Monday, November 16, 2009

The Art of Please and Thank You

With the holidays fast approaching, I find myself out and about quite a bit more. Between grocery shopping for all of those holiday functions, Target runs for anything and everything, and all of the gift shopping, I am in the stores and on the road quite often. I guess I am not surprised, but I find myself quite angered by the rudeness and general disregard for others. As I drive down the road and people pull out in front of me, refuse to get into the left lane to allow other cars to merge, or fail to use their turn signals, my road rage tends to get the best of me. When I am shopping, I am just amazed at the number of people who stand on one side of the grocery aisle while perusing the shelves on the other side of the aisle, therefore taking up the entire aisle with just them and their cart. I guess they think that if they just pretend not to see you then it's okay and they don't have to move.

The other day in Target, my mom, my sister, Layla, and I were shopping and just minding our own business. I stopped at the end of an aisle to reach down in Layla's stroller to put her shoe back on. This took all of 30 seconds, and when I stood up, there was a woman and her cart standing there giving me the evil eye and trying to push her cart through a space that was all of 6 inches wide. Rather than saying "Excuse me," she just stood there and stared at us. Finally, I said, "Oh, excuse me," and stepped out of the way. She barrelled her way through, and for the remaining 45 minutes that we were in the store, this same woman purposely came down the aisles we were in to stand and take up the whole space so that we would have to turn around, and cut us off ever time we tried to turn down an aisle. This woman had to be in her mid to late fifties and was acting like a child. I could not believe her behavior.

While shopping at the Five Oaks Shops in Sevierville last week, I was so angered by the number of customers and employees sitting outside on all of the benches puffing away on their cigarettes and forcing me, Layla, and my parents to breathe in their disgusting second-hand smoke. Today, I e-mailed the manager of the mall, and just brought to her attention how unfair this is to all of us non-smokers, and how much I hated that my 10 month old baby had to breathe in this disgusting smoke. Her reply to me :

Dear Mrs. Blankenship,

We are sorry that smoking has caused you to have unpleasant experiences in our center. However, we have met the Nonsmoking Criteria set by State Law and are in compliance. We have also asked all store employees to abide by our No Smoking Policy and to smoke outside in the back of their store.Our customers are special to us and we would like to send you a gift card as a form of apology. Please forward your address to us.Again we are sorry and wish you and your family Happy Holidays.

Seriously? A gift card? That is supposed to make my second-hand smoke exposure better? Really? I was shocked. Just because it meets state criteria does not mean that is best. I could not believe that a gift card was her solution to this problem. I promptly responded to her, and I told her that a gift card was not the solution. I did not want a gift card, and would just choose to do my holiday shopping elsewhere this year.

Enough with my rant. I have said all of this just to say that this holiday season, I am making it my purpose in life just to be a nice person. I am going to smile at people, say please and thank you, keep myself and my cart on one side of the grocery aisle, say "excuse me" to people when I need to get around them or if I am in their way, hold doors open for people, and if someone has a problem, I am going to try my hardest to come up with an intelligent and accommodating solution. I am doing all of this not only to make myself a better person, but also to set an example for my little blue-eyes. She is watching every move I make and hearing every word I say. I want her to be a good person. I want her to have respect for others, and I want her to have good manners. Respect and manners are so rarely exhibited any more, and it saddens me. We are all human and are all deserving of both of these. I am so excited to teach my little lady the art of "please" and "thank you."


  1. AMEN to every single word!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. You got it right on! I started to really notice how rude people are when I was very obviously pregnant with Cameron and trying to get Sarah Hazel in and out of stores and no one open the door for me.