At this stage in our lives, as our time becomes more limited and constrained by work, family, and responsibility, we more than ever need to choose wisely with whom we spend our time.
Last night we had a couple over. We know the woman and are just getting to know the new boyfriend, but he seems nice enough. When he arrived he was on the phone. He waved hello and then stayed on the phone in our living room, and then in the kitchen, for about 30 minutes. The conversation — we could clearly hear his half — sounded quite casual: golf, tennis, cars. It definitely sounded like something that could wait.
Neither my husband nor I said anything, because what are you going to say? But we both thought it was striking. I know that I can go on a bit about manners, but it’s only because there are so little of them on display. This was a 40+ year-old grown man with an ex-wife, a child, a full time job… and a new girlfriend. Clearly he has operated in professional and private environments for years.
He did apologize when he got off the phone. It seemed weird, though, like intentionally offending someone and then apologizing: “I don’t like your shoes. I’m sorry.” Why say anything when your comment or behavior is so intentional?
I am not sure the cell phone guy will make the cut for my precious time. The jury is out, but I don’t think it is my job to tell him about his bad behavior. And he knew it anyway – he apologized.
Observe the people surrounding you. How do they behave? Would you want your child, spouse, or friend to behave that way? I can tell you this, my husband pulls a stunt like that and I am taking away the phone and hanging it up for him. Of course, I never would have married someone without manners — they are much too important.
Tags: bad behavior, cell phone, manners