Thursday, December 11, 2014


I’ve often heard the lament, “Whatever happened to good manners?”
I can testify that good manners are alive and well in Northeast Indiana.

Well, maybe not all over the Northeast Corner, and maybe not all the time. But certainly in my small city and in Fort Wayne, frequently.
For example, last Friday I went to the big Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts store in Fort Wayne. Now early December isn’t exactly the best time to shop—everybody and her sister is out there looking for deals on fabric, stuff to make things, books/magazines, you-name-it. So I decided to be crafty (like the pun?) and get there early.

Arrived at 9:15—parking lot wasn’t crowded—not much traffic between me and the store. Got inside, found everything I wanted, went to the cutting counter and took my number. I was next in line with my cart load of bolts of fabric to be cut when a new clerk came up to help. Another young woman customer stood to one side of me with a big piece of 4” thick foam to be cut. That was her only item.
So I did what I always do and said, “Is that all you’re going to have cut?” When she said yes, I told her to go ahead; my order would take some time.

She thanked me. Another 30-ish customer getting things cut also thanked me. And the clerk smiled at me.
Really! All I did was give someone 4 or 5 minutes of my time. Apparently that was a big thing to the other few customers around me.

Okay. That was Friday.
Saturday I went to my Walmart, my Kroger store, and my Speedway. Everyone was pleasant and I got my shopping done without mishap. As I left the Speedway store, a young man held the door for me. I thanked him. I, in turn, held the door for a young dad and his child. The dad thanked me.

At the dollar store, the clerk asked if I’d found everything all right, and I said, “Yes, I found everything I was looking for.” She thanked me!
So I’ve concluded that while it doesn’t take much effort on my part to be polite, it appears to be catching!

Or maybe I just got lucky? No, I don’t think so. I will admit I’m not shopping at the peak of season hysteria—I value my sanity. And I rarely shop at places that have a lot of pushing, shoving, knock-down fights (that’s on Thanksgiving evening, I’m told).

Here’s what I think: I think somebody got a thank-you campaign going; something like—“See how many times in a day you can thank someone out loud.”
Or it could be my gray hair. I’m at that uncertain age—I can hear them thinking, Is she in her 70s? 80s? Can she hear all right? Why is she smiling?

Whatever. I like knowing other people still remember to say thanks and smile.
And I’m all for it being catching!

 P.S.--In case you think I'm a paragon or campaigning for sainthood, I have to correct that. Tortoise-like drivers still send my BP up several points. Mistakes on my online orders get me growling. And the little loaves of bread I baked a few days ago--and burned--made me scream. Well, didn't make me, but I screamed anyway. I try to keep those times to a minimum, make allowances, give others the benefit of the doubt, yada yada  . . . but I firmly admit to being human. (Sorry if that bursts your bubble.)

Have a lovely day anyway!

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