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Saturday, February 2, 2013

And Now, I Doubt Your Sincerity


Still working over time, so I hope you enjoy a little something from February of 2011...

I spend a lot of time thinking about social norms, about the fact that the expected behavior in one place is considered unacceptable in another.

Consider the act of taking your shoes off when you enter someone’s home, for example. When I was young, this was done at the front door of the trailer automatically. When I did it at a particular neighbor’s home, however, I was ridiculed for being, and I quote, “La-dee-dah”.

After that, they called me “Princess”.

Human behavior fascinates me – which is not to say that I was not as critical as the folks with the filthy carpeting as they were of me and my shoe-removing ways.

Take the folks, say, at the Famous Dave’s in Roseville, out for lunch last Saturday, hair matted and in what was clearly their pajamas. Their behavior serves me well: I get to feel good about the fact that this will not happen to me in my lifetime (insert judgmentally shaking head here) and I get to make up little stories about why they couldn’t brush their hair (the directions on the tick-removal shampoo suggested that they not) or get dressed (plans to eat a whole pie in the parking lot following lunch, perhaps, requiring something roomy enough to accommodate expansion).

There is one thing I’ve noticed recently, though, something that must be nipped in the bud immediately.

I don’t know if you know this or not, but I enjoy a beer now and then. This is something I do whilst out with friends, a social thing. I don’t care to drink by myself. You’ll never stop in, for instance, and find me having a beer while brushing a cat or watering my plants; but if you’re going up to The Spring later, I’ll have three, thank you very much.

I tend to run a little hot sometimes, and a couple of beers help me put things in perspective.

Which brings me to a most important point.

If you’re out, sitting with friends and acquaintances, and someone raises their beer and you raise yours as well, clinking the glasses in recognition that yes, we are in wild agreement, you and I, then the next step to this social dance is the drinking of the contents of said glasses.

You wouldn’t think I’d have to say that, would you? And yet I am surprised, every time it happens, by the number of people who will clink but then do not drink.

How can you clink and then set your drink down?

If you do not drink, following the clink, you have made a mockery of the system; and without the system, we have chaos.

Without the system of clink-then-drink, how will we know whether you truly agree that so-and-so is a jolly good fellow or if you are just going through the motions? Perhaps you have evidence to the contrary and don't have the heart to tell me? Perhaps you are swiping onion rings from me while my glass is lifted?

You see? It all falls apart.

People, we need a system.

18 comments:

Red said...

Ya, we need a system but what about us random chaotic quibblers? Is the system going to be broad enough to fit us in? Or do I have to remain a rebel all my life? On second thoughts I think I'll remain a rebel. I know I'd be in good company. I think I'd be with you.

jenny_o said...

I have decided to be very brave and admit that in the past I may have clunk and not drunk. It arises from a good intention, as in - I intend not to get drunk, therefore I will sip my beer slowly and make it last all evening. I never realized I was causing the breakdown of society :)

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

I don't drink and I don't clink but for you Pearl, I'll make an exception.

joeh said...

I have not observed or noticed the clink and no drink, but now I will probably notice and yes it will be disturbing.

What would be even more disturbing would be a raise and no reciprical clink.

fishducky said...

Please pass the onion rings!!

Belle said...

You are right. Someone should hold up a fork and whoever doesn't drink after they clink should get it in the ribs.

Gigi said...

This is truly the dawn of civilization breaking down. First, the clink/no drink conundrum AND the wearing of pajamas in public. *sigh* I fear for humanity, Pearl. I really, really do.

Joe Pereira said...

And there's me thinking matted hair was all the rage in some parts of the USA! Or is that Mexico? To "clink and not drink" is a crime against civilised values, and almost as dangerous as "the right to bear arms" I understand your outrage:p

sage said...

You, run a hot? I lift my glass and click the screen, but it's only ice tea and if I spill it on my keyboard, I'll blame you.

Daisy said...

Honest, I would never steal your onion rings. French fries, maybe, but not onion rings. ;-)

Three Hundred Sixty Five said...

¿Por qué, eso es ridículo.

Just when did it become acceptable to wear pj's to a store or restaurant? Unless, maybe, they escaped from an insane murderer which made them hungry. Yeah, that's what I'm going with.

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

I am with you I do not get why some people click glasses and do not follow through with a drink not even a sip nothing how weird.......that said I have never been one to take my shoes off before entering someones house unless they ask me to do so.........

Linda O'Connell said...

You have come up with the perfect name for a bar The Clink and Drink.
Happy Super Bowl party. Hope you're celebrating instead of serving.

The Geezers said...

I suspect I've been caught in the "clink but not drink" error occasionally.

The behavior I have trouble understanding is not wearing socks when you've got to go barefoot through the airport security checkpoint. I cringe everytime I see the folks padding barefoot across the floor where a thousand people have recently done the same. It's apparently not that big a faux pas, though, as so many people think nothing of it.

The pajamas in public thing is fascinating and not all that uncommon these days. Call me old fashioned, I guess.

esbboston said...

So, if you a stiLL "working overtime", are you stiLL "taking care of business" in proper proportions? Before answering too quickly, you should realize that the ratio of "working overtime" to "taking care of business" is 1:4 in the BTO lyrics.

the walking man said...

Yes WE DO have a Famous Dave's in Roseville MI...but no I never went there in my pajamas but am staying blissfully quiet about pie in the parking lot.

And to the toast do shots then everyone will follow convention and spend less on beer.

Macy said...

Clink but not drink???
I suspect you've been drinking with lightweights Pearl....

Suldog said...

Indeed. A little known similar sort of social compact is undertaken when the fortune cookies are handed out after a Chinese meal. It is a faux pas* if you do NOT read your fortune aloud. In addition, the fortune will not come true unless you eat the cookie.**

*Pronounced "fox pass" by many.

** I made this up, but it should be true.