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Monday, February 15, 2010

In Minnesota, Everyone’s a “Guy”. It’s a Colloquialism. Yes I’m Serious.

As a longstanding fan of humanity, I am nevertheless continually amazed by our behavior.

We certainly are a rude little bunch, aren’t we? From the slap-in-the-face inconsideration of people screaming at their children in grocery stores to the braying of a group in a movie theater, you’d think that there was no consensus amongst peoples on appropriate behavior.

I suspect that this is a world-wide phenomenon, although I’m sure it’s more noticeable in settings of large groups.

But it’s not any particular group of people, is it? It’s pockets of people.

And that’s all it takes: a pocket.

So what I was thinking was this: are there the smaller rules? And if there are, where are they? Because while I believe I got a copy as a child, I am not sure I got the same copy as everyone else.

Who do I talk to to get another copy?

Better yet, maybe we should just write them up ourselves, huh? The small rules on being a good guy. I mean, I’m not talkin’ the Ten Commandments here. There’s no need to bring burning bushes into this! We can certainly agree on some little things, don’t you think? If we don’t agree on the little things, how will we all get along?

So here is what I propose. Sure, I’m nursing a wee hangover, the leftover cream puffs from a small party on Saturday on the coffee table in front of me. But I have buckled down for absolutely hours of thought Sunday afternoon and have come up with some preliminary thoughts. We can modify these, of course, at the next meeting regarding our Plan To Take Over The World – and if you’re part of the plot, you know who you are – but just to get the ball rolling…

• If you bump into someone in a crowded bar and cause their beer to spill, you need to buy them its replacement. That's what a good guy would do.

• It is common courtesy to respond to a smile, head nod or similar gesture with one of your own. It doesn’t have to be a mirror response, but a good guy would at least acknowledge.

• It’s perfectly OK to let a stranger use your phone. It is not OK for said stranger to attempt to leave with it. You’d think this would be universally obvious, but you’d be wrong.

• A woman I work with, two ahead of me in line at Starbuck’s Friday, told the cashier (the one who takes my request for a “venti dark-roast with room” every work day and is always friendly) to put my coffee on her tab. I’m not saying everyone should do this, but I am saying that it made my day.

• And finally, good guys don’t sit in their car outside and honk. And honk. If you can’t bear the thought of getting out of your car, by all means, my special little friend, pull over and use your cell phone. If you don’t have a cell phone, you’ll either have to get out of your car or borrow one from a friendly passerby. Like a good friend likes to say, don’t be an ass.

It’s not great, but it’s a start.

People! Rise up and proclaim yourself a good guy!

25 comments:

Jeanie said...

I think you have brought up things that could be the beginning of the ever sought after World Peace.

John Hayes said...

Words to live by!

powdergirl said...

I'm a good guy : ) I got the same rule book as you !

"Don't be an ass"

A very popular refrain 'round these parts, and seriously good advice.

MJenks said...

Sorry about the grocery store thing, but sometimes, it's like herding cats.

Okay, so I don't scream at them, but I do make it known that their behavior is completely inappropriate and that I will not put up with it any longer. Usually through gritted teeth.

The Retired One said...

I totally agree with your list!!! And here is another:
If you are at a sports event and are, say...anything over 5 foot 10 inches tall, please do not stand in the stairways to the bleachers and talk (way up in the clouds) to your buddies whilst all us short people behind you are waiting to get past you on those said stairs, politely saying "excuse me?" about 423 times.......

O.G. said...

I like this list.

How about...I'll hold the door open for you or let you in my lane in traffic if you'll acknowledge that I've something nice.

lisleman said...

I'll buy you a cup of Starbucks next time.
So is this spilling a beer a technique to buy a girl a drink that I missed back in my youth?
Oh you need to add "not dropping trash around like the world was your trash bin."

Pat said...

...and I'd add, "Kids, don't get up and sharpen your pencil when the teacher is talking to you (i.e., the whole class, which includes you).

Jenn Jilks said...

I'd turn this around and ask for something someone did for you that was nice today! I believe in being a role model! Too many complain about crass fake days like ♥ but isn't it up to us to teach people how to treat us?

GregoryJ said...

What if you spill their beer on their clothes? Should you offer to wash them or replace them?

Definitely return a greeting. One neighbor just cannot do it. One day it really pissed me off. Sometimes now, I give her a one finger wave. Doesn't make any diff to her.

Stranger using my phone? Just any old time? Or for an emergency? Are they clean? Do you have sani wipes?

If the horn blows, so must the driver.

Douglas said...

Nice guys finish last. That was the only rule I was taught, or had beat into me, by my older brother. In spite of that, I managed to avoid prison. So I guess I qualify as a good guy.

The mad woman behind the blog said...

Can we build a commune for the good guys? And breed more good guys? All this beer buying and smiling at each other has got to lead to something!

Kevin Musgrove said...

I'm mortified I didn't know about the spilling beer thing. All those years of trying not to say; "that's a nice blouse you've got on."

Pearl said...

All very good points, particularly about treating the world as if it were a dump.

Regarding whether or not the spilt beer is a bit just to get someone's top wet, while I had not intended it that way, I suppose that's one way to do it, although I can think of more creative ways, including buying her so many beers that removing her clothes seems like a FANTASTIC idea! But no. If you stumble past me, causing me to spill my beer, the etiquette here is to say "Oh, I'm so sorry! What are you drinking? I'll be back in a moment with its replacement!"

Molly Potter said...

23) If a little blonde woman is taking her turn at making a driving mistake in front of you and you are not in danger or at risk of getting hit, do not bib the horn at her. She is a highly reflective practitioner and does not need your input thank you.

24) If someone has just one thing in their basket and another had loads, let the one thing person go first, please. Especially if they are short and blonde.

25) If you find a lost purse on a bus, on a train, in a shop, on a wall, in the road, in the pink elephant ride, etc please return it to Molly Potter (short and blonde) preferably before she realises she has lost it.

26) When people are looking at a map and are clearly not from your town, go and offer them help before they ask (it'll make your town seem friendly) and if they are short and blonde - escort them safely to where they want to get to and ask them to check that they have their purse with them.

27)

Molly Potter said...

28) Smile at old people. Now and definitely in the future.

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

BOY, does this strike a chord with me! I just couldn't agree with you more! THANK YOU for posting it, and please feel free to post many, many more!

I feel so much better now!!

CatLadyLarew said...

Being a good guy doesn't take all that much effort. Amazing how many people think it's too much of a bother.

Cloudia said...

Aloha, Guys!


Comfort Spiral

Marla said...

Good points, Pearl!! I believe in behaving like a good guy even if I am not feeling like one that day. Makes breathing much more pleasant for everyone.

Joanna Jenkins said...

That was a very good start Pearl. I'd add clean up after your dog, and don't cut in line.

Hope all's well.

jj

Gaston Studio said...

Yep, a good start. Now, if everyone else in the world would just take up the baton and play it forward.

Gaston Studio said...

Of course I meant PAY it forward.

BLOGitse said...

Good points!
The last one would be perfect here in Cairo.
Drivers honk for hello, out of the way, come on, my turn, move on, good morning etc etc - you can imagine what kind of noise pollution we have...

BLOGitse

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

Good post. I'm with you, we need more "good guys" and fewer jerks.

I'm playing catch up with my Google Reader tonight. I was edging into the 700 range...