View from the Hill
LOS ANGELES—Often I have to tell my children that it’s not okay to do something, which is fine because they are only eleven years old. For example, the other day I had to sit them down and tell them it’s not okay to:
- Argue with mommy just because you’re tired.
- Argue with mommy over sneakers, healthy snacks, and early bedtimes.
- Argue with mommy over everything under the sun.
- Argue with mommy for two straight hours and then expect to swim, have fun, or live.
You get my point. I take part in this grand tradition of mothers talking to walls because it’s what I signed on to do about a decade earlier after a few drinks and one incredibly sentimental Ron Howard movie.
What I find truly amazing is how many times I want to say, “That’s not okay” to fellow grown-ups. Throughout my day, I often feel like I’m in a high school cafeteria, except high school kids have better manners.
I have to stop myself from committing random acts of scolding and wondering out loud, “Who raised you?”
People over the age of thirty, forty, or fifty should know better, but often they don’t. So for all those middle-aged kids out there, with manners that would mortify their mothers, please be advised that it’s not okay to…
- Clean your ears with car keys.
- Leave the bathroom in disarray. Come on, people. Flush.
- Sniff and swallow what should seriously be blown into a tissue.
- Clip your nails as you walk through the office.
- Man-handle my tofu and flax seed in the community fridge when you obviously don’t do healthy.
- Burp loudly, and then attempt to high-five everyone in the room.
- Touch me or my hair and wink. It wasn’t cute in college and it’s not cute now.
- Sweat all over the exercise equipment. Those towels are there for a reason.
- Deposit whatever is under your nails onto your sleeves or pants.
- Make a face over whatever I’m eating or reading.
- Wear tight turtlenecks when you’re male, near seventy, and easily a C cup.
- Pick your teeth outside the bathroom.
- Chew with your mouth open.
- Play with the hair growing out of your ears.
- Audibly digest anything.
- Refer to women as broads, especially if you’re under the age of eighty.
- Rub a pregnant woman’s belly. Ever.
- Shove children aside for a better view of the parade.
- Blow your nose in a restaurant.
- Throw cigarettes on the ground.
- Ask others to “smell this.” If the milk or cheese is bad, throw it away, otherwise you are risking a lawsuit.
- Interrupt people with whom you disagree. Just because you’re loud, doesn’t mean you’re right.
- Complain about aches and pains; no one cares about your groin injury.
- Invade my personal space after your onion and garlic lunch.
- Smile without brushing first.
- Spit in a garbage can or on a baseball field. We can see you, you know.
- Touch any part of your body while discussing third-quarter earnings or yearly reviews. Save that charming maneuver for when you’re watching the game on Sunday.
That goes for the rest of this list, too.
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