Peach and I attended a wedding recently, it was the marriage of a family friends son. The ceremony was outdoors on a cloudy, breezy and slightly chilly day with a lake as the backdrop. It was a perfect setting even if it was a bit chilly. Everyone to include small children were well behaved.
This was a wedding of Country folk, and their friends, yes there were people that aren’t ‘country folk’ in attendance, but for the most part it was outdoors types that work outdoors and physically. As I watched the crowd it struck me that everyone was paying attention to the ceremony. This may not seem a big deal to you but over my life I have attended many weddings and usually there are people talking or reading texts or not paying attention. It’s all about manners, how you were brought up to behave, and at the risk of making people mad, in my humble opinion, country folk teach their children good manners at an early age and constantly reaffirm them as they grow into young adults. Could also be a generational thing but as humans we fall back on what we know, I know country people, I work daily in the city dealing with the worst of society and their children (I see the best also, but they rarely call us to respond).
Back to the wedding…the ceremony moved inside and everyone eventually found a perch (chair, seat, spot to sit) and old friends and new caught up and reaffirmed friendships. In the process of waiting there was time for refreshments and of course the bar, there was also iced tea, lemonade and other non alcoholic drinks. While making my way over to get Peach and I an unsweet tea, I let a young lady ahead of me saying something I was raised to say since I was a young country boy “ladies first”. To me nothing extraordinary, to that young lady, it struck a cord and she said “thank you, I wish more people would say that” and I replied “I’m from the old school” .
That simple exchange between an old codger and a young lady got me thinking about manners, and today’s society. What happened to manners? Did we as a society decide that they were no longer necessary? I remember getting my head smacked for not taking my hat off around a lady (prolly why my marbles are loose), or if I didn’t hold the door for one. I have seen so much rude behavior between people it’s easy to just fall in line and do as it seems everyone else is. I for one will continue to do as I was taught, holding doors, taking my hat off indoors or around ladies, saying please and thank you, or “ladies first”, in the hopes that like at this one chance meeting it brightens some strangers day, who knows, maybe I started a trend…