On the virtue of saying “thank you” and having gratitude
Yes, simple, mild manners. Have some. I was at an outdoor movie screening the other night and it was delightful. They are always so much fun — it’s one of my favorite Summer activities and here in Los Angeles, that means we can have them into Fall when it’s still hot as balls outside. In this particular instance, the screening ended on a fine lesson in manners and basic gratitude.
I was parked in a lot with three driveways — one to enter through, one to exit by, and one roped off with a thick chain so as to control the flow of traffic. And it’s hardly necessary as this lot is not very big and people always tend to be civilized. It’s a quieter side of town and a good group comes out for these things. Anyway, I was putting my things in the car when I heard a loud bang.
A driver who was not at full attention had ploughed right into the chain across the center driveway. What’s worse, he couldn’t seem to grasp what was going on so he was reversing his car and re-attempting to get out of the lot that way. And the car behind him was honking. So now there’s an audience — everyone packing up their cars is watching this unfold.
But for whatever reason, I just dropped what I was doing and in my Uggs, booked it over there and shouted “STOP!” I went around to the front of the car where the chain had entangled around this guy’s license plate and through his grill. It was heavy and filthy but I was able to dislodge it pretty easily, and toss the chain aside. And he tapped his gas! He was ready to just run me down. So I jumped to the side and slapped my hand on the passenger-side window.
She rolled it down a crack and I said politely, “make sure you stop and look at your car, you’ve got some damage there.”
Window went right back up, they drove off. The end. (Well, not the total end. I rolled my eyes, walked back to my car, and commented to a nearby friend that he’d said nothing to me before rushing out of the lot.)
Look, I’m not a hero here. I wasn’t looking for a trophy or a round of applause. I’m not even writing this blog post to seek validation. I have zero regrets and know I did a good thing. But I must confess I found it rather appalling that the driver nor his passenger said “thank you.” Just THANK YOU. I mean, I sneeze, you say “bless you,” I say “thank you.” The words should be a reflex, people.
It just made me wonder, parents are still teaching these things right? These are the basics to me. You say “please,” “thank you,” “you’re welcome,” and when someone asks how you’re doing, you return the kindness by asking them the same.
It didn’t ruin my night by any means. It just gave me pause and a desire to step up on my soapbox and just remind you all: HAVE SOME MANNERS!
Thank you and you’re welcome.