October 6, 2015

Bar Stool Musings: Social Graces and Sauvignon Blanc

One of the things that I look forward to most on a weekend, is enjoying a glass of wine with my husband at one of our favourite lounges. An hour to catch up, make plans, to daydream and it always tastes like another. We could do the same thing at home, and for half the cost, but this is one of those things that I don’t need to justify, it’s what we like to do.

Some like the privacy of a table, but we enjoy sitting at the bar, on a corner if possible so we aren’t side by side, unless of course there is a fabulous patio with the perfect sun/shade combination. I don’t think that we have achieved official Norm Peterson status yet, but we have got to know a few of the staff members at the establishments which we frequent and have come to enjoy a little banter with whomever is tending bar.

After visiting the local farmer’s market on Saturday we strolled over to our lounge in town (I’m not giving away all of my secrets yet). We met Scott early this summer, and have had great conversation with him. Saturday’s lounge was quiet and our talk quickly drifted to social etiquette, a matter close to my heart (and Scott’s) and have often thought about writing a book on this subject. I know for a fact that if I had had a second glass I would have publicly proclaimed that I would be writing said book, for now a blog post will have to suffice.

While there are the basic etiquette rules that should go without saying (be on time, how to address a person, how to use a knife and fork) there are social etiquette rules that are completely ignored:

  • Elevator etiquette – when the doors open, there is more than enough time to allow those to exit before you enter. If you aren’t exiting, move to the back of the elevator to allow those entering to step in. It is also the responsibility of those inside to know which floor you are on “oh, I didn’t realize that this was my floor” once the elevator has reloaded is not acceptable, PAY ATTENTION! This rule also applies when using public transit.
  • When driving, a simple wave is a courteous way to acknowledge thanks for letting me in or giving way, it’s just nice. It is also a very quick way to apologize for your dumbass lane change or close call. Receiving the “sorry I’m an idiot” wave should be reciprocated by removing the palm of your hand from your horn, you are not perfect either.
  • Refrain from speaking on your cell phone in public places (this includes in a restaurant, at the gym, the coffee shop, the nail bar and especially while someone is serving you). I don’t want to hear your conversation, and although you may think that you aren’t, you are speaking very loudly. And if you are wearing a bluetooth, you look foolish.
  • After waiting in the line-up for ten minutes at the coffee shop, when the barista asks you for your order, please do not respond with “oh, I’m not sure”. Really? And when you finally place your drink order, move towards the counter but don’t crowd it. Do you not feel the glare from the eight other sets of eyes behind you that were here before you? And don’t for a minute be so narcissistic to think that you are the only one who ordered a grande chai tea, 3 pump, non fat, lite water, no foam, extra hot latte.
  • When responding to an email that I had sent you, please spell my name correctly. It only takes a second, you don’t even have to scroll down to see my signature line, you hit reply, it’s at the top of your email.
  • Be a nice person. Smile back when someone smiles at you, say thank you when someone holds the door for you, don’t ask questions that are none of your business and if you don’t have something kind to say, just zip it.

Our banter could have easily turned into an episode of Matt Bellassai’s Whine About It, check him out, unless you have already judged my day drinking. In that case you would not find him the least bit funny, and likely shouldn’t be reading this blog either.

Besides a book deal that would turn into a guest host position with Kathie Lee and Hoda (I am available), what did I miss from the list by not having that second glass of wine?

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