I am fully aware that Emily Post is no longer alive; however, for those interested, there is actually an Emily Post site: http://emilypost.com/. But I have a funny feeling that those who read this are not in need of that site and those who should read it, will never read it. Despite the site, Miss Manners must have flown the coop! I am extremely tired of being addressed as a “guy!”
I went to a US Cellular store in Menomonee Falls with my friend. She wanted to buy an I-phone and asked me to accompany her. We both are senior people and there were three other women with similar ages in the store. It is a small store. We walked in and the Customer Representative, who was male, shouted out, “Hi, guys, what can I do for you?”
I stood for a moment in silence. You do realize this is a pet peeve of mine and I have refrained from expressing my true feelings more times than I can count. Then my mouth opened, “First of all, we are not “guys!” and secondly, we would like to see your I-phones.”
Of course, the young man looked bewildered but sensed I was annoyed and apologized. We then proceeded to buy the phone.
On another occasion, I was dining with my daughter. The waitress came to our table and say, “Hi, guys! Here’s the menu!” Not wanting to embarrass my daughter, I was silent, but raging inside!
I could give countless stories that illustrate these phenomena of young people rolling off their tongues, “H, guys!” I know we live in another age. I know politeness seems to have disappeared. I see young women being exploited at every turn–in fashion and in speech.
Is it too late to turn back the tide on this expression?
I thought it might be a regional thing in Wisconsin, but somehow the expression followed me to Fairhaven, Washington, on the West coast this past June.
Am I the only person who feels this way? Am I being overly sensitive? What happened to the identity of women?
Perhaps I should book myself for the next flight to Mars and help colonize a new civilization. Parents could be given an e-book site or manual with proper etiquette as they leave the birthing center.
I am a part-time blogger, maybe even less than that recently…ha! My youngest daughter says that she is bored with my writing and that I need to put a little more authenticity into it. She is attempting to make me an honest writer. She says she is not interested in reading about mountains and streams. I reminded her of a little sign I have at home: “NOVELIST AT WORK–You may end up in my writing! Beware and speak softly.”
One of the reasons I lack putting my voice out there among the millions of bloggers is probably a common theme for writers. I fear revealing too much of who I am and then being questioned. But now that I made it to 67, what have I got to lose? I also fear that I do not live up to my writing. I may write happy things, profound words, urging others to social action; however, then I have to live it also. People are disappointed with me, and I with myself, because the action behind the words is so far from my reach. Depression is a horrible thing. It grabs hold of your spirit, drags you down into the mud—but like the lotus flower, I have to bloom. So out of the mud I am crawling today and attempting more honesty in my writing.
I do admit that I try extremely hard to write only positive and encouraging words. I think there is so much rubbish and sorrow in the media–why add to it? Many times I write these for myself, because I actually need to hear them. I need to find joy and hope and so I write about it. My writing forces me to think positive. But then of course, if I do write something positive, then I am reminded by not too few, that I need to stop worrying and eat my words! Writing always comes back to you. You think you are giving the words away, but you are ultimately held captive by them.
Several years ago I wrote a one-liner about “hope” on Google share drive. I believe it was, “We have to keep hope alive!” I completely forgot I had written it. And there was one comment: “Instead of writing about hope, get off your butt and do something!”
And I do get angry when someone tells me after meeting me, who beforehand only knew me through my blog: “You are not at all what I expected!” I felt terrible I was such a disappointment in the flesh! I think fear is why I haven’t written. I do suffer from depression and social anxiety (a strange mixture) and am a very shy person—no one believes that after meeting me. That is only because I do try to run past my shyness and jump into the middle of life. Sometimes that jump brought me grief because I was too impulsive. Other times, it gave me happy experiences and encounters I never would have had, had I held back. However, after I make my impulsive move, I am exhausted! It takes an insurmountable amount of energy to make that leap. I am more comfortable with a few people than a group–and my anxiety is easier to control. And, yes, I stood in front of a classroom of students for 36 years. It took a lot of energy. So I guess it says this to those who are depressed, yes, it is hell, but take the chance! Make the leap!
I will say this about my writing. Anything I write is 99% a reminder to myself of love in the world, the kindness of people, beauty in nature, and hope in the world–even if I am sitting on my butt! I did actually cry when I read that one line– Sometimes believing is the only thing I have to offer! Then I think of the great cello player, who I admire very much and wish that I was like him, who each evening, would play his cello in wartorn Serbia:
“Twenty years ago, as mortar shells began raining down on Sarajevo, killing his friends and neighbors, Vedran Smajlovic did what he knew best to help the city: he played his cello at funerals, in bomb shelters and in the streets…” http://www.wqxr.org/story/197875-cellist-sarajevo-plays-his-city-again/
Gayle Polansky Photography in Albuquerque New Mexico
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