: "Want a hit off this spliff?"
Friend: "Hells yes, beyotch."
Me: " What's the magic wooooord?"
Friend: "Beer. No - sex. No - weed. Shit, I can't remember the magic word!"
Me: "That's okay - you're right. It's weed. Here, take a hit."

Okay - that was just stupid. I've gotta sober up.

Rumblin Durango said...


Should I get my big white horse saddled???

~ Durango Boy

Kira said...

You know, my kids always say please or thank you or they get The Pickle Treatment, too. And it's been like that since they were two years old. That'd be why my kids get invited back places. Sheesh. You don't have to spank on this issue. Spanking isn't NEARLY as effective as The Pickle Treatment. You don't say please, you don't get it. You don't say thank you, it's taken away from you. Thank you means you appreciate it. If you don't appreciate it, then why have it? Makes perfect sense.

As far as the Mrs, Ms, Miss, Mr stuff, I have actually never taught mine to do that because so many people are informal about the issue. Instead, I've taught them to listen to how folks are introduced to them, and then use the titles or not as is mentioned. So, they would never call their teachers by their first names, nor typically older folks in SC either. But all my friends want the kids to call them by their first names or "aunt"/"uncle" whatever, so they don't get a chance often to use the titles.

delite said...

I think at times I say thank you waaaay too much. Hell, I probably say it without even meaning it.
But as far as kids are concerned, if they tend to not hear it they don't repeat it. And sometimes they repeat the words they shouldn't huh?! :D

schmims said...

Would have done the same. My pet peeve is that parents don't teach their kids to not interrupt. You're talking to someone and the kid just pops up right between you and the person you're talking to and tells you whatever it is they have to say. I make my players sing the "rude interrupter" song. I made it up.

Grant said...

That reminds me, the Japanese don't say Thank You. Their words (do itashimashite) literally translate to "What did I do?" They seem to find it easier to deflect a compliment or courtesy than accept one.

nicole said...

OMG, I am with you on this one! Especially the part about kids telling their parents what to do -- that does NOT fly in this neck of the woods!

I have a thing about holding doors for people if I see that they're right behind me. Usually people are well-mannered enough to express their gratitude. But there are always those fools who silently walk through the door as if they think I'm EMPLOYED to hold it for them.

It's at this point that I wish I'd let the thing slam in their face.

Mojotek said...

Good for you! Someone needs to whip that little bitch into shape! :)

My brothers and I might have been little hellions when we were little, but we always had good manners and always got complimented on our behavior and manners when we visited other people's houses...

I think my parents still think that it's pretty ironic that we acted so much better out of the house than in it.

fyrchk said...


I've told you this before, you are doing a fantastic job raising your son. He is one of the most courteous children I know. I remember offering him a piece of candy and he ran to ask you then came back and said, "Please." I gave it to him and immediately got a "Thank you."

Good kid! And handsome. And gonna be a heartbreaker!

Anonymous said...

I am a stickler for please and thank you. I think that manners and common courtesy are a fading idea.

Sassy One said...

You were so right in what you did! I see rude and demanding kids everyday and it drives me insane! Some just expect whatever they want and forget their manners. Sometimes I feel it is left to me as their teacher to teach them something they should have learned a long time home!

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