Let’s go back to Kindergarten

helloAs we strolled with Moxie down the sidewalk in our neighborhood, we saw a woman pushing a baby carriage toward us. I led Moxie to the grass alongside the sidewalk so the woman could have the whole sidewalk to be able to pass. When we got close enough, I smiled at her.

“Hello”, I said — still smiling.

She did not respond, smile — nothing. She didn’t even really look at me. She just kept going.

Now, of course this isn’t the first time a “hello” was wasted for me. But, it was the first time it happened here. Back in NY, I expected it. Years ago, I once worked in a place where you could walk by someone and say “good morning” and they would snub you so hard (especially if they were ‘higher’ than you), you felt it in your bones.

This woman on the suburban Illinois sidewalk was Indian, so I couldn’t help but wonder if her culture has something to do with it. I basically was hoping there was a “good” reason why she just coldly walked by us without any sort of acknowledgment. But, still — returning a “hello” is a basic human interaction, so I dismissed that thought almost immediately and chalked her up to just being a rude person.

At a very young age — by their parents and/or in Kindergarten, children are taught some pretty simple things. Say “please”, “thank you”, and “I’m sorry.” Be polite, respectful and DON’T IGNORE PEOPLE WHEN THEY SAY HELLO TO YOU.

Here’s a somewhat short list of simple Kindergarten manners I often see adults ‘forgetting’:

Cover your mouth when you sneeze and/or cough — especially in a public place, like a supermarket, for example. And in the produce section. Come on, people.
LISTEN and pay attentiomannersn when people are talking to you — No one likes to repeat themselves because you’re tuning out and just smiling/nodding.
Chew with your mouth closed — Learn to breathe through your nose.
Wait your turn — To talk, to check out at the store, to be seated at a restaurant, to get on public transportation, etc.
Say “excuse me” If you need to get by someone, or get someone’s attention, just say “excuse me” — do not wave your arms like a lunatic or just stand there with a scowl on your face until the person realizes you’re waiting for them. Use your words. True story: Just the other day, I saw a woman in her late 60s/early 70s waving her arms at a teenage supermarket employee to get his attention as he restocked the freezer, with his head down almost in the freezer. She just kept waving and shaking her head and I couldn’t take it anymore. I said, “Just say ‘excuse me'” to her. It worked.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

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3 thoughts on “Let’s go back to Kindergarten

  1. You are always so right, it’s scary. You probably don’t want to know how i respond to rude people, especially the ones who can’t even acknowledge a simple greeting. I hope you and Moxie are adjusting well in your new hometown. Be safe and keep these posts coming. I missed them D2

  2. I enjoyed this, thank you 🙂 It immediately reminded me of;

    “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”

    1. Share everything.
    2. Play fair.
    3. Don’t hit people.
    4. Put thngs back where you found them.
    5. CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS.
    6. Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
    7. Say you’re SORRY when you HURT somebody.
    8. Wash your hands before you eat.
    9. Flush.
    10. Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
    11. Live a balanced life – learn some and drink some and draw some and paint some and sing and dance and play and work everyday some.
    12. Take a nap every afternoon.
    13. When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
    14. Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Stryrofoam cup: The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
    15. Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
    16. And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.”

    ― Robert Fulghum,

  3. My neighbors… I’ll have to save it for a future post. So rude, so rude. AND, they have a little baby girl, too – no older than 6 months. Everytime they snub me, I just think to myself, “you’ll see – when my 13 year old son is sneaking through your daughter’s window at night.”

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